“The harvest of road salt” 2019

Here are a piste basher, a tractor and a truck above a saline, harvesting the road salt with its different steps, creating an abstract aerial photo, with the white of the salt and the bright pink/orange/red colors obtained thanks to the proliferation of a red seaweed: the Dunaliella salina.
From the ground, this scene doesn’t look glamorous at all, however, from a bird’s eye view, it becomes unexpected, beautiful, unique, a « painting-like ».This photo allows us to look deep into Nature, to better understand and appreciate what is going on from another perspective.It has the power to push the boundaries of form and color. It is closed to an abstract configuration seen from the air, creating a confusion between reality and illusion, photography and painting, in the eye of the beholder.

Painting like 2017

“A painting is not a picture of an experience, it is an experience.” – Mark Rothko

I deeply think we should all do with a bit more of Rothko’s principles in our way to photograph: insisting on the primacy of raw emotion, to push the boundaries of form and color to make photos appear as “painting-like” as possible.

Rothko seeking for stillness 2017

Rothko’s main concerns were:
– the pictorial experience: to create strong emotions, an abyss of feelings
– the painting / spectator’s relationship
– seeking for stillness
The shapes, the spatiality and the colors of this photo give it all the depth, the mystery and the complexity of Rothko’s pictorial language of the color-form.
Photo taken above the salt marshes of Camargue – France, with my head and my camera pointing directly downwards, on board an ULM.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.




Magali CHESNEL is a French artist, painter and self-taught photographer.
She is an award-winning and globally exhibited aerial photographer.

Her ambitions are:
– To reveal the world from another perspective: the aerial view, pushing the boundaries between photography and painting to offer a truly unique perspective. With aerial photography, she adds an extra dimension, a degree of confusion which offers incredible views, the “wow factor”.
​​-To be witness of her time, to take reality by surprise, to anticipate events with new pictures, to inform the public and to raise awareness, with ethics.

Influenced and inspired by Rothko’s principles, she relies on the primacy of raw emotion and pushes the boundaries of form and color.
The aim is to display nature’s canvas in all it is glory, creating a confusion in the eye of the beholder, marveling in their “painting-like” form.
Her photos create a confusion between reality and illusion, photography and painting.

Share this Artist