Michel Roggo | 15 Photographs

Galerie Contraste | Fribourg/Freiburg | September 2015

Festival ArtDialog | Biel/Bienne | June 2016

BAFU/OFEV |  Ittigen | March 2017

The photographer

30 years ago on an expedition to Alaska, swiss photographer Michel Roggo caught his first glimpse of migrating salmon and resolved to return each year until he had captured good photographs of them underwater. After several failed attempts, Michel perfected his technique for shooting underwater without having to dive. The advantage of this, says Michel, is that "fish are not really concerned about a housing on the riverbed and it allows me to capture their natural behavior".
Using the technique he developed for salmon, Michel began photographing other freshwater subjects, focussing more and more on freshwater landscapes, and revealing these unique habitats for perhaps the first time. He has since become an award-winning leader in his field. "We know what coral reefs look like", Michel says, "but what about the creeks, streams, lakes and ponds on our doorstep? I'm always looking for new and interesting scenes with the most dramatic light - a marsh pond, under the ice in a mountain stream, among algae… these habitats are hardly ever seen but they are incredibly beautiful."
Although Michel still mostly uses remote controls to make his underwater images, he started shooting pictures while snorkeling - the day after his 60th birthday. And two years later he finally started diving in Lake Baykal - it’s never too late for a new experience.
In 2011, with 25 years experience photographing freshwater landscapes, animals and plants and about 100 expeditions worldwide, Michel started working on a global effort: The Freshwater Project. His goal is to take in 4 years pictures of 30 special freshwater locations, places that are spectacular, mostly different from each other, and of an unbearable beauty and therefore very important. The project is supported by the IUCN.
Michel has had more than 30 exhibitions of his work, has been a prize-winner in many competitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year and European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and his work has been published by GEO, BBC Wildlife, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC online, Mare, Art Malaysia Magazine, WWF International, Sierra Magazine and more. He was a Wild Wonders of Europe photographer.

The exhibit

In this exhibit, Michel presents a selection of images out of The Freshwater Project, highlighting freshwater locations from across the globe. Those images are typical for Michel’s approach for this project: not looking for the decisive moment (according to Henri Cartier-Bresson), but for images reflecting the calm and apparently eternal of the underwater world. So it’s all about composition, colour and light (and exclusively natural light), and, as it is under water, of refraction and reflection.

The photographs

Prints of 60 x 90 cm, on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth 305gsm, on base 20 mm, produced by Diaprint Marly. The edition is limited to 7 prints per image. The images of this collection are available for Swiss Francs 900.-- (+ shipping).


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©2016 Michel Roggo