Ingnoring the Obvious?

To make a long story short, no! But this doesn’t mean that you should stop reading 😊. This year was my fourth time I visited the Posbank during the heather season. The conditions in the first year were perfect with mist and beautiful skies. A year later I was already thinking on what I could do differently, so I decided to create a time-lapse. In 2016, I timed perfectly wrong and visited the area without any mist. So what would I do this year. Would I go for the obvious landscapes or try something different? When Dave Zuuring (see his blog here: http://nldazuu.com/heidekoorts/) texted me if I would join him to scout the area again I did not hesitate and grabbed my gear. This evening we scouted the area, first at the Posbank lookout and then the “obvious” Zijpenberg. The sky was amazing and soon we decided that this tree will be the subject of this year.

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The predictions for the next morning were promising so I decided to go and when I saw the dewdrops on my car my heartrate increased instantly… mist??? Soon I arrived at the first lookout and YES.. mist!! I decided to make a first overview picture and then zoom into the landscape before going to the spotted tree.

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Unfortunately, while I was busy I felt the wind and saw the mist disappearing from the area where the spotted tree was located. So, I followed the mist and light until I reached another great spot. Here the sun would appear nicely for a sunburst, while I was enjoying the deer, coffee and atmosphere.

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Via WhatsApp, I discussed with Dave the weather forecast for the next day and we gave it a go. Unfortunately, there was too much wind and the mist was absent. But even without it this place remains amazing. The golden light of the morning sun gave the hills of the Posbank a nice atmosphere.

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Sometimes the weather forecast is completely wrong and based on that you make the decision not to go. But then you drive to work and the first thing you see when leaving the village is… MIST?! #@%$#%^… Probably you know how I felt that moment. When arriving at work it appears that I was not the only one as Peter Bijsterveld (see his blog: http://www.peterbijsterveldphotography.com/landscapes/the-posbank-clique/) decided (last minute) not to go. Luckily mist was predicted for the next day so the three of us would visit the Posbank for one more time. And man, what a morning! I already woke up at 3.30 hrs. and my excitement kept me awake the whole time before I decided to get out of bed (4.40hrs). At 5.00 hrs. we met each other at the parking spot and walked to the spotted tree. Of course, we stopped now and then and enjoyed what nature had to offer and took some nice pictures (again of the dead tree :-)), but the goal was (for me) the tree. The mist was exactly thick enough to isolate the tree in a way as I wanted. My excitement reached boiling point when the light of the morning sun was also strong enough to enlighten parts of the landscape and if you are ready and see the results on the back of your camera, then yes!!

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After that the mist became too thick, but now some tree tops pierced through it in a way you normally see in the real mountains. So in the end I did not get only the obvious, but also something different.

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I end my visit to the Posbank during the heather season by taking a long exposure shot of the famous dead tree! See you next year (and in autumn… and winter.. and… )

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Autumn!

One of the best periods of the year just ended, Autumn! This year the colors were amazing, or was I just more aware of it? Well last year I was too late to enjoy it all so this year I wanted to be in time. I already knew where to go: Posbank, Parkbos Voorstonden and Speulderbos. So the last few weeks I carefully looked at all the trees when driving to work and went on some trips to the Posbank. Here I already found some nice mushrooms. But I also enjoyed an amazing sunrise with beautiful colored trees on the Posbank. Finally I was also able to make the panorama to finish my 4 season Posbank project (https://sandergreftephotos.com/2015/11/02/4-seasons-at-the-posbank/). A good way to start!

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Last weekend my children were at their grandparents and my wife had other plans, so I had a full day for a fieldtrip. First stop was Beekhuizenseweg near Velp/Rozendaal. Here I found a small pond and stream where I experimented with long exposure times. I also learned not only to search for mushrooms but also to look up once in a while :-).. it was a promising start of the day.

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Next stop was Parkbos Voorstonden. Here, the colors were just amazing and I was not the only one enjoying it. While taking pictures and eating lunch, I also talked too other photographers and exchanged ideas and experiences. In the mean time I found a nice mushroom with some kind of fungi dreads with small white and black bolls on it (I don’t know the name). Of course once you are busy you totally forget about time and knew that I did not have time to go to Speulderbos. So I just went to Empese and Tondense Heide to find new spots for a sunrise and then went back home to watch the Rugby finals. Completely satisfied with all the results, the day ended perfectly with the All Blacks winning the finals!

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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 :-)!