Strabrechtse Heide

I am an idiot. But sometimes its nice to be an idiot.
So I went out to shoot some landscape and sunset shots last night, at the Strabrechtse Heide. Very cool, all good. Only to forget how big this natural heath land is. 

So the entire distance that I had walked from where I had parked my car needed to be covered again. I am talking quite some kilometers here. And all in the dark. Now, walking our hiking in the dark is no issue. But at this place it gets DARK!! 

About 30 minutes before the sun went down

About 30 minutes before the sun went down

Trust me, hiking this place in the dark was no joke. It got my adrenaline levels right up, because there's wild boars, wild Highland cattle probably not super happy with me strolling through their habitat during breeding season. While I am actually also managing to find my way back in the pitch black forest. 

But hey, that's my dose of adventure for this week! Haha... But let me tell you, I was quite happy to make it out of the forest a bit faster then usual this time...

Quality time with mother nature.

Quality time with mother nature.

Check out more images in the gallery below. Click on them to see the original aspect ratio.
Thanks again for looking at my work, it means a lot to me. Feel free to comment and share.

"Brand new" photographs from Iceland

Oh my! Today I was working on editing photographs for a beautiful wedding I shot earlier this year. And editing these wedding photos got me really in the mood to edit some more of my travel/landscape photographs. Although I have a lot of new content waiting to be processed and presented to you, for example: my recent trip to Denmark, Sweden and Germany last week. But even still, I always keep on scrolling through my Iceland maps on my PC. I think that I have edited most photos in these folders like multiple times. But I have only shared the "best" shots before. There's just something about these shots that makes me coming back to them and play around with new ideas how to create a nice look and feel.

Obviously this results in a lot of photographs that are just sitting on my computer and never being posted anywhere for you to see them. Well, today is the day that I decided to present you a selection of photographs from my Iceland trip back in June last year.

The very well known Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall just outside the town of Grundarfjörður.

The very well known Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall just outside the town of Grundarfjörður.

All, or at least most shots have never left my computer before. The most of the photographs you will see in this post were taken on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of the country and in the more north western located Westfjords region. 

A very typical view down the number 61 road just outside of Hólmavík towards Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. 

A very typical view down the number 61 road just outside of Hólmavík towards Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. 

As soon as you leave the town of Hólmavík going up north deeper into the Westfjords you will make this climb up onto this plateau that is snow covered for at least a decent amount, all year round. Temperatures were also quite low, even in June. Back in Hólmavík it was 16 degrees Celsius and sunny for example. Only to meet temperatures just above freezing point as soon as I got up on the highest point of the climb. I loved it, these temperatures and the not so sunny but moody weather hit the feels, and made me really enjoy Iceland in all its pureness.

Little and beautiful church in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes

Little and beautiful church in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes

Churches, those small beautiful and very typical Icelandic countryside churces. They are everywhere. From the famous church in Vik down in the south to the ones that almost nobody even knows about them being there. this particular one in Breiðabólstaðar on Snæfellsnes being one of them. Its is literally located in the middle of nowhere. It is located on the road between Búðardalur and Stykkishólmur. Its serving a bunch of farms that are spread out in the area surrounding the church. Walking up to it, hearing nothing but the wind. No people, no cars, just me and this holy place in beautiful Iceland really moved me. I am not super religious or something, but there is no denying the beauty of these small houses of God. Especially those in Iceland that look like this, right?  

You will see a lot of (old and new) bridges crossing these streams or river, throughout the country.

You will see a lot of (old and new) bridges crossing these streams or river, throughout the country.

Iceland is rough, and it can be rough to travel and get around. Not as much as it used to be back in the days ofcourse. But I can only imagine how times were before people had the ring road, or even cars to go from place to place. A fundamental piece to the puzzle for Icelanders (and tourists these days) to travel the country are bridges. And just like the churches, a lot of them. Basically every stream or flow of water you see close to a road will have a or even multiple bridges. There are these very photogenic bridges that are not in use anymore that really make a little stop for a few shots a must for whenever you are exploring the country. This particular bridge is located just north from Búðardalur next to the road towards and coming from the Westfjords.

Snowcapped mountain peaks on Snæfellsnes

Snowcapped mountain peaks on Snæfellsnes

The Snæfellsnes area is often called "mini-Iceland" because it has every kind of landscape that you can find on other places in the country. Glaciers, fjord like bays, lava fields, sharp peaks, black beaches, waterfalls and quite some lakes just to name a few. Below are a few more shots taken in Snæfellsnes.

Driving on Snæfellsnes is great fun, there's plenty of decent and paved roads that will take you to the most know places, like Kirkjufellsfoss and Arnarstapi. But there are also quite a lot of these rough gravel roads. These are the roads that I enjoyed driving the most. Less people (at least tourists) use them so its usually quite nice to be able to slowly make your way on these twisting and turning and sometimes challenging roads. Behind every corner hides a marvelous view towards the sea, or the mountains or anything else amazing Iceland will throw at you. Take your time and enjoy these sights instead of just always following the "easy roads"

Driving on Snæfellsnes is a great experience, it can be tricky sometimes. But you get treated with breathtaking views!

Driving on Snæfellsnes is a great experience, it can be tricky sometimes. But you get treated with breathtaking views!

the town of Grundarfjörður on the right, as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. 

the town of Grundarfjörður on the right, as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. 

To end this blog in style I thought it'd be cool to show you a shot from the same location as the first photo in this blog post. Although the same location this photograph looks quite a bit different. All I did is just move away from shooting the very beautiful but intensely photographed waterfall and mountain. I just aimed my camera a bit more to the right to reveal the little town of Grundarfjörður in the distance. Grundarfjörður is a very nice and small fishing village that is growing in population as we speak. It is still a small town though, there are about 875 people living in Grundarfjörður if I am correct. It is very popular due to the mountain and waterfall laying just right outside the town. Anyways, the real story behind this photo is; Don't always go for the classic shot, look around, try to use some different angles and come up with some other shots. There is probably so much more to capture then just that one frame you had in mind, Get creative!

Thank you for checking out my site and reading this blog. Leave a comment and a like, and feel free to share. That means a lot to me.

þakka þér kærlega fyrir! / Thank you very much

Little local trip

This blogpost is crammed with pics that I shot tonight while I was out with my scooter. The weather was great, and my mood was even better. All shots are local, its amazing how beautiful  your own local area is. Just as long as you go out, and venture into it! 

Try looking different at locations you've seen before, make that extra little trip around the corner and see what else is out there! Anyways, here are my photographs from tonight!

Leave a like and a comment, thats very much apreciated, feel free to share too!

Hoge Venen & Bieley

Last week we had a public holiday, Kings-day. We celebrated the 50th birthday of our King. I had this day off just like many other Dutch people. I went and celebrated this day, you guessed it... Not in The Netherlands, haha. Instead of staying home I got into my car and drove off southbound. Into the Hoge Venen in Belgium and in Germany. I have always wanted to pay a proper visit to this area. And the weather was pretty good, skies full with nice clouds so off I went.

I first made my way down to this area just down south of Monschau, Germany. I have seen some photos of this rock called the "Bieley" and I was quite curios to how it would look and what kind of photographic perspective it offered over the valley beneath. I have seen a few photographs that looked promising. And boy, was I right. I had to walk for a few kilometers over some well organized paths through the forest to finally come up to a much smaller and "less traveled" path. At first I was skeptical to take this path and see where it would end up. Although I was pretty sure that this was going towards the rock I was looking for. So off I went deeper and deeper into the woods. All of a sudden I saw the rock peep out between the trees and overlooking this little valley beneath. Breathtaking place. With a little stream curving and finding its way through the valley. Surrounded by mighty pine forests. On top of this rock it really felt as if I was in the Alps or something. Really spectacular viewpoint and location. It was so good to be alone for a bit, taking in the environment around me and enjoying it. This place is so good to photograph, everywhere you look there's great shots waiting to be captured.

After making my way back to the car I decided to drive back home through Belgium. And I had a little stop in "Parc naturel Hautes Fagnes - Eifel" close to Ternell.
I got out the car and shot some more photographs in these great forests that are all around you in this area. The road that I drove crosses these massive woods. You really feel like you are alone with nature, something I really love and makes me feel comfortable. With everything. A nice way to spend a day off and an even better way to recharge. 

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

Astrophotography

Recently I have been gaining quite some interest for Astrophotography. I have always loved these great images of night skies and star trails and such, but never saw myself take any photographs like that. Because I always thought that the techniques and materials you would need for this were out of reach for me.

I have been talking to my friend Asgeir from Iceland about shooting the stars for quite a bit for the past few weeks, and have to admit that his work and our conversations inspired me to give it a decent go. He basically nails this type of photography. His work are master pieces. He has provided me with plenty of very useful tips and the motivation to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, thanks buddy! (Check out Asgeir's great photographs right here

So below you can see what I managed to push out of my camera. I don't have a full frame camera, and my widest lenses are both at F3.5 only. For this type of photography you would really want a "fast" lens (with apertures ranging from F1.4 to F2.8) so F3.5 isn't that bad at all, but it comes with a little challenge. There is slightly less "light" hitting the sensor compared to a F1.8 for example. I had the ISO up to 3200 for both shots, which is still pretty good on my "old" D7000 but also showing that from there grain and noise become much more visible and a disturbing factor. I did edit both pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop to try and get the best quality out of these images. And I am pretty happy with how they came out, what do you think?

Anyways, I am back off to saving some more money to reach the point of possibly upgrading my body and lenses to something more powerful and capable, for experimenting a bit more with this type of photography. 

 
 

My wife, the interior designer

This post goes out to my lovely wife. She is just the best person period to begin with. She has this talent. This really amazing talent. In my eyes she is a very good interior designer. She sees it as a hobby only. But when you look at the style and feel she creates inside the house it really blows me away. As if a professional interior designer came in and did its job. That's how it feels to me at least!

Personally I have not a very good idea of what interior design actually is. Sure I do know what I like, and how I like a house to be decorated and look like. But I don't have these specific skills I think my wife does have. I do know the style is kind of "Scandinavian" if I am correct. But what do I know. This blog post is therefore more of a appreciation then actually telling you something about interior design, because I simply can't, haha...

All I know is that I love the way she plays with light, material, and small details to make our house a home! hit the share and like button below if you agree!!

Goodmorning

This morning I was up early, early enough to go out and catch the sunrise. I don't have to go far for a nice location. My own hometown has a lot of beautiful places that are within walking distance of my house. Here's some of the shots I took this morning. Have a nice Wednesday all!

- Arjan Wilmsen