"When you spend so much time getting everything perfect, you have to go all the way. Image processing is one of the most important steps in my photography, as that is where you have most control over the creative possibilities."
Marsel van Oosten is a professional nature photographer from The Netherlands. His images are most known for his graphic approach to composition. In his work he tries to simplify, to get rid of the extraneous: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
His images are featured in galleries and museums, and are used worldwide in advertising, design, and magazines such as National Geographic.
In addition to winning the overall title International Nature Photographer of the Year two times in a row, as well as the overall title Travel Photographer of the Year, his awards include First Prizes in the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, the Travel Photographer of the Year awards, and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Marsel van Oosten - EIZO Ambassador
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a professional nature photographer from The Netherlands. Together with my wife Daniella we run Squiver, a company that organises specialised wildlife and landscape photography tours for small groups of all experience levels to spectacular locations worldwide. My images are most known for my graphic approach to composition. In my work I try to simplify, to get rid of the extrane-ous: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
My first career was in advertising, where I worked as an art director for 15 years. Photography started as a hobby and a way to escape from life in the fast lane. The hobby eventually got totally out of control, to the point where I decid-ed to turn my hobby into a full time job. I like to create, to be surrounded by nature, and to travel - in this job I can combine all that.
What is important in your work?
The most important thing for me is to have fun. Life is too short to do things that don’t make you happy. So for my photography I always choose subjects and locations that inspire me, and that fit my photographic style. As a so-called aestheticist, I focus on beauty in my art more than anything else, and I have a very clear view on what I like and what I don’t. More often than not, the overall look or setting is more important to me than the actual subject. Hopefully, my work will not only entertain a lot of people, but also create a sense of aware-ness about the natural world and that it’s important to protect is.
Is it true that you’re a perfectionist?
Very much so, yes. As a nature photographer you have very little control over your subjects and the conditions, so I try to control as many of the remaining factors. The difference between a good photograph and a great photograph is often in the details. Whether it’s the way I prepare for a project, how I photo-graph, or how I process my images - excellence is in the details.
How does EIZO fit in there?
When you spend so much time getting everything perfect, you have to go all the way. Image processing is one of the most important steps in my photography, as that is where you have most control over the creative possibilities. When I’m processing, I want to be 100% certain that I’m looking at the closest possible representation of my original raw file, so I work on the best monitors money can buy - those from EIZO. Not only do I need to see at least 99% AdobeRGB, I need to be able to rely on consistent results. Calibration and colour manage-ment can be a pain with most monitors, but with EIZO’s self calibration it’s a piece of cake and the results are accurate.
Why did you choose the CG247X?
My first EIZO monitor was a CG245W. I’ve been using it since 2011, and it’s still going strong. Recently, we’ve opened a new office in South Africa, so I needed a monitor there as well. The current trend is that monitors are getting bigger and bigger, but I’ve never felt the need for one. Actually, I much prefer to work on these ‘smaller’ monitors.
The vast majority of my images end up online, so a lot of the processing I do is on images between 800-1600 pixels. If you open an 800 pixel image on a 4K monitor, you’re basically looking at a stamp. It’s impossible to see what you’re doing, so you have no control over the end result. The native resolution of the CG247X is only 1920x1200, but exactly the right size for that kind of work. A 1600 pixel image will almost fill the screen, so I can very precisely retouch and sharpen it at 100%. At the same time, the screen is big enough to see both my image and all the tools I need, so no cramped workspace.
The thing I love most about this line of monitors, is the built-in calibration de-vice. I’ve used different external calibration devices on other monitors before, and without exception it has been a time consuming and irritating process with disappointing results, even varying results. With my EIZO monitors it’s a matter of a few clicks, wait a couple of minutes, and you’re done.