Wildlife Photographer Michel d’Oultremont knows what it’s like to wait. Sometimes he spends a week and a half just waiting for the perfect light and the animals he photographs to show up. The resulting images are well worth the effort.
In recognition of his unique vision and style, d’Oultremont won the National History Museum's Rising Star award at 22 years old, where his work caught the eye of Film Director David Hayes and Producer Hannah Slavanes-Mclean. The pair were immediately intrigued by d’Oultremont’s photographs and began talks to produce a film with Contra Agency based on his work called “The Wait.”
In this beautifully filmed video, which was created to be strikingly similar in style to d’Oultremont’s photographic approach, the crew followed the young photographer as he ventured into the Carpathian mountains of Romania where bison were being reintroduced into the wild after over 200 years absence from that ecosystem. The film gives viewers a peek into the kind of patience wildlife photography requires, but also into the photographer’s philosophy.
“I tried to put more importance on the environment, or the play of light, rather than the animal itself,” d’Oultremont said in explaining his process. “I’d prefer to take a picture of a common bird in a beautiful environment, rather than a rare bird in a light or environment that wouldn't make it beautiful.”
The resulting images have an almost impressionistic and painterly quality to them, a delicacy that balances the animal against the environment but never overpowers it, very similar in style to Sumi-e, Japanese brush and ink painting.
With several awards under his belt already and a career on the rise, d'Oultremont is promising to be one of wildlife photography's brightest stars.