Hunting for deer at Elsberg

This year I finally decided to go and see and hear the deer burling. The most obvious place is to go to the wildbaan in the Hoge Veluwe, but stories about the number of photographers made me hesitant. So I decided to go, together with fellow photographer Julien Beyrath, to the Elsberg. The first morning we were a bit late and the lookout was also filled with more people than I expected. But wow….what a view!! Luckily I could loan the 80-400mm + 1.4tc from my brother and sister in law, as you really need it here. Of course I had to make a panorama of the brandtoren of the Rozendaalse Veld (8 pictures @ 900mm)

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It was also a beautiful sunrise and as a landscape photographer I could not resist to make a photo of the beautiful (yellow/orange) colors J. Soon we also spotted some deer, females and young males. Happy with the results  and experience we left the look-out an decided to go back.  As it was still a bit early in the season to see the burling deer, we decided to go back again.

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Yes, today a second chance and the conditions were good. While we were walking to the look-out we got really excited as we heard the deer burling. Then we entered the look-out…. completely covered with mist!! We could hear the deer, but not see them, damn L. So we just sit, listened and enjoyed being there. Back at the car, the trip still ended very successfully with my first mushroom!

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Third time is a charm, and yes it was…. No mist and burling deer, but what a distance. Even with the 400 x1.4 (tc) x1.5 (cropfactor) = +/- 900 mm, they were too far. It was also a bit frustrating that I could not get clear and sharp results and I still don’t know whether that was due to the distance, the combination lens + tc, and/or my skills. But still, you get to see the deer burling, running, chasing within their natural environment and that was amazing to see!!!

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Then the question remains, will I go back next year? I realized that I love landscape photography more than wild-life photography, but it is good to try more aspects of photography. So I will definitively try again next year and maybe even go to the wildbaan J.

The purple hills of the Posbank (a time-lapse)

Hello and welcome to my first blog!

As you probably can see, the Posbank is one of my favorite places! Last year I went a couple of times to the Zijpenberg and one day everything came together: beautiful purple heath, mist, and a magic sunrise. The panorama I made of this moment is one of my best (panorama)photos, which also won the heath contest of natuurmonumenten.

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As it would be difficult to beat that one, I was thinking of a new project…. it would be nice to see the sun rising and the mist moving, so the plan was to make a timelapse! Below you can see the final result but I hope that you take some time for my short story of how I experienced it.

A timelapse… hmmm… what to do… I really didn’t know how to make one and a search on the internet made clear that I needed to use manual settings. But what kind of settings (especially shutter time) do I need? I really didn’t know, so I chose the easy way: Aperture priority, but for post-processing not a good idea as you will get a lot of flickering. Luckily several programs can be used to get rid of that :-).

A big advantage for me to go to the Posbank is the distance. It only takes me 5 minutes, so during the blooming period (3 weeks) it was easy to go every morning (if the weather forecast was good) before going to work or in the weekends (before my children woke up). I also knew to which spots I wanted to go to. For the first scene I planned to make a complete overview of the Posbank from the Zijpenberg. How lucky was I that during the final morning I had the best sunrise of 2015 (at the Posbank).

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I also wanted to see the mist rolling over the hills of the Posbank and therefore zoomed in on the landscape.

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One day the conditions were bad for just a single photo, but really good for the timelapse due to the clouds moving in the sky. I directly knew that I needed to go to the small pond (of which I saw a picture from another great “Posbank” photographer, Peter Bijsterveld) for the reflections of the moving clouds.

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One of the best point of view of the Posbank was new to me, the Zandklep. I already talked to a second great “Posbank” photographer, Dave Zuuring, and after seeing his picture it was clear to me… This is the best spot to visualize the rolling mist through the valley and the moving shadows when the sun rises. It is really beautiful to be here all alone without any other photographers and watch how the landscape changes!!

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The movie ends with the classic view from the look-out point where the actual Posbank-monument is located. Here you can nicely witness the sunset.

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Now the whole process of making the time-lapse was amazing. As the camera with the remote (interval of 4-8 seconds) did all the work I had time to actually really enjoy the scenery and looking at other photographers stressing to find the best composition especially during the moment the sun is rising :-). Will I do it again? I don’t know… I did like the free time during the moment and I met many other photographers, but the post-processing takes many hours of work and is difficult, especially setting the white balance for the whole sequence (either very blue in the beginning or red/orange at the end of the sequence). Also the de-flickering process costs a lot of time. So I am not sure what I will do next year, but I will definitively go back!!

Well, a message for the professional (more experienced) timelapse makers, I hereby challenge you to make a time-lapse of the Posbank as well as it deserves more of these movies!!

For now enjoy and feel free to leave a comment or share :-)!