A couple of weeks ago I attended a presentation by Wilco Dragt about landscape photography. Wilco is a fine art photographer and, as far as photography is concerned, he does nothing but landscapes. Over the years he has developed his own style, which is almost minimalistic. A “less is more”kind of photography. He uses long exposures, ranging from 10 seconds to 4 minutes or more. And he uses ND-filters (neutral density). His pictures give a very balanced, almost serene, kind of atmosphere. He’s inspired by Michael Kenna and Ansal Adams. I can only encourage you to see his work at www.wilcodragt.nl. With some fellow photographers, organized in Nordic Vision, he runs workshops in various countries in Europe. See the website to find out more.
Wilco explained he invests much time researching and preparing his pictures. He uses Google Earth, checks weather forecasts and times of sunrises and sunsets, tide tables, visits actual locations and so on. He does a very thorough job at this. He prefers taking the pictures at sunrise. Somtimes this means he has to wait for half an hour or so to get the light just right. And luck. He needs to have that as well. For almost all of his work he uses a LEE ND-filterset, a tripod and long exposures.
Somewhat inspired by Wilco’s story and pictures and also in an attempt to get out of my shutter block state, I gave it a try myself this morning. Not the full monty to begin with, but a sort of tryout. This means I had to get out of bed way before sunrise. It isn’t as bad as it sounds at this time of year, though. I went to a small pond close to where I live. It was hazy. Just enough to create a serene atmosphere. Obviously I was hoping the sun would come through, but it didn’t. I took some shots at f/2.8 and 400 ISO. So nothing like long exposures, no tripod, no ND-filters. After all, it was just a tryout and a bit of experimenting. Yes, there is the time you have to get out of bed, but shortly after you find yourself in the middle of nature where I saw some deer, listened to the birds. In a world that’s yawning and ready to get up. All by myself, no one else around. Given the limited means, I find the results below very encouraging. Not even close to the work of the likes of Wilco, but I simply liked doing it. I think I’ll do more of this work. Perhaps even join one of his workshops one day. Keep checking this blog if you want to monitor my progress in this area.