The sun rays left the sun.
Now, after an eight minute lightspeed travel through space, the light hits a lonely coot on a small Danish lake and warm up the frosty late autumn morning…
Nikon D300s, 70-200 VRII, TC-17E II
With this agricultural landscape I’m far away from my comfort zone. This meant both photographically, philosophically and political.
Being the world’s most agricultural affected country more than 60 percent of Denmark is farmland like this.
The green color of these fresh winter crops is not a symbol of nature. They are a symbol of plant protection, a misleading plus word used by the agricultural industry. But what most of us know as pesticides, and what in fact are toxins.
The use of pesticides on Danish farmland has risen with 20 percent during the latest 5 – 8 years. In the same period the use of pesticides decreased significantly on public lands and private lands outside of the agriculture.
Today, more the 90 percent of all pesticides in Denmark are used by the agricultural industry.
A large part of the pesticides is the most globally widespread of them all – Roundup. Made by the American chemical giant, Monsanto, who, by the way, also where the geniuses behind Agent Orange…
Roundup is “safer than mowing” and unable to seep through the ground layers and into the ground water according to its inventors.
Scientifically tests links roundup to genetic damage, infertility and cancer.
And recently it has been found in our drinking water…
Enjoying late autumn while waiting for the winter to arrive
November and December often feels like periods of vacuum where neither autumn nor winter really are in control resulting in grayness and brown, dull landscapes.
The seasonal no man’s land traditionally isn’t very inspiring and it strikes many with a feeling of a Sisyphean struggle towards lighter times.
Personally I’m looking very much forward to winter’s overtake with its crisp clear air and blue coldness. If it arrives at all, that is.
But, still in all this grayness colors can be found. And the weather can be truly great. And nature photography can be both inspiring and rewarding.
Shooting against the low hanging late autumn sun contrasts gets an effectful boost revealing a large dramatic gap between light and dark.
And the remaining leaves and wet branches shines when backlit and even the most desaturated landscape comes to life when treated well.
And it treats you well in return.
Nikon D300s, Nikkor 70-200 VRII.
I am very proud to be the co-founder and editor on KONTRAST, the new Danish photographic nature magazine.
KONTRAST is a magazine focused on keeping the highest aesthetic level with a visual content from only the very best photographers and nature pioneers.
The content stretches from stunning galleries, with nature photos from some of the world’s best photographers, to photojournalistic articles regarding important and controversial nature and environmental issues, and there is also a bit of photographic tips and tricks.
Our overall goal is to spread our excitement and enthusiasm for the nature and to work for, and inspire to, nature conservation. We also aim at raising the level of Danish nature photography.
KONTRAST is a high level magazine for all people in the Nordic countries interested in nature and photography, in inspiring and meaningful stories about nature, and simply in enjoying nature’s beauty.
First issue contents stories from the South American rainforests, from Africa’s savannah, the theme articles regards rewilding and the gallery exhibits the stunning work of Sandra Bartocha – and much more!
Check out the web teaser, where you can read about the Swedish photojournalistic pioneer and founder of Wild Wonders of Europe and Rewilding Europe, Staffan Widstrand:
Once again things went terribly wrong when I was out photographing
It often does.
At least considering the intentions I had before going out.
On my way to create certain images imagined, or even planned, ahead of my photo trip, something else caught my attention.
It often happens by sheer coincidence when playing open minded with the camera and challenging nature photography as a creative form of expression.
It happens when forgetting the world around and while having great fun.
Often I do not consider the end result as the most important part of photographing.
When playing and pushing the creativity it’s the process that counts.
The process of challenging my own ways of thinking nature photography and loosening the chains of classic photography rules and the common perception of what a nature photography is and should be.
The process of letting go, pushing the boundaries and discovering new ways of photographic expressions.
It’s the process of freeing the mind!
Nikon D300s, Tokina 100mm. f/2.8 macro.
Check out more fern images here!
Hard work yet again paid off this past weekend where our efforts culminated when the Danish main nature photo event of the year, fotofestival 2013, took place
A diverse and inspiring program with lectures, exhibitions and competitions gave us all a lot to think about and to use in future photographic adventures.
Thanks a lot for great inspiration, stunning images and great stories to our Scandinavian friends lecturing and exhibiting at fotofestival:
Lecturers: Sven Persson (S), Brian Rasmussen (DK), Karsten Thomsen (DK), Ingebjørg Fyrileiv Guldvik (N), Carsten Egevang (DK) and Erik Malm (S).
Exhibitors: Sven Persson (S), Anita Campbell (S), Magnus Persson (S), Erland Leide (S), Bjørn-Egil Brekke (N), Trym Normann Sannes (N), Julie Skotte (DK), Rasmus Hald (DK), Per Finn Nielsen (DK).
And of course thanks to all our paying visitors for whom we make this event, and to our sponsors without whom this event could never happen.
At fotofestival we’re aiming high hoping to inspire people to see the light in nature and its conservation and hoping to raise the level of Danish nature photography.
I’m proud to be a part of this great event, and I’m already looking forward to do it all over again next year!
Check out the slideshow with lots of fotofestival 2013 moods:
All images © Jon Detlefsen/GERICHE IMAGES
A “how to make great nature photography hardly without any effort” manual
Or maybe it’s a “how to make room for nature photography in your busy life heavily occupied by demanding kids and wives – or the opposite – and a time consuming career” manual.
Ok – actually this is about giving yourself tasks, about challenging your creativity, basically about playing and having fun when photographing.
I gave myself a task which started out with a question: How easy and simple can I possibly create nature photos? And, of course, still maintain a certain level of quality to the images.
The most easy accessible piece of nature is the one closest to you. Three meters from my terrace door there’s a scrub/bush growing. Well there’s a lot growing near my house, but this one looks particularly boring and uninspiring.
So, the task I gave myself was to make images from exactly this bush. All images must be made within an area of two meters, approximately, and they should be made during those small time periods where I could find the time. Ten minutes here, half an hour there.
The task should answer the original question: “How easy and simple can nature photos be made?” Which should lead to the answer on a question I believe lots of nature photographers ask themselves: “How do I make great nature photography when having almost no spare time in my busy life?”
The setup was clear: A short amount of time, very easy access, a very limited perimeter and my camera and a 100mm. macro lens. Game’s on!
I made the images during one week. Sometimes I enjoyed a cup of coffee while I created images, other times I spoke on the phone while shooting and other times again one, or both, of my daughters participated, mostly by trying to distract me.
This is the result which I find quite decent. And most of all, it was great fun, and it gave me something to work with, to encourage me to get out there photographing – a task, a photographic project. And It also challenged my way of thinking and fed my imagination.
So, what’s the morale here? It could be a diversion of any future bad excuses for not getting out photographing, like: “Oh, I haven’t got the time to travel to Kamchatka to make great nature photography next week”, or: “Sorry, but I really can’t afford next month’s Antarctica photo adventure”.
Or even the usual one, which I know very well from myself: that ever show stopping thought of the perfect photography trip you have to arrange with your photo buddies to some great and diverse wildlife refuge several hour’s drive away, that will only be realized on rare occasions because you never really have the time at the same time anyways.
Just grab the camera and get out. That’s how simple it is really. And this doesn’t exclude your real photo adventures, the ones we all dream off. Instead it prepares you better, because you practice your photography skills, your imagination and your creativity on a daily, or at least a regularly, basis.
What’s the answer to my question then? Well, I think it’s rather obvious – and at the same time, it’s not. Theoretically it can be insanely simple to create great nature photos. In reality, I must admit I struggled a bit trying to create at least a bit of diversity in the photos.
And, most important, it was challenging and it was great fun – the basic ingredient in making great photography.
Basically it is as simple as opening your terrace door and pushing your camera’s release button. And it also answers the other question because you can quite easily find a bit of time for your photography despite living even the busiest form of life.
The only barrier is the one inside your head…
Nikon D300s, Tokina 100mm. f/2.8 macro.
There I sat enjoying the peace and quietness of my own garden when suddenly an intruder destroyed the summer harmony
The little beast didn’t even care about my presence and the fact, that it was trespassing private property.
So disgustingly cute one could easily forget this is a creature coming from the untamed wild.
Next time I’ll remember to vote yes when my neighbors proposes to cut down even more trees and bushes.
And I’d better put up an electric fence before nature takes back what is conquered, tamed and controlled…
Nikon D300s, 70-200 VRII
The National Park TV of National Park Thy interviewed me about this years fotofestival taking place right on the borders of one of the largest and wildest nature areas in Denmark, Hansted Reservatet (reserve) – which is also sadly one of the last ones remaining.
My buddy Brian Rasmussen, photographer at the tropical zoo of Randers Regnskov (Rainforest), are lecturing at fotofestival, and he told the National Park TV a little about his use of photo traps.
Check out the TV show here also containing stories from other nature photographers (only in Danish):
Check out the slideshow below from the video shooting: