Tuesday, 29 December 2015

SEO

Here is my last post of 2015. A big wish has come true! This Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus/Velduil) suddenly decided to land just in front of me and enjoy the last sunshine of the day. Look at those fierce yellow eyes! This is definitely one of the best nature experiences I had this year. In the background you see a few houses of the village Zevenhuizen.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f5, 1/164s; -0.3 stop; tripod.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4.5, 1/500s; -0.3 stop; tripod.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Amazing Kestrels

Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus/Torenvalk) were excellent models today. Ditches and margins of fields are their favourite habitat for catching voles.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4.5, 1/1600s; tripod.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4, 1/1600s; tripod.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Reichswald

The terror attack in Paris of 2 days ago resonates everywhere in the world. It feels a bit strange to be in this quiet old Reichswald forest this morning. The forest has ears and the fields have eyes. This is an old saying for medieval times . Although the quietness is all around you could still sense an “unheimisch” atmosphere. Probably this has to do with the heavy fighting at the end of WOII in this forest.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-400, f9, 1/60s; hand held.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Beech forest

Beech forest in autumn colors. I tried to focus more on forest photography this autumn. It is not easy. It is very much about creating order out of chaos.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 75 mm; ISO-400, f16, 1/2s; +0.7 stop; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-400, f16, 1.3s; polarization filter; tripod.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Flow lines

Autumn in the Ardennes. Yesterday Bas Mandos and I followed this little mountain stream (La Hoëgne) that starts on the Hautes Fagnes plateau and ends just south of Liège in the river La Meuse, in search for nice compositions. Beautiful place!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-100, f16, 5s; polarization filter; tripod.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mistletoe

What happens under the mistletoe stays under the mistletoe! They are the music notes in the trees.
Panorama stitch with 2 exposures. Captured this morning with drizzle in Limburg, The Netherlands. Excellent weather for showing the warm and saturated autumn colors.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 90 mm; ISO-200, f5.6, 1/25s; tripod.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Unter der Linden

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/60s; +1.7 stop; hand held.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I like Poplar rows!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 70 mm; ISO-400, f13, 1/400s; hand held.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Black watchers and white angel

I was entirely in the flow at the Strabrechtse Heide this morning. The light was great. After a short encounter with Scottish Highland Cattle in the dark I photographed these characteristic pine tree silhouettes in the blue hour followed by a great session with a Great White Egret (Ardea alba/Grote Zilverreiger). He or she was solemnly wading in the water surrounded by the void. Again I went by bike. This way my reach is wider and I can move faster than on foot. And above all, it is really an excellent way to experience quietness and get into the flow.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 19mm; ISO-200, f13, 1.3s; +1 stop; ND3 hard gradient filter; tripod.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/800s; +0.3 stop; tripod.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Haterse Vennen

Steaming fenscape this morning at Haterse Vennen near Nijmegen. Autumn is coming soon now.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 165 mm; ISO-200, f9, 1/125s; -1 stop; tripod.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Grey Hair Grass

August 29th 2015, party-time for landscape photographers in the south-east corner of The Netherlands. The purple heather period is at its peak and you don’t have to be a weather guru to understand that after a clear cold night with no wind chances on ground fog are reasonably. Especially after substantial rain earlier this week. I decided this morning to go to the central higher part of the Strabrechtse Heide, a.k.a. “De Galgenberg”. The shifting sands of the past are gradually fixed into shallow hills with mosses, Grey Hair Grass (Corynephorus canescens /Buntgras) and some heather bushes. Not only the heather is gorgeous now, also Grey Hair Grass deserves some attention. It lights up beautifully in the first sunrays and flourishes in very dry circumstances. They say that it is so tasteless that even sheep don’t eat it. It is not possible to go here by car, so for a change I went by bicycle. I can really recommend this to everybody (the only drawback is that you have to set the alarm clock even earlier).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/6s; ND3 hard gradient filter, ND2 soft gradient filter; tripod.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Athene noctua

This Little Owl (Athene noctua/Steenuil), I guess it is dad, successfully raised 2 youngsters. The owlets are still tolerated in his territory, but not for long. As soon as one of them appears on its favorite grassland (loaded with worms) he already chases the juvenile bird away. In the early morning he likes to sit on this rooftop to oversee the surroundings of the barn. One of the nice things about owls is that they have clear facial expressions, this is his typical cute look.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4, 1/400s; +0.3 stop; bean bag.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Butterfly paradise

The garden of our cottage in the Italian Alps hosted a Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli / Bergfluiter), some Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis / Putter) and a family of Black Redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros / Zwarte Roodstaart). House Martins (Delichon urbicum / Huiszwaluw), Crag Martins (Ptyonoprogne rupestris / Rotszwaluw) and Alpine Swifts (Apus melba / Alpengierzwaluw) were patrolling the skies overhead. Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra / Kruisbek) as well as Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes / Notenkraker) were irregular visitors.

But above all it was a butterfly paradise. During our hikes we encountered Apollo (Parnassius apollo / Apollovlinder), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis / Boswitje), Scarce Copper (Lycaena virgaureae / Morgenrood), Little Blue (Cupido minimus / Dwergblauwtje), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis / Bruin Blauwtje), Damon Blue (Polyommatus damon / Witstreepblauwtje), Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus coridon / Bleek Blauwtje), Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja / Grote Parelmoervlinder), Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia / Kleine Parelmoervlinder), Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma / Tweekleurige Parelmoervlinder), Marbled White (Melanargia galathea / Dambordje), Marbled Ringlet (Erebia montana / Marmererebia), Dusky Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lycaon / Grauw Zandoogje), and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus / Hooibeestje), substituted by Alpine Heath (Coenonympha gardetta / Alpenhooibeestje) at higher altitudes.

At just a 5 minute walk from our cottage I discovered a dry stony field that catches the last light of the day before the sun drops behind the Mont Blanc massif some 45km away. Here I found Spotted Fritillaries, Chalk-hill Blues and Damon Blues (imho one of the most elegant Lycaenidae) preparing for the night.

Greetings from Gran Paradiso, Italy!

* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-200, f5, 1/1000s; hand held.
* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5, 1/160s; -0.7 stop; hand held.
* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/200s; hand held.
* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/200s; hand held.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cloud hole

My grandmother always sad: “When somebody closes a door right in front of your face there is always a small porthole that opens up”. The second week of our holiday we stayed in a small mountain village called Gimillan (alt. 1800m) in the Italian Alps. This was the view on the famous Gran Paradiso mountains from our cottage when we arrived :-). The rest of the week we had a bright sunshine, excellent weather to hike and enjoy the summer.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 75 mm; ISO-200, f7.1, 1/125s; +0.3 stop; hand held.

Friday, 31 July 2015

White summer beech

I spend the first week of my summer holiday together with my family in the Auvergne, France. A quiet rural region with ancient extinct volcano’s. I didn’t plan anything photographically (summer is not the best time for nature photography), but when I came across this tortuous white beech I couldn’t resist my drive to look for a composition and to take a few shots. I wonder how this fairy-tale forest would look like in autumn or winter.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-800, f10, 1/15s; +0.7 stop; hand held.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Large Checkered Skipper

Registration of a Large Checkered Skipper (Heteropterus morpheus/Spiegeldikkopje), one of the rare local butterfly gems.

* Canon EOS 7D, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f4, 1/100s; +0.3 stop; hand held.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Afterglow sinkhole

Fabulous light of yesterday evening after sunset at the Strabrechtse Heide near Eindhoven. It was magical, no more words, just a photo.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-100, f16, 2s; ND3 hard gradient filter; tripod.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nightjar endurance

It must be a relief for this breeding Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus/Nachtzwaluw) that the heat wave of last week will end soon now. She sits on her ground nest on the hot forest floor (with temperatures well above 40°C in the sun) from 5h30 AM till 22h15 PM in exactly the same pose, without anything to drink. This must be harder than a stage in the Tour de France. Respect!

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4, 1/1000s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fifty shades of grey

Strabrechtse Heide. Photo is taken just after a heavy thunderstorm. No coloured sunset but a fifty shades of grey variant this time.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/25s; ND2 hard gradient filter; tripod.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Orchid paradise

Most photographers have more or less a fixed agenda dictated by nature. For me this nearby marshland with Heath-spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza maculate/Gevlekte Orchis) is the place to be early June.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 140mm; ISO-125, f5.6, 1/320s; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm; ISO-50, f3.2, 1/250s; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm; ISO-400, f4, 1/100s; -0.3 stop; flash; tripod.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Spring garden

What's flowering in the magical spring garden this week? Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris/Fluitenkruid)!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm; ISO-400, f4, 1/250s; +0.7 stop; hand held.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Magic Cottongrass

Text is shorter, picture is better. May be my best sunrise Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium/Veenpluis) photo sofar. I used a soft gradiënt ND filter to balance the image a bit and at the same time keep the diffuse fog structure.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-200, f16, 1/2s; ND2 soft gradient filter; tripod.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Insect season is open

Four-spotted Chaser ♂ (Libellula quadrimaculata/Viervlek). Hereby I declare that the dragonfly season is opened officially (photo of May, 8th).
Glanville Fritillary ♀ (Melitaea cinxia/Veldparelmoervlinder). Hereby I also declare that the butterfly season I opened officially. I also welcome this beautiful butterfly species in Noord-Brabant!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 160mm; ISO-320, f5, 1/500s; -0.3 stop.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/160s; +0.3 stop.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Remake Water-violet

Water-violet (Hottonia palustris/Waterviolier) against the sunset reflection. A remake of May 5-th 2013.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 155mm; ISO-400, f4, 1/1000s; -0.3 stop; tripod.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

No Orange (Tip) sunrise

And these photos are taken in the field with Cuckoo Flowers (Cardamine pratensis/Pinksterbloem) the next morning. Frost at ground level, no Orange Tips (Anthocharis cardamines/Oranjetip) found. But nevertheless a gorgeous morning.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 145mm; ISO-400, f5, 1/320s; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 130mm; ISO-400, f4, 1/1600s; +0.7 stop.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Orange (Tip) sunset

My plan was to spent some photo time on Orange Tips (Anthocharis cardamines/Oranjetip) in the early mornings. However, it didn't turn-out the way I wanted. For some reason they didn’t fly (or at least I could not find them) in the scouted Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis/Pinksterbloem) meadows that were ideally situated for sunrises. So for this year you have to do it with an Orange (Tip) sunset ;-).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm; ISO-400, f2.8, 1/1000s; tripod.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Next morning

And here is the even better morning show in backlight. It’s springtime! Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa Limosa/Grutto) are in the mood for the coming breeding season. Mating, resting and washing.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4.0, 1/400s; + 1 stop; beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4.0, 1/1250s; + 0.7 stop; beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f4.0, 1/1250s; + 0.7 stop; beanbag.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Afternoon show

Just as last year I spent an afternoon, night, and morning in a small hide amidst waders and wildfowl. Here are 2 close-ups of the main characters of the afternoon show: ♂ Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa/Grutto) and ♀ Gadwall (Mareca strepera/Krakeend).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 500mm/f4; ISO-200, f5, 1/1000s; + 0.7 stop; beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/250s; + 1 stop; beanbag.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Pochard

A ♂ Pochard (Anthya ferina /Tafeleend) in early morning sunlight, the fog is almost resolved. I like the colors this way.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-800, f5, 1/2000s; beanbag.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Awakenings

Communal roost of Great White Egrets (Casmerodius albus/Grote Zilverreiger) in the blue hour (half an hour before sunrise they already fly-out) after a cold night in March.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4; ISO-800, f4, 1/80s; +0.7 stop; tripod.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Siberian Jay

The last day of this short photo trip we spent in old taiga forest. Our plan was to make nice pictures of Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus/Taigagaai). About every hour they appeared at the scene, always threesome (a parent with 2 young birds, who knows). They were very tame; It was absolutely not necessary to stay in the hide. Conny gave us some pieces of pig fat and a cordless drill. So we were able to make our own set-up. This is the result.

* Canon EOS 7D, 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm; ISO-400, f4.5, 1/320s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lady Aurora

Part 2: Lady Aurora was dancing in the sky. Just after I went to bed around 22h30, Conny knocked on my door saying that bright Northern Lights are visible outside. Within 5 minutes I was dressed and ready to go. I already saw through the kitchen window (my bedroom was next to the kitchen) vivid green stripes that went up sky-high., Because we didn’t want to lose much time, we decided to go to a quiet (icy) road just outside the village. For over 2 hours we were treated with an immense visual spectacle! It definitely was my lucky day!
There is a lot of information on the Internet about photographing Northern Lights. But I did not found anything about a good setting for the White Balance (WB). I started with WB = 3000 K, but I soon found out that WB = 4200 K (Automatic WB) gives much better results. Of course, I photograph in RAW format so WB can always be adjusted afterwards, but it always a good idea to with good settings in the field already. Does anybody can help me out on this?

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-1600, f4, 10s.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm/f4 @ 16mm; ISO-1600, f4, 10s.

The eagle has landed

Part 1: In the eagle hide again. Today it was windy, clouded and grey. Main goal of this trip was the majestic Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos/Steenarend) … and indeed it came down. What an adrenaline moment! And just as yesterday we were entertained during the waiting hours by the colorful Bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula/Goudvink).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 300mm/f4; ISO-800, f5, 1/500s; bean bag.
* Canon EOS 7D, 300mm/f4; ISO-400, f4, 1/500s; +2 stops; hand held.