A colourful grey morning

December 29, 2011 / no comments

With the very mild rainy and grey weather that has been present for a few weeks here in Belgium, nature is mostly grey these days. Not even some snow or ice to bring some contrast. Not very attractive for landscape photography.
So I went back to my pictures taken at the very end of October to publish this colourful post. All these images were shot during a grey morning in the Solvay Domain, in La Hulpe. The sky was a flat white screen, ideal for details of the landscape without too much contrast. The tree leaves were also still wet from a recent shower and were at their best, especially when I used a polarizing filter to remove the highlights caused by reflections on the wet leaves.
Here is a selection of my images from that colourful grey morning 😉

Colourful trees reflection in one of the ponds of the Solvay Domain in La Hulpe, BelgiumColourful trees reflection in one of the ponds of the Solvay Domain in La Hulpe, BelgiumColourful trees reflection in one of the ponds of the Solvay Domain in La Hulpe, BelgiumColourful trees reflection in one of the ponds of the Solvay Domain in La Hulpe, BelgiumColourful contrast between the almost gone and the ever greenAutumn leaves detailsAutumn leaves detailsA colony of dark mushrooms thrives on the dead leavesColourful mess of shrubs and fernsLast remnant of summer, a wild strawberry seems to be ready to stay red and green for months to come

And I went back a few days later, this time with a little bit of sun and later with a ‘white sky’ that gave a nice even light for photographing in the forest.

With the sun at a low angle, this was the ideal moment to make these pine trees stand out from the backgroundPine trees in the quiet surroundings of a less-travelled path in the Solvay Domain, La Hulpe, BelgiumA magical stand of pine trees along a quiet path of the Solvay Domain, La Hulpe, Belgium

Autumn colours in the Hautes Fagnes

December 6, 2011 / no comments

The superb colours of autumn have now almost completely disappeared here in Belgium. Mid-October, I visited one of my favourite places in the Hautes-Fagnes: the Fagne de Malchamp and the Hoëgne Valley, both not far away from Spa.
I arrived in the Fagne de Malchamp just in time for sunrise. As always on this plateau, it was very windy and cold. But the warm light of the rising sun made everything, even the frost, look warmer.

Windy sunrise in the Fagne de Malchamp, near Spa, Hautes Fagnes, BelgiumWindy sunrise in the Fagne de Malchamp, near Spa, Hautes Fagnes, BelgiumWindy sunrise in the Fagne de Malchamp, near Spa, Hautes Fagnes, BelgiumEarly light and trees in the Fagne de Malchamp, near Spa, Hautes Fagnes, BelgiumGrass and tree in the Fagne de Malchamp, near Spa, Hautes Fagnes, Belgium

I have been to this place many times so I only spent about an hour there, trying to make new images, and soon headed to another of my favourites places in the neighbourhood: the Hoëgne Valley. I particularly like the area around the Belheid Bridge, close to Solwaster. There is a sign above the path leaving the parking area that is saying that this is one of the most beautiful valleys of Belgium.
And I cannot say otherwise. You could spend hours there photographing the Hoëgne river and its valley. The river is characteristic for the region, with its very iron-rich waters, it is very dark, almost black with bits of white foam slowly moving on top of it but it can also become red when the sunlight hits it in a particular direction.
I spent several hours there, playing with slow shutter speeds and reflections of the autumn colours in the water. The results are shown in the following images.

Sunlight makes the Hoëgne river turn red, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumThe Hoëgne river, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumSpiral and moss, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumRocks and reflection, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumTrees colours reflect in the river, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumTrees colours reflect in the river, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumThe Hoëgne river, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, BelgiumThe Hoëgne river, Hoëgne Valley, Pont de Belheid, near Solwaster, Belgium

Washington – British Columbia – Alberta teaser

November 17, 2011 / no comments

A few weeks ago, I spent two weeks around the state of Washington and visiting the South-West of Canada, British Columbia and Alberta. I am busy with sorting and selecting my pictures taken during this trip. When they will be ready, you will be able to see them in my galleries, of course.
In the meantime, as a teaser, here is a picture taken at sunrise in one of the most iconic places in Banff National Park: Moraine Lake.

Sunrise at Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada