Thomas MarentNationality: Suisse
In my work, I prefer naturalistic photography. For my understanding an image should not be too abstract. So my art consists more of 'the right moment' than on other techniques.
The tropical rain forest and its inhabitants has always exerted a particularly strong attraction on me. To the people living there in indigenous cultures a certain animal is not just an animal; it often carries a certain meaning. There are many stories about these animals.
My influences in photography are determined by Tim Laman, Christian Ziegler and Piotr Naskrecki. But also by classical music and instrumental music, e.g. By Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer and Angelo Badalamenti. And somehow these influences are always active in one’s work. For example, in the composition of the pictures. A good picture, like a good piece of music, is always characterized by its very own and at the same time by quite general laws. For me, art is a great context, which influences itself -and sometimes in a surprising way- and is influenced by everything out there.
Since 2003: Freelance wildlife photographer.
Monitor in Swiss biodiversity (butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and amphibians) for CreaNatura, CSCF, Hintermann & Weber AG, FORNAT.
Since 2013: Giving workshops and guiding photo tours in Switzerland, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Uganda and Madagascar
Interview:1. WHO ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS / OR OTHER ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
Tim Laman, Piotr Naskrecki, Michael Fogden, Christian Ziegler
2. WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
Perseverance, a good eye for light and composition, perfectionism, knowledge about wildlife and nature
3. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DECIDING TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
The relatively small income, passion has a higher value than money
4. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN YOUR WORK AND WHAT IS DEMOTIVATING?
Receiving appreciation for my work, publication of a book and in magazines, supporting conservation with my images. Demotivating: small fees for my images
5. WHAT ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE MOMENTS IN YOUR WORK?
Observing fantastic wildlife, achieving a great shot, publishing images
6. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
Finding a rare species, photographing a shy animal or a seldom situation, getting the best possible light, background and composition.
7. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ARTISTRY?
Self-taught, slow and after many years of practice, learning by doing, looking at many pictures of great photographers
8. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR PERSONAL LEARNING IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT YOU WOULD CONVEY TO A "NOVICE"?
Lot's of practice, being self-critical, trying to get the perfect shot, learning about wildlife, perseverance, always thinking about light, composition, background, sharpness and depth of field.
9. WHICH ARE THE DRIVING FORCES FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND IN YOUR WORK?
Getting outstanding images, publishing books
10. WHICH FEELINGS DETERMINE YOUR WORK WHEN OUT IN THE FIELD?
Enthusiastic and eager to find the subject for photography
11. ON WHICH CRITERIA DO YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN WORK AS SUCCESSFUL?
Good light, composition, background, sharpness and publication.
12. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET, NATURE: WHAT CONNECTION DO YOU SEE?
I am trying to show with my images the beauty of the nature in an artistic way
13. ASSUMING YOU WOULD HAVE 15 MINUTES ON A TV BROADCAST AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD COULD LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE SAYING, WHAT WOULD BE THE CORE OF YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE?
Respect more the nature with all of its wildlife. We are not the crown of creation, we are not above other animals just because of our intelligence, we are just part of it, we are equal. Stop overpopulating the earth, other species also need space to live. Appreciate the wonder of nature.
»I am trying to show with my images the beauty of the nature in an artistic way.«
Awards:- 2015 | Weird Butterflies, published by fireflybooks
- 2014 | Like Us: Encounters with Primates, published by White Star Publishers,
preface by Jane Goodall: Butterflies, published by fireflybooks
- 2010 | Photographer of the Year Award (Ranger Rick magazine, USA)
- 2009 | life in the wild, published by DK
- 2009 | rainforest sticker book, an awareness raising, educational book for children
between 8 and 14 years. The “stickermania campaign” is a joint business project
with WWF. The money will be used for protected rainforest areas in Borneo and
Madagascar, mainly for sustainable forestry use and alternative income
for local people.
- 2008 | frog, published by DK
- 2008 | butterfly, published by DK
- 2006 | rainforest, published by DK (Dorling Kindersley)
- | Swiss Entomological Society since 1986
- | WWF Switzerland
Project: Into the Mystery of Sweetness
For me hummingbirds are the most peculiar creatures. They are among the smallest animals and undertake some of the longest journeys animals do. So some species live in Northern America and when it gets colder in late summer, they have to move south to find food. For example, the ‘rubella hummingbirds’, which weigh only about three grams, cover a distance of about 3,000 kilometers. On average, they need about two months. Older birds may even fly 1,000 kilometers over the open sea. In my work I would like to show the beautiful aesthetics of this interesting family of birds.
What most people associate with the hummingbird is that they can stand still in front of a flower... And that actually represents some of the major characteristics of these birds. The sweetness of the nectar that is sought, the flying skills ... The bird with the flower is a simple and easy to understand language of an image. The gorgeous colors convey another important message: Nature is beautiful. It is not useful; it is not related to man. It is just beautiful in itself.