Project Detail: Flamingo


Wildlife and Nature 2019




Jonathan Lhoir



Project Info


The series of images is the culmination of an artistic project centred on the flamingo, an emblematic species of the Camargue. The focus is on the subjective and creative approach of the photographer, who has used blur to reveal moments invisible to the naked eye. In the context of this project, the characteristic silhouette of the bird has been used wholly or partly as a guiding thread.

Having photographed the Camargue for many years, I have accumulated a multitude of images of the region, and of its emblematic flamingo populations in particular. Enthused by his first encounters with the species, he was particularly inspired by the silhouette, the colours, and the way of life of this extraordinary animal.

Initially animated by an illustrative and aesthetic approach, he quickly let himself be charmed by a more subjective, less conventional style that gave pride of place to imagination and suggestion. This new direction in his artistic career first materialised as a series of decidedly blurry images representing the flight of flamingos at dusk.

Seduced by the result, and determined to take the artistic bias even further, I gave free rein to his desire to gradually move away from a figurative rendering and experiment with a variety of techniques. Whilst not revolutionary in themselves, these methods allowed him to move away from a faithful reproduction of reality. By using slow shutter speeds, shifting the focus point, and playing with the foreground or the background, I established my own style and expressed his poetic vision.

Work on the "blur" then became obvious.

My motivation was twofold: the very idea of revisiting the "great classic" that the flamingo represents, and taking up a personal challenge that was, at the very least, exhilarating, for more than one reason. For example,I have to impose an essential phase of adjustment on himself, in order to refine his different vision of reality. He then focused on identifying new elements of his environment that would become his future photographic sources, whilst at the same time projecting what they could give as results. And finally, even if there is an element of spontaneity, the exercise is not as easy as it seems, and one is forced to find the delicate and complex alchemy that mixes creativity, rigour and perseverance.

A means of expression and a support for materialising his vision, I have used photography to sublimate and share those moments invisible to the naked eye. Through my images, I approache the flamingo in an atypical way that brings to the fore the softness of its silhouette.

Flamingo is the fruit of this photographic process, the materialisation of this gradual drift towards the immensity of blur, the quest for a return to simplicity, showing only the essential ... or the "super-blur"!?