Freshwater Studio -
Marcel Huijser's Biography
I am a nature, wildlife and landscape photographer in Missoula, MT. I spend a lot of my time outdoors in western Montana, but I also travel throughout the world, including my native country The Netherlands
My photo passion is to make beautiful, creative and unexpected landscape and wildlife images, a selection of which are on display at Freshwater Studio in Missoula. I strive for simplicity in my photographs; including blurred or even-colored backgrounds that make the main topic stand out. Snow, for example, provides an excellent opportunity for this type of photography. When photographing the animals in their larger surroundings it illustrates the vastness and enormity of the winter landscape in which these animals survive. I also like to experiment with slow shutter speeds, deliberate camera movement, and multiple exposures. With such techniques I can create images that you cannot observe through your eyes alone, including impressionistic landscapes and wildlife images with a sense of suspense.
While photography is my passion, I am a wildlife biologist who specializes in the emerging field of road ecology. I work to make highways safer for wildlife and people. As such, I also have a vast collection, perhaps one of the largest collections in the world, of roadkill and highway wildlife mitigation measure images. I use these pictures to show the impacts of roads and traffic on wildlife and, ideally, to help create an emotional connection regarding the reality and impact of driving cars and hitting wildlife. But I also highlight solutions that help improve human safety, reduce the number of animals killed by traffic, and provide safe crossing opportunities for wildlife.
One of the things I’m most interested in right now is pushing the boundaries of low light photography. Current camera sensors are so advanced that it’s practically creating a new photographic frontier, creating a great excuse for getting out way before sunrise and staying out until well after sunset. I’ve also started building tools that allow me to get the camera in places where I cannot be myself. Some of the animals I’m interested in, like sage grouse and pygmy rabbits, may be afraid of me. Other animals, like bison or bears, are simply too dangerous for close up photography. With the tools I’m creating, I’m able to take close ups using a wide angle lens rather than a telephoto lens. This results in a radically different perspective than what we are accustomed to with wildlife photography – you can truly experience the intimate connection with the animal and the landscape. I’ve also recently started using motion detection sensors that automatically trigger cameras. This may sound “easy” but it requires substantial knowledge of the biology of the species of interest, a capacity to integrate different types of technology, the know-how to build certain parts and tools on your own, and the creative use of flash and exposure settings. Once you have all that set, then you still have to locate the cameras effectively so these remote photos will be well-composed if, and or when, the animal shows up.
Many thanks for your interest and I hope to meet you at Freshwater Studio one of these days.
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