Follow Us on Twitter

White Nature - Vincent Munier

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

VINCENT Munier is a photographer of exceptional talent. His book White Nature, a compilation of images that capture the stark beauty of Winter, takes the art of photography to a new dimension.

The fact that he unashamedly indulges his love of wet and cold landscapes works very much to his advantage – and to ours – as the images are nothing short of stunning. In fact, you could be forgiven for mistaking some for watercolours – the snowy owl in flight, for example.

To obtain such images, Munier travelled to the island of Hokkaido in Japan, to the Scandinavian tundra, to Russia and to Canada and the US. Others were taken in his native France.

In those wintry locations, he photographed a wide variety of birds – cranes, whooper swans, snow geese, tits, a wren and snowy owls; as well as brown bears, musk ox and red deer.

And there’s information about each, regarding habitat and behaviour, at the end of the book. What I would also have liked are the stories behind the images.

Take for instance the brown bear, photographed from behind and standing in shallow water with only the mist and his own reflection for company. A masterpiece of simplicity. But what was he doing there? And how long did he stay?

I learned from the January edition of the BBC Wildlife magazine which ran a portfolio of selected images from the book, that he was looking for ripples in the water ahead that might reveal a salmon. How long he stayed I can’t be sure but two days after the image was taken, he finally caught one.

And it happened in Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsular where volcanic activity creates areas where water doesn’t freeze. This not only enables bears to fish in winter, but also creates the beautiful and atmospheric mist. What a story and what a pity to have missed it!

White Nature is a beautiful book; one that will bring lasting pleasure to anyone lucky enough to own it – as indeed I do.