Claudine Lionnet's work is fascinating. She calls herself 'contemplative'. She is a nature lover in all its facets from landscape photography to wildlife photography. Claudine travels a lot with her husband , also a 1x member Ennedi .
Dear Claudine, briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I live in the South of France, near to Aix En Provence. My home is surrounded by trees, flowers and birds.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I started photography while travelling with my husband – 1x member Ennedi who has a passion for the Sahara's rock art. Southern Algeria and Libya, Northern Niger and Tchad are namely home for the largest open-air museum in the world. Thousands of paintings and engravings are hidden there in the shelters created by erosion.
After exploring different deserts through the years in search of these traces of the past, I began to have a strong interest for landscape photography and also for the culture of nomadic peoples living in these arid regions, specifically for their traditional big festivals.
Currently it is strongly recommanded not to travel to those countries, so we're exploring now the Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Finland …), but always in search of great wilderness and winter weather conditions. There, I discovered one of the most beautiful natural phenomena nature can offer: the Northern Lights.
Travelling allowed me to familiarize with wildlife photography: bears, eagles and other birds.
My favourite birds are the puffins. I saw them for the first time in Iceland and now I love to watch them in the winter cohabiting with other seabirds in North of Norway.
I like a lot to take pictures in the Camargue in France too.
And even near my home where we often see Bee-eaters.
What first attracted you to photography?
I saw my husband taking lots of pictures ... so why not me ;-)
Why are you so drawn by nature photography?
Since my childhood, I have always observed nature (I am a contemplative). Photography is a perfect extension and allows me to have a more precise look.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Definitely the mood and the story. A picture must tell a story.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I believe that it is very important to carefully prepare the locations so that one has a long period of observation to watch the animals' behaviour of the animals, to catch the best light, and interesting backgrounds .... and very important too is to avoid disturbing the animals.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Camera: Canon 5d mkIII and 7d mkII,
Lenses: Canon 100-400 is II, 70-200 is II, 16-35 f2,8
What software do you use to process your images?
Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Nature Photography and how do you get started?
Patience, because nature is uncontrollable. You also have to be a nature lover and attentive observer to catch the subjects which fascinate you the most. Another great advice is to study the work of other photographers and therefore 1X is perfect place.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I do not really have favourites, but the vision of some photographers fascinates me, especially in the categories that are not familiar to me such as 'Creative edit', 'Conceptual', 'Architecture' and 'Mood'.
I am always impressed by so much creativity.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
This picture was taken in the south of Algeria in the Tadrart region. The light was wonderful. We were at top of a dune to watch the immensity of the desert and the tiny little people. The magic of that moment only lasted a few minutes.
It was also my first photo awarded in a contest and published in a magazine. It gave me confidence and encouraged me to continue.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1X is really a great photography site. Getting published is not easy but it provides me a huge stimulant and a lot of motivation when a photo is accepted.
I would like to congratulate the entire team of 1X. My special thanks to Yvette for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share my work through this interview.