Gracious and stunningly agile, flamingos are one of the most striking birds, one can encounter in nature.
They are found primarily in tropical and subtropical areas and their stunning pink coloration has turned them into an inspiration for French photographer Jerome Ricoul.
Currently, Jerome is the only photographer, allowed complete access to the otherwise restricted Hyeres Les Palmiers area on the peninsula of Giens. The region is well-known as a protected area, owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral and a part of the National Park of Port-Cros. The Giens peninsula is the natural habitat for hundreds of rare species, including the red flamingos, inspired so many of Jerome Ricoul’s stunning photos.
In 2006, Jerome decided to give up his well-paid job as a sales director of an American car company in France to pursue his true passion: photography.
Once of the first things he did was to ask the local authorities to give him permission to take some photos in the restricted area of the salt marshes near Hyeres Les Palmiers. At first, he was only allowed to remain there for half a day, but, fortunately, he got lucky enough to find the stunning flamingos and take some strikingly honest close-ups of the birds. As a courtesy, he attached them in an email to the director of the salt marshes.
Astonished by the photos, she got in touch with Jerome within the hour, saying she had never seen such lovely photos being taken in the marshes and asked him for a meeting. Since then, Jerome has been given an unrestricted access to the salt marshes, so he could continue his marvelous work. One of his photographs of flamingos is actually welcoming the visitors on their way into the peninsula.
Even though flamingos are undoubtedly one of his greatest passions, Jerome is not afraid to experiment and capture the stunning images of other wildlife, as well.
One characteristic feature of his shots is the fact that he never uses any software to enhance or edit them. The only “retouching” he does is to increase the color and contrast of the photo, or change it to black and white scale for a more dramatic effect. Browsing his Instagram will give you an unmatched first-hand experience with some of the most stunning rare bird species in the salt marshes – stunning natural images of wildlife, as seen in their habitat.
Currently, Jerome is residing in the Hyeres Les Palmiers in France and continues to make frequent visit to the salt marshes in the Giens peninsula. Each photo he takes expands his portfolio and helps him present the wildlife in the way he sees it – in its striking natural beauty. As the only photographer, allowed into the restricted area, he has already held several exhibitions in the area and established himself as a well-known name in the industry. In addition to that, several newspapers have already covered his story and his passion about shooting flamingos.
Born and raised in France, Jerome’s dream is to go to Tanzania and experience the wildlife there.
The Natron Lake in Tanzania is one of the most important breeding sites for a species in flamingos – its saline waters and extremely hot temperatures are inhospitable to most other plant and animal species, but are home to enormous flocks of lesser and greater flamingos all year round.
A big thanks to Jerome for his time and wonderful story!
Please check out Jerome’s photos here.
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