Vincent Munier is a wildlife photographer in the purest sense. Wherever the temperature is below zero and the nearest telephone is miles away is where he feels most at home. He often works 4,000 to 6,000 meters above sea level and despite the regular headaches and nausea associated with working in such conditions; Vincent pulls through, driven by the sole aim of capturing images that speaks to the hearts of viewers. As he explains, “There is a gap between nature and society today — a large gap, that gets larger with each passing day. It is my hope that, in their own small way, my images can help close this gap.” It is with great pleasure that we announce Vincent Munier as the newly appointed Ambassador for Nikon Europe and third photographer to join the programme.
Working with some of the best image makers in the world to showcase their unique style, technical approach and imagery, the Nikon European Ambassador Programme aims to offer insight and inspiration for budding photographers.
Vincent is a French wildlife photographer who started his journey with photography at the young age of 12 years old. Growing up in the ancient Vosges Mountains, he spent his time surrounded by nature and discovering landscapes and photography with his father. A profound sense of respect for wild animals in the quietness of the wilderness grew in him; he learnt how to approach them in order to document their behaviour through images.
From Japanese cranes to white wolves, Vincent has travelled to some of the most remote corners of the earth to capture unique images of wildlife in their natural environment.
Dreams and development
Vincent spent much of his youth photographing and learning about the forests surrounding his home and the wildlife that inhabited them. He worked in various small jobs to save money to buy more camera equipment, with hopes to travel and photograph wildlife in other parts of the world. In this blog, we take a deeper dive into some of the most memorable experiences that have helped to shape his career.
Following this, he took his camera to explore a paradise for bears and wolves in East Russia as his next adventure; one that he felt was his first real contact with raw, wild nature and therefore, one of the most memorable. Vincent remarks, “When you walk in these forests and you know big animals live there, it’s much more magical; it’s true nature”.
As a boy, Vincent had always dreamt of encountering and photographing the white wolf, a sub-species of wolf (canis lupus), native to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. He visited Ellesmere Island, Canada, 300km north of the last inward village. Here, not only did he manage to confront a pack of nine wolves that surrounded him, pulling at his clothes, but he shot over 2,000 unique images of them. Vincent suggests that the best time to photograph in the Arctic is March or April, “because you still have the winter conditions, but the light is coming”.
The perfect moment
Vincent’s key focus when photographing wildlife is to understand the animals. He likes to be on the ground with them, at the same level, so that he can approach slowly, blending into the natural environment as much as possible. It’s his philosophy not to cause disturbance with a big team, so he often travels alone to photograph. Vincent practises respect and patience in photography, through learning about and understanding the animals and their behaviour in immense detail.
Vincent is excited to be a Nikon Europe Ambassador. His first camera was the Nikon FE2 and he has been using Nikon products for his entire career. He also has great relationships with Nikon teams across the globe who have supported a variety of his photography endeavours.
Having previously used the Nikon D4, Vincent loves the Nikon D5 for its clarity of image and lighter weight as he regularly works in the dark and on the move for shoots that often require a lot of remote travel. He’s also been taking advantage of the quiet nature of the model, which he says is perfect when trying not to disturb wildlife. For capturing animals from a distance he recommends the NIKKOR 600mm or 800mm lenses which enable him to work from afar without compromising image quality.
What’s in Vincent’s kit bag?