Sunday, 30 December 2012

Goodbye 2012

It was a wonderful year for me. Absolute highlight was my trip to Lapland early March with a fabulous Northern Light show, and close encounters with some illusive taiga birds, in particular Willow Grouse (Lagopus lagopus/Moerassneeuwhoen) and Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula/Sperweruil).
The last week of this year was rainy, stormy and grey. Rivers are flooded, the land is saturated with water. Some impressions from the land where I was born. Clouds, wind and water worked together well at sunset of December 29th and sunrise of December 30th.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 20mm; ISO-50, f18, 2.5s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 19mm; ISO-400, f16, 1/8s; 3 stop ND hard gradient filter; tripod.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Tawny is home

I checked out this tree several times this year. But finally, as 2012 fades away (hey, we still exist after the 21st of December!), this Tawny Owl (Strix aluco/Bosuil) is home. What a beauty, look at these eyes, dark as coal! At this time of the year they already start to display and call their shivering "hoooouh ... ho ho ho hoooouh" notes when darkness sets in.

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/100s; tripod.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Swans of Avalon

After a cold night (-7°C), the water in the local stream gets quite steamy.
A philosophical quote for today (from Kant, sent to me by my daughter Evelien): “As far as beauty is concerned understanding is irrelevant, instead it is all about a gift provided by nature.”
In Dutch: “In de schoonheid gaat het niet om een begrip, maar om deze gunst die de natuur ons verleent.”

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 300mm/f4.0; ISO-200, f9, 1/2500s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Winter has really begun!

The first snow was predicted and snow was what we got. I teamed up again with Marijn Heuts, and together we had a very pleasant day in the field. We first tried close-ups, abstracts, and flash photography in the woodland south of Eindhoven. See below for a Larch (Larix sp/Lariks) tree with snow-covered branches. Later on the day, we spent some quality time with a large number of Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus/Houtduif), Stock Pigeons (Columba oenas/Holenduif), Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs/Vink), and Bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla/Keep) that foraged on the last edible remains of what once was a cornfield.
All in all, we managed to sort of control the restlessness that usually comes with the first day of snow!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f8, 1/10s; +0.3 stop; tripod.