“A resolutely minimalist and suggestive approach to get to the essential. Not trying to show a subject for what it is, but for what it expresses. This is my way of telling stories, of translating my sensibility”. J-M. Lenoir
A passion for nature from an early age led Lenoir to photography as a means to capture magical moments of nature and wildlife. Starting with wildlife and wide spaces, he developed his own vision of photography.
Landscape photography is an eternal quest for atmosphere where the light and the quest of beauty are key references, his aesthetic landmark. His photographic intention relies on his magnetic attraction for wide spaces combined with his quest of beautiful lights.
A way that inspires him and his instinct of freedom.
In photography, he is looking for simple pictures, which go straight to the subject core, with very few things in the frame.
Lenoir follows a suggestive approach: he does not try to show a subject as it is, but to share what it expresses. It is his way of telling stories and conveying his sensibility, like his recent work “Evanescence”.
Combining his passion for pictures with rugged landscapes, he organizes and guides photo tours with Photographes du Monde agency for seven years. From north of Europe (Scotland, Norway, Finland) to South america (Chile and Bolivia),his photographic world leads him into areas of wilderness from where he draws his main source of inspiration.
Lenoir is an ambassador for Fujifilm cameras and Cokin filters.
“Evanescence” results from Lenoir's research on minimalist atmospheres and muted landscapes, photographed anywhere from his own doorstep to the vast expanses of Northern Europe.
Snow, ice and mists make up the soul of this purely photographic work, the guiding thread that has fueled his photographic outlook for several years. This series of pictures builds on his previous work, “Sylvan Souls”. It embodies a graphic and aesthetic vision of nature – a way for him to get to the heart of the matter, keeping only the few elements that outline, rather than define the subject.
It is a contemplative form of expression, the fruit of a photographic intention that favors suggestion and the development of his creative vision rather than a more figurative approach. “Letting your emotions speak to perceive objects in what they express rather than what they are.”
Evanescence refers to the act of slowly disappearing, symbolism that is very present when one observes natural phenomena like snow showers that blur the tree lines, mist rising above a pond, the white of a wave breaking over a rock, water running under a frozen river or an animal whose silhouette fades to blend in with the white…
White, this non-color that enhances a wealth of nuances and reveals the softness of contrasts is what binds these muted atmospheres that Lenoir loves. In this monochrome world between dreams and reality, he contemplates, observes and seeks the moment when magic operates, turning an image into an outline.
These moments fuel a very oneiric vision of nature, which compels him to go beyond reality and reproduce it in a different light, bringing out emotion and poetry to let mystery take effect.
When nature playfully tackles geometry, there is an air of graphic and polymorphic poetry where the infinity of the sky initiates a dialogue with the complexity of the earth. Polygons of salt lifted up from the ground and sculpted by the wind, they stretch towards the horizon like a giant avenue, which will soon disappear under the rains that will dilute the fragile Salar de Uyuni.
Fix the fury, tame the moment, capture the movement
Fuelling his photographer’s eye with raw and powerful, almost uncontrollable energy.
Lenoir loves this striking contrast between the ice’s smooth and deceptive surface and the flowing water’s indomitable strength beneath.
The wild and disorderly movement of the wave as it unfurls in blue, green and grey billows… Lenoir is always surprised by this capacity to capture and fix these fleeting, yet so lively moments time and again. Knowing how to capture these slightest changes in mood and state…
A polymorphous element, water under any shape is for him a bottomless source of inspiration… For images to emerge from the tumult…
Solitude as a precious moment of life / inspiration?
“You have to love solitude to be a photographer”, Raymond Depardon used to say.
A state that is conducive to personal reflection, like a large door that opens onto myself and impacts upon how lenoir captures the moment. It is probably a way of seeking some truth in each of his images.
This solitude is not empty or harrowing. On the contrary, it is vital and necessary to him. It is akin to deliberate contemplation, a moment brimming with the thought of everything that thrills and moves him in an image. It is what drives him and embraces my outlook.
Whether it is to capture the Pyrenean chamois or a tree blown by the wind in a lifeless scenery, solitude takes him back to an almost animal-like state where instinct prevails, guiding his photographer’s steps.
Off the coast of Scotland, the Isles of Lewis and Harris extend as the last piece of land before the Atlantic. Harris abounds with beaches where the elements remind us of their sovereignty. Lewis is the last Gaelic stronghold of Scotland, where the raised stones bear witness to an ancient heritage. Like this land at the tip of Western Europe, the billion-year-old rocks create an atmosphere as wild as it is captivating.
AMES SYLVESTRES (SYLVAN SOULS)
At the same time vegetable, monument and universal symbol of the life, the tree has always been the source of dreamlike representations and legends.
It is by immersing himself in the heart of the forest, that the idea to overtake this descriptive vision to enter the universe of the dream came to Lenoir.
On autumn evenings, in the middle of the golden birches and the heathers fired by the last rays of the sunset, the orangey trunks of trees rose in a soft color palette. The magic of the atmosphere could not limit itself to a simple representational, insufficient vision to restore the intensity of moment. It was then necessary to draw from this creative vision and to express what offers us the universe of the forest to fall over to the kingdom of the imagination. Overtake one’s own perception…
Overtake one’s own perception of things and only retain the main part, some lines, a harmony of colors to give life to
" LES AMES SYLVESTRES " (THE SYLVAN SOULS).
Pass on from the real world to the one of the dream by transforming its camera into a paint brush.