Monday, December 29, 2014

Vincent Munier

Vincent Munier (born 1976) is a French wildlife photographer, one of those featured in National Geographic's Masters of Nature Photography. The child of indulgent parents who encouraged him to, as they say, follow his dreams, he left school at 18 to wander the woods with his "precious" camera. He has largely avoided the usual path to success in his profession, never working with an agency, going on a lecture tour or seeking out magazine assignments. He lives simply on a small property in Lorraine, France, and many of his photographs have been taken within a few miles of his home. Above is one of these, a coal tit landing on a meadow in the Vosges Mountains.

Despite his efforts to avoid commercialism, Munier has been on some high-profile international assignments. He has a wonderful way with snow, and his most famous pictures are of polar animals like these musk oxen.

Snowy owl.

Cranes, Siberia.

But I find myself drawn to the more domestic pictures, taken in France where Munier is obviously on intimate terms with the wildlife.

Many more pictures at Munier's web site.


G. Verloren said...

In my opinion, the key thing about photographing snow (at least while it's still falling or otherwise in motion) is properly exploiting the way it obfuscates and obscures. What I really love about good snow photography is the way distances and surfaces are rendered vague and fragmentary, such that the exact geometry of the image continually eludes the mind's grasp, seeming to shift and change as the eye wanders across the scene.

This effect is impressive enough when achieved in motion pictures - for example, the stunning opening scene to the Coen Brothers film Fargo - but I find it truly staggering when accomplished within a single photograph, as Munier manages to do in a number of his images. Quite wonderful!

G. Verloren said...

That said, it's a pity about his site layout and functionality - clunky, bloated, sluggish Adobe Flash nonsense - but the man is a photographer, not a web designer, so he ought to be excused for not knowing better than to hire a trite and obtuse one.

Shadow said...

Yes, G.

Seeing a photo of a person or wildlife standing in the midst of all the sameness of snow arouses in me feelings of existential isolation (a disturbing and wondrous feeling). I experience the same when walking alone and hearing a train whistle in the distance.

In some photos a creature(s) appears as if created in the mists of obscurity you mention. The Snowy Owl looks like he is made of those mists.