This month a slightly different picture. We had another period with snow in the Netherlands, during which I went out several times to take some pictures. Previously I always tried to avoid any signs of human elements in my landscape photography. I wanted to show a pristine landscape away from human society, sometimes even cloning away small elements like the cables of electricity pylons cleverly hidden behind trees. The problem is, however, that everywhere there are signs of humans in the landscape, especially in the very crowded Dutch landscape. Therefore, I decided to change my thinking and I made it a New Year’s resolution to focus this year on showing the landscape as it is, with all the human elements, while still conveying the beauty of the natural world.
I have already passed these electricity pylons many times, always trying to keep them out of my pictures, irritated when they were in between me and a beautiful sunset. However, this time I tried to use the fact that they dominate the landscape by including them as the main element in my picture.
Today, most of the snow melted in the ongoing rain (at least here in Wageningen), ending the second period of snow this winter in the Netherlands. Fortunately, I took some time yesterday to take pictures while it was actually snowing again. I was looking for patterns and abstract forms in the snow, when I came across a large group of greater white-fronted geese. The geese were happily foraging in a meadow, and luckily they didn’t take too much notice of the strange photographer on his bike. I positioned myself in such a way that the geese made a nice line through the landscape and took some shots, of which one is shown above.
The nice thing about greater white-fronted geese, is that one of my colleagues (Mikhail Grishchenko) is studying them, which increased my interest in the species. They stay in the Netherlands during the winter, after which they migrate north. It is this spring migration that Mikhail studies, and especially the relation between the change in land-use in Russia during the last few decades, and the effect this has had on the migration routes and patterns of the geese.
The first Photo of the Month on the new website is an image I took during the short period of snow we had in the beginning of December 2012. I didn’t have much time to go out and take pictures, so I took my camera with me during field work and spend 30 minutes during lunch brake taking some pictures. Because I didn’t have a tripod with me, and because of the amount of branches sticking out from the snow, I decided to experiment with unsharp pictures due to camera shake. I really liked this black and white version, which conveyed the mood I was looking for.