Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fire in the sky

View from the west coast of Öland, just after sunset. Simple ingredients for this photo; a few granite rocks, the sea, and clouds. The colors were amazing this last evening in Sweden.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 20mm; ISO-50, f16, 5s; -0.3 stop; 2 stop ND hard gradient filter, tripod.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Öland waders

The limestone plates along the south-east coast of Öland attracted a lot a migrating waders. Some adult birds still had much of their summer plumage; see the black-bellied Dunlin (Calidris alpina/Bonte Strandloper) on the 2nd  photo and the red-orange out-of-focus Knot (Caladris canutus/Kanoet) on the last photo. Note the different conditions in light during this this afternoon session.

* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/1600s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/2000s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 7D with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-400, f7.1, 1/800s; from beanbag.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Gräsgårds Hamn, Öland

The last week of our holiday we stayed on the Swedish island Öland. In the south-east corner of this elongated island you find the hamlet Gräsgårds Hamn, which is probably the smallest harbour of the world. From here you could sail right away to the Baltic Sea.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 21mm; ISO-800, f7.1, 1/60s; polarization filter, 3 stop ND soft gradient filter, hand held.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Loony conversions

The day after we arrived in Sweden, Halland I found 4 Black-throated Divers (Gavia arctica/Parelduiker) on a small lake at walking distance from our summer cottage. Beforehand I did not plan for anything special, photographically I mean (the main idea of the summer holiday is to relax a bit and to take things as they come, isn’t it?). However, at the very instant I saw these beautiful taiga birds (still in full summer plumage!) a small project was born.

I improvised a bit and created a camouflaged hiding place from which I had a low POV on the lake. Here are some results of this week. The first picture is actually from the first evening, the other one was taken early in the morning as you can see. Luckily there was sunny high-pressure weather for a couple of days, that is to say, not much wind and no clouds during the night. As a consequence temperatures dropped down from 25°C during daytime to about 5°C in early morning, creating a ‘steaming’ lake!

Besides the loons the lake was completely empty. The numbers of Black-throated Divers on the lake varied between 1 and 9, only adults. Strangely I never saw any youngsters. I had the impression that after the breeding season they bring visits to one another’s lake. May be to do some communal fishing, or to discuss their breeding success, or to have a debate about the fish quality. It is also possible that they already decide who is going to hold territory on which lake next year. Who knows? Anyhow the sound they make is unbelievable, it echoes over the water and is eerie. You feel it going down right in your spine.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/160s; from beanbag.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 500mm/f4 IS and 1.4x; ISO-800, f5.6, 1/320s; +0.3 stop; from tripod.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Danish Lions

I just returned from my yearly summer recess. This time we went to Sweden and Denmark. In Denmark we had a 1-week family holiday in a big luxury house (with sauna) in the middle of cereal fields near Allingåbro. Here you see my mother Isabella (71) and my daughter Evelien (21), both are lions, not only according to their constellation but also in character: wild (especially the youngest), emotional, and fierce, but also warm and affectionate.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 300 mm/f4; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/500s; hand held.