~ Whispers that float on the wind. Whispers that tell of a tresspassing on ancient soil. The dark forest knows.
A Dance in the Limelight
~ A beech forest greeting the first rays of the sun.
With the sun rising over the forest canopy, the humidity levels increased and particulate in the air created a film which worked wonders to bounce around the light. As this forest is often called "The Forest of Dancing Trees", a working title for this image was born quite early on. This was last autumn.
Dutch workshop information:
Nederland opgelet! Komende herfst organiseer ik één enkele veldworkshop in dit fantastische bos. Een hele dag lang vertel ik je alle ins en outs op het gebied van bosfotografie en natuurlijk kom je thuis met platen waar je trots op kunt zijn.
Wat de nabewerking betreft: Zie de video bovenaan.
A Fine Day to Exit
~ This natural cathedral is but one of many such places in the Dutch Veluwe; the largest wood in the Netherlands.
Against the Seasons
~ Cold winter songs in the dark forest ~
~ An adolescent beech tree starts to catch the first sun of the day in Speulderbos, the Netherlands.
Hope you like this one.
Catch the Spirit
~ There was one single birch, completely covered in moss and lichen in this pine forest. And by the looks of it, the guy had the time of his life. That crazy position says he's dancing when we're not looking. :)
'Domain' was captured on a rainy afternoon in Rijsterbos, Friesland, The Netherlands. With the D600 at 14mm.
1/2s | f/16 | ISO100
~ Welcome to the dark forest...
~ Leafy greens, the warm sunrise through the trees and cold mists... Come September, this forest is a loving, magical place.
Forest of Metaphors I
~ A misty morning in an eerie forest of gnarled oak and pine.
"To me these woods are but a forest of metaphors,
And nothing more
A path through the woods of my past,
Where I was dragged across a forest floor"
Forest of Metaphors II
~ Gnarly ancient beech tree taking in the morning light.
"I see the truth hidden between the trees,
These tough woods are but delicate forest,
Everyone for themselves in the hallowed name of unity"
~ My mate hiking through a foggy forest.
Hiking down from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, you'll be surprised how many sorts of landscapes are dotted across this small area of the Alps. Tunnel views through Lauterbrunnen and intimate landscape everywhere. But there are also less obvious images hidden in the forest.
Again, I took some inspiration from the cinematography by the late Andrew Lesnie of the Hobbit trilogy here. Curves adjustments and creative dodging and burning. Oh, and one darker exposure mixed in to keep it moody.
Shot in Wengwald, Berner Oberland, Switzerland
~ The old forest is a place of wonder, of ancient and restless souls that have seen men come and go. Wars have been fought here, weddings have been held and their brothers and sisters have been slain for nothing more than their bodies.
Glade of Wandering Souls
~ An eerie looking forest indeed... The Mirkwood-feel is intentional. I strive to put something about myself into my images and this was one of those darker days. Shot in the amazing Veluwe in the Netherlands.
He Who Shelters All
~ This epic beech was on my shooting list for a long time. With the green finally returning to beech trees last week, the foreground and the foliage in the tree balanced each other well this spring. This piece is inspired by trading card game Magic the Gathering.
Right in the heart of the Vosges area in Northern France, a small secluded lake was waiting to be captured. The perfectly still conditions and brightly lit yellow leaves that marked the first sign of autumn coming early that year, gave me the idea of capturing this place in a somewhat less obvious manner.
This is a good example of how 'pre-visualizing' starts even before you capture the shot.
Photography to me, is a means of creating art. Instead of documenting an area, I rely heavily on what my own mood is on a particular moment. This way, I not only capture something that I've seen on a certain moment, but also shows you how I saw it, however abstract or surreal the subject then became. It's my goal to pour a piece of my soul into an image and to leave the discussions of 'real photography' at the door, as I do not intent to reproduce your own reality. I really think that you should visit these locations for yourself and see them with your own eyes.
As many landscapes do, Lac de la Maix whispered some details of how she wanted to be portrayed to me. Long bright lines of birches, standing tall across the lake reflected beautifully in her clear waters. The water was just deep enough to be showing this special shade of blue-green that hints of a mix between moss and a tropical shore.
What I want to show you is how these birches divide, but also unite this beautiful lake, with the yellows and greens of the sunlit foliage supporting that amazing hue of blue-green. A perfect way to do that was to make use of a technique called Intentional Camera Movement, which should be self-explanatory. With the camera set up on a tripod and with a 85mm lens attached, I closed up the aperture and went below the camera's recommended ISO in order to maximize the shutterspeed.
I then started pointing the camera slowly but steadily in a downwards motion and as soon as the shore on the farside of the lake crossed the center of the frame, I fired the shutter. At 1/10th of a second, t
~ As the forest encroaches the light, mystical shapes appear in the darkness. Shapes that make you feel unwelcome in the ancient wood.
~ A bluebell field among a beech forest at night.
The domain of Slender Man right here and a nice surprise. As I've concluded some shots at sunset earlier, the trip back home felt rather satisfactory. My coastal home is right at the top-end of the Netherlands, so there really is one main road that leads to it. To combat the monotony of driving the same road as I always would, forgetting all about the amazing sunset from before, I decided to steer clear of the main road.
On one of these backroads, I noticed that the foliage started to grow thicker as the night drew in. Then this huge, 300 year old beech tree loomed over the road. There wasn't a parking space, but there were also no other cars to be seen. I figured to park beside the road and head into this small forest I had never heard of before.
To my surprise there were still bluebells about amongst these grand trees. Of course there was an image in here somewhere. But I don't like to photograph the forest, since most of the images I take there look cluttered and distracting.
So I tried something else I had seen. The idea was to make the beeches look daunting; like figures in the night, out to grab you. I used intentional camera movement for this part of the image. Next, I would want the foreground to be tack-sharp, so a couple of exposures for focus stacking made sure of that.
The difficult part was to get the balance of the exposure just right under the fading blue daylight, but the ISO 400 seemed to do the trick with the wind being dead-still. Those tones meant a great analogous colour contrast which I would later work with in post.
Thanks for looking.
~ Discovered this ancient Caledonian Pine on my trek through the dark woods of Glen Feshie.
Nature's Ire II
~ Twilight and fog; a perfect backdrop for an ancient beech tree looming overhead.
~ Nature's such a lovely medicine for sorrow, isn't it?
~ Dark shapes scatter into the mist as the morning comes.
Path to Exile
Through the moody forests...
Reach the Beech
~ A beach tree bathed in late April sunlight and a rain shower.
These are some of the oldest trees in the Netherlands. Hundreds of years old, they are. While there aren't much of them left, these sentinels of time leave a lasting impression on me.
And in a couple of days, I'm getting married underneath trees much like this! I bet that will leave a gigantic lasting impression.
Hope you like this one!
Captured in Rijsterbos, the Netherlands
14mm | f/16 | 4sec | ISO100
A two day flurry of snow had the Dutch forests looking completely bewildering. Not in the least because snow is increasingly becoming an oddity in Dutch winters.
Needless to say, some of us were out and about to capture some fresh snow. A couple of you guys might know that I moved recently. While I miss my usual locations and dunes, I can appreciate getting to know a whole new area again. There's a lot of exploring to be done and even more of really getting to know the landscape.
On my way through magical white forests, I found this bizarre-looking composition where a bunch of branches seem to be curling all the way around a central oak tree. There's almost a spiral going on there and I can't help but being strangely drawn to spirals ever since having a vivid dream about them a couple of months ago.
Pointilism at Plodda Falls, Scotland.
~ Welcome to the road of the Headless Horseman...
This particular forest road has long been the object of my fascination. It's only a couple of miles from my home, but time and again,I came back feeling uninspired. I've tried everything from high noon till midnight, and from winter through to summer over the course of several years. Nothing seemed to work in way that I felt truly happy about. It doesn't help that this road points south and the composition doesn't work the other way.
Then there was this one day. A dreary tuesday in December if I remember correctly. One of those days that you'd rather sit at home and sift through your earlier work to post-process long overdue images. The weather was aweful and I wasn't feeling too sunny either that day. We have this irritating distant mist horn that goes blaring when the sea is starting to fog up and it started again. December is prime-time for blaring mist horns, although that day was the first time we've heard it past winter.
In the afternoon I basically decided to get in the car and drive towards the sea for a bit to see what the fuss was all about. And this B-road is next to the route leading up to the beach. It was sheer luck that I had my camera bag still lying in the car from the night before, because finally, this composition caught the light that it deserved; light that was quite ominously meant for it. All we need is a headless horseman on a steed with fiery eyes, but I'm sure as hell not waiting another ten years for it. Next.
Don't you just love the forest?
The Cold White Light
~ Behind the cold white light, lurk the horrors of winter.
The Waking Forest Edit
~ A beech forest in dire need of a cup of coffee.
The sun began rising in the east and it noticably became warmer and more humid. But the sun shing through the canopy wasn't the thing that caught my eye. While I was actually looking for mushrooms in this forest clearing (it's why this was shot with a macro lens), to my south there was this dark passage with old beech trees on either side. That crazy teal colour immediately screamed to me that I had to take a picture of this. It's an interplay of colours produced by fresh forest leaves, mist and distant fir trees.
The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park.
Welcome to the Jungle
~ Sunset from under the maple leaves.
With an oak tree as a centerpiece to this scene, the fresh spring maple leaves created a nice natural vignette. Upon returning a week later, this scene was completely overgrown.