Kalmthout Heath, Kalmthout, Belgium by Mario Valkenborg

Picture Story

Kalmthout Heath ( Kalmthoutse Heide ) is one of the oldest and largest nature reserves of Flanders-Belgium, bordering the Netherlands. It has been protected as a landscape since 1941, and officially became a state reserve in 1964. Just 10 minutes from my home it's ideal for revisiting in other conditions and seasons.

The prediction of the first winter condition of 2021 was a reason to get up early and make the best of the day. I learned not to expect the most and enjoy the moment. Arrived on location just before blue hour I could carefully choose my composition. I also had the opportunity to test my new gear, the Canon R5, RF lenses together with a new gear head (Arca Swiss Cube C1 gp). The reason to be extra early on location, the gear was new but felt natural because I always been a Canon shooter.

A faint s-curve was visible just ahead of me up to the tree .... perfect. Once I had my composition it was a waiting game for the best light. I had the oppertunity to choose a shorter shutter speed with the option to capture a bird in the picture. I found the birds in one of my photos to draw too much attention from the tree and preferred a composition without better. Now I could choose a lower iso and a longer shutter speed, this was an option because there was no wind. f16 for the best depth of field in one take, if focus stacking is not needed I try to avoid it.

The morning mist and the transition from blue into golden to a pastel moment was magical. It felt like a painting, a moment to treasure!

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