De Onlanden Ontwaakt

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Als landschapsfotograaf moet je soms een dikke huid hebben en vooral de vroege uurtjes niet schuwen om mooie foto’s te maken. Zo fietste ik bijvoorbeeld gisteren door het natuurgebied “De Onlanden”. Met een klein laagje sneeuw en een schitterend open wolkendek, welke in alle denkbare kleuren oranje/rood oplichtte door de opkomende zon, had ik dolgraag prachtige landschapsfoto’s willen maken. Helaas had ik alleen maar mijn mobieltje bij mij, en die maakt toch niet zulke goed foto’s als je op dat moment zou willen maken.

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Dus dat moest ik even over doen. De wekker ging om 05:40, helaas had het die nacht niet geseeuwd, maar wel stevig gevroren waardoor er een beste laag rijp was afgezet. Na een vlug ontbijt vertrok ik naar de Onlanden richting het Langmameer.

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Dit deelgebied van de Onlanden was tot voor kort nog een begrazingsgebied voor vee van ruilverkavelingsboeren. Nu hebben ze het weideveengebied omgetoverd tot wateropslag en doorstromingsgebied richting het Leekstermeer. Het is ongelooflijk hoe in zo’n kort tijdsbestek de natuur haar ding doet en een schitterend natuurgebied heeft gecreëerd. Tal van watervogels, roofvogels en zelfs otters hebben hun plek gevonden. Het is dan ook een waar genot om deze prachtige natuur te zien ontwaken onder winterse omstandigheden.

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Introductie in de Astrofotografie

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Vandaag is door CameraNu.nl weer een blog van mij geplaatst. Dit keer behandel ik het item “Astrofotografie”. Een onderwerp welke door de komst van steeds betere camera’s en sensoren voor iedereen binnen handbereik ligt. Ik probeer u in dit artikel een stuk op weg te helpen in de oh-zo-boeiende wereld van astrofotografie.

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Je kunt het volledige blogbericht hier lezen.

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Vijf tips voor Winterlandschappen

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Terwijl de winter binnenkort ons land weer in zijn greep gaat houden is het nu de tijd om alvast stil te staan bij die prachtige winterse taferelen die komen gaan, en hoe je ze vast moet leggen met je camera. De meeste mensen komen tijdens de winterperiode niet verder dan foto’s van hun eigen straat in de sneeuw, of die ene appelboom in de achtertuin. Om je foto’s net dat beetje extra te geven waardoor ze het “wow”-effect krijgen, en meer opvallen dan al die andere winterkiekjes, is het belangrijk dat je een paar basisregels hanteert. Hieronder volgen een aantal tips die je kunt hanteren om tot een betere winterfoto te komen. Ik ga daarbij niet verder in op de witbalans van de camera, aangezien ik altijd in het RAW-formaat fotografeer en daardoor de witbalans achteraf altijd nog kan aanpassen.

De tips lees je in mijn blog op de website van CameraNu.nl

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Alles over Witbalans

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Witbalans…, een dingetje. Voor de één een klein dingetje, voor de ander een groot ding. In het nieuwe blog van fotograaf Rutger Bus vind je uitgebreide informatie over hoe de witbalans van een camera in elkaar steekt. En wat je kunt doen om de in jouw omstandigheden juiste witbalans in te stellen. Maar ook…, wit hoeft niet altijd wit te zijn…

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Via de blogpagina van CameraNu.nl lees je het volledige blogbericht!

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The Fantastic Forest

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Just a few days after I posted the “Walk in the Woods” blog I already come out with my newest blog.

The images which I show you below are made during our walk in the woods with my wife and kids. But I just had so many images lying around which didn’t fit in the “Walk in the Woods” post. I didn’t want to waste those images and that’s why I dedicate a new blog especially to the forest itself and to share it’s beauty with you.

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The magic forest, which was full of colors due to many trees being in full foliage, got an extra magical touch by the dense mist hanging in between the trees. It was a great opportunity to get some high contrast images and emphasize the structures and feeling in the forest.

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Since it is autumn at it’s best I also wanted to emphasize the feeling of Autumn. That’s why I adjusted the colors of the image in such a way they got a more yellow-brown tint to it. They are not a reflection of reality, but they are adjusted in such a way that the colors of the image give rise to the atmosphere of the photo. You really don’t necessarily need to get the colors exactly as they are in nature. Sometimes, playing around with the white-balance can give great results.

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For now, I think this would be my latest blogpost about autumn scenery since more bad weather is predicted. Now we go from a calms, warm and dry autumn into a windy, wet and cold period before winter arrives. Let’s hope it gives us a big pack of snow and a lovely white world.

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Walk in the Woods

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We are dealing with a split-up in weather here in the Netherlands for almost a week now. Whereas the south and the middle part of the country have sunny conditions and high temperatures (15-20ºC) for this time of the year, the Northern part has to deal with foggy conditions and chilly temperatures of about 7-8ºC.

Last Sunday I went out to take a walk in the misty woods together with my wife and kids to enjoy the late Autumn colors. We decided to go to the Forest of Bakkeveen, called the Slotplaats, and of course I had to bring the camera with me. This time I decided to travel light and put the Sigma 105mm f2.8  in front of the D700.

The forest in Bakkeveen is characterized by the diversity of trees which were planted in straight lines in the old days to provide wood for all kind of purposes. Nowadays it is kept in shape and owned by Staatsbosbeheer and offers a nice scenery for those who want to relax in the woods.

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While walking through the silenced woods due to the dense fog, you got surprised after every turn and corner. Long lanes with static trees suddenly changed into winding roads and open fields with water holes. The colors of Autumn seemed to explode against the grey background of the wall of mist. It was breathtaking.

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I knew about a certain tree that is located somewhere in the forest which they call the “King of the Woods”. It’s a large Beech tree which is over a hundred years old. It is situated next to much younger and perfectly straight and ordered pine trees. Together with the foggy conditions, this gave a surrealistic photo with a nice contrast and great atmosphere.

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And, since it is Autumn at it’s best, the variety of mushrooms in the forest was great. Although the cold conditions did no good to many mushrooms some of them were still standing strong and since I put the 105mm macro lens in front of my camera they just screamed to be photographed.

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Finally, after almost a 5km walk, which is pretty long for the little legs of my two daughters, we ended our stroll and had lots of fun in a wonderful forest under majestic conditions. And of course, we had to trow the leaves over our heads as well.

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Autumn in Esonstad

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From October 17 until October 24 we were staying on a holiday park from Landal Greenparks called Esonstad, near the village Oostmahorn in the east of the Province of Friesland situated at the shores of the Lauwersmeer.

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Esonstad itself is a modern replica of what once was a flourishing town in the 15th century. It had a strategic advance because it was located on higher grounds than it surrounding. Therefore, it was from great military and nautically importance and provided jobs, shelter and safety to many people. In 1570, there was a big flooding after a storm broke through the dikes and killed almost 1800 people. For the years that followed, the village suffered from flooding, was taken by the Spanish, liberated again by the Dutch under the command of Willem Lodewijk, re-occupied by the French and finally almost completely destroyed by the Germans in WOII.

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Now, the town is rebuild with modern materials in an old fashioned way and gives plenty of photographic opportunities. Since the village is build on an artificial island, you have plenty of spots to take advantage of the nice reflections in the water. When shooting this village in the Blue hour, one can get a nice balance of the natural light in the sky and the artificial lights which illuminate the rooms and the streets.

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Just outside of the village, on the other side of the dike, you can find a nice little lighthouse which marks the harbor-ports. When the conditions are right, it’s a beautiful spot to take a picture of. Although many photographers know their way to this spot, it is a good opportunity to take advantage of it when you have a whole week near this spot. Therefore, I tried different approaches under different conditions. At one point, I was out in the middle of the night under clouded conditions just to see what the effect would be and since most of the images you see on the internet are taken at dusk.

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It was difficult to control the highlights during the dark sessions. I had to expose up to 3 minutes to get good detail in the darker areas. But then, the lights of the lighthouse were completely blown out. Well, maybe with some dual shot and PS or bracketing it would be possible to get the best of both worlds. but normally I work only with graduated filters and single shot processing in Lightroom.

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In the end, I had a fantastic holiday with some nice Photographic Moments.

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Autumn is comming

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It’s September 20th and the weather has been quit good the past period. We just had an nice warm end of the summer and we starting to roll into autumn. The colors in the skies and on the ground are getting more and more vivid while the sun crossing along the skies is getting shorter by the day.

It has been a while that I got out for a nice photography session, but today seems to be promising. Without any planning I decided to go to Cnossen at the shores of lake Leekstermeer. It is a short ride of about 10 minutes and an ideal location for fast, non-planned landscape photography.

When I arrive, I first unfold my tripod an put it in front of the dock where all the boats are. This is one spot which is well known by landscape photographers, but the setting is different each time since boats are not always there, or docked in an other way. Also the weather can change the scene dramatically.

For now, the warm weather caused some nice cloud formation over the lake, and with the sun setting just to the right from the center of the image I think I have the image I was looking for…snap.

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Next shot. I walk a few 100 meters in to the area called “Onlanden” which gives me a beautiful view over the water. Some lilies in the water are used to create a lead-in line and I make my composition. Then, I waited until the sun illuminates the clouds above the house and the little shed where a water pump is situated to control the level of water in the area. It really looked stunning with this massive, threatening cloud formation illuminated by the sun from the top and the dark base above the lake. These are the moments you don’t want to miss as a landscape photographer.

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