Image: Chateauneuf-en-Auxois at sunset
Mike Long  /  UGC

April 30

Question: What do a picturesque region near Dijon, France and an island off the east coast of Madagascar have in common?

Answer: Both have been top-rated images in msnbc.com’s It’s A Snap! photo contest during the month of April, and both photos were captured by Mike Long.

Long, as you may recall from our April 1 feature , lives in France with his wife, Frederique.

Before moving to the tiny village St. Pierre d’Argencon (pop. 80), the Longs lived in Commarin and Baume for eight years.

About two years ago, the avid photographer noticed an interesting weather pattern and immediately grabbed his camera gear and made a mad dash for nearby Chateauneuf-en-Auxois.

“I tore out of our village really quickly and headed for this spot because I saw it form,” he said.

The storm came in at sunset, and was “just catching this one stripe of yellow — it was a really strange meteorological condition.”

It was the type of moment every photographer enjoys, where “everything comes together for a short moment, and you’re giddy behind the camera hoping you don’t screw it up.”

Long had a five- to seven-minute window “where it was really intense — almost in 3-D type of effect.”

Burgundy and the Cote d’Or district are worth a visit, he said. The area has “some of the best cheese, some of the best wine and is a great place to photograph.”

Click here to see more of Mike Long’s Burgundy photos.

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