Montier Photo Festival




  Benoist CLOUET has been practicing naturalist photography for 25 years, especially in wild territories where man is not very present. Professional photographer for more than 10 years, passionate about cold, ice and wide open areas, he has traveled for more than fifteen years the great Nordic and polar areas : Scandinavia, Iceland, Canada, Japan (Hokkaido), Patagonia but also and especially in Svalbard (16 expeditions) and Antarctica... Photography is for him the way to capture and transmit the ephemeral beauty of these virgin and fragile territories which are bearing the brunt of global warming. He collaborates with several partners: Naturagency which distributes his images, the travel operator Photographes du Monde for which he has been supervising trips to Spitsbergen and Antarctica for 9 years, Sony France and Camara which provide his equipment. He has also won several international photographic competitions in recent years… After a first book entitled “80° NORD – Svalbard” which won the “Best Book of the Arctic 2015” award. at the global Arctic Awards, he is releasing a new book "Lands of Silence" in autumn 2022 and a new exhibition that accompanies the release of this book "White Silence".



Are we losing the snow, the ice, the cold ? And this in the greatest silence? A large number of animal species are intimately linked to the presence of ice or snow and cannot survive without it. The climate changes we are currently experiencing are particularly affecting the polar regions and the animals that live there: polar bears have less and less easy access to the sea ice to hunt seals; more and more often, reindeer can no longer feed in winter, winter rainwater, a new phenomenon, creating a layer of ice on the ground preventing them from finding lichens under the snow; snowy owls are increasingly deprived of their main food, lemmings whose population is collapsing; arctic terns and other Arctic-breeding seabirds are threatened by the collapse of stocks of sand eels, their main food, due to warming oceans; in Antarctica, some penguin colonies are decimated due to rising temperatures; rising ocean temperatures push southern elephant seals to dive ever deeper to follow their prey, which takes refuge in colder waters; some species of birds such as whooper swans, normally monogamous, also change their behavior and thus become “unfaithful” in an attempt to increase their reproductive success. All of these species, and many more, are endangered. Some try to adapt, others will not have time and will disappear... The “White Silence” exhibition presents a series of images showcasing these animals in the beauty of white, silence and the pristine nature of winter in the great polar and northern wilderness of our planet. Through this new exhibition, I want to highlight the ephemeral and subtle combination of snow, silence and the discreet presence of animals living in the most remote places on our planet... I want to raise public awareness of the extraordinary beauty of animals having an intimate link with snow, ice and wide open spaces and offer them a contemplative approach where each image must allow them to be transported to this world of silence where cold, ice, wide open spaces, immaculate white will push him to introspection, to travel and to discover an extraordinary universe which disappears before our eyes in almost total silence.




  Author : Benoist CLOUET
  Publisher : Benoist CLOUET Photo