Montier Photo Festival




  Bart Vercruysse is an independent Belgian nature photographer. During a visit to the Azores island of Pico in 2012, he got fascinated by the nocturnal activity in a colony of Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis). Would it be possible to photograph these birds in flight at night when visiting their colonies ? It took years of development and quite a bit of help from friends, before he succeeded in making the first nocturnal in-flight images of Manx Shearwaters (Puffinus puffinus) on the Welsh island of Skokholm in 2015. Once the first technical hurdles had been overcome, he launched the “Petrels by night” project with the intention to photograph all Western Palearctic petrels, storm petrels and shearwaters, at night, in flight at their breeding colonies. Wanting to avoid the disturbance caused by the use of standard flashes at night, he switched to full infrared photography in 2018. It meant starting from zero again but the images he can now make in seabird colonies at night have never been attempted before and show the invisible part of the life of these birds. By now, two thirds of the project has been completed. You can follow the project on Bart’s web site



"Petrels by night - A quest to photograph the invisible" is a challenging project launched by Bart Vercruysse. The objective is to photograph all Western Palearctic petrels, storm petrels and shearwaters in flight, at night, during their visits to their breeding territories. But why this nocturnal activity ? Over the course of their evolution, these seabirds have remarkably adapted to their life at sea but this has been to the detriment of their mobility on land. As a result, they only come on land to breed and to avoid their predators, they only do that under the cover of darkness. To lay their egg, they dig tunnels under the ground or breed in inaccessible places under rocks or trees, or in caves and caverns. The images shown in this exhibition allow to discover a hardly known world, invisible to our eyes and never photographed before.


Skokholm Dream island

Skokholm Dream island

  Author : Bart Vercruysse & Pol Dewulf
  Publisher : auto-édition
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