The colours of the world
The colourful world of nature, even when abused by man, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. A computer tool, used before the fractals were conceived, enables me to ‘steal’ the nuances of an image, whether it shows the infinitely small or the immensely large.
Little by little, images of autumn landscapes, Jupiter, remarkable bark, butterflies, animal eyes … have begun to punctuate my work.
And in 2019, this trend grew to the point of inspiring a series. It then became a long-term project entitled “The Colours of the World”.
Coral reefs, salt marshes, rice paddies, Icelandic glacier melt ponds, extraordinary sites … all allow me to explore the nuances, the richness and the infinite variety of our universe, so beautiful but so fragile.
It goes without saying, however, that these colours are only a source of inspiration and that what the photos represent has no influence whatsoever on the creation of the shapes.
They appear earlier or later in the season. They can be flamboyant or duller. They play with shades of beige, yellow, gold, red and rust. They also benefit from the magnificent light of the season. These are the colours of autumn.
Scrutinising tree trunks may not be your favourite activity, but it’s well worth the detour. Bark protects trees from the outside world. Its appearance varies according to species and age. It can be wrinkled, cracked or multicoloured. Of course, the colours of exotic trees may be brighter and more surprising. But they’re all worth a closer look. Photographer Cédric Pollet is convinced of this. He has devoted a trilogy to them.
Coral reefs seen from the sky
Coral reefs are underwater structures that develop at shallow depths. At 2,300 kilometres long, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on the planet. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, pollution and global warming are putting it at risk. Seen from the sky, its colours are (for the moment) sumptuous.
The salt world
Salt marshes and salt mines
The production of sea salt is one of the oldest forms of human intervention in natural areas. Sea salt comes from the natural evaporation of seawater. The salinity of the ponds influences the colour of the micro-organisms, which range from light green to bright red. Salt ponds and salt marshes are home to numerous animal species.
A salt mine is a deposit, usually underground, of rock salt (halite), exploited by man. Some of them are protected by UNESCO. In Colombia, one of them is home to a cathedral. In Yekaterinburg, Russia, one of the most beautiful salt mines in the world has become famous for its mineral-coloured walls.
Mines and poisoned lands
More than 50% of the world’s lithium resources are found in South America, in the Lithium Triangle of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The Salar d’Atacama salt flats in northern Chile are one of the driest, least populated places on the planet. It is home to the world’s largest evaporative lithium production site, which can even be seen from space.
The turquoise, lithium-rich brine is pumped into huge basins. It passes from basin to basin until its concentration reaches 6% and it turns dark yellow.
The remains of coal burnt in a power plant are pumped through pipes into huge basins, which prevent the ash from being released into the atmosphere. Often, the ash is mixed with chemicals, giving the contents of the basins bright colours.
Macro photography brings about a radical change of perspective. It allows you to leave the world you are familiar with for a whole new one. Butterfly wings, eyes, insect shells… offer a whole universe of iridescent, metallic colours…
Melt ponds, ice and glaciers
Melt ponds form when a piece of ice breaks off a retreating glacier and sinks into the ground. The colours of the lake indicate the amount of sediment or depth: the deeper or clearer the water, the bluer the lake.
A rice field is a piece of land, usually flooded, reserved for growing rice, which can be terraced. The history of the Hani de Hongh rice terraces goes back nearly 1,200 years. Seen from the sky, their colours vary with the seasons and are always superb. They have been listed as World Heritage Sites.
Whether from Europe or other continents, brightly coloured or more muted, the colours of bird plumage are a source of enchantment.
Landscapes from here or elsewhere
Plains, mountains, estuaries, canyons … the diversity of landscapes on our beautiful planet is immense. They vary according to the viewpoint, season and altitude. Some colours are surprising, almost unreal, but those of the landscapes are an infinite source of inspiration.
Nebulae and views from space
Photos taken by satellites, the space station, the Hubble and James Webb telescopes (a veritable time machine) or Euclid reveal the beauty and inconceivable vastness of the cosmos: colliding galaxies, exoplanets, nebulae, planets…