In conversation… Benoist Clouet

Born and raised in the temperate climate of rural Normandy, Benoist Clouet has developed a reputation for his dramatic images of the frozen Arctic. Following the publication of his book 80° Nord, he reveals why he has become obsessed with the landscape of Svalbard and prefers to make his photographic trips during the Arctic winter

Interview by Keith Wilson

Which interest came first, nature or photography?
Nature! I grew up in a small village in Normandy, far from the large cities and closer to forests. My parents and grandparents were farmers. I was always passionate about nature and wildlife. When I was young I was a boy scout and I had the chance to stay and live in the forest during the weekends and holidays.

How did you become attracted to the Arctic?

I have always been attracted to wild areas where Man barely sets foot. I had always dreamt of seeing, touching and feeling the ice of the Arctic, and it remained for a long time a distant and inaccessi-ble dream. When I started earning a little money, I decided to go north. My first destinations were …

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About Author

Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson is the founder of both Outdoor Photography and Black + White Photography magazines and former editor of Amateur Photographer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and on-line tutor in travel photography at My Photo School.

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