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BIOGRAPHY OF GHISLAIN SIMARD
Insects have been the passion of Ghislain Simard since childhood. His father, himself a butterfly collector, introduced him to their magnificent wings. When he was 12 years old, his father offered him the book "Photographing nature" by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou, who gave him the solution: he would be a butterfly photographer. Since then, he will not stop following the example of the two photographers.
In the early 90’s, he discovered the work of the English photographer Stephen Dalton, master and precursor of high-speed photography. He decided to embark on the almost impossible mission of photographing insects during flight. He developed his own equipment at the Optics Laboratory of Besancon in France while pursuing his engineering degree.
After working exclusively on flying butterflies for 15 years, Ghislain published a book in 2008 devoted to their flight, “En Vol”, published by Editions Jibena. In 2009, he participated in the genesis of Nat'Images magazine under the direction of Guy-Michel Cogné. Since then, he collaborates regularly with the editorial staff.
Gradually, his attention has shifted from butterflies to dragonflies, due to their faster flight. Then, he has spent four years near ponds and rivers with dragonflies and finally published the book "Flying Dragons" with Altus Editions in 2010. To achieve his ambitions, he has designed special accessories integrated in his high-speed photographic equipment in order to freeze insects in flight. He works with the R&D department of Hasselblad to adapt the latest digital medium format cameras to insects flight requirements.
After all his efforts, Ghislain is now known as an expert of high-speed photography. His pictures have been awarded many times at the International Festival of Animal Photography Montier-en-Der where the public can frequently discover his work. Among the exhibitions created for this festival, one of them has a particular flavor. This is "Micro Magic" because it was carried out in 2012 in collaboration with his mentor Stephen Dalton. The adaptation of his equipment to the requirements of the photo of flying insects led Ghislain Simard to build strong links with the manufacturers of the equipment he uses, Nikon for 24x36 DSLR cameras and Hasselblad for medium format. He gets now direct relations with the engineers.
Ghislain Simard shares his expertise in frequent articles written for the French magazines (Chasseur d'Images ; Nat'Images) and in the book "Secrets of close-up photography" published by Eyrolles in 2014.
Recently, in 2016, he achieved the project "Speed Flyers" which highlights the flight of insects through three media: an exhibition, a book published by Biotope Editions and a film (52-minute movie).
Since 2017, Ghislain Simard has been undertaking large-scale work dedicated to the flight of butterflies from France. In 2019, as this project reaches its mid-term, Ghislain reveals the progress of the work through the exhibition "Flying Flowers" hung in the Vosges forest at the festivals "Sentiers de la Photo" and then at Montier-en-Der. At this mid-term stage, a new video is introduced: "Flying Flowers, work in progress" available on a limited series of blu-ray in high definition.
In 2021, he publishes on a new book in collaboration with Eyrolles editions "The secrets of macro and close-up" in which he gives in particular the keys to take benefit of the most recent mirrorless cameras. At the same time, Ghislain began a collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History, which resulted in several exhibitions. The "Insects in flight" exhibition hung in the Val Rameh villa in the Menton botanical garden in 2021 has joined the Harmas Jean-Henri Fabre in Sérignan in the South-East of France for the whole of 2022 year. A major exhibition in Paris is also scheduled.