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Tot over een half uur!

NATU-10112Ik ben over een half uur terug! Dat is wat ik mijn vrouw vertelde toen ik de deur uit ging. Nu moet ik toegeven dat normaal gesproken een half uur in het veld echt heel anders aanvoelt. Voor je gevoel zijn het er vaak pas 10. Maar deze keer was het anders. De foto die je hiernaast kunt zien kostte slechts 20 minuten om te maken. Ik liep de deur uit, stak de straat over en ging rechtsaf.

Hier, op minder dan 100 meter van mijn voordeur vond ik een mooi herfstblad. Ik had hier de afgelopen week al meerdere malen langs willen gaan, maar dat was nog niet gelukt. De boomrand was hier fraai geel gekleurd en met alle gaten in de bladeren had het wel wat weg van een zwitserse gatenkaas. Tussen alle bladeren vond ik een blad dat een mooi doorkijkje vormde naar een achtergelegen blad. Om het af te maken besloot een klein insect op het juiste moment in het ‘raam’ te stappen! Het insect voegde schaal, focus en leven toe aan het anders abstracte beeld. Geweldig!

Nikon D700, ISO1600, 90 macro, f13, 1/25s, 12mm extension ring, 1.4x TC, statief

Blooming Heather

DSC0062It is getting near autumn and heather is turning purple. Not only that but the weather is currently providing a good many beautiful cloud cover between which the sun can throw down it’s ray on the face of the earth. A lovely sight of course, but also one very challenging to capture in all its dynamic form in the field.

The picture with this post captures all the beauty I had seen, but it did not come in the form of a RAW file. In the field I had already used a double graduated grey filter, but still this proved not enough to temper the sun sufficiently. After doing my magic with Lightroom I got what I had seen, and liked it very much. It has all the dynamics of colour, sun-rays, sweeping clouds and contrast of a backlit landscape while retaining detail in the mid-tones.

It was a good show this morning, and I was happy to be in a spot where I knew the place well. I have shot many early morning pictures here and the place still does not fail to deliver.

Nikon D3100, ISO 200, 16-24f4 VR, f16, 1/30s, gradual grey, tripod

Each at their own pace

Perseïden MeteorietenzwermAfter about 20 years (really, no kidding) I have been able to match the ingredients to capture the perseïds! It all started when still in highschool with Paul van Hoof. We were trying all different things we could think of that would work with a camera. Photographing the lightspectrum of specific elements, different types of lighting, trying to capture sunspots on a picture, and indeed to capture meteorite storms like the perseïds. While latter may seem to be the simplest, it took me longest to achieve.

On our first try we had little luck and had a persistent cloud cover. Reverting to photographing traffic lights did get us the attention of the local police, and a article in the local paper :-) Apparently getting a clear sky at the right day in august is rare in the Netherlands as the following years proved. Obviously, you need to have the time available as well, and access to a relatively dark location (living in Eindhoven makes this a tough cookie). This year finally these fairly humble requirements all came together. Jeah!

The plan was to make a series of about an hour (or however long the batteries would last in my D700) catching as many meteorites as would be presented to me. This I wanted to do in order to show a combination of circular star-trails and the different paths of the meteorites. Browsing through the photos in Lightroom made me hopeful. A few meteorites did end up on my sensor! But alas, after merging the 180 photo’s (20s exposure each) together, the meteorites were nowhere to be seen! Hmm, that was not what I had been hoping for.

I then realised that it would actually be nice to put the focus on one of the ‘stars’ of the meteorite show. I added the photo that had captured the meteorite in full glory and made the part with the meteorite overlay the circles of star-trails. The resulting picture is not what I had seen in the night (I for one have never seen star-trails ‘live’), obviously. What it does show, however, is the making of two types of trails that represent opposites in the time spectrum. While meteorites are short-lived and unpredictable, stars are the opposite. They move slowly over the night’s sky, in a predictable manner chasing their fellow stars.

In case you had not spotted the perseïd falling from the sky, it’s on the lower left side of the north star.

Nikon D700, 16-24 VR, f4, iso 1600, 20s (per image, total 180 images).

Side by side

Kleine zonnedauw in zijn omgevingIn the previous post I used the closeup to show the sundew in detail. I thought it would equally nice to have a feeling for their size as well. For a feeling on the size of the sundew (kleine zonnedauw) size, have a look at the ‘environment’ photo. Next to the sphagnum they look quite something, but then again, sphagnum is not that large either :-) In fact it is very easy to step on those little plants, so whenever you get close to a fen, take a good look before heading to the shore, you might find yourself nearly stepping on these interesting looking plants.

Nikon D700, 16-35/4 VR

Sticky Stuff

Closeup kleine zonnedauwThese little plants have been a long lost subject to me. Years ago, when I did not yet have a macro lens, I had been trying to get the most magnification out of a tele-lens a loupe and a duc-taped inverter ring attached to a 50mm lens. That had been fun, but the quality of the image was not all that well.

This evening I set out to use the sunset. Walking around a local fen I found the wateredge to be filled with patches of sundew (kleine zonnedauw). They were glistening in the setting sun. Although it was still a bit early (for a sunset coloured sky that is), I started to use the backlight emphasising their sticky stuff. It gave a pleasing result. It also proved good not to wait. Moments after I had got a first series of shots a big raincloud covered the sun removing much of what made the sundew so nice.

Nikon D700, Tamron 90/2.8 macro lens