As an aquatic biologist, Anne-Cécile has always been fascinated by aquatic ecosystems, which she has studied for more than 10 years in French rivers and elsewhere in the world. “I like to combine snorkelling with my observations to take underwater pictures and discover the richness of these little-known environments, which are often very close to my home,” Anne-Cécile tells us in our interview.
She also stresses that she is very keen to create astonishment through images, both to communicate and to try to raise awareness of the need to preserve the aquatic environment.
To take her photos, Anne uses a Canon Eos R camera as well as wide-angle and macro lenses. All housed in a waterproof case, accompanied by a flash and illumination system and a dry suit suitable for free diving in cold and running water.
“The moods, the light, the clarity of the water and the encounters ultimately provide the inspiration for the composition of the image,” notes Anne-Cécile. “In 2015, I founded the association ” Reflets d’eau douce ” (“Freshwater Reflections”). Its aim is to raise awareness in schools and among the general public through documentaries, photographic exhibitions and conferences that I have prepared”.
Her photographs were taken mainly in France, but also in other parts of the world, such as French Polynesia, where she has entered the realm of large freshwater eels. Anne-Cécile Monnier combines her spectacular underwater photographs in her recently published illustrated book “Sous la Surface”. Over 160 pages, she presents the viewer with mystical underwater worlds and enchanted places that only freshwater can offer. Lush green plant jungles, water lily leaves striving towards the light and a lurking pike in the middle, as well as amphibians and other aquatic creatures, which, as a characteristic of diversity, make it clear just how versatile life also takes place under the surface.
“This work is a testimony to the life that reigns in our freshwaters, and I invite you to discover it”, with these words Anne-Cécile ends our interview and we are still infatuated by the impression she left and by the enchanting beauty that her photography conveys to us. On the following pages we present you some excerpts from Anne’s illustrated book, which you can buy on her homepage. Enjoy your next dive and all the best for your future and thank you for your commitment to the services of water and species protection, Anne-Cécile!