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Melanie Marter
She pauses for a second, her eyes gently closed in immense concentration, hearing the surrounding environment as it speaks in brilliant light, hues, and shadows. Her entire soul becomes an antennae, receiving all of its whisperings and emotive cues, calling out in a frequency unheard by most individuals. Her eyes open to an entirely new world and she becomes one with the outpouring feeling of the moment. Chaque chose en ce monde apporte un enseignement, says Melanie Marter, the street and nature photographer from Strasbourg, France before capturing a moment. She explains, what this means is that everything in world we experience and view, offers a tutelage for a deeper understanding of the emotional context in which we live our lives. This philosophical approach to producing images is evid-ent in her photography.
Capturing scenes of ethereal quality, both of people and forests in deep contemplative context is extensive and meaningful. Each subject lives inside the frame as a breathing piece of occurring life, forever feeling, stirring within the viewer, a churning sensation of visual poetry and pure emotional catharsis. The viewer becomes a part of the photographic truth of the instant of life. Whether a man sitting enveloped in full thought on a lonesome bench while admiring a soothing landscape or a solitary rose surrounded by the majestic infinite of its surrounding forest, her work brings together the complexities and intricacies of existence in personal truth.
In the forest, nature speaks to her from all aspects; from the smallest creature to the mightiest tree, in shades of moody fog, soft moving streams, and delicate swaying flowers. In the streets of France, her attuned photographic mind penetrates the overlying surface of each person, tearing through the hardened outer layer, revealing a level of emotional vulnerability for all to see and contemplate. Her eyes open as she readies the camera and all the subtleties of life begin unwinding; unraveling themselves in poetic form. Captured in frame, not only lies a subject or compositional technique, but also revealed is a fragment of the meaning behind the ever reaching search for honest truth.
“Truth drives my photography. I wish to transmit in my work, The psychological and philosophical problems of truths that we (humans) feel on an everyday basis. There is a parallel within Nature and street photography which exists of shared empathy that teaches us about the type of life we wish to live. A communion between the forest and human nature.” Her camera acts elegantly as a spiritual muse of truth and revelation, a conduit of pure emotional depth from lens to viewer, who extracts the unseen and unfelt, in order to present it to us in visible tangible form. This extract of meaning is what she conveys to her viewers with every image. She explains the relationship further, “In all nature, human and forest, you can witness the coexisting relationship of shared emotional expression- The details are in the micro expressions of each; A flower, entangled within the silky strings of a spider, forcibly bent forward in a crouched, painful pose is directly congruent with a painful cringe of a person in deep emotional or physical pain. These are precisely the truths I wish to show through my photography. Nature and people are one and the same.” Melanie uses a particular photographic technique to bring this feeling to digital film- her use of depth of field. In her work, depth of field is an important instrument in gapping the relationship between the inner world of human imagination and what is clear to the viewers eyes. “In using depth of field, I like to give people space to think, to imagine the possibilities of what lies beyond the image. Sometimes subjects are blurred so that a shape of a person exist, but the specific aspects of the person is unseen. This allows freedom from prejudice, to imagine who this person is without revealing the details- it gives people a chance to imagine their own subject and character in the circumstance of the image.”