Danger Man
In this interview, Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalist Alexandre Hec talks about his globe-trotting adventures to capture volcanoes in their fiery glory.

Danger Man

Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalist Alexandre Hec has a penchant for photographing volcanoes in action. In this interview, he talks about his globe\-trotting adventures to capture them in their fiery glory.

KickerThis is a kicker.

"Since I was young I have always been interested in photography, images of nature and landscapes. One of my strongest memories as a kid was borrowing my parents Kodacolor camera and returning it when the film was finished!"

Is this the first time that you have entered the Wildlife Photographer of the Year? Why did you decide to enter?

I started sending my pictures into the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition about 3 years ago. I wanted to show my work and see the result. While remaining humble and modest, being a part of this exhibition showed me that it was absolutely necessary for me to continue on this path :-)

My work has been rewarded several times as part of international competitions, but being selected for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year remains a unique experience. From the 50,000 pictures received, only a hundred are selected, so this recognition has touched me incredibly, since wildlife photography is something that I am really passionate about. This recognition has put me in contact with nature enthusiasts from around the world and drives me to continue my work.

"I love the silence...getting out of our urban world and finding myself in the middle of nature, in the quiet,listening and observing. And if you can take beautiful pictures, well thats absolute bliss for me!"

Can you tell us about your photo in the exhibition?

This photo of Mount Klauea was taken in Hawaii, I absolutely wanted to take pictures of the fight between the molten lava and the ocean. I went to the site several times and despite taking hundreds of photos, I wasnt happy with the result, so I decided to go back one last time. Everything had changed, instead of flowing below the level of the sea, the lava flowed directly out of a small crater. The boat pilot said that he had never seen anything like it. My small inflatable boat was being tossed around on the waves though I managed to hold tight and I finally got the right shot! Photo: Alexandre Hec/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Volcanoes are nature in its raw state. It is colored, it moves. They change form and mood at each visit. They will never be tamed...

How do you think your pictures can alter peoples view of the world?

We must remain modest but I am convinced that photographers can sensitize people to respect and preserve our planet. Our planet is unique, it is beautiful, without it we would not exist, and yet we treat it so badly ...

What qualities do you think a wildlife photographer needs?

Patience, sense of observation, knowledge of ones environment, photography is more the result of a quest than an end in itself.

What advice would you give to any budding photographers out there?

Make the photos you like, work hard, make progress, and if your pictures please you, they will certainly end up pleasing to others!

Alexandre's work is featured in our Wildlife Photographer of the Year which showcases 100 stunning wildlife images from across the globe. To see more of Alexandre's work, see here:www.alexandrehec.com

All images are copyright to Alexandre Hec and may not be reproduced without permission.

"Our planet is unique, it is beautiful, without it we would not exist, and yet we treat it so badly.."