Kalmthoutse Heide, Belgium by Marie-Jose van Rijsbergen

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I had made plans with friends to photograph on a Saturday morning in September in a nature reserve close to my home town. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was not what I had hoped for. The expectation was rain and no sun. But the weather gods were favorable to us, when we arrived at our location it was dry.

I had visited this location before. Both Dutch and Belgians can come and enjoy this beautiful piece of nature park on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. In fact, that border runs right through the area. That is why it is not called National Park but Border Park.

The park is characterized by high sand dunes, fens and heathland and is surrounded by pine forest in particular. The areas around the fens in particular always offer opportunities for beautiful pictures. Looking for a good composition, I saw the sky open slightly and I noticed the faint orange color of sunlight. Would the sun still appear?

I quickly decided that in that case the composition had to change. That meant that I had to run to the right place, put the camera in the right position, focus and yes…. exactly when everything was ready the sun appeared. Just for a few moments.
By opting for the use of a telephoto lens, a low composition, and leaving as much air out of the composition as possible, it was possible to get the dynamic range of this image in one shot. In Photoshop I have adjusted the contract and the saturation.

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