An Interview with Photographer Cendrine Marrouat
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The beauty of architecture. The intricate detail in ice and droplets on leaves and foliage. Rustic city elements such as stonework, porticoes and a whole lot more.  These are the moments in time, the detailed observations that Cendrine Marrouat has gloriously captured in her photography. Her award-winning images include a powerful black and white photo of a woman’s arm clutching a knife whilst at work and exquisite sunlight dappled on a lone leaf. Besides enticing macro photography, striking black and white images and interestingly rustic car parts, Cendrine is also a writer of books including poetry and her photography, social media and more. 

You can view and purchase her great photography on her website http://www.cendrinemedia.com/ 

Buy her books http://www.cendrinemedia.com/Books

Check out her blog http://creativeramblings.com/ 

Portfolio http://www.cendrinemedia.com/Portfolio/ 

Follow her on Twitter

Instagram

 

Please talk a little about where you are from and where you live now…..

I was born and raised in Toulouse, one of the largest cities in France. 

At the beginning of the new century, I yearned to see more of the world. I was especially interested in visiting cold countries. So I set my sights on Canada. In 2003, I moved to Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. Since it is located in the Prairies, I knew that there would be a lot of snow and that winters would be cold. I have never looked back since. ;-) 

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What does photography mean to you?

It means the world to me. I feel like a child every time I hold my camera and release the shutter button. 

Photography allows me to express myself and share my passion for the world around me when words lack me. 

Or, to quote, Don McCullin: “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” - Don McCullin

 

What do you think makes a great photo?

The greatest photos do not just tell stories. They also trigger emotions and teach people something about life. 

One of my favorite images was taken by Nazir Ekhlass. “Human Love” brought tears to my eyes the first time I looked at it. It still makes me emotional… 

Check it out here.

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How do you manage your photography and writing schedules? 

At the end of 2016, I decided to take a break from writing. I had spent years blogging, training clients, crafting articles for them, and helping others with their social media strategies. I had worked too much overall. I was tired of the hustle. 

Then, I released my third photography book (and 10th book overall) in July of this year. Life’s Little Things: The Quotes (http://www.blurb.com/b/8016212-life-s-little-things) is a mixed-media project featuring my words of wisdom and the photos people had selected from my blog. 

At that point, I realized that photography filled a gap that writing had never truly filled. I started my artistic career as a poet, I wrote two plays, worked as a digital journalist and art critic for a few years, and recorded a spoken word CD. Writing will always be part of my life and I will eventually get back to it in a more consistent manner. 

But for now, the need to take photos is stronger than anything else. I also work as a French instructor to adults.  

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Describe your post-processing workflow?

Like most photographers, I shoot RAW and enjoy processing photos. However, I don’t like over-the-top edits. 

I start with Darktable for basic editing: sharpening, shadows, highlights, local contrast, and denoising. I save the image as a TIFF file and then upload to Lightroom. I use my own presets, which are tweaks of my favorite looks. 

Once in a blue moon, I use additional software (Topaz and/or ON1) to create a specific mood. 

I am a huge fan of the “National Geographic” style. So, I tend to factor that in my editing. 

 

What camera do you use and what are your most used lenses and why?

I own a Nikon D750 and two lenses: the AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (all-purpose) and AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED (macro). 

The former is my go-to lens. It takes crisp shots in pretty much every situation -- even closeups! 

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If you were teaching photography to a student, what essential items would you tell them to take with them and why, when they are traveling?

First of all, expensive gear is not a prerequisite for great photography. For years, I could only afford to take photos with a Canon T3i and its basic lens kit. Many of my images from that time still blow my mind. 

Beyond the camera body and lenses, the essential items I would recommend are:

  • A tripod and wireless shutter - Light conditions are rarely perfect. It’s safe to assume that you will have to shoot at low shutter speeds. With those two tools, you lower the risk of shakes and blurriness. 
  • A spare battery and pro SD cards - Technology is not always your friend… 
  • A UV filter to protect your lens and an ND filter for long-exposure shots. 
  • Cleaning cloths to remove dust on your lens. 
  • Your smartphone - There are great (and free) photography apps available. For instance, Long Exposure Calculator will help you figure out shutter speeds for long-exposure shots. I also rely on the Google Drive app for a couple of things. One of them is the cheat sheet I created; it’s full of tips for challenging photography situations. 

 

When you are on a shoot, what elements do you feel need to be in place for a perfect architecture shot?

It depends on the subject. 

For a closeup image, I will look at the way the light and shadows play together. For a building, geometry and clouds for texture are more important. And of course, if there is glass somewhere, I will aim to catch an interesting reflection.  

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What are your photographic and book writing plans for the future?

I am always full of ideas. I need to continue working on my “Reminigram” series, my homage to the early days of photography. You can see what I have done so far here. (http://creativeramblings.com/tag/reminigram/)  

I will also start putting my fourth photography book together very soon. It will be the third collection in my Life’s Little Things series. This time, I will be going back to my first love, poetry, and pair my images with haiku. I love this poetic form! 
 

Cendrine Marrout

Cendrine Marrout