After studying advertising photography in Paris, Olivier Grunewald went back to what first inspired him – mountains, nature and wide open spaces. In 1986, he set up his shooting studio in the cliffs and while attached to a rope, followed high-level climbers. He then started working on the landscapes of the American West and Australia with a view camera. Since then, he has been travelling around the world with his partner Bernadette Gilbertas; together, they produce photo reports on nature, wildlife, natural phenomena, volcanoes, and the Northern Lights. Thanks to these reports, which were published in France and abroad, the photographer was nominated four times for the World Press Photo Award. Waiting patiently for any lighting that magnifies the landscape, whether it is unique, magic or elusive, Olivier enhances the wild and primitive side of nature. To him, photography is both a goal and an excuse to immerse himself in the first days of Creation.
"I use two X-T1 cameras with the XF10-24, XF16-55 lenses (my favourite), the XF14 lens for landscape and architecture photography, and the XF50-140 lens for distant subjects and textures. I very often work on volcanic terrains and have to carry a lot of equipment when I stay several days in isolated areas. Consequently, Fujifilm X-Series equipment, because of its high quality and reduced weight, allows me to bring a wide range of lenses to handle these situations for which you often need to be very responsive."
Photographs from this series were taken during a two-week assignment last June in Nyiragongo Volcano, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A team of volcano enthusiasts and volcanologists went down into the crater to set up camp for a week. Since 2003, this team has been working on monitoring and studying the volcano, in collaboration with the Volcanologic Observatory of Goma and the UNOPS, the United Nations sub-office for the natural risks in this region of Africa.
Olivier Grunewald will tell the story of these many assignments that involved very difficult and acrobatic conditions in his film "Nyiragongo, Voyages au centre de la Terre" ("Nyiragongo, Journeys to the Centre of the Earth"). As Olivier was very limited by weight in what he could take, he used an X-T1 camera and two lenses only – the XF10-24 and XF18-135 – during this expedition.