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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the end, I had a fantastic holiday with some nice Photographic Moments.
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.
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.
The summer holidays is always one of the best times of the year. No worries about work, no stress about anything but just relax and enjoy life.
For landscape photography it is not such a great time of year. The sun rises really early and sets almost at 22:00 pm and in between those hours it mostly casts hard light over the landscape. You have to be an early bird or a night crawler to catch the most beautiful light. Luckily, when you are on holiday as I was, you have plenty of time, and to get in bed late is not a problem at all.
So for this photo session I drove of to the beautiful sandy beaches of the Island Texel. A few clouds were drifting across the skies, but I could already tell that they would soon vanish in thin air. Last year, I made a similar photo together with my friend Patrick de Graaf. It was such a nice photo that I had to give it a 2nd try but on a different location.
So, when walking along on the beach I decided to climb up some dunes which separates and protects the inlands of Texel from the washing waters of the North Sea. At the moment the sun almost sets, a rim of clouds entered the horizon through which the sun could just cast her last rays of light over the rolling waves, the sandy beaches with it’s beach cabins and the waving grasses on top of the dunes.
A stunning view opened up in front of my eyes and I shot away trying all kind of different compositions.
After the sun had set behind the horizon, I decided to stay for another hour to get some long exposure shots which includes myself as the main subject although I still have to figure out a way to stand still for 50 sec. 😉
I call this type of shots the Sunsetselfies, and for me it shows the greatness, quietness and wideness of the landscape I just captured.
It is the 21st of June. Here in Holland it is also known as the day that we have the most daytime of the year and therefore is the start of our astronomical summer. There is plenty of time after dinner to look for a suitable photogenic spot. With the wind blowing from the Nord-West, also clouds roll in which are formed over the cold waters of the North sea. They slowly “dissolve” when they drift further inwards over land. A perfect opportunity to capture some nice landscapes with the setting sun.
When I arrive at my scene, the wetlands of “De Onlanden”, lots of clouds are blocking the sun and a dull scenery unfolds in front of my eyes. I decided to wait for another hour until the sun sets in the West at 22:06 PM. Slowly, the clouds give way to the sun which beautifully casts its warm light over the lush green fields of the Onlanden. I head over to a small bridge which crosses one of the creeks in the Onlanden. Here, I witnessed how the sun is setting in the West, how the clouds slowly dissolve completely and how the light of the setting sun seems to put everything on fire. Once again a wonderful evening in The Onlanden.
This week we had a short holiday planned close to the Zuidlaardermeer. I already viewed a couple of times a very photogenic location near Nieuwstatenzijl in rural Groningen. This location is close to the border with Germany in the far North of the Netherlands and, from my hometown Roden, is quit a long drive. It will take me about 1.5h to reach this particular location by car. But now, I was already half way there. A 40min drive took me to the location starting from the borders of the Zuidlaardermeer. With the app “The Photographers Ephemeris” and a “High and Low tide” prediction app on my cellphone I planned a trip when the sea was at low tide and sun was setting right behind my main subject of interest. I imagined that the mudflats in combination with the setting sun would make a great scenery.
All pictures were taken with my Nikon D700 at ISO200 together with Samyang 14mm f2.8 @ f13 together with 3stops soft grad filter.
And I was right. Although the clouds which were present when I left to get to the location disappeared during the drive, it still was a wonderful sight to see the sun set in the west behind the windmills of the Eemshaven, which was still about 20km away.
….That I was chosen to show my work to the greater public on one of the worlds largest digital photography website “DPReview“. Ten of my pictures were chosen and put on the homepage of DPReview in a “Readers’ Showcase” together with a short interview about what got me into photography in the first place.
No need to tell you how proud I am that my work got published in such a great way. For me, it’s the perfect indication that I was able to give my own twist to my pictures in such a way people took notice of it.
You can read the full Interview here:
Thanks in advance.
Today, it was a cloudy day. But during the day, more and more open parts appeared in the cloud deck. At around 2pm the sun was already shining in abundance and once in a while some nice fluffy clouds passed by. I took the car and drove of to a nice part of Drenthe, called The Slokkert.
It used to be straight stream dug by men to de-water the fields. Now, it is given back to nature and people decided the stream was allowed to flow in a more natural way. So with heavy machinery and a lot of manpower they closed the straight stream and opened up this lovely meandering stream where water runs through in a calming way.
When the sun starts to set behind a rim of clouds at the horizon, colors really came to live. The golden autumn light was falling over the green fields of young grass, making the grass even greener. Every color seemed to get enhanced by the golden light. And as with all good things, also this moment didn’t last very long. Luckily I was able to captured some exciting shots before these brilliant colors went away. Hope you like them too.