This last Sunday, the morning looked grey and rather cool: perfect weather for a bit of mountain biking. I thought: “no need for a camera, the light is not good”. And so I went away, with nothing but my bike for a ride in the neighbourhood. After only a few km, I spotted a mailbox drowned in a group of flowers against the wall of an old farm in Rixensart. I hesitated a bit: continue with my bike ride or go back to get my camera. The light looked like it would soon change with clouds becoming thinner, so I rushed back home, hoping that the wind would not increase and that the cloud cover would not break too fast, to keep the even light that was perfect for the image that I had in mind. Back home, I picked up my equipment, jumped in my car (to get there quicker ;-)) and went back again to the old farm. Here is the result!
For the second time, I have participated to the Randonnée d’Artistes de Rixensart (could be translated by Artist’s Walk) and it has just ended. I spent two week-ends welcoming visitors attracted by my exhibition.
I must confess that I was quite impressed by the way visitors reacted to my pictures. I did not think that they could have so much success. Lesson learned!
To all of those who visited my exhibition, a big thank you for your comments, discussions, but also useful tips for preparing my future photographic trips in Belgium or abroad.
My pictures shown during the Randonnée d’Artistes are now visible in my gallery.
You can also find below the catalogue/price list of the exhibition (in French).
While preparing this catalogue and doing my first steps with the page layout software Scribus (a free open source alternative to InDesign), I thought that it would be a good exercise to rapidly produce another catalogue with the pictures of my previous exhibition, showing mostly pictures from my “Intrigantes” series that I had presented during the Randonnée d’Artistes de Rixensart 2010.
One of my visitors, who is often documenting events in our town, has taken a few pictures during my exhibition. You can see them here. A big thank you to him to have highlighted me on his Rixensart Facebook page.
Many of the visitors who were also photographers wanted to know where I had had my prints done. It was at Authentic. They produced excellent direct prints of my pictures on Dibond. All visitors found the result excellent, giving a kind of smooth grain to the image, probably due to the ink used, and allowing to hang the picture on a wall without further need for a frame.
For photographers that might me interested, I will soon publish a post about my experience with various print types at Authentic.
Now, I need to start working on producing a book with the pictures from the exhibition and many others that could not be shown due to lack of space.
It has been a very long time since my last post with some of my pictures!
Summer has not inspired me much this year. Before showing some of my more recent pictures (autumn is always more productive for me), I still wanted to share a small set of pictures from this summer.
The first three have been taken during some of my summer hikes here in Belgium, all of them in Brabant.
And of course, I could not resist to the creation of some of my Intrigantes (you can find more of them in my galleries. Have a look at these two. As always, there is absolutely no “computer magic” behind these images, only some slow shutter speed and my experience 😉
The Halle wood (Hallerbos) is a very popular place to visit if you like enjoying natural beauty (and perfume) in Belgium. It is really worth a visit during the flowering of the sea of bluebells that is the main characteristic of this wood.
When to visit
To help you time your visit to the Halle wood as best as possible, here is a table with statistics of the bluebells peak flowering period. They are based on my own visits during the last three years.
Of course, if you plan to photograph them, many other parameters will be important, such as how early or late in the day, the absence/presence of clouds, the presence of people where you would rather not see them,…
If you plan your visit to coincide with the beginning of the flowering period, you can be quite sure that the trees will still be clean of any leaves. This means that the bluebells will be bathing in beautiful light, especially at the end of the afternoon. If you visit at the end of the flowering period, the trees will be full of leaves and the flowers will be mostly in shadows, with some areas still in the sunlight only around noon. In any case, do not forget to bring your tripod to get good pictures in these relatively low light conditions.
How to get there
Although the Halle wood is located very close to the E19 highway (Brussels-Paris), getting there is not that easy as there are only very few signs giving directions to reach it.
The best way to avoid trouble by getting stuck in very narrow roads is to access it by following the description found here. From the parking area P8 “Acht dreven”, it will take you 10-15 min walking to reach the site where the highest density of flowers is situated, close to parking area P10 (which is now very difficult to reach by car). You can find a good detailed map of the wood here. You will want to reach the western part of the wood, on both sides of the “Dreef van Eigenbrakel”. This is usually where most of the flowers are located.
Although the wood is quite big, the most beautiful part, where most flowers are located, is relatively small and one or two hours is more than enough to enjoy a walk in magnificent surroundings. If however you plan on some serious photography, you could easily spend half a day exploring the numerous possible viewpoints along the paths. You will also have plenty of opportunities to create some unique images, like I did with my own interpretation of the sea of bluebells.
Please be very careful not to walk into the flowers themselves. And of course, do not pick any !
As always, take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Spring is in full swing now and this is also the best time to visit the Halle wood. This year, March and April have been warm and dry months here in Belgium and I have the feeling that flowering of the bluebells (and other flowers) as well as appearance of leaves on trees has taken place earlier than usual.
The following pictures are the results my four visits to the Halle wood over the course of three weeks in April. Landscape photography can be demanding sometimes ! Even if I like my latest pictures, I still think that some of my best ones so far had been taken last year .
The first series of images has been taken on April, 9. As you can see, it was still early spring and leaves were barely appearing on the trees.
The next series has been taken on April, 16 and this was probably around the peak of the flowering.
Two days later, I went back in the evening hoping for low light on the flowers but, unfortunately, the leaves now fully out were blocking most of the light.
My last visit was on April, 22. As you can see, colours were already less intense. This was probably due to the combination of the tree leaves cover and the aging of the bluebells.