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Featured Photographer Gallery

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Louis Marie Préau

To live in contact with wildlife and witness its beauty : a childhood dream has become reality!
Vivre au contact de la vie sauvage et témoigner de sa beauté : un rêve d’enfant devenu réalité!

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Featured Photographer

Louis Marie Préau

About

Professional photographer since 2001, I take special care to share with a large audience the emotions felt when subjecting myself to wildlife, therefore participating to its preservation.
Before the fulfilment of a new assignment, I take the time to learn about the habitat and the animal : I inquire and solicit help from local associations or naturalists, etc ; and observe the behaviour of a species to become more familiar with it and identify its territory, to in turn photograph nature at its best with the least amount of disturbance.
To photograph certain species (big rapaces, mammals, etc), time spent on the lookout can be very long to not disturb the animal and also « tire out the luck » (quote by R. Hainard).

Website: www.louismariepreau.com

Interview

Why nature photography?
As long as I can remember, my passion for nature was always present. An image can immortalize a moment, a light, a behaviour, an emotion... Wildlife nature is in its own way secretive, to be able to observe it and to photograph it, is for me a joy and a privilege.

What's best about it?
Nature is incredibly diverse! Therefore, discovery of a species or an environment is practically inexhaustible. This also leads me to encounter mankind and cultural diversity.

What's worst about it?
It is an uncertain profession with short term visibility, which is a bit anxiogenic! Nature is rejuvenating, but on the other hand, expositions, computer work, the demand to be faster, can be a bit straining making it difficult to find one’s balance. Finally, the weight of the equipment is a real problem.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
I am fascinated by the discovery of the secrets of animal life, and behaviour. I love equally travelling through my own native region, « The Loire Valle », as well as Spain, Eastern Europe and northern Scandinavia.
I do have a preference for the northern lights of Europe which are more subtle with variety.

What's in the bag?
I work mainly with Canon equipment : camera EOS-1Ds Mark III and mark IV and zoom from a range of 16mm - 500mm IS, underwater housing by Canon 5D.

Your specialities / skills?
I like to think I don’t have a speciality to stay open to multiple possibilities. But I must admit that birds are what I photograph the best. That being said, and before anything else, I try to bring forth an exciting nature viewed through my eyes and if possible communicate an emotion.
I like to think that all subjects are open to me...

What will you do in your next life?
I’d like to discover many things. I think that life is too short!

3 tips for beginners
Photographing nature and wildlife is exiting and fascinating. However, one should never forget that the supreme goal of this passion is to be the witness of a fragile and beautiful nature. Competition in photography should at no cost be the rule but instead, photography should be in service to protect wildlife and its habitat.

Mission

I am joining late in this beautiful project «WILD WONDERS OF EUROPE» and I have been commissioned on a project not very easy for me: « the capital of biodiversity ». I had to juggle between big power plants, oil refineries, and city buildings. But I had the chance to discover the energy and creativity of a big city « Grande Synthe, France ». This city worked hard to rehabilitate and create parks in perfect harmony with the city. This shows that a city, which wasn’t very attractive before on the nature side learned to enhance the value of its nature to satisfy their inhabitants.

Best Picture

Best Picture

What's cool about it?
One of the most difficult things for me is to choose a photo because each image reflects a moment, an emotion, a particular relationship. I chose an image that represents a common species in my region. For me, the rarity of a species is really secondary. What I love in this photo is the soft morning light, the animal in its habitat, the quarrelsome behaviour of the Kingfisher, and the surreptitious moment of the scene.

Could it be better?
The photograph is slightly cropped (with 16 millions of pixels), and to my taste, the background is not faded enough and too green.

Behind the Scene
This photo wasn’t calculated, since I was in a floating hide-out to captivate fishing scenes of Grey Heron. But the high pitched sounds of two kingfishers distracted my attention and I ended up staying several hours watching these beautiful birds.

Date: 2007/08/14
Location: The Loire Valley; France.
Gear: Camera : Canon EOS 1Ds mark 2 + 500mm f/4 IS

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