Ghislain Simard

High-speed nature photography

Biography of Ghislain


Insects have been the passion of Ghislain Simard since childhood. His father, himself a butterfly collector, introduced him to their magnificent wings. He started taking photographs of butterflies at the early age of ten and very quickly realized he preferred to catch butterflies on film rather than pinning dead specimens in a collection.

In the early 90’s, he discovered the work of the English photographer Stephen DALTON, master and precursor of high-speed photography. He decided to embark on the almost impossible mission of photographing insects during flight. He developed his own equipment at the Optics Laboratory of Besancon in France while pursuing his engineering degree. After working exclusively on flying butterflies for 15 years, Ghislain published a book in 2008 devoted to their flight, “En Vol”, published by Editions Jibena.

Gradually, his attention has shifted from butterflies to dragonflies, due to their faster flight.

Then, he has spent four years near ponds and rivers with dragonflies and finally published the book "Flying Dragons" with Altus Editions.

To achieve his ambitions, he has designed special accessories integrated in his high-speed photographic equipment in order to freeze insects in flight. He works with the R&D department of Hasselblad to adapt the latest digital medium format cameras to insects flight requirements.

After all his efforts, Ghislain is now known as an expert of high-speed photography.  He shares his expertise in frequent articles written for the French magazines (Chasseur d'Images ; Nat'Images) and in the book "Secrets of close-up photography" published by Eyrolles in 2014.

Recently, in 2016, he realized the project "Speed ​​Flyers" which highlights the flight of insects through three complementary media: an exhibition, a book published by Biotope Editions and a film (52-minute documentary).


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