A brief moment in time


birch trees mountain golden light

The most important thing in becoming a better nature photographer is understanding the fact that a photo is not “taken”, but something that is given to you. You can spend days in the wild, travelling long distances on foot, having your heavy gear ready at all times yet come back home empty handed. Days later, that special image you have been searching for is still missing because a series of factors were not met: the weather was not quite right, the light fell from the wrong side, the season was not the right one, the lens you used was not the best for a given subject, etc. But sometimes, everything falls right into place and all the conditions are met. You are given a great moment in time, a spectacular view with just the right conditions to highlight the beauty of nature.

It was the case with the image above, an image that received a lot of praise. I planned this trip months before and waited for the autumn season. When the conditions were right, I started my long journey towards the mountains. It was a cold November day and as reached the mountain’s base it started raining. It didn’t last for long so I was able to start climbing. The slopes were really steep so I had to stop often to catch my breath. On one of these stops I was given a spectacular view: a ray of light poke trough the clouds and fell right onto the birch forest at the bottom of the mountain. I already had my tele lens fitted on my camera, there was plenty of light for a fast shutter speed and given the years of experience, I framed this shot almost automatically making use of all the elements I had. Everything fell into place. I love how the light highlights the color of the birch forest and also the side of the cliffs, giving depth to the photo. I also love how the trees appear so small compared to the mountain, and give a sense of the true size of the cliffs. The beautiful mountain landscape, the autumn colors, the special light, all contribute to this shot and make it a fantasy fairy tale autumn mountain landscape. It has that fantasy atmosphere I search for in an image.

A great image is a matter of being at the right time in the right place, and have nature give you the perfect conditions for it.

You can license this image here: https://www.stocksy.com/851046


At the start of a surreal journey


mysterious forest
Mysterious dark surreal forest with fog trough trees

When I took this photo back in 2009 I already had some experience with photography, but I think this was the moment when I managed to detach myself from all the technical clutter, to clear my mind and really see nature in a new light. All the technical stuff became automatic and I could just concentrate on the mood, on the feeling and be absorbed into the mysterious surreal world that was unfolding before me. If there was a moment when the way I saw photography changed, this was it.
It was a rainy June afternoon. The rain was pouring down so bad that it was impossible to take photos. Everything drenched, water flowing everywhere. Luckily, I got a small window of opportunity when the rain stopped.

The difference in temperature was so great that a nearby mountain was wrapped in fog. I entered the dark mountain forest and realised that this was something special – the late hours of the afternoon, the thick fog, the  eerie mysterious twisted trees – it all made the place look like something out of this world. I had a feeling that I was going to have again and again in the coming years. I was inside some other place. The world outside was no longer important. The surreal world I was in had a haunting silence, full of mystery and wonder.

Next thing I know the rain started pouring down again with even more force. The equipment was soaked, I was soaked. I stayed for a couple more shots. It was worth it. After a little while the fog disappeared. The gate to this fantasy world was closed, and I didn’t know for how long. Luckily it was closed only for a short time, and the mysterious forests series became one of my favorites, still in the  making today. Everything changed that Sunday afternoon…

You can license the image here: https://creativemarket.com/PhotoCosma/623172-Dark-mysterious-Halloween-forest