What is striking these days is the urge, indeed the desire, of so many people to go out into the bright early spring world. Pictures of the first blossoms and new signs of life are shared. So much amazement and joy is palpable in the life of nature, which is breaking through again.
»There is never a shortage of miracles in this world, but only of being able to see miracles«, is an essential thought for the photographer Vincent Munier, one which his mother passed on to him early on. I recently discovered the outstanding wildlife photographer in a news report. His pictures are exceptionally impressive, whether of animals in his homeland, the Vosges, or from the mountainous region of Asturias or northern Canada. Yet, this rather shy man expressed that which shakes us up and that which is wise. One always hears the great respect for the animals; it is their home into which he enters, but which he never wants to disturb. He waits for wild grouse in Lothringen with the same patience and passion as for wolves in the polar region. He takes a lot of time to immerse himself in the animals' way of life and thus participate in their lives for a certain period of time. He takes on the efforts and challenges that this entails. There is no guarantee that they will come out, he says, there is only the hope of seeing an animal. So the binoculars are his main instrument and the waiting and devout endurance of silence his strength - with deep trust in the moment.
When asked about his career path, he spoke of how there was an early time when he was urged to join other photography circles. But he quickly realized that their concerns often had mainly to do with marketing and what was desired and would sell well. »Fortunately, I remained true to myself«, he said, and kept his distance from the hype and bustle. His faithfulness to himself allows to now say: »The technology is at the service of magic. The important thing is to use it prudently. Sometimes I just don't take a photo, so as not to disturb what is going on around me and really just enjoy the moment. I'm not looking for aesthetics or style, but for a truly natural approach to the animal in its habitat. One is not there to count the feathers of a bird. Somewhat out of focus, shadowy silhouettes, furtive, distant: the true and the implied. I like the idea of not revealing everything, so that a picture tells each individual its own story.«
It is fascinating, how a man lives out quite authentically what is inside him while nothing that is outside of him, must manipulate or twist him. His pictures are testimonies of what he says, his satisfaction with what he lives - in silent harmony with the world and in respect for the life of all, including the viewer. Thus, Munier becomes again and again the messenger of true beauty.
A thought from the Jesuit Henri Boulad can deepen this: »For in its deepest grounding, life is wondrous silence, and its mystery is as overwhelming as its beauty. Silently, all growth, biological and spiritual, emerges from a heart to which the world belongs.« (from H. Boulad, Die tausend Gesichter des Geistes)
Vallendar, February, 25th, 2021