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Capturing the reintroduction of an extinct species through photography

The ‘Alpine Eagle Foundation’ is about reintroducing the white-tailed eagle, which was made extinct by mankind hundreds of years ago. Because of the extinction, they wanted to capture all developments of the reintroduction of this eagle back into our world through photography. 

In 1934, Fujifilm’s journey began as one of Japan’s first photographic filmmakers. Thus, we always have been and still are huge advocates of photography. Let’s have a look at those impressive animals and the work the “Alpine Eagle Foundation” is doing through the medium of photography on today’s ‘World Photography Day’.

Remi Chapeaublanc discovered his interest in photography at a really young age, but it was not until after his studies that he realised that photography was his passion. One of his first photo series was ‘Gods and Beasts’ which he shot in Mongolia. As Jaques-Olivier Travers, a French filmmaker who is passionate about hawks, saw this photo of Remi’s series, he fell in love with it.

From the photo series ‘Gods and Beasts’

Ever since, they have decided to work together and already started working on bird portraits in 2017 with a FUJIFILM GFX 50S. Nevertheless, it was not until they got their hands on the FUJIFILM GFX 100S that Remi was able to fully commit and trust this new camera of his, which finally met his technical expectations. The FUJIFILM GFX 100S has an extremely fast and flawless autofocus without losing mobility, which is important for animal photography.

Jacques-Olivier and Chopard start their work on the ‘Alpine Eagle Foundation’

Jacques-Olivier has been passionate about the Alpine Eagle since he was very young and thought that if man had been able to make it disappear, he should be able to reintroduce it. Eight years of perseverance later, with the help of the Swiss jeweller Chopard, for whom the alpine terrain around their manufacture and the local wildlife play a major role, Jacques-Oliver set up the ‘Alpine Eagle Foundation’ which has just obtained authorisation to reintroduce the first young birds into the wild.

‘The Alpine Eagle Foundation’ is a charitable foundation endeavouring to reintroduce the white-tailed fishing eagle species in France. This white-tailed eagle is a majestic sea eagle, which was made extinct by humans in Europe about 200 years ago, mainly due to hunting.

How did Remi join the Foundation?

When Jacques-Olivier asked Remi to photograph all the communication images for the foundation, Remi said it would be an honour for him and joined the project, knowing right away that the GFX 100S would be the ideal system to use.

The idea was to create a photo line which displays each stage of development.

After the first photo session which captured the eggs to the hatched eagle babies, the second photo session aimed to shoot portraits of birds between the ages of 6 months to 4 years. Even though Remi is specialised in animal photography, he had never worked with such young birds before. This made his job even harder because the birds’ behaviour became even more unexpectable than it already used to be. 

About ‘World Photography Day

Today we are celebrating the annual ‘World Photography Day’ which was initiated 11 years ago with its first global online gallery on August 19, 2010. However, it actually originates from the invention of a photographic process, the Daguerreotype, developed by Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837 which changed the world of photography. Today, the intention is to dedicate one day completely to photography to celebrate its art, craft, history and science. 

To read more about the Alpine Eagle Foundation and the work of Remi Cheaupeblanc we encourage you to check out chapter 1 and the following chapter 2 of this story on our website fujifilm-x.com.

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