I got interested in photography when at the age of 10, my father gave me his camera which did not measure light automatically so I had to use a cell. That was a good training. I also read a lot about photographic techniques and that gave me a good basic knowledge.
I started caving at the age of 16 . Soon after, in 1971 and 1972, I took part in two expeditions to Marocco organized by my home town club, Spéléo Club de Blois.
I was immediately interested in photography because thanks to pictures showing the beauty of the underworld, I could share my passion with non cavers.
Then I got more and more involved in cave photography and I founded a club mainly composed of friends. We explored many classical caves in a very friendly atmosphere.
Professionally, my passion for the underground world led me to start a career as an hydrogeologist. And I also widened the range of my photographic subjects to mineral landscapes, deserts and volcanoes that I discovered in my trips around the world.
My wife Annie Guiraud always works with me for taking pictures both in caves and outside. She generally models, which often involves staying for very long times in quite uncomfortable situations. Her red clad silhouette has even become a kind of trade mark of our pictures. We work a lot together, on shooting, lighting, editing, and also on diaporamas for which she writes the comments.
As we are now acknowledged by the cavers community, we often get invited by clubs both in France and abroad to come and take pictures of the beautiful caves they have discovered.
Nowadays, I simply can't go caving without my camera. My motto is : "No caving without photos, No photos without backlight, no backlight without Annie".
As a perfectionist, I still endeavor to improve my technique.
website : www.philippe-crochet.com
Michel Renda - Born in 1957 (France)
Caver, explorer, topographist and photographer, he was 15 years old when he began caving in France.
Member of the French Speleology Federation, he discovered many worldwide known caves with the Béziers speleo club.
His passion brought him abroad to explore and take photos of caves.
He was also involved in underground saving and protection and created kast protection associations.
He has published in many specialized magazines.
In 2000, thanks to his friend Daniel Chailloux , he discovered stereoscopic photography.
Several expeditions to Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico (a real passion for this cave).
He is interested in all subjects connected with underground environment : geology, biospeleology, prehistory, karstology, etc.
"La Salle – 3D International Team" Co-founder and Vice-President.
His wife Marie who accompanies him, works as a topography and photography assistant in expeditions. She highly appreciates warm dry and horizontal caves. She is also keen on decorated caves and of course she is particularly fond of Grotte Chauvet.
Both are co-founders of La Salle 3D International Team, for which Michel is the vice-president, Marie the secretary. They also work together on making 3D diaporamas.
Thanks to this activity, they can share their passion with a large public. And that gives them the opportunity to travel round the world to many countries and continents.
The highlight of this activity is the Bellamar Project in Cuba whose purpose is to make young people aware of nature preservation issues.
Member of French Speleological Federation. Exploration, topography and photo in caves all over the world since 1970. French Stereo Club member, he has been taking 3D pictures of the underground world since 1987. He has been a Caving congress co-organizer for 20 years, the last one was in 2005. In 2008, he was in charge with the Audiovisual session of the European caving festival. He is the author or co-author more than 20 3D slide shows. Since 1997, he has been exploring Lechuquilla cave where he spent more than 20 weeks for topography and 3D photos.
He is also "La Salle – 3D International Team" co-founder