RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography: Blog http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) Thu, 01 Jan 2015 13:04:00 GMT Thu, 01 Jan 2015 13:04:00 GMT http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u78541496-o286941319-50.jpg RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography: Blog http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog 100 100 Spring 2014 http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/spring-2014 Misty Morning HallerbosMisty Morning HallerbosA magical morning in the Haller Forest near Brussels, Belgium. Mist and a little sunlight adding a mystical mood. Unfortunately I’m not a regular blogger and since my last blog it has been a while. It’s partly due to the busy spring with lots of trips to different areas of spring flowers interest. Also, I’ve been busy to make work of extra exposure for my work. Since last week I’m represented by the photo stock agency KINA. I’m very excited about that.

On the many trips I made with my fellow photographer Jan, we also did go to the Haller forest in Belgium. The forest is known for the bluebells during a couple of weeks in spring. Actually, it was my second visit this year. The second visit was absolutely fabulous. We drove from home that morning at 3:45 am to get there in time for the sunrise. On our way we noticed that patches of mist was rolling over the landscape and we told each other that it would be nice to have some in the forest. Well we did have mist and what a mood it generated! We were not the only ones in the forest that Saturday; it was like a busy mall. Countless photographers were enjoying the scene displayed in front of them. The main area of attraction is around the valley of tears, or ”Tranendal”. We worked the area two times and each round we experienced different moods. It started with dense fog, making way for a watery sunlight during the morning. It was a challenge to capture the mood but I think we managed it well. After some time we decided to leave the crowds and find a quieter area for some macro work. The day was well spent and halfway in the afternoon we decided to call it a day. By then the locals entered the forest to enjoy. No place for a quiet photo session.

It is definitely a location to revisit each year but the mood we had this year will be hard to beat.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) Belgium Halle Hallerbos beech bluebells dawn fog forest landscape leafs mist sunlight trees http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/spring-2014 Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:17:46 GMT
Back to Glencoe http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/back-to-glencoe It is just a week before we set of to Glencoe, Scotland. This will be our second visit to the area. Our last visit was in November 2012, just before the winter. The decision to go in the wintertime was made because it resembles for me the ultimate desolate landscape, hostile and difficult to endure. The more hostile, the better it is for me. It will show in the images. That was the idea anyway but so far winter is not bringing the wintery conditions I prefer. There is no hope for deepfreeze conditions either in the coming two weeks or so.

The flight to Glasgow is booked, as well as the car and cottage. The location of our cottage is closer to where the action should take place. It is just less than a half hours’ drive from Rannoch Moor, Glen Etive and Glencoe River. I’ve set some goals for photographing scenes. Most importantly: details, details, details! I tend to go for the bigger picture and ignoring the intimate landscape. This trip should correct this. Details of rocks, flowing water, snow, etc. The total portfolio should be more interesting when these details are added. This is the easy part of the quest I believe. But there are more items on my wish list, as there are: night shots with stars or star trails included, time lapse sequences, short movies and long exposure times with the big stopper. A larger variety of images, to make it all more interesting to combine into a slide show.

In recent days I’ve seen a lot of images from the area from Facebook friends and on 500PX. It is a popular place to be these days. It gave me a lot of inspiration and I will make the best of it, for sure. Thank you all for this inspirational display.

These are my plans and hopefully with wintery conditions to come. This blog post should be the reminder of my plans. Anyway, I will keep you posted during my trip and the results will show up in the gallery, that’s for sure.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) Glen Etive Glencoe Rannoch Moor Scotland lake landscape moor photography river snow snowdrift trees trip water winter http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/back-to-glencoe Sat, 01 Feb 2014 09:55:45 GMT
Kalmthoutse Heide http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/kalmthoutse-heide It's been 12 years ago that I've been in Kalmthout on the Kalmthoutse Heide. In preparation to a hiking tour on Iceland we did a large part of the long distance path GR5, Bergen Op Zoom to Nice in France. The first stretch did bring us on the Kalmthoutse Heide. I don't remember much of the route but knew it was a very impressive and beautiful area. Years gone by and knees that are not willing to walk intensively, I still had the notion to come back to this beautiful area of moor land and lakes. It is a bit of a risk to go there when weather is unstable since it is two hours of driving. With the promising weather forecast we gave it a shot. Frost and wind still weather would be perfect but almost cloudless and a light wind was the second best choice.

We arrived an three quarters before sunrise, enough time to find us a good vantage point. At lakeside would be best but this was hard to find since the area at the shores of the lake were wild resting areas. But still we could find a very nice location. We did some moon shots and later some sunrise shots. The sky was not totally clear, as we like it for the texture in the sky. We could hear the sounds of many little swans, very impressive. Later we could see them on the lake.

With the whole day at our disposal we made an hike through the area and it came all back to me, twelve years ago. I recognized the paths and the remembrance of the heat that day. It was all simmering in my sub consciousness. Today the weather was perfect with soft light to capture nice scenes during the day. Great vistas and wonderful details. All in all we hiked about 18 kilometers in a slow pace with regular stops to photograph. 

Two hours before sunset we came back to the car. The sky was overcast by that time so we decided to go home and don't wait for something uncertain. An excellent day out photographing and certainly an area to come back to. When wintery conditions are expected we will give it another try.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) Belgium Heide Kalmthout Kalmthoutse Stappersven dawn heide lake landscape moor sky swan trees water wild winter http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/1/kalmthoutse-heide Sun, 19 Jan 2014 21:21:13 GMT
Speulderbos http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/speulderbos The autumn is in full swing at the moment with lots of mushrooms. The autumn colors are not at its optimum jet. In our region, in the west of the Netherlands, the woods are not very big. For large areas of woods we have to go to the center of the Netherlands, an area called “de Veluwe”. This area has some contour due to the glacial activity from the last ice age. A fast area of woods was created at the end of the ice age, mainly beech and pine. The woods are well accessible and once you have walked for some miles you are on your own.

The forest is littered with mushrooms and it is easy to find nice backdrops for a creative photograph. But the main attraction of the forest is the oddly shaped beech. The forest is therefor called the forest of the dancing trees. The straight trees were cut for building purposes and the others were saved for future generations, hence the dancing trees. Under the right conditions the forest is just magical. You need misty or rainy weather for the best results. Not the conditions we found this weekend thou. It was fairly bright and sunny weather, ideal for a nice walk and a lot of mushroom photography. I’ve the area high on my priority list for the weeks to come. I just have to wait for the optimum weather conditions.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) autumn beech beuk dancing trees dansende bomen drie fall garderen herfst holland leaves netherlands speulderbos veluwe http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/10/speulderbos Sun, 20 Oct 2013 20:32:33 GMT
Autumn http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/autumn A new season has arrived, autumn. Photographing mushrooms and other seasonal items is now the thing to go forward. For me it is one of the most favorite or maybe THE most favorite season. At least you can be very creative with colors and mushrooms.

The secret of a good macro is to stay low and to peek through the foliage to create a mood and draw your eyes into the scene. Now, this is a problem for me. I always use a tripod as you may have notices. On the tripod I have a ball head and on top of that also a macro slider. The camera is at least 20cm above ground level and that is too high for a good macro. I need to adapt to another approach, no tripod for me now. I place the camera direct on the ground and level the lens with an wooden stick. To get the subject in focus I just slide the camera towards or from the subject. Being so low to the ground, focusing is difficult and therefor I use an angled viewfinder with magnification. Correct focusing is most important in macro.

For macro work I use the 100mm, f/2.8, macro lens. I just love this lens after been working with it intensively for the past three months. It has a fantastic bokeh and is extremely sharp. Even working with it out of the hand it produces sharp images when photographing insects due to its image stabilizer and fast autofocus. I almost never miss a shot.

So, the next month I will almost entirely shoot autumn moods until my trip to Scotland in November. 

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/autumn Sun, 29 Sep 2013 19:53:33 GMT
Summer is almost over http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/summer-is-almost-over We are nearing the end of the summer. The summer is giving us some surprises with good weather and high temperatures but fall is undoubtedly on the doorsteps. The signs of summer like butterflies and flowers are clearly on decline and the smell of fall is in the air. Normally we should see plenty of mushrooms in the beginning of summer but because of the draught they are in little numbers.

Yesterday, September 7, we visited a small forest near Haarlem called Elswout. It was a dull day with an overcast sky. An ideal situation to photograph details and macro. We searched the forest for mushrooms but found few. Luckily we found the Ramaria Fagetorum, belonging to the coral fungi group. The English name is unknown to me. This fungus is on the red list of endangered species and can only be seen in the neighborhood of birch trees which are plenty in this forest. Apart from this fungus we found many species of bracket fungus like the Sulphur Shelf.

We have to wait a little longer to see an explosion in mushroom quantities. With a little rain and with remaining high temperatures this will surely happen in the next two weeks.

 

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/summer-is-almost-over Sun, 08 Sep 2013 09:48:52 GMT
Butterflies http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/butterflies The year 2013 is a good year for butterflies according to official announcements. I cannot tell because I only just discovered the beauty of butterflies and started to be interested in them. To the same announcement, this year is still incomparable to the years in the previous century. The numbers are still in decline.

This week I went photographing with the intend to capture butterflies in the morning. The weather was perfect, no wind, an overcast sky and a little damp. Butterflies need dry their wings to be able to fly. Therefor it takes time to warm themselves and they can be easily approached. First I could not find a single butterfly but all of a sudden they seem to appear from the dark of the night. In the grassy land beside a flower field I could see tens but not in many different sorts. A lot of Common Blues and some Common Copper species. 

I hand held the camera for flexibility, which is not the common thing to do for me. 99% Of the shots I take are from a tripod. I like to slow down when I take the shots and there is no better way doing this by working from a tripod. I set the camera on aperture preference and made many shots. Most of the shots are good for the garbage bin but some of them are well worth keeping.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/butterflies Fri, 23 Aug 2013 09:05:06 GMT
Floral Studies http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/floral-studies This week I’ve been to a meeting of photographers in “Photographers Café Woerden”. This initiative was setup by some enthusiast photographers and has spread rapidly over the Netherlands trough Facebook. This week I had my first session and I loved the informal meeting. There was a speaker about the future of photography, an exhibition and the possibility to present your portfolio. I took a selection of five photos with me to present, a few B&W’s and some color images printed on Baryt paper. Especially the B&W’s were received very well and it made me think!  I still feel that I’m a landscape photographer but with a latent interest in B&W.

Now that I have a 100mm Macro lens, I decided to do something with the encouragement and make some studies in B&W with flowers and plants.  I have searched for distinct structures in the floral world and came up with some preliminary studies. The search will be continued and the best will be printed on art paper for my portfolio.

To be continued…

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 100mm B&W Macro flowers study http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/8/floral-studies Sat, 10 Aug 2013 21:12:12 GMT
First attempts in macro http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/first-attempts-in-macro Last week I've bought a new 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. The first attempts in macro are made but the experience is that it is not an easy thing to do. The upcoming period a lot of hours will be spend to gain experience. The switch from wide open spaces with the 16-35mm to the macro world is quit a big one. The way you look at the landscape is totally different. 

The reason of buying the macro lens is that I want to expand my photography on days the light is not as good for landscapes and switch to macro.  Too many times I stopped when my fellow photographer Jan went on making pictures.

One of the better macro pictures I made today is with this blog post. I’m quite pleased with the result but must say the shot is a bit of a lucky shot. Focusing is very critical and not easy. I used a magnifying eye piece to get the sharpness on the eyes but the slight wind spoiled the shot all too often. So, what I learned is that you need absolute wind still weather. To help the process I ordered a Wimberley Plamp, a Focusing Rail from Really Right Stuff and a L-bracket also from Really Right Stuff to easily switch from landscape to portrait orientation. The plamp is to hold grip on the flower to reduce wind movement. The focusing rail will make it easy to focus with small increment steps and also to make focus stacking possible. Focus stacking is a technique to make several shots with the same settings and move the camera with little steps between every shot. In post-production these individual shots are combined to one shot for a bigger focus depth. This technique will only work with static objects.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) bee evening garden macro summer sun sunlight http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/first-attempts-in-macro Sat, 27 Jul 2013 20:57:19 GMT
Kennemer Duinen http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/kennemer-duinen This spot I visited a few weeks earlier. The light was harsh but I could see the potential for a good shot. To make advantage of good quality light I had to be there early in the morning. The signs were good this week, almost no wind and a good change on ground mist. The later stood not completely up to the expectations but still, the morning was almost perfect. On my way to this spot a saw a lot of dear and rabbits. Upon arrival I quickly made my composition and made the shot. The first shot of the series was the best due to visible mist on the lake. When the sun rose the mist disappeared and it became cloudy.

Shot taken at approx. 05:35 hrs in the morning. Gitzo GT5542LS tripod with Acra-Swiss P0 ball head. Canon 5DII with 16-35mm lens at ISO 100, 16mm, f/14, 2/3 stop over exposure, Lee 0.6 grad filter, live view for accurate composition and cable release.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm Bloemendaal Haarlem Kennemer Duinen National Park beech calm dawn dead trees dunes holland lake landscape mist netherlands sky trees water http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/kennemer-duinen Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:03:27 GMT
Reeuwijkse Plassen http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/reeuwijkse-plassen The disadvantage of summer is the early sunrise and the time you have to wake-up to witness the spectacular morning colors. Always a gamble but when the signs are good you just have to go for it. So, the alarm clock set at 03:15 and meeting arranged at 04:00 we set off for an one hour drive to the green hearth of Holland. The bicycles are on the back of the car, all ingredients are there for a nice morning ride through the landscape. Upon arrival at Reeuwijk all seems perfect except for the overcast sky, only to be seen in the twilight. No wind, no people, lots of midges. Ah, that was also not foreseen! We set off on our bicycles through the lakes of the Reeuwijkse Plassen and we searched for promising locations and we kept our fingers crossed for breaks in the clouds. After a few K’s we stopped at a nice location with just 20 minutes to dawn. A few breaks in the clouds could be seen but not enough to make it an spectacle. Nonetheless we made our compositions and fired away. Maybe we still can make something of it in post processing.

bunting-572

 

After this slight disappointment we gathered our stuff and traveled to other locations in the area. Small towns like Oudewater and Linschoten were visited en route. Wonderful landscapes in the old hearth of Holland with wonderful picturesque streams. An excellent trip for location scouting. An area for all seasons.

 

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm Lange Linschoten Linschoten Oudewater Oukoop Reeuwijkse Plassen dawn holland landscape netherlands polder reed sky water http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/7/reeuwijkse-plassen Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:26:20 GMT
IJmuiden Pier http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/ijmuiden-pier Finally, for the first time this year, some summer heat has reached the western part of Holland. Living close to the North Sea it also means that humidity is often very high. Usually it results in the change of colorful sunsets. On Monday I witnessed a very nice sunset from home but didn’t had the change to go out and shoot. So, on Tuesday I rushed to the Pier near IJmuiden, but it turned out to be heavily overcast. Change of plan!

Instead of a colorful sunset, I opted for some long exposure shots. Light intensity was low; therefore a two stop neutral filter and a two stop gradual filter for the sky would do the trick. I carefully composed some shots and chose a diaphragm and shutter speed to just flatten the calm sea, eliminating any waves. A shutter speed of thirteen seconds made the waves detail less.

In Lightroom and NIK Silver Efex Pro I shifted the color image to black and white. Some local adjustments in the foreground boulders and the sky were made to make the image more interesting. The darker sky gives the image some drama, the central part of the sea will keep the eye inside the frame and a starting point for further exploration of the image.

The final part of the process is printing the image on Hahnemuhle fine art paper with my recently acquired Canon Pixma Pro-1 printer. Black and white printing on this 12 color printer is really black and white without any colorcast which can often occur with printers with less ink cartridges. It is a very high quality print that really blows me off my feet. I can fully recommend printing your photo’s instead of just showing them on a computer screen. Printing, framing and showing them from your wall is the best way to show your work.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm LE North Sea boulders holland landscape netherlands pier sea sunset http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/ijmuiden-pier Thu, 20 Jun 2013 20:52:51 GMT
Jaipur, India http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/jaipur-india Once in a while I get the opportunity to travel for my employer. This time I had to be on two different locations in India: Mumbai and Rourkela. These places are at opposite sides (west and east) in India and I had a free weekend to spend in between. This triggered me to organize a pleasure weekend in an interesting town. My eye fell on Jaipur, a lesser known city in the touristic triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. And hey, everyone is going to see the Taj Mahal in Agra so I will do something out of the ordinary.

On Friday morning I had the first flight from Mumbai to Jaipur and settled in a local hotel with a private car and chauffeur at my disposal. Jaipur is hot at this time of the year, 46 C at mid-day so careful planning is important. Going out in the morning and late afternoon, retreating to my hotel room during noon.

Jaipur is an interesting place for the seat of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. First he had built a place just outside Jaipur in Amer, Amber Fort and Water Palace, Later, after a period of drought, he settled in the City Palace in Jaipur. The Maharaja was a scientist and built several observatories around India of which the one in Jaipur (Jantar Mantar) is best preserved. The worldwide largest sundial is in Jaipur with an accuracy of two seconds on the local time. Very impressive and worth a visit. Nearby you find the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), called after the coolness it provides for the Maharaja’s many wives.

In Jaipur you also find several forts on top of the hills which are connected with a series of walls, locals call them the little Chinese Wall. The forts are in a different state of restoration and some are vandalized by people.

Amber Fort is by far the most impressive site to visit. I took an elephant ride up the steep hill to the fort entrance and a guide told me about the history. Many motion pictures were shot on this location of which 007’s Octopussy (1983) is best known. Time to visit this location was short so I decided to come back the next day at dawn to take make some photo’s before my departure to Delhi.

Certainly a place to come back to in the future.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm Amber Fort India Jaipur dawn maharja palace http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/6/jaipur-india Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:06:07 GMT
Hallerbos http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/hallerbos  

Once in a while I take part in a photography workshop. This is for pleasure, meeting people and maybe to learn something from a professional. This time I attended the Hallerbos workshop lead by Wilco Dragt (http://www.wilcodragt.nl/). We met each other in the forest at 05:30 AM to be able to take advantage of the first light in the morning. The Hallerbos is famous for its bluebells and wild garlic (Allium ursinum) in spring. In an average spring we would have been too late I reckon but this year we were just in time for the great display of colors. We spent most of the day in the woods but I have to say that before the sun raised high enough to penetrate the woods, the light was of a higher quality. The best shots were taken before 9 AM, after that it was good light for macro shots.

I’ve never seen so many photographers on one spot at the same time before. Most shots will be a duplicate of the ones taken by others and to be able to make a shot that is outstanding, you have to try something different. But even then it is not a unique shot. Most of the shots I took are with the 70-200mm telezoom with a minimum depth of field. I tried to isolate some beech branches with fresh leaves and I think I succeeded in that attempt.

It was a very pleasant workshop with an informative leader and great fellow photographers. Thank you all!

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/hallerbos Sat, 04 May 2013 18:19:13 GMT
Hilverbeek http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/hilverbeek  

Spring has had a slow start this year. Four consecutive months have been too cold and still some nights have ground frost. This is not uncommon by the way but during the day the sun is in competition with the cold winds from the North Sea and losing it for now. But this week spring did finally burst in colors. The forests trees are showing their fresh green leaves and the birds are playing concert in a further quiet forest. The early sun is filtered by the leaves turning the forest in a wonderful light festival.

At the end of the week I’m attending a workshop lead by Wilco Dragt in the Haller Forest in Belgium. This forest is famous for its blue bell carpets. For this reason I’ve rented a 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM tele zoom lens. One good lesson I’ve learned already is that the tele zoom is better used in a forest than the 16-35mm I have. A tele zoom does make a forest more compact than a wide angle lens. Another lesson is that macro photography does need a lot of practice. It is not easy to make a stunning picture. Focusing and diaphragm choice is of great importance with little space between a good photo and rubbish.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) Hilverbeek Holland Netherlands forest landscape s Graveland, Hilversum, beech, trees, stream, leaves, sunlight, morning, 70-200mm spring http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/hilverbeek Thu, 02 May 2013 10:59:39 GMT
March Clouds http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/march-clouds  

The winter has given us its last tweak, time to prepare for spring. March weather however can be very changeable with wintery showers and impressive clouds. This week we had proof of that with promising clouds in the evening. Unfortunately the sky was playing it hard. A massive cloud to the west was obscuring the clouds I wanted to capture. Only for a short moment I was able to capture a shot but still quite a distance away. With only a 16-35mm lens at hand, it was not entirely framing the shot. The colors were nice thou. I opted for a panoramic view to get rid of the uninteresting blue sky at the top.

A day later, I tried it again but the clouds were certainly not as impressive as the day before and the ones which were there died out entirely later that evening. Hopefully, I will get another change before spring is really taking over.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm clouds holland landscape march netherlands sunset winter http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/march-clouds Fri, 15 Mar 2013 19:06:23 GMT
Scars http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/scars  

We have a saying in Holland that goes like "alsof de duvel ermee speelt", freely translated as "like as if the devil is playing with it". It means that much as: repeatedly reoccurring something negative.

For so many times in the past few months we had hoped for mysterious morning light and not the flat and dull weather conditions we had that much in the weekends. We went to the National Park “Natuurmonumenten ‘s-Graveland” hoping for some nice light. The skies were clear when we left home and it was still clear when we parked the car 45 minutes later. We packed our gear and headed off for some nice woodland shots and less than 15 minutes later the clouds moved in. Woodland tends to become flat and uninteresting by the lack of sunlight. And it did!

As first time visitors we were not familiar with the woods as well. So, it took some time to spot some interesting locations. Some small lakes with hundreds of years old trees like oak and beech were interesting features but not with this light. A shot not taken is an opportunity missed so we gave it a try anyway. When a color shot is not the way then we can always try some black and white shots. So we did, well I did.

To create some depth an alternative approach is to use a wide open diaphragm, creating a small depth of field. But with a 16-35mm wide angle lens this tends to be a less successful option. I made some shots this way but I’m not satisfied at all.

At least we have spotted a nice new location for early spring when the beech is showing their first fresh leafs. I can already envisage the images I can take, well, that is when the sun is there!

 

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm b/w bark beech holland ice lake landscape netherlands scars trees winter http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/scars Sun, 24 Feb 2013 13:55:07 GMT
Left too soon http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/left-too-soon Yesterday evening I revisited the willow trees near Krommeniedijk. The snow has melted and the spring is in the air. I decided to catch the same trees at sunset. I waited for spectacle in the air but it did not happen, at least that is what I thought. When the sun was below the horizon I packed my stuff and went home. When riding home on my bycicle the spectacle did come. Rushing back was no option because it faded away instantly. Another missed oportunity! A good lesson to stay longer after sunset. I will probably revisit this location this week again seeing the good wheather forcast. 

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm holland krommeniedijk landscape netherlands sky sunset trees willow http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/left-too-soon Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:07:14 GMT
Hargen - Slaperdijk http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/hargen---slaperdijk  

Another Saturday morning trip with friend and photographer Jan and again in unfavorable weather conditions. We parked at the beach of Hargen at the North Sea and walked over the historic Slaperdijk. This area has several landscape types in it: seascapes, dunes and polder. It started fairly well but after an hour walk it started to snow and visibility reduced significantly. Sticky snow in which we didn’t want to expose our delicate equipment. We decided to concentrate on the polder, hoping for a nice “blue hour” and sunrise. Neither of the two was spectacular but we managed to shoot some decent pictures until the snow blizzard started. We continued our walk towards Petten and returned to our car along the sea barrier. Again, a nice walk but not with the photo opportunities we hoped for.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm blizzard dawn dyke hargen holland landscape netherlands petten sky slaperdijk snowstorm winter winterlandscape http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/hargen---slaperdijk Sun, 10 Feb 2013 11:11:34 GMT
Beach trip http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/beach-trip

 

Now that the snow and ice has melted and warm rain and storm replaced the weather conditions, it was time to search for new opportunities. The beach seemed a good alternative. Against the strong northerly wind we took the bike to the beach and walked from there. At first we were a bit disappointed. The beach was clean, it was high tide and we didn’t see any interesting structures. But after a short walk our minds were reset and we started to search for windblown sand structures. It is always scary to unpack the photo equipment in a sand storm but with some protection from our bodies we started to frame some shots. An hour later we had quit some shots on our memory cards and left the beach to return through the dunes.

I knew I had some good shots to work with but it is always a surprise when shown on the computer screen. First delight makes way for disappointment but after a first selection and processing them in Lightroom the spirit returns. At first the color shots are worked on and with pulling some sliders the real beauty is revealed. After that some shots are worked on in black and white and I must say, the sand structures are best shown in monochrome.

Know that I have worked with my new 16-35mm lens, I slowly get the grip on things. The lens has its limitations in general photography but for landscape it is an excellent one to work with. The only thing is that you need to get closer to your subject and you have to look for strong foreground subjects to give it a sense of depth. But I still miss the trustworthy 24-70mm. To gain experience with the 16-35mm I force myself to work with it for a longer period before purchasing a new lens.

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ru.putten@casema.nl (RPGraphix Landscape and Nature Photography) 16-35mm beach heemskerk holland landscape netherlands sand sand structures sandstorm http://rpgraphix.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/beach-trip Sun, 03 Feb 2013 10:49:38 GMT