Why Create Fine Art (Artistic) Photographs – Part 2

This photograph was created for the collection 'Freedom'.
This photograph was created for the collection 'Freedom'.

The Composition of an Art Photography is Complex

The creation of an artistic photograph always begins with the shooting. We always place ourselves in the case of a real photograph and not a montage photo (we speak then of photographism and not about photography). The composition and the framing of an art photo art are very complex and difficult to achieve. Indeed, it must have several levels of understanding for an audience. Each level must give a way of being interpreted and judged.

An artistic photo does not reveal itself at first sight. It must be suggestive. It takes time to interpret and understand what the artist wanted translated. An audience must stand in front of an image when it is printed, contemplate it, interpret it and judge it emotionally. An artistic photograph suggests introspection, the search for oneself. Deciphering the meaning of an art photo takes time because it is not concrete or factual.

An Art Photograph Does Not Need to be Located

The geographical location of an artistic photograph of nature whether animal, landscape or underwater does not need to be specified. This information does not matter.

The geographical location can be named and specified in the form of a subtitle, but the important thing is that the photographed scene is at the service of the artistic vision of the photographer. It must serve as a support for the message that must be transmitted.

A know scene or a perfectly identifiable area by most people can be the subject of a great artistic photo. It is the photographer who will choose how he will embellish the scene to convey what he has to say.

An exceptional scene or behavior will not necessarily make an artistic picture. It will be if the photographer knows how to use the tools to the shooting and computer to highlight it. An exceptional scene is not a sufficient condition for the creation of a photographic work of art. For it to become so, it needs an emotional and sentimental content important otherwise it will be without artistic interest.

This point also marks a very big difference between artistic photography and documentary photography. A documentary photo must show an extraordinary place or an exceptional behavior. It is often the unexpected and the exceptional that characterizes this photographic genre. Moreover, by the fact that it is difficult to achieve or by the fact that it is a rare testimony, will give it its nobility. For example, a rare animal that is photographed is a good documentary photo. A distant landscape difficult to access or because it is very cold is a good documentary photo. An underwater image taken at very great depth is a good documentary image because it presents significant technical challenges. The challenge is one of the essential factors for a documentary photograph to be successful. It is the fact that few people can realize it that give it an important value. But anyway, it will certainly not be a good artistic photograph if the author did not use the scene to convey his emotions and his way of seeing the world.

Let's not forget that a documentary photographer does not have to get involved in the photo he makes. It is factual and not to express an opinion as it is.

Finally, all scenes that are banal or extraordinary obey the same principle to become artistic photos: they must serve the photographic vision of the photographer.

The Metaphorical Level of an Art Photo

As we mentioned earlier, an artistic photograph must be read on many levels. One of them and for us it's certainly the most important is the metaphorical level.

A metaphor is a figure of speech by which a term, a set of terms, or an idea is defined by a term or set of terms that normally means something else. For example, in our case, when we speak of a tree, we call it "a witness to the passing of time". When we see a sky laden with dark clouds we are referring to "the wrath of heaven".

Artistic photography, like other forms of art, can express itself in a metaphorical form. The question we are often asked is "Is it better to express an emotion in metaphorical form rather than using clear and more direct words? ". For us the answer is yes. Indeed, the art photography is not descriptive and is not factual. It reflects the photographer's opinion, sensitivity and emotions. Expressing metaphorically the character of a photographic work only prolongs the artistic photographer's vision and artistic approach.

If we take again the case of our trees, a documentary photographer would see there "perennial plants, ligneous, ramous which can reach at least 7 meters of height and bearing only durable branches only at a certain distance from the ground". As photographers who create fine art photographs, we see in the trees witnesses to passing times, who are impassive and who have been contemplating humanity for hundreds of years.

The use of metaphors is not always easy because they are arbitrary and engage only the author who uses them. Moreover, they vary from one culture to another.

In artistic photography, it is the elements of the scene that express the metaphor desired by the artist photographer. This method allows the artist to assert his vision and style.

Another example of research on photographic metaphor concerns gelada monkeys. It is a species only found in the highlands of Ethiopia. For us they are not monkeys but an anthropomorphic vision of our human societies. We never photograph human beings but thanks to the geladas, we can express how we see humans.

Finally, the use of metaphors gives a level of reading to photographic works created by an artist. It is necessary to know how to use them wisely so that audiences with diverse cultures can interpret and read them without causing misunderstandings as unintentional as they are.

Fine Art Photography Requires Quality

A photographer who wishes to create photographs of art must be irreproachable in the quality of the photos. By using the word quality, we imply several points that seem essential to us.

The word quality also implies that each photograph must be thought, thoughtful to match the artistic approach chosen by the artist.

The word quality includes the shots whether for the choice of the point of view or for the choice of the composition or for the choice of the framing. But quality also means perfect technical mastery in noise management and the quality of sharpness.

The word quality almost implies that the development of the photos must be technically flawless. This does not mean that the chosen aesthetic should please to everyone, but it means for example that the cropping, the removal of the spots of the sensor, the management of the horizon will have been made carefully with a lot of delicacy.

Finally, the word quality integrates the presentation of photographic works. The photographer must give a tremendous importance and should be strict how he will present his works to different audiences. He owes them respect. The support of the photographs, the frames, the frame liner must be chosen carefully. Nothing must be left to chance.

The evocation of these few points even if they are incomplete show that a qualitative creation of fine art photographs is very time-consuming. Each day being cut in 24 hours and every week in 7 days, quality must dominate the quantity.

Every detail counts when creating an artistic photograph. Nothing must be neglected. So, does the reputation of the photographer. A fine art photographer must never forget the respect it owes to the people who will look at its works. Without them, he would not exist.

Limited production is a guarantee of quality work because the time spent will be longer for each photograph. But a danger watches out for the author. We have not experienced it personally, but we have already observed it. When a work is created, and it is successful, it is very tempting to reproduce it using all the quality criteria that we have just mentioned. As the whole chain is mastered and known, it is very easy to do so-called copy-and-paste as in a word processor. The series becomes a series of almost identical photos as the first one. For us, this is a pretty serious mistake because the photographer falls back into mass production. Even if the quality of the final photos is present, the artistic quality is not. He favors quantity over quality. For us it is an act of non-respect of the audience.

Continued next week on Friday.

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Why Create Fine Art (Artistic) Photographs – Part 1

Defining art photography still called fine art photography is complex and difficult. For years that we have been trying to express ourselves as photographic artists, we have gained certain certainties about this artistic discipline. We wanted to share them in this article.

We also think it is important to share our thoughts because this is what we have been doing for several years during our photography workshops.

This photograph was created for the collection 'Musical notes on water'.
This photograph was created for the collection 'Musical notes on water'.

An Art Photograph is Made for Creating an Artistic Work

To create an artistic photograph, the photographer must consider himself an artist. He must take control of the creative process. In this article, we had already explained that for us, photography should be considered as an artistic discipline.

Making an art photograph requires a special creative approach that has nothing to do with documentary photography.

Indeed, creating an art photograph goes well beyond the representation of a scene. It does not have to account for reality. An artistic photograph is above all, an image that shares a photographic vision, an artistic approach. It always sends a message. It can also describe a metaphor.

The photographer is totally involved in this process. The scene he chooses is just an excuse to show how he feels emotionally or sentimentally.

An Art Photography Is Not Just Documentary

An artistic photograph is not just documentary. The word 'just' we use is very important and we use it on purpose. Indeed, for us, art photography can be approached in a documentary way. In this case, the photographer author will use means during the shootout or during the post-processing to beautify an image while giving his interpretation of the scene. He can also use a perfectly identifiable scene to create a metaphor or a parable.

But what is documentary photography? It is a photographic discipline that is factual, descriptive. It does not need to be aesthetic. The purpose of a documentary photograph is to illustrate a magazine article, a book or serve as a legal document for administrative papers.

This type of photography is not intended to create a parable, a metaphor or to transmit a message. It is above all a descriptive snapshot. A documentary photograph is a testimony to a fact.

The technical evaluation criteria are simple. A documentary photo must:

  • Have the subject(s) sharps.
  • Being well exposed.
  • Have good color management.
  • Be well contrasted.

For example, it should not have overexposed or underexposed areas because key details could be lost. The factual aspect would be called into question. For example, documentary photography is intended for researchers because it often has the value of testimony over time.

In a documentary photograph, the photographer must not engage from an emotional point of view and must not especially express an opinion on the scene that is photographed. A rule of thumb is that the photographer must be absent from the scene. His beliefs and his opinions should not be reflected or expressed either implicitly or explicitly. The photographer must be totally neutral. It is as if he never existed.

To push the reasoning to the extreme, a documentary photograph could be taken by a totally autonomous camera that would take pictures automatically.

An artistic photograph pursues totally opposite goals. It shows a scene that is different from reality. It does not have to account for what people on the scene have seen. An artistic photograph is an interpretation of reality.

It must show the artistic vision still called artistic approach of the photographer. He should be totally get involved in the creative process of the work. This reasoning goes so far that one will be able to recognize the brand, the paw or the style of the photographer.

When an artist photographer reaches this stage of creativity, he is at the top of his art. When creating an artistic photo, the photographer puts his soul, metaphorically speaking. Indeed, he must be present in the picture even if we do not see him. An audience must be able to guess that someone is behind the viewfinder. As we have described in this article, in general, art is a means for a person to express his personality, to show his vision of the world and his sources of inspiration. It is said that this person is an artist.

Being an artist is to show his own vision of the world by interpreting reality.

If we follow this principle, fine art photography is a way to share a photographer's vision with an audience. It is for this reason that an artistic photograph is totally different from a documentary photograph because it reflects the expression of an artist who is a photographer.

But an art photograph can have documentary bases. By the post processing, a photographer will give it an artistic relief by transforming it into black and white for example or by saturating the colors, changing the depth of field. The transformation tools are infinite. Only the photographer's imagination is in power. The limits are those of his imagination.

An Art Photography is Always Processed

As we said before, an art photograph is an interpretation of the real world by a photographer. The transformation tools to change the reality are mostly software installed on computers. As we will see in a future article, the use of computer tools allowing the conversion of an image translating reality into an art photo, only serves to reinforce the artistic approach or the photographic vision of a photographer.

The goal of this conversion is to allow the artist to always produce works that can be recognized and attributed to him at a glance. It takes years to achieve this result. This is the ultimate achievement for an artist: to be recognized by his style. It's an every day job. It is incessant, meticulous, difficult, delicate because to find his own style and to affirm it, is the most complex stage to reach for an artist. And the word “artist” used in the general sense.

Mastering computer tools is not the guarantee of producing quality art photographs. Certainly, it is an artistic work that is done because we are facing an interpretation of reality, but it is not a sufficient condition for it to be a quality artistic approach.

An artist photographer who uses software to transform reality must do so by being consistent from one photo to another. His style must be visible, identifiable, clear for all those who will look at the photos. For us it is certainly the most difficult stage. It's a real quest for the Grail.

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Blog posts dedicated to fine art photography

Our chronicles in the blog are devoted to the techniques for the creation of interesting photographs of nature. In these texts, we chose to share our tips and explain how to create interesting and creative photos. Our goal is to help photographers to improve their creativity in nature photography whether for wildlife, underwater or landscapes.

To better understand our artistic approach and why art photography is so important, we have selected articles related to artistic photography.

Blog of fine art photography by Amar and Isabelle Guillen.

Art photography is necessary and useful

We are two professional photographers passionate about the beauties of nature. We have chosen to share our passion with the greatest number of people whether they are photographers or not. Indeed, loving the beauties of nature is universal.

To express our emotions, our feelings we chose photography and artistic photography. Our art photography collections are organized into two themes "Around the Mind" and "Around the World". We chose two styles to highlight them "Shades of blacks and whites" and "Lights and colors".

Buying an art photograph is a very special act. Indeed, why pay a photographic work? The answer is simple. We found it after years of work. The price of an art photograph is not related to our name or to our talent. It is not a matter of art either. All that matters is the feeling it gives birth to when you look at it.

But learning to look at a art work requires time, patience and some knowledge. That is why we decided to write these blog posts that are not only for photographers wanting to improve their creativity but also for people interested in buying art photos but not understanding why to do it. We hope that these few articles selected from our general columns will give you answers to all the questions you ask yourself.

 

This photograph was created for the collection 'Freedom'.

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Photography Workshop in Floating Hides in Dombes in June 2017

For this new season of training in floating blinds in the Dombes, we acquired new floating hides, new lodges and new ponds. This first workshop was a complete success despite a weather a little bit capricious.

The participants of this wildlife photography workshop with floating hides in La Dombes in June 2017: Benoit, Robert, Nathalie, Serge, Jean-Francois, Francis and Amar.
The participants of this wildlife photography workshop with floating hides in La Dombes in June 2017: Benoit, Robert, Nathalie, Serge, Jean-Francois, Francis and Amar.

Dombes: A Paradise for Wetland Birds

The region of the Dombes hosts numerous species of birds. Near 130 species nest and reproduce there regularly. 30 000 Birds migrate there regularly throughout the winter months.

The region of La Dombes is peppered by more than 1000 ponds. These ponds are of human origin. Their uniqueness is due to their slightly sloped bottoms that permit their waters to slowly and regularly trickle down towards the tributaries. These fish filled waters attract numerous species of birds. It is an important international zone for those migrating wetland birds.

During the months of May, June and July, it is possible to observe several emblematic species of the region: Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Black – Necked Grebe, Red Crested Pochard, Whiskered Tern, Black – Crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Comoran, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Kingfisher, Warbler, Western Marsh Harrier, Red Kite.

The Dombes does not solely attract birds. The Muskrats and the Nutrias are also mammals that we often come across on the ponds.

Dragonflies, green frogs and grass snakes are also part of the animal landscape.

The lights which flood the Dombes are exceptional. In the spring and beginning of summer, the early mornings are often bathed by warm and felted lights. What joy to observe the ducks or grebes moving themselves along the ponds in this magical setting.

The Floating Blind: an Unforgettable Experience for an Animal Photographer

The use of a floating blind always leaves an indelible trace in the memory of an animal photographer. It's a unique way to observe and photograph the animal world. This is the only way to photograph birds at the water's edge without disturbing them. The approach is an incredible way to go a few meters from a bird. We can spend hours in front of a heron ash to observe.

Our courses in floating blinds in the Dombes always obey the same ritual.

On the first day, after going around the various ponds and explaining how to launch the boat, taking care of the photo equipment, each photographer leaves for a first session of 3 hours in search of the first ponds, coots and others Great Crested Grebe. Returning at dusk, the satisfaction of the first shots successful gives the tempo of the atmosphere of the week that follows.

The floating blind scares many photographers who are afraid of dropping the camera into the water. Many people are afraid of taking water in the waders or not knowing how to get back to the starting point. During our courses, we give all the explanations to ensure maximum security. If the advice is scrupulously followed, no problem can happen. It is a safe photographic activity that allows you to live closer to aquatic animals without ever disturbing them. It allows you to create exceptional creative photos that would be impossible to create otherwise.

The floating hide is certainly the best way to freeze animal behavior that is impossible to achieve from the mainland. The choice of point of view is certainly the most essential element in this technique.

Acquire Solid Technical Expertise and Develop Creativity

During our workshops, we have either confirmed photographers with a very good photographic level. Either we have novice photographers who are not familiar with wildlife photography, let alone the technique of the floating blind. We always plan educational progressions adapted to the group. We always focus on photographic creativity while returning to certain fundamentals without dropping on the basics. The fact of revealing many secrets that make the success of our photographs is a real plus for the participants.

A Friendly & Relaxed Ambiance for Seven Days

For us, a photo workshop is made up of three elements: technical learning, discovering the hidden treasures of a region and good humor and conviviality.

The recipe still works We rent two large cottages so that each participant has his room and its amenities. At noon we will eat at a typical restaurant in the area. Each village of Dombes has at least one restaurant. We can taste a regional specialty daily. Breakfast and evening meals are provided at the cottages. Each participant brings a regional specialty. In general, the week is not enough to consume everything. But that ensures the good atmosphere. The ice is still broken very quickly.

Finally, our wildlife photography courses in floating hides are big photo weeks in a friendly atmosphere.

Testimonials From the Participants in the Wildlife Photography Workshop in La Dombes - June 10th, 2017

Benoit Benoit.

My general impressions of this course in floating blinds in Dombes are excellent. I observed many birds. I photographed them quite easily. I was able to approach them very closely.

By participating in this workshop, I wanted above all to improve my techniques of shooting birds. Already I wanted to learn to use a floating blind to be at the height of animals. I also wanted to have better bokeh’s. I did not control the light measurements at all to correctly expose the plumages. Now I understand how to do and I realize better shots. I also wanted to easily track birds in flight with clear shots during my gusts. Now I know how to do it. These are technical elements around which I juggled constantly without knowing how to really do. Before this workshop, I was so busy with these technical settings that I forgot the shot. With your advice, I now master my case. I do not ask myself any more questions. Moreover, I know how to adapt to all situations. The case has become an accessory. I focus more on shooting to compose well and fit well.

This is the first time I use floating carts to take photos. The interest is that I can choose my points of view according to the decorations and the light. With a fixed blind, it's very frustrating because when I'm in place, I can not move. The floating blind provides complete freedom to create the photos I want.

I did not know the region of Dombes. It is a beautiful region with beautiful lights and beautiful surroundings. It's really good.

Regarding the organization of the workshop, everything is well balanced. The food is excellent. Everything is well balanced between the photo sessions, the nap, the technical presentations.

Your technical presentations were a real plus for me. Whether it's for shooting or post-processing, I've made a lot of progress. You answered many questions that I asked myself. I had not been able to find the answers alone.

The atmosphere during the week was very good. The level of the photographers was very high. I was pushed to excellence all week.

Choosing a good time of the week would be difficult. But I still have one. Yesterday morning, I was on a pond with a lot of fog. I was alone. It was very calm. I did not think about anything. I was good.

Francis Francis.

This is my second workshop with you in La Dombes. What has been very different this year is the morning mists. I looked forward to them. We were spoiled.

Also, this year, we saw new birds. Last year the waders were absent. This year, I photographed a lot.

For me the mists of the morning evoke the mystery. A bird wrapped in mist is very evocative for me.

But this year we had less water. Fortunately, you had bought the new floating blinds. They are much lighter and more manageable. They allowed us to move better in the ponds with little water. They are more beautiful and more aesthetic. Moreover, as they are lower, I could make better photos. We see the result on the computer. Bokehs are much better.

I found that I improved again compared to last year. I am more creative in my shots. I came with a new box that is much better. This year, I was able to practice the burst. In the same way my exhibitions are much better notably in the highlights.

Regarding the atmosphere during the week, it was very good. The level of the photographers was very high. I was inspired by the photographic approach of the other participants. Everyone has his style and we can draw new ideas from others. It's enriching. We help each other.

I am very satisfied with this week's organization. Last year had already been very good. That's why I came back. I think I will come back next year because it is a unique way to photograph birds. The conditions are fantastic.

If I had to keep a good time of this, it would be a morning with beautiful reflections with the landscapes and feathers on the surface of the water. But there have been so many good times that it's hard to choose.

Jean-François Jean-François.

This photo shoot in Dombes was a complete immersion. I totally forgot about my work and my daily life. I rediscovered a fabulous region with a biodiversity that I do not know anywhere else in France. The atmosphere is so great that with Nathalie we dread the departure.

I participated in this course in floating carts because it was the technique that interested me the most to photograph the birds. I was able to observe the birds without disturbing them while being as much as possible. I could observe unthinkable scenes. For example, during a morning with mist I was surrounded by 18 night herons. I did not scare them. If we use the floating blinds as you've taught us, we can go very close without disturbing anyone. We are very respectful of the environment. I had the impression never to disturb the birds even if sometimes interferes in their behavior. But it's very sweet. Which brings sometimes amusing attitudes. But we never bother. For example, we do not approach nests.

The floating look makes it easy to change your point of view to choose the right setting and the lights for the staging. The landscapes of the Dombes is a beautiful region. My only regret is that because the ponds are used for fish farming, there is such a quantity of fish in the water that the big waders have only to use. I have only seen a few pairs of frightening frogs when there should be dozens. The drought this year is not to improve the situation.

Regarding the organization everything was very good. The cottages are prodigious. I did not know that these kinds of houses existed. Your workshop has been remarkably well organized. And this is not sycophancy. You are very attentive. This is fun. Each participant is open. We all share the same values and passions. It's very nice. Your theoretical presentations are very original and very well done. I put my head in order.

The atmosphere was excellent. Everyone helped me a lot. The sharing of all information is excellent. The photographic level of the other participants was bluffing. I'm taking care of a photo club. But here the level is much higher. It's incredible. With Nathalie, we do at least 6 photo exhibitions a year. All the pictures I saw this week could be in these shows. But all in a rather surprising modesty.

If I had to keep a moment of this week, it would be the first morning on a pond with all these birds that surrounded me: egrets, a coupling of crested grebes. All in a calm atmosphere without disturbing anyone. It was an incomparable experience.

Nathalie Nathalie.

I came as a companion and wife of Jean-François. I am naturalist. La Dombes was a real discovery for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the landscapes. While accompanying Jean-François on the ponds, I could observe many birds just while waiting on the banks. As I was on vacation, I took my time to observe. In the Dombes around the ponds, there is very little human noise. We can soak up the atmosphere and the calm that reigns everywhere. The weather was excellent with warmth and beautiful mists. I had a little lost the habit of these atmospheres.

I took advantage of this week of vacation to get back to the drawing by making sketches. It allows me to better understand nature. This morning, for example, I observed a small grebe that was nesting again. It's really very nice.

Regarding the organization of the workshop, you left nothing to chance. For example, Jean-François had forgotten his pendulum joint and some equipment. You have found solutions. You had a plan B. Even for the ponds you always found solutions for those who had fewer birds. As a vacationer, I took full advantage. There is a pool which I enjoyed. In the park around the lodgings, we have been able to observe Eurasian eagle-owl. The cottages you have chosen are really hospitable to nature lovers. I never got bored either on the ponds or in the accommodation. I was surprised by the number of night herons.

The restaurants where we went for lunch are excellent. I targeted Peyrouge. The living environment in the area is very beautiful. People know how to take advantage of what they have. I want to come back because the rural aspect I like. I really disconnected from everyday life. The group was great. I never felt excluded because I was not a photographer. The atmosphere was excellent. There is a good mood with adventures. I appreciated having no expectations and being surprised by everything around us. It was great.

Robert Robert.

My impressions on this wildlife photography workshop are good. I was pleasantly surprised by the lights and scenery of the area. I had already experienced some quite short experiences in floating blinds in other regions especially in the Camargue and Brenne. But this workshop in La Dombes was a shock because of the lights and moods and the variety of birds. I was deeply impressed.

The floating hides makes it possible to stand at the height of the birds at the water's edge and to choose perfectly the points of view to highlight it. We choose our perspectives. I was able to choose the lights, the environments. I can be in an active creation process when shooting. This is the strength of this technique.

What surprised me in La Dombes is the variety of birds but especially that in some ponds the density is important while on others it is less. You never know what you will find. But during that I learned something essential. It is not so much the quantitative criterion that is important but the qualitative criterion. For example, this morning, I saw that I could spend more than 2 hours photographing a given species. On a given bird, one can vary to infinity the shots with perspectives, points of view or by choosing the lights. It's not worth chasing after all the species.

Before this workshop, I did not formalize the fact that I like to give an artistic side to my shots. Now I have a formalism and a frame to create my photos. I understand that a good photo is the meeting between an environment, a light and an animal. In animal photography, I am very interested in behavior, attitudes and action. From now on, I will know how to highlight them. To magnify them is the foot.

I really appreciated your technical presentations. Unlike the other courses I attended, you push a lot of questions to make photos. You push us into our entrenchments. You push us to ask questions to create our photos. You force us to surpass ourselves. You force us to be creative. With your theoretical approach and your formalization, you give us the tools to refine our photographic eyes.

Regarding the organization, I found that everything was fine. It was a little tiring because you had to get up early to get the nice lights. But we have nothing without anything. The highlight of your workshop is the diversity of the ponds. The lights can change. Every pond is different. We can make photos completely different from one day to another. It is a permanent renewal.

The cottages are excellent and pleasant. The atmosphere during the week was very friendly. But your workshop can bring together different photographers and very strong. This drives humility when seeing the work of others.

If I had to remember a moment of this workshop it would be difficult. Indeed, there may be moments of sharing in the group, but it can also be on a new pond. We are always in uncertainty. It's a little scary but it allows you to always question yourself. Finally, what I will remember from this course is that we must always adapt to the conditions to get the best for a good photo.

Serge Serge.

I am delighted with this animal photography course in La Dombes. This is my second workshop with you. The first was devoted to the deer slab. This time again it was great. All my expectations have been met. But I did not take great risks because I knew you.

By participating in this workshop, I wanted to have special opportunities for birds. In addition, I do a lot of animal photography but often now I saturate because I do a lot of naturalistic photos. I wanted to be more creative and more artistic in my approach. I wanted to regain dynamism. This week with the approach of the animal digital stream, I found a real plus to improve my photos.

The floating blind was for me a discovery. Your carts are fantastic. We are at the water's edge. The carts are very manageable, light, easy to use. As they are inflated we have a great flexibility of use. It's pretty funny to wander in ponds.

The morning moods with the mist are extraordinary. I know the basin of Archon well but to be in it is incredible.

I was surprised by the variety and diversity of birds. The lack of water this year has seen many waders. I did not know the Dombes. I recognize that it's beautiful.

Regarding the organization of the course everything was good. I know you. I know you always choose beautiful places and you go out of your way for trainees. This week did not depart from your principles. The cottages are really nice and friendly. We can live easily in groups. The restaurants are excellent.

The atmosphere in the group was excellent. The photo level was very high. I appreciated that Jean-François and Nathalie are naturalists and ornithologists. Really a good atmosphere. All the photographers were open, very creative and very inspiring.

If I had to keep a good moment of this workshop, it would be the moment when I observed a couple of grebes that were resting. I did not take pictures. They were ten meters away from me. It is a great moment of calm and serenity. It was happiness.

 

Some pictures taken by the students

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"Free in Lights and Colors" – Collection of Fine Art Photographs

For us, being free means to move in whichever direction we choose. In our hearts, it is this freedom of movement that enables us to organize and govern our lives. When we are not comfortable in one place, we simply move to another destination that seems more welcoming – a place that is more closely aligned with our values.

By sharing this artistic photograph collection of birds in flight, we hope to illuminate the abstract ideas of freedom, abandonment, and departure towards new horizons. We hope that these photos are realistically breathtaking that you can hear the flapping of wings, and that you will be encouraged to gain altitude in your life and in your daily actions. For us, the flight of a bird is a true definition of what it means "to be free". Above all, it illustrates humans, who elevate to further heights by choosing the best decisions in life.

We chose a professional activity and an occupation that allowed us to manage our time and the goals we wish to achieve. Through this decision, we have the freedom to choose our destiny. Not only are we free to manage our time and goals, we are also accountable to ourselves alone. Of course, we do have some constraints, but they are both minimal and acceptable given this way in which we have chosen to lead our lives.

In our minds, we are free people. Every day we are thankful for how lucky we are. We often think of this quote.

I am free because I know that I am morally responsible for all my acts.
--Robert Heinlein/Stranger in a Strange Land.

To illustrate this state of freedom, we chose to show flying birds. When migrating, birds are at the mercy of the carrier winds. They settle in places that are adequate in food with few predators (either animal or human). These birds in flight perfectly illustrate the freedom of movement which is so important to us.

For this collection of artistic photographs, we chose to incorporate color. Through color, we have been able to magnificently highlight the skies as a background-- literally carrying these stunning creatures in flight.

Birds are not just free animals who can live as they please. For us, their flight symbolizes elegance, speed, and play. When a bird flies, it is not bothered with road signs, traffic lights, or transportation rules. The bird may choose the most direct way to reach a destination without the use of a compass. To navigate properly, the bird simply relies on its natural sense of direction-its instinct. This is fascinating to us, and we truly envy this freedom of movement.

As professional photographers and perfectionist artists, we attach great importance to the construction of our art photographs. We are aware of being creators of photographic art works but we also have duties towards our customers. Respect for quality is one of them. As professional wildlife photographers, we attach great importance to the construction of our art photographs.

These photos are available on Masonite or framed. As photographic artists, we try to produce different and unique pieces of art. These pieces of art work herons are available for sale in our online art collections or in the art galleries affiliated with our company.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the image.

 

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Eurasian spoonbill - June 2017
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Art Photography Collections "Around the Mind"

Collections of artistic photographs "Around the mind" appeal to emotions, feelings, and anthropomorphism. These are works whose main subject is nature but is presented in such a way to encourage suggestive and metaphorical feelings or emotions.

Our fine art collections "Around the mind"

Fine art collections: around the mind

Feather BW I
Fine art collections: Shades of blacks and whites

"Feathers" – Collection of Fine Art Photos

Shades of Black and White: Feathers – A Collection of Fine Art Photos As wildlife professional photographers, we have always been passionate for the wetlands, but especially for the birds that live there, whether they are passerines or waders. Although the expressions and behaviors of the birds… Read more...
Free I
Fine art collections: Lights and colors

"Free in Lights and Colors" – Collection of Fine Art Photos

"Free in Lights and Colors" – Collection of Fine Art Photographs For us, being free means to move in whichever direction we choose. In our hearts, it is this freedom of movement that enables us to organize and govern our lives. When we are not comfortable in one place, we simply move to another… Read more...
Collection of fine art photographs  "The Guardians".
Fine art collections: Shades of blacks and whites

"The Guardians" - collection of fine art photos

« The Guardians » - collection of fine art photos This collection of photos in black and white is devoted to spectacular mineral formations that we photographed in the state of Arizona, not far from the city of Page. Immediately, these shapes reminded us of guards. The word has to be taken in its… Read more...

 

Works of Art that Appeal to the Imagination

Our art photography collections "Around the mind" appeal to the imagination. These photographic works appeal to the senses of the person who will look at them. By creating our art photographs, we give an artistic and contemplative interpretation of the beauties of nature that we observe. Our photography is the humble servant of our imagination.

But the imagination is very subjective. It depends on each person. It belongs to the singularity of the personal history of each. Our goal is to allow you to represent the world with the help of our works and to give it meaning.

Through our collections of art photographs, we hope to prime the images crossing the viewer's mind. We want to suggest emotions specific to each image before the viewer can think within the boundaries of language. We know that everyone has a unique interpretation of nature, and we want our audience to have an interpretation that is related to their own experiences, thoughts, and personal singularities.

The human being has this extraordinary ability to extrapolate, interpret, and give a personal judgment to the images he sees. This is called an anthropological reading of the imaginary. We created these photographic works for this purpose.

Nature as a Vector of Interpretation

We are passionate about the beauties of nature, which is present everywhere around us. One must learn to seek beauty’s appearance, for it simply appears when one opens a door or a window. Over the past many years, we have learned to transform the banal into a contemplative and artistic interpretation.

We strive to give a dreamlike interpretation of nature with scenes where the atmospheres are ethereal, and the compositions are pure. Our work, as professional photographers, is inspired by the beauties of nature. We want to discover, show, and testify to the beauty of the subjects by uniquely photographing evanescent moments that we can share with as many people as possible. This is how we define our artistic vision and our photographic approach.

Nature is a unique object of our creations, whether it involves landscapes or seascapes; animals living on land or in the water. Our pictures always show reality; however, out interpretations may vary according to framing the scene through the viewfinder, or according to processing the photos through computer software. Our goal is to encourage our audience to dream.

In each shot, we are freezing a certain moment in time, preserving it from a vast spacious landscape onto a thin medium, such as paper. Once this moment has passed, everything has changed. Nevertheless, our artistic approach has captured that single moment into a timeless piece of work.

Writing with Light to Create Evocative Statements

Over our many years of creating photographs, we have learned to write with natural and artificial light. This is one of the founding elements of our approach. The light is as important as the setting because it will provoke the emotive suggestions and the anthropomorphic character of our works. We always take great care in choosing our scenes and the points of view.

Light is present everywhere in life. Everyone talks about it, but to paint with light requires vast experience and patient effort. Our job is to create unique photographic works that customers will hang in their home, office, or showroom.

The emotions one feels when looking at our art photographs are a result of our artistic work and perspective.

What we are looking for is simply to help you, our viewers, to dream. We want to provoke your imagination by wielding light as our paintbrush.

Collections are Available in Both Styles

The "Around the World" art collections are available in two styles: "Shades of Black and White" and "Lights and Colors".

Each piece of art is numbered, signed, and comes with its certificate of authenticity. The creation of the media is carried out with particular care by us. We incorporate a and meticulous treatment to deliver high quality works to our customers.

Art Photography Collections "Around the World"

The collections "Around the World" include art photographs relating to geographical locations, terrestrial land species, or underwater animal species. These art collections are available in two styles: "Lights and Colors" or "Shades of Black and White".

Our fine art collections "Around the World"

Fine art collections: around the world

Abyssal encounters I
Fine art collections: Shades of blacks and whites

"Abyssal Encounters" – A Collection of Fine Art Photos

Shades of Black and White: Abyssal Encounters – A Collection of Fine Art Photos As underwater professional photographers, we travel frequently to create interesting artistic photographs. Diving into the different oceans and seas around the globe. We prefer the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea because… Read more...
Purple heron BW I
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"Purple Herons in Black and White" – Collection of Fine Art Photos

Shades of Black and White: Purple Herons – A Collection of Fine Art Photos As wildlife professional photographers, we forever have a passion for wetlands whether for the landscapes or animals that live there. Migratory birds are among the most common species in these areas, which are often infested… Read more...
Purple Heron I
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"Purple Herons in Lights and Colors" - Collection of Fine Art Photos

"Purple Herons in Lights and Colors" - Collection of Fine Art Photos We are passionate for wetlands, mainly because of their fascinating landscapes and wide array of native animals. Birds, especially the migratory ones, are the species most commonly found in these areas, which can be infested with… Read more...
Flamboyant twilight on Mesa Verde in Colorado.
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"Landscapes in the southern USA" – collection of fine art photos

"Landscapes in the southern United States" – collection of fine art photos We have been traveling in the US, looking for hidden treasures that are off the beaten path. We remain amazed and enchanted by the beauty and the variety of the landscapes we see, whether they are forested, covered with… Read more...
Collection of fine art photographs - Vervet monkey of Ethiopia.
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"Vervet monkeys of Ethiopia" – collection of fine art photos

“Vervet monkeys of Ethiopia”: a collection of fine art photos This collection of black and white photographs is dedicated to the vervet monkeys of Ethiopia. The vervet monkey is a semi-terrestrial monkey: it lives both on land and in trees. It is found mostly in East Africa. When we photographed… Read more...
Collection of fine art photographs - Geladas of Ethiopia.
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"Geladas of Ethiopia" – collection of fine art photos

“Geladas of Ethiopia”: a collection of fine art photos This collection of black and white photographs is dedicated to the geladas of Ethiopia. These monkeys live in the highlands of Ethiopia. They feed exclusively on grass and roots. We were surprised by the delicacy with which they uproot tufts of… Read more...
Collection of fine art photographs "Death Valley".
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"Death Valley" – collection of fine art photos

“Death Valley” – collection of fine art photos This collection of black and white photographs is dedicated to Death Valley, an immense desert located in the state of California. It is 5,250 square miles (13,600 square kilometers) in extent. It was named in 1849 by a woman who was one of the… Read more...
Dawn on Red Rock Canyon I.
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"Dawn on Red Rock Canyon in Nevada" - collection of fine art photos

"Lights and colors at dawn on Red Rock Canyon in Nevada" - collection of fine art photos This collection of photographs was performed at Red Rock Canyon, a natural protected area in the state of Nevada in the United States. Red Rock Canyon is located about fifteen miles from Las Vegas. This unique… Read more...
Lights and colors of the Grand Canyon at dusk I
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"The changing colors of the Grand Canyon" - collection of fine art…

"The changing colors of the Grand Canyon” — collection of fine art photographs This collection of photographs was created from the south rim of the Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona. It's always an great landscape that amazed us. This is a panorama overlooking the "Colorado River" that flows… Read more...
Sunrise over Bryce Canyon
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"Landscapes of Bryce Canyon" - collection of fine art photos

"Landscapes of Bryce Canyon” — collection of fine art photographs This collection of photographs has about Bryce Canyon in the state of Utah in the United States. Geological formations called "hoodoos" evoke sleepy watchmen keeping a secret treasure hidden in the bowels of the so special red earth.… Read more...
Pink sunset over the white dunes
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"Landscapes of White Sand Dunes" - collection of fine art photos

"Landscapes of White Sand Dunes in the desert of Chihuahua” — collection of fine art photographs We have created this collection of 10 fine art photographs in White Sand Dunes desert in the state of New Mexico in the United States. This gypsum desert is unique in the world with an area of 442… Read more...
Blue dawn on the wetlands of Bosque Del Apache
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"Landscapes of Bosque Del Apache" - Collection of fine art photos

"Landscapes of the wetlands of Bosque Del Apache” — collection of fine art photographs Bosque Del Apache is a wetland in the state of New Mexico in the United States. Every year, tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and canada goose are wintering for several months. Woods and swamps are also… Read more...
Torrent in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
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Lights and colors of marshes of Beaugeay
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"Lights and colors of the coast of Charente-Maritime, France" -…

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Sea turtle
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"Large Underwater Animals" - Collection of Fine Art Photographs

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Field of sunflowers in Haute-Saintonge
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"Haute-Saintonge in panoramic, France" - Collection of fine art…

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Reflections of  Champagnac, France
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Clown fish in its anemone
Fine art collections: Lights and colors

"Portraits of Clown fish" - Collection of Fine Art Photographs

"Portraits of Clown Fish” — Collection of Fine Art Photographs. Clown fish are fish represented by 30 different species. Only the species of the Pacific is very well known because it was immortalized by the film “Finding Nemo”. Clown fish live in anemones that are normally fatal to other fish.… Read more...

 

Primarily, Art Photographs

Our "Around the World" photography collections are primarily artistic photographs. They reflect our photographic approach and our artistic vision. These photographs are an interpretation of the beauties of nature that we see through the lens of our camera. Even if we show geographical places, terrestrial animal species, or underwater animal species, we recreate a universe from our own perspective – a universe solely belonging to us.

We try to show our emotions, our feelings, and our state of being through pure scenes full of peace. These photographs are an invitation to introspection, to mindfully dwell on the beauties of nature.

We take great care in managing light, detail, structure, texture, composition, and framing to create an aesthetic piece of art.

Collections are Available in Both Styles

The "Around the World" art collections are available in two styles: "Shades of Black and White" and "Lights and Colors".

Each piece of art is numbered, signed, and comes with its certificate of authenticity. The creation of the media is carried out with particular care by us. We incorporate a and meticulous treatment to deliver high quality works to our customers.

An Invitation to Dream and Discover the Beauties of Nature

We created these art photographs to help you, our viewers, to dream; we wish to help you escape the monotony of daily life through the contemplation of our works. These photos are a small window into the fascinating beauties of nature that surround us.

We always strive to show scenes with unique and evanescent moments. The collections "Around the World" are a testimony to the fact that we must conserve and preserve our terrestrial and underwater nature. However, this naturalistic aspect is approached in a strictly artistic form.

Some of our photos show known places or known animal species. But our artistic purpose exists as a testimony to the beauty that is everywhere, even in those subjects considered to be ordinary. We always strive to show unknown facets of banal scenes. We believe that opinions and perspective lie within the photographer's eye and in his way of managing elements that are at his disposal; such as light, shadows, and matter. For us, the exceptional is secondary when creating an art photography. An exceptional scene is only interesting if it is highlighted artistically in the photograph. If the purpose of the scene is to be documentary or descriptive, it has no emotional interest. Such a work will not evoke dreams. It will not open that little door into the imaginary world, which allows the viewer to escape.

Even if these collections are somewhat descriptive, we try to add fundamental elements such as the choice of light or points of view to encourage our viewers to dream.

Photographic Treasures are Often Found in Our Garden

As we have said, the exceptional, the incredible, and the extraordinary is only interesting if the scenes show an artistic interest. The beauties of nature are often in our personal home garden or waiting patiently on our doorstep. Most people often forget to remain observant in daily life. We are not trying to search in lost areas for ancient wonders, but we are searching for hidden treasures in ordinary places we encounter on a daily basis. We have learned to watch, to evaluate, and to discover that the eye can be educated. Of course, it takes a long time to see and understand that nature is beautiful everywhere, nevertheless we have arrived at such a stage.

Our "Around the World" art photographs show exotic landscapes or animals that may be very different from the ordinary animals you live alongside. Most of the time, we focus on the commonplace and the banal.

All our know-how and sensitivity are intended to show that the beauties of nature are everywhere. Through our photographic works, we simply try to surprise and to awaken the spirit of our viewers through our artistic eye.

December 9, 2017. Underwater Photo Conference in Talence

On December 9, 2017, we were invited by the audio-visual commission of the French diving federation of Gironde to animate a photo conference according to the theme "How to Create Interesting Underwater Photos".

For a little more than two hours, sixty people came to listen to us.

Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.

The Theme of the Conference: "How to Create Interesting Underwater Photos"

As professional photographers passionate about the beauties of nature, we have chosen to show the beauties that populate the seas and oceans. Our first job in photography was to be underwater professional photographers.

We started by photographing the wrecks of the English Channel. We then began exploring the Brittany and Atlantic coasts before heading to the depths of the Red Sea. We explored many parts of the world without ever reaching the limits we had set ourselves. The world is so vast that we quickly realized that one lifetime would never be enough to visit and photograph all the mysteries of the ocean.

The seabed has always fascinated us. We were fortunate to keep our camera intact after our first dives. Over time, underwater housings and strobes have become as important accessories as our regulators or scuba tanks.

We never stopped bringing back memories of the regions where we have dived. Our goal has always been to share our passion for underwater photography. Early on we published articles and photos for underwater magazines distributed around the world. Our first three books have been devoted to this rather complex technical field where the laws of physics are so different from the terrestrial world.

For years we have made photographs for many photo agencies. The time we devoted to documentary photography was very factual. It was not until many years later, when we reverted to artistic photography, that we felt the need to testify in a more creative and personal way. It is for this reason that we have developed a method based on the development of creativity: ACANP.

During the conference given in Talence that was devoted to underwater photography, we explained how we made our creative and artistic photos, both in wide-angle photography and close-up photography. We took this opportunity to develop the major themes of our artistic vision.

For a little more than two hours, we explained how to create impacting underwater photos by photographing whale sharks, turtles, nudibranchs, and fish.

We explained that the ACANP method allows the photographer to capture simple subjects (such as crustaceans or seahorses) and present them as artistically as one might present an endemic species from the unique Lembeh Strait in Indonesia. In this way, something mundane can be transformed into something extraordinary. We have endeavored to show that an underwater artistic photograph does not solely revolve around of the subject, but also incorporates the perspective and highlights of the photographer. When a photographer wishes to transmit certain messages to the viewer, he can utilize the theoretical and practical tools of the ACANP method.

As we mentioned previously, we have very little time to capture the artistic photographs that will become art prints. Thus, we must maximize our time to ensure the greatest efficiency possible. During our workshops, we realized that most photographers, even amateurs, encountered similar challenges in the water. We decided to confront these problems and discuss with other photographers about our process for creating interesting underwater photos.

We believe that the more the photographic approach is structured with identifiable, easily established processes, the more creative a photographer can be when creating interesting photos.

ACANP: A Proven Method

We have been using the ACANP method for years to animate our wildlife, underwater or landscape photography courses. Our trainees saw a real progression in their artistic approach and a clear improvement in the production of their photographs.

We thought that these conferences dedicated to photography were a natural and normal way to extend the logic we adopted for our nature photography courses.

A Two-Hour Conference of Sixty People

For this conference, which took place in Talence (in the suburbs of Bordeaux, France) sixty people attended the event. For us, it was a great success; underwater photography is an intimate artistic discipline, which is little practiced.

As always, a photo conference is a delicate moment for us. It is an event that requires vast preparation and strong concentration. For more than two hours, from 7:00 pm to 9:15 pm, we explained our concepts to a passionate and interested audience. The photographers presenting before us did not suspect the difficulty of putting in place an artistic approach to create creative underwater photographs.

We hope to have been able to infuse energy into the minds of those who listened to our speech. Perhaps our words will allow them to expand their horizons in the creation of shots.

During the friendly conversation that took place after the conference, we exchanged further ideas with many photographers. We have a distinct impression of having changed several perspectives of individuals who photograph the underwater world. It is a great personal satisfaction to see such rapid changes.

Our Idea: Share with the Largest Number of Photographers

These conferences dedicated to underwater photography are a way for us to share our secrets of beautiful photography with a vast number of people. It is also a means for us to increase publicity. For us, sharing our knowledge is a rewarding spark of life for us as professional photographers.

We believe that it is useless to accumulate knowledge and skills if we do not share them with the greatest number of photographers. That's why we created our first underwater photo courses in 2007.

We continue to learn, and we also undergo internships every year to enrich and improve our knowledge of photography. After performing a synthesis for our ACANP method, we teach it to our trainees, who provide a delightfully rewarding experience.

Our passion for the beauties of nature leads us to fiercely defend the land that has been given to us. But it also kindles our passion for exchanging knowledge with the greatest number of photographers.

Finally

This two-hour conference in Talence was a real success. It was an opportunity for us to explain how we implemented our ACANP method to highlight our passion for the underwater beauties of nature. These events are the best way to make known our vision and our method; we encounter qualified audiences who also strive to exceed personal boundaries of artistic endeavors.

Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
Underwater photo conference in Talence in December 2017.
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November 25, 2017. Wildlife Photo Conference in Saint-Nazaire in Brittany in France

On November 25, 2017, we were invited by the association "Objectif Image" of Saint-Nazaire to animate a photo conference whose theme was "Create interesting animal photos".

We took part in the 27th national authors' fair.

80 people came to listen to us for two hours and three quarters.

We thank Annick Guérive for the photos she took during the conference.

 

The Conference Theme "How to Create Interesting Wildlife Photos"

We are professional photographers passionate about the beauties of nature. One of our specialties is wildlife photography. We have a passion for deer, wetland birds and large African mammals. To convey our passion for animals, we organize wildlife photography courses. But many people hesitate to take the plunge and participate in a workshop. Wildlife photography conferences are a way for us to make ourselves known and to discover as many people as we transmit our knowledge and skills.

During this conference in Saint-Nazaire we had the chance to have a whole afternoon to explain our pedagogical approach and our vision of wildlife photography.

For nearly 3 hours, we explained the basics of our approach by revealing a lot of tricks we use on the field whether to use our cameras or our camouflage techniques.

Once again, we have not been stingy with advice. We explained why and how we implemented our ACANP method to improve our artistic creativity.

As we have explained, we have little time to go on the field to create artistic photographs that will become art prints. We must maximize our time to be as efficient as possible. Over time and during the workshops, we realized that most photographers, even amateurs, had the same problems as us in the field. We decided to go meet them to explain to them how we proceeded to create interesting animal photos whether from fixed blinds or floating hides for example.

We believe that the more the photographic approach is structured with identifiable processes that are simple to set up, the more the photographer can create interesting photos.

ACANP: A Proven Method

We have been using the ACANP method for years to animate our wildlife, underwater or landscape photography courses. Our trainees saw a real progression in their artistic approach and a clear improvement in the production of their photographs.

We thought that these conferences dedicated to photography were a natural and normal way to extend the logic we adopted for our nature photography courses.

80 People for a Conference of Nearly 3 hours

For this conference, which took place during the 27th Salon of Photographic Artists in Saint Nazaire, 80 people came to attend the event. It was an unexpected success because chairs had to be added for everyone to sit.

The Republic Lounge is a magnificent room, perfectly adapted to conferences. Everything was done for the event to be successful and everyone can listen in peace.

As always for us, a photo conference is a delicate moment because it is an event that requires a lot of preparation and a lot of concentration. This conference took place for one afternoon. We had no time limit. For nearly 3 hours, from 2.30 pm to 5.15 pm, we explained our concepts to a passionate and interested audience. As always, the photographers we had before us did not suspect the difficulty of putting in place an artistic approach to create creative animal photographs.

We hope to have been able to infuse this energy that will allow those present to go even further in the creation of their shots.

The Opportunity Also to Expose our Photos of La Dombes

This conference dedicated to wildlife photography was also an opportunity for us to exhibit at the 27th Salon of Photographic Artists. We had chosen the exhibition devoted to atmospheres on the ponds of La Dombes. This exhibition had already been shown in La Dombes and at the festival of Montier-en-Der.

It was an opportunity for us to show our knowledge in artistic photography.

Our Idea: Share with the Largest Number of Photographers

The conferences dedicated to wildlife photography are for us a way to share with the greatest number of people, our secrets to make beautiful photographs but it is also a way to better be known. The sharing of our knowledge remains for us the real engine of our life even if we are professional photographers.

We believe that it is useless to accumulate knowledge and skills if we do not share them with the greatest number of photographers. That's why we created our first underwater photo courses in 2007.

We continue to learn, and we also follow internships every year to enrich and improve our knowledge of photography. Then we perform a synthesis that we add to our ACANP method. Then we teach it to the trainees who make us the pleasure of coming to join us.

Our passion for the beauties of nature leads us to fiercely defend the land that has been given to us. But it also passes by the passion to exchange and to share with the greatest number of photographers.

Finally

This conference in Saint-Nazaire was a real success. This 3-hour presentation was an opportunity for us to show and explain how we were implementing and how we shared our passion for the beauties of nature. These events are the best way to make known our vision and our method because we can meet qualified audiences who want to go further their artistic endeavors.

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Wildlife Photography Workshop In Kenya, September of 2017

From the 9th to the 20th of September 2017, we organized a wildlife photography workshop within the lands of Kenya in order to photograph the mythical African fauna as part of an exceptional itinerary tour. The participants were provided the opportunity to capture on camera elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, African buffalo, zebras, and hippopotami in addition to numerous and varying species of birds. Yet this journey was originally set as its underlying purpose to image the numerous stretches of magnificent African landscapes and virtually infamous horizons. It resulted in an outing away from well trudged tourist traps and onto offbeat passageways into a veritable immersion of Africa’s true heart and immutable nature.

The participants in this animal photography workshop in Kenya in September 2017: Agnes, Amar, Daniel and Gregory. On Lake Magadi. (Photo credit: Michel Laplace Toulouse)
The participants in this animal photography workshop in Kenya in September 2017: Agnes, Amar, Daniel and Gregory. On Lake Magadi. (Photo credit: Michel Laplace Toulouse)

A Voyage But Steps Away From Africa’s Animal Denizens

We chose to organize a trip itinerary which brought the participants from the shores of Lake Magadi, lying amongst the the walls of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, to the Nguruman Escarpment before finally arriving within the Maasai Mara National Reserve. At each point the day’s shelter was chosen for its proximity to the local wildlife or for its value in terms of landscape visual beneficial and of interest to the photographers. Traveling long and arduous paths on foot in order to reach the surrounding wildlife was rendered unnecessary.

For example, whilst traveling in the Maasai Mara, we were lodged very close to the shores of the Mara River not far from an important natural river crossing, one frequently visited by various species of land based mammalian life. For this exceptional trip, a certain number of participants even chose to make an awe inspiring flyby of the reserve by light air balloon so as to extend their photographic coverage of the region.

This outing was also destined to approach the Maasai people as close as humanly possible to their traditional ways of life. As a result whilst visiting the Shompole Conservancy, we resided not far from an actual Maasai village in which its people had actively chosen to deliberately inhabit a forgotten region of the nation so as to protect Kenya’s natural wildlife and fauna.

Imaging A Unique Biodiversity

For this workshop, the guests not only captured on camera the notorious big five of Africa, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros, but also a majority of the observables birds and other land mammals inhabiting this region of the globe. Each and every day, thematic guidelines were chosen so as to realize these photographic vision as best as could be done.

Since weather conditions were quite moody throughout this time period and an unwarranted amount of rain was experienced, it was sadly made impossible for us to snapshot the infamous crossing of the wildebeests, yet these are, alas, the uncertainties of mother nature’s and Gaia’s temperaments.

A Solid Choice of Reputable Staff

. Throughout this long journey our group was accompanied by both an experienced chauffeur and trustworthy guide, both of whom stood as greatly knowledgeable of the region yet respectful and aware of their patrons and photographers needs in regards to its wildlife. The duo were efficient in their choice of stops so as to allow their passengers the best settings for photography and image capture as possible. One of our two guides was, in addition, a Francophile. His reputation is without question and he has been known to accompany various reporters from so of France’s most powerful and respected news channels, as well as those originating from the United Kingdom, the United States and, surprisingly enough, Japan. He has also been flagged for having worked alongside both photographers and cameramen originating from the National Geographic Society based in Washington D.C. of the U.S.A.

Some photos taken by the participants

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Testimonies of the Workshop – September 2017

Gregory Gregory.

My general impressions on this workshop of 13 days in Kenya are excellent. I came to this workshop to discover another facet of African fauna with you. I’d already participated in multiple of your previous workshops and was eager to once more gain access to your knowledge and advice.

However I did not focus solely upon animal and wildlife photography. I also caught on camera landscapes and ethnic images. It was what I wanted to do and I’m all the more glad for it.

I came along with you to Kenya because I wanted you to pass onto me your expertise as a professional photographer and advise me on my own photographic methods. Everything that I wished to achieve with my snapshots was reached. All of my objectives were attained. For example, I am very interested and intrigued by big cats; lions, leopards, cheetahs and the like. I wanted to create powerful and eye popping portraits. Once I encountered the lions I experienced some magnificent moments. Yet I also lived through other grand feelings and events whilst photographing the various landscapes. Thanks to your wise and practical counseling, I was able to capture nice pictures. Now I am aware of how to use the filters that I’ve bought thanks to your advice. I can honestly see their worth a will endeavor to make good usage of them within the near future. It’s just like the technique used in terms of the HDR. I will think of it as if it were a creative technique.

On the concerns relating to wildlife and animal photography, I now feel more assured on myself and my own skills. You communicated to me numerous tricks and techniques for capturing snapshots whom possess a realistic sense of visual impact. I’ve now got more tools at my disposal and tricks up my sleeve. From now on I’ll know how to better adapt myself to the varying and unpredictable situations which can crop up whilst in the field.

The encounters with the elephants and other animals were also very moving. We stand at the heart of Mother Nature’s savagery and beauty. We lived out in the middle of nowhere far from any and all of the west’s or modern world’s daily activities, far from their grasp and out of their reach. It was also for this type of experience that I came along on this trip. The decors which surrounded us throughout the entirety of our workshop sessions were both as calculated as they were beautiful. This enabled me to snap some fine images.

This workshop allowed me to progress. Thanks to all of your technical advice throughout these 13 days, I believe myself to have reached, and passed, an important milestone. You brought along your expertise and never ceased to doll it out. There were no secrets between us. It’s quite an important detail when putting it into context as photographers, both amateur and professional.

This journey was very interesting as it was a loop of Kenya’s southwest: Nairobi to Nairobi. The encounter with the Maasai villagers shall remain an interesting experience even though I am a wildlife photographer. I do not believe that I will experience many such moments throughout my lifetime. I preserve into memory the face of the Maasai herder guided his flock under the veil of magnificent colored lights.

This particular journey’s organization was very well thought out. It was a complicated one as the program was highly varied and quite dense. Yet I appreciated the effort that I avoided those areas already heavily visited and previously trodden. It was what we were looking for. I wanted to have a unique trip. Our goal was met.

Our guide was spectacular. He is a great connoisseur of the African fauna. We would explain to him what we desired and he would arrange things in such a manner that it could happen. He is an incredible individual.

I really appreciated the fact that you position the car in respect to the animals once they’re found by the guide. It was a precious and important detail. Since we were all within the same car, this allowed us to better understand how you worked and which details are important enough to take into consideration with respect to the outcome’s quality.

The accommodations were tents with whatever comforts necessary. Everything was swell. We ate quite nicely. The biggest advantage of the Maasai Mara’s lodge was that it, and therefore we, we located at the very center of the National Reserve. We were close to the animals and were only truly alone once a good distance away from the park’s various entrances.

If I had to save into memory a key moment of this workshop, it would be the instance where I was left alone with just you. The others had temporarily gone off on their own in a hot air balloon. We were looking for lions. The guide found 3. The lighting was divine. The encounter was awe inspiring. It was incredible as all of the conditions were perfectly reunited to capture the perfect photo: decor, lights and lions.

Agnes Agnes.

It’s my sixth trip to Kenya. I’m an unofficial resident of this region of the world as I’ve also gone to Tanzania and Nambia. This time I was caught off guard by the program: landscape photography, ethnic discovery and wildlife image capture.

My general impressions are positive in the context of your technical advised which permitted me to rapidly adapt to the differing situations of which we encountered all along our trek.

I enrolled in this workshop as I wanted to see a different side of Kenya. I must recognized that I was not disappointed on this issue. The stops were varied and the travel time by car between each break allowed me to discover this country. I found that the car trips were quite difficult due to the nature of the followed paths being in very poor shape. I really found myself being thrown around whilst within the car. Luckily the 4x4 was both spacious and comfortable.

In relations to the landscape photography, I regret that we did not have more time in the humid zone of the Shompole Conservancy. It was magnificent yet we only stayed a few hours. We spent some time amongst the trees of the arid zone. I shot some beautiful photographs yet I would have enjoyed staying a little bit longer for the sunset in the humid zone.

I regret also not having spent more time within the Maasai village. Three nights for this stop, it's just too short. I would have like to participate further in the inhabitants daily routines. I snapped some very beautiful captures with herders and their flocks. Your session with the women and children was well organized but I would have like to have done more.

For the wildlife and animal photography within the Maasai Mara, we had very particular conditions. Since I photograph in 600mm (Approximately 23.6 Inches) which is a long focal length, I was sometimes far too close. Yet each time you had the car back up. Each of us were able to realize the shots that we wished. But it is not easy in a group where every photographer has a different focal length than the others’.

The group’s ambiance was very nice. Having your own little group for such a trip is an advantage as it provides us with time and the ability to comfortably position yourself within the care. The guide was excellent and knew the region like the back of his hand, always aware as to where we had been, where we were headed and how to get there.

The overall organization was well handled. The accommodations were proper and correct except for one time under a tent that I in no way appreciated. I’m used to living in quite luxurious lodges and the like with all the comforts I need. I was a bit frustrated throughout this journey. However we were well within the center of the regions best to capture on camera.

If I had to preserve a positive memory of these 13 days of travel, it would certainly be the encounter with the Maasai. The photographs are magnificent, the ambiance was extraordinary. It’s a breach out of time.

Daniel Daniel.

My general impression are that this trip was dedicated to Africa’s wildlife and fauna and therefore every one of its moments were magnificent.

Throughout this trip there was both some good and some less good. The good was the encounter with the Maasai villagers at Shompole. We were far from the typical and cliché tourist traps of the region. I spent an invigorating time with some villagers who invited us with kindness and smiles. The run-ins with the domesticated flocks and their herders were extraordinary. The snapshots with the colored lighting and dust were truly magnificent. The Maasai Mara with all of its wildlife still remains a grand moment in my photographic career.

The admittedly less fun portion was the time spent traveling between Nairobi and Shompole. We lost quite a bit of time. I would have like to spend this time with the Maasai within their villages. I would have enjoyed sharing in the daily lives of these inhabitants.

Another point that I didn’t enjoy was the night spent at Magi Motto. It was one of our stops before arrive in the Maasai Mara National Reserve but I found it rather boring.

I’d already visited the Maasai Mara a few years back. Things have changed quite profoundly since then. During this month of September 2017, we were supposed to be smack dab in the middle of the dry season, yet the rain just wouldn’t let up. Everything is green. It’s very surprising. I had ingrained into memory herds of very significant size and numbers. Since food is abundant throughout this time of the year, these groups tend to disperse and therefore become more widespread. Our encounters with the local wildlife were very different. I personally found that there were an oddly large number of lions. I regret not having been able to see a good mix between zebras, wildebeests and buffalo.

During my first stay within the Maasai Mara, I had not been an informed photographer as I am today. Despite it all, I believe that this year, we had much more beautiful lighting and color schemes and far more beautiful backgrounds. We had clouds and rain whom purified the surrounding skies.

This animal photography workshop included a small group and that was a real plus. We were all seated in the same car. It’s quite clear to me that all of the advice you provided my enabled me to progress in a noticeable fashion. It’s my first animal photography workshop. I’ve completely changed the act in which I take my photos. It was a real boon to have you in the car and to provide us with the necessary information needed by us to realize or vision while on site. Without you, one out of every two of my shots would likely have been out of the recommended parameters.

It’s also without question that for photography concerning landscapes and ethnic shots, your technical settings and advice helped me quite a bit. I would never have thought to include the trees within my backgrounds as I did. Now I know better.

If I had to hold onto a specific memory of this trip, it would have been the return of a herd of livestock to the Maasai village at Shompole. That was a real discovery for me. In terms of a wildlife safari, I’ve already been to Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya. This was nothing new. However the visit to the Maasai people was really an extraordinary moment for myself. The encounters were authentic. It was a real meeting between peoples and a true pleasure to capture on camera. The women even dressed up for the occasion.

This photography workshop was for me a real discovery in terms of artistic photography. The post treatment techniques that you imparted upon us will fundamentally alter the quality and impact of my images. I would never have guessed how much I was missing out on before your explanations and advice. There are some photos that I wouldn’t have necessarily held onto yet with your techniques, I see the interest in preserving them for now. I’ll have them made into prints.

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