Navigating landscapes as pure as before the Anthropocene era. Encountering the marvels of the animal kingdom—living symbols of life in the wilderness. Seeing them walk, hunt, play, and live, fitting in with their environment so naturally, and then, when the time is right, pressing the shutter. This is what Laurent Baheux cherishes most.
The french nature photographer known for his b&w work about the African fauna comes back to his Arctic expeditions with a duotone collection of scenes and portraits in a unique style. “In this territory that I did not know, I posed a virgin and contemplative look”, explains the photographer.”I discovered a great desert inhabited by shifting and furtive shadows. The animals that we track for days appear and disappear as if by magic.”
The Arctic is the domain of the Bear, Wolf, Fox and Reindeer gods. Any human incursion must be made with humility and respect. Nevertheless, it is a highly coveted land and that’s why ICE IS BLACK.
With this title, Laurent Baheux provides the melting ice, the quest for new sources of petroleum and the associated dangers… It also represents a personal and distinctiv photographic approach on this fragile and harsh environment. His high-contrast black-and-white images focus the eye on the subject: a bear’s dense fur, the long hairs of a reindeer, a seal’s elastic whiskers, the roughness of the snow, the reflection in the water, the edges of a glacier—all take on a very special quality… their outlines prominent against the backdrop. Like the cold, he is able to ruthlessly strip back the ice and the snow, the blinding sun of the Great North.
The reader is immersed in a photographic journey with more than 100 pictures in the heart of the Far North and closest to its ultimate and precious inhabitants.
Born in Poitiers in 1970, Laurent Baheux started his career in the frenetic world of international sport before moving his horizons to wilder climes, where flora and fauna continue to live in freedom. For over 15 years, he has been compiling a collection of images of nature in a dense and high-contrast monochrome style. With his unique approach which rewrites all the rules on wildlife photography, Laurent strives to capture the personality and humanity in every animal as distinct individuals. He adopts the role of wildlife portrait artist, where aesthetics and sensitivity take precedence over a more documentary style. Close- up or misaligned shots, noise or grain, stark and deep blacks, he explores every possibility in order to magnify his subject rather than simply showing it. He is an active member of environmental protection organizations such as the WWF, the GoodPlanet Foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Cheetah For Ever Association. In 2013, he became a goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Programme in a campaign combating poaching called Wild & Precious. His photographs are on show in galleries and are featured in a number of books, publications, and exhibitions in France and abroad.
Ice is Black
Publisher: teNeues (2017)
192 pages Hardcover, 27x34cm
125 duotone photographs
Text English / French / German