It may not have escaped your notice: I spent this weekend at the Montier-en-Der festival. Apart from a great weekend in many ways, I was able to learn a few photographic lessons from what I saw there and had discussions with a few photographers. Enough to convince you to come and see it next year 😉
So I started the weekend with a slide show directed and told by Fabrice Cahez: “The wild cat, eyes in the eyes. “Unlike our domestic pussies, the forest cat wild has become rarer in France: it is an animal unobtrusive that requires a lot of patience to be observed, but the reward can be extraordinary such a beautiful animal. I invite you to visit Fabrice Cahez’s website to admire the pictures.
Apart from the often sublime pictures presented during the slideshow, the story of this photographer taught me or reminded me of several things:
- The passion is the key. I was really moved at times during the photographer’s story while showing his slideshow, so much you could feel his passion. Searching and photographing this animal really carries him, and it shows on his pictures. These are not photos spiritless. I am rarely moved by naturalistic photographs, but Fabrice Cachez has succeeded.
- The patience : This slideshow represents 20 years of work on this animal, and he even had to keep photos taken when he was still working with silver (before 2004), so difficult to observe it. 20 years of work, and one feels that every weekend he spends his days looking for the animal, camera in hand, waiting for the decisive moment. Relativize when you have to wait 15 minutes for your topic to position itself as you wish 😉
I obviously spent some time at the exhibitions picture. And it must be said that we’re taking full eyes! It is also very interesting when the EXIF data are noted below the pictures, which allows to understand how it has been realized, which is not always easy!
Aside from retinal detachment, seeing so many photos in one day and remembering only a few is enough. revealing on his own photographic tastes. It didn’t really surprise me, but I mostly took some pictures in black and whiteand with a very simple and purified that strongly emphasized the subject.
One small regret: in the series of young award-winning photographers (from 10 to 18 years old with several age groups), almost all of them had €4,000 worth of equipment, and I think it’s a shame that it doesn’t give a chance to other young photographers who are a little less favored but probably not without talent. Only one had taken his award-winning shot with “basic” equipment: from memory a Sony A-100 and a 70-300mm. And guess what? It was the shot I thought was the best 😀
It’s impossible to relate everything I saw at the exhibition, but I invite you to visit the site of the Montier-en-Der Wildlife and Nature Photography Festival to admire some of the award-winning shots this year.
I will nevertheless linger on an exhibition that immediately moved me: the one about the gorillas. Great apes are animals close of us from an evolutionary point of view. These are orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. These species are highly endangered especially because of the disappearance of their habitats (basically, when you cut down the forest in Borneo, it’s a bit like breaking your house, except that it’s the orangutans’ house).
In short, these animals (although I hesitate to use that term) have always upset. Cross the look of these close cousins of man is something you don’t forget. And one of my dreams as a photographer would be to be able to get close to them to make portraits of them. Yes, I’m talking about portraits, not animal pictures.
Well, the exhibition “Gorillas: intimate portraits” presented at the festival is quite simply exactly the kind of images I want to make. Portraits of great strength, which always plunge you into the gaze of the eye. expressive and filled with the goodness of these animals (and so much the worse if I’m accused of anthropomorphism). So I took great pleasure in talking with the team that made these images, both in zoos and in their natural environment in Rwanda. It’s always a very good time to meet photographers who are interested in the same subject as you are, and the exchange was very rich for me in terms of learning both on the technique necessary for the realization of these pictures, that on the relationship with the animals or even the zoos that housed those species.
If I were to give you any advice, it would be to…exchange with the photographers who inspire you. It’s a great way to learn that just simply ask questions to those who have already experienced what you have in mind. This kind of event is ideal to meet them, but I am sure that many of them would be delighted to answer you by email: it is always a great pleasure for a photographer to share his work.
So these are my hot impressions. Of course, it’s not a technical article, but you understand that I had other cats (wild ones :P) to whip this weekend 😀 Anyway I hope that this will encourage you to participate at photo festivals, especially in areas of particular interest to you. It’s worth the moneyespecially since the investment is minimal (think about carpooling and couch surfing 😉 ).
Feel free to leave a comment if you were there too, or if you hate me for being there 😛
And don’t forget to share the article! 🙂