Zuiderheide, Netherlands by Gijs de Reijke

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Weather makes or breaks an image. It forms the mood that is needed to make a photograph vibrant. Like many other landscape photographers, I tend to work with fog as an atmospheric element. Every now and then, I take the risk of setting out to work with what is, at best, marginal when it comes to the right weather conditions. At the end of the heather season of 2019, it was all or nothing for a shot I had in mind. 2018 had been terrible when it came to heather in our part of Europe. The hot, dry weather scorched most of the heathland into brown-and-black patches of sadness, most of it caused by parching of the vegetation, some of it by fires consuming what wasn't to become purple and magenta for a year anyway.

I skipped going to a spot most heather enthusiasts go to every year, in order to get my pictures elsewhere, at a more quiet location. Upon arrival at the car park, I noticed a thin but dense layer of a white glow covering the landscape I wanted to capture, visible from within the adjacent forest, right under the clear, blue sky. It was at that point I felt that excitement that always makes it worth getting out of bed early, or not going to sleep at all.

Not only did I get the much-desired fog, but got an amazingly saturated orange glow during the Blue Hour, caused by forest fires in Siberia. A case of how unfortunate events can be one person's bit of extra luck. And that was only the start of a several hours of chasing and capturing the best possible light during what was a constantly changing display of the Sun playing with the dancing layer of fog.

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