Winnaar ‘Nature Photographer Of The Year’

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In 2022 deed ik mee aan de internationale fotowedstrijd ‘Nature Photographer Of The Year’ en met succes. In de categorie ‘Black and White’ haalde mijn foto’s zowel de eerste als de derde positie. Met vermeldingen in onder andere de Daily Mail en De Stentor.

Otter in het ijs

De foto ‘Otter in ice hole’ kreeg de eerste prijs.

Nadere uitleg bij de foto:

“If there’s one animal that strongly depends on clear water with a lot of fish, it’s the otter. After the water quality in the Netherlands improved drastically, people started a program to reintroduce the otter in 2002. The otter in this picture is one of the animals that were part of this successful project. The end result of the program is a healthy population of otters in the Netherlands. In winter, when the water is covered with ice, it pays off to keep an eye on the holes in the ice. The otter uses these holes to access the water and hunt for fish. By making swimming motions, the otter makes sure the ice hole does not freeze. In a wildlife park nearby Lelystad, I got permission from the forester to observe such an ice hole and take pictures there. After many hours of observation, I knew how the animal behaves and came up with a plan. I placed my camera right above the ice hole and used a 12-24 mm zoom lens. I camouflaged the setup with a camouflage net. At a safe distance from the ice hole, I keep an eye on the hole and operate my camera remotely. After waiting for many hours, the otter finally appears and looks at my camera setup in surprise. Mission accomplished!”

Lees de volledige inzending hier.

Nachtwandeling van dassen

De foto ‘Badgers during a walk at night’ kreeg de derde prijs.

Nadere uitleg bij de foto:

“Many hours of preparation preceded this image. In this Soerel forest (nearby Nunspeet), which borders a meadow and a highway, there are two giant beeches. Especially during fall, these trees look fantastic. A little further down this same forest, a badger sett is located. I came up with the idea to take a picture of a badger during its nighttime walk in between the two beeches. I wanted to capture this with a wide-angle lens and used a 17-40 mm zoom lens. Of course, such a lens deforms a bit at 17 mm, but it also results in a great perspective. Later I even used an 11 mm. To give you an idea: the badger is about 1.5 meters away from my camera setup (camera on the ground). The beeches are about 3 meters apart.

Taking photos at night is a challenge. The biggest problem is not seeing your subject in the dark. I used an infrared viewer to keep an eye on all activity. The most important thing is to illuminate everything properly. For this, I used four Speedlite flashes. For every flash, I can regulate the output individually. The main light is the flash that causes the beautiful backlight. This flash is located behind the tree on the left; the distance to the beechers is about 20 meters. This flash is hanging in the tree at about 2 meters from the ground and I put a Better Beamer flash extender on the flash head. This extender generates a narrow beam pointing exactly where the badger is walking. A second flash is placed next to my camera and is equipped with a flash diffuser. This one generates a beautiful soft-fill light. Behind the right beech, a third flash is located; I make this one flash straight up along the trunk of the tree. A fourth flash is on the ground on the right side of the image. These latter two flashes illuminate the foliage. One night I tested and evaluated the entire lighting plan. I wrote down all information about the camera and flashes and got to work the next day. I focused the camera on the spot where the badger paused and subsequently switched off the autofocus. To see the badger in the dark, I used a night viewer. I take the picture from a shelter tent about 25 meters from the subject.”

Lees de volledige inzending hier.

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