Cendrine Marrouat is a photographer, here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you interested in photography?
A: The desire to document the things around me.
I started my artistic career as a poet, and like every writer will tell you, it can be hard to find the words to describe concepts.
Originally, though, I did not believe I had any talent as a photographer. For a very long time, I did not even know what I was doing. But people’s encouraging words did the trick. In 2014, after four years of practice and self-education, I started selling my photos online. A year later, my first photography book was out.
Q: Why black and white?
A: There is something very special about it. I am like a child in a candy store when I see tintypes and daguerreotypes. Early photography fascinates me.
Working with the black-and-white format is a fulfilling and liberating experience. It is like trying to re-create the past out of the present. I’m not sure if it makes sense.
Q: Who are some of your influences and how can we see them in your work?
A: Ansel Adams is the photographer who has had the most impact on my work. While I am not a big fan of over-processing photos, I love contrast.
As to how people can see Adams’ influence in my photos, I can’t really say. I will let others decide for themselves. 😉
Q: What is the overall theme of ‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’?
A: I have noticed that an increasing number of people resort to negativity to get attention these days. Facebook, in particular, has become a hotbed of verbal aggression.
People need to treat themselves better if they want respect from others. But it will not happen until they understand the importance of self-awareness.
‘Life’s Little Things: The Quotes’ leverages this idea. I have paired my own images with words of wisdom (based on personal experience) to encourage the viewer to reconnect with themselves.
Q: What are some common mistakes people make when they first attempt nature photography?
A: Most people go directly for the obvious — the thing that is directly in front of them. They do not take the time to build stories into their shots.
For example, when taking a photo of a landscape, check if there are clouds. Blue sky is nice but can be quite boring. Clouds add great texture and drama.
Macros are not interesting if you just stand on top of your subjects. It has just been done too many times. Look around you and take advantage of your surroundings. Take a vertical shot, for example.
Aim for the geometry in nature, look at the way light hits tree barks or leaves, and use the rule of thirds to create dynamics.
Good photography is like theatre or a traditional haiku. It forces us to rethink our pre-conceived notions of the world.
Q: What is the most challenging photograph you have ever taken?
A: This one: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/droplets-2-cendrine-marrouat.html. (The black-and-white version can be found here: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/droplets-3-cendrine-marrouat.html.)
I took the photo a few years ago in my backyard just after a rain spell. Everything was against me. The ground was muddy. The wind was blowing quite hard. And my tripod was too tall. I had to actually hand-hold the camera and twist my body not to move too much!
I cannot remember how long it took me to take the shot, but my legs hurt for a long time after the session. Lol
Q: How does your job as a language teacher influence your ability to pursue your photography projects?
A: Studying the way language works has many benefits. For example, you develop strong analytical skills and an ability to read between the lines. Through my 14 years as a French instructor to adults, I have also learnt flexibility and how to ensure that the learning experience is fun and enriching for my students.
Every time I am in the classroom, I feel excited and alive. I know I will learn almost as much from my students as they will learn from me. I keep that open mind with photography and always experience the same kind of emotions.
Q: What makes something a worthwhile focal point for a nature photograph?
A: The little details that make the overall picture enticing.
Q; What are do you consider to be something in nature that has been over-photographed? What has been under examined?
A: Honestly, I don’t think you can over-photograph anything in nature. It all depends on your relationship with your surroundings and the way you use them to tell your stories.
I have been taking shots of the same spots for years. But each photo is different or unique. The light will never hit in the same exact spot. The wind may have moved things around. Somebody may have left their mark, etc. I just love challenging myself to catch those differences.
What has been under examined, though, is the impact of details on the resulting images. Nature is not just about gorgeous landscapes and flowers.
Great photography seeks the mundane to capture the fleeting, but true beauty of life in its many forms.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.