Corine Oosterlee (1957, The Netherlands)
Photographer, botanist and botanical guide in Dordogne, France


Corine is (in varying proportions) a photographer, botanist and botanical guide in Perigord. 
 

Before her lens are mainly vegetation and wild plants wherever they grow, but she does not hesitate to look elsewhere. Her art photographs are regularly exhibited in Dordogne and sometimes elsewhere. She also accepts commissioned work and she makes documentary images, notably of the wild plants of the Périgord.

She is part of the networks of botanists in the region and contributes to the knowledge of the wild flora. By offering walks and excursions with a botanical theme for groups of tourists, botanists and nature lovers, she shares her knowledge of botany and the joys of the landscape. 


Moving around, walking, wandering, have always been part of my life, and now I wander in woods and meadows of Perigord with a camera. I don't need to go far, everything is there, nearby. At first there is what is obvious, the spectacular and the picturesque. Gradually I manage to put that aside, and to look 'behind' the obvious. It takes slowness, letting go of time, and returning often to the same place. Then the images begin to come. Often matter, composition, texture, become more important as the ‘subject’, in this sen,se I am an atypical nature photographer.

Il y a beaucoup de nature et de végétation sur mes photos. Depuis toujours les plantes me passionnent, par leur présence silencieuse et leur vie en parallèle avec la nôtre et indifférente à nous humains. J'aime à passer du temps parmi elles, dehors, dans la nature. Je ne suis pas de tempérament pour rester longtemps immobile à l'affût pour capturer les animaux; même si j'apprécie la présence de la faune sauvage et je suis heureuse de rencontrer les animaux chez eux.
 
There is a lot of nature and plant life in my pictures. This is not completely accidental. Since ever I found plants fascinating, their silent way of being here and living their lives in parallel with ours, and indifferent to us humans. I like to be with them where they live. I am not the kind of person to be immobilized in a hide to capture wild animals, even if I love their presence and am happy if our paths cross. 
 

A camera does not see things as our eye sees them, the photographer makes her choices and somehow she has to bridge a gap. She gives her interpretation of what is before her and het personal way of seeing should be respectful.

When you photograph life around us, species in their surroundings, you have to ask yourself about your relation to them and to what is called ‘nature’. Original nature, wild, without us, does not exist and never has existed since we invented the word, Rousseauesque dreams are misleading. I am not even sure we should oppose some natural state to human civilisation as it is.

I don't travel for photography. For environmental reasons but also because I'm not that interested in hotspots and places to be. Also I think it's behind the façade of the evidently beautiful that interesting things happen, and it takes time and immersion in the place where you are to get there. After years of photography in all seasons on a few square kilometres in the Dordogne I am only beginning to see...


Art photography, documentary images, commissioned works
Botanics : www.botanicwalk.fr
Botanical guide Baladebotanique.fr