Unexpected beauty

The last few days had been really dull, grey and rainy. No sunshine at all. I’d been checking weather forecast websites all the time, to see if there would be any change in this anti-photography type off weather. Not every site agreed on whether or not it would be good, but yesterday turned out to be really nice. This was also the day I left my good (and light) tripod in the car, which was taken by my girlfriend for the day. So without a car, and a good tripod, clouds were starting to stack up to something that could easily turn into a beautiful sunset. 

So I had to improvise

I checked at what time the sun would set, I knew where I wanted to shoot (which was 10,6 km, roughly 30 minutes by bike), and I had enough time to prepare, so I didn’t need to rush. I quickly repaired my old (heavy) tripod, because it didn’t lock properly, but with a small piece of steel wire I had it fixed in no time. Because this tripod is heavy, it cannot be hung on my bag, so I taped it to the frame of my bike (I have a fixed gear bike so I prefer both hands on my steer). This worked perfectly!


I rushed through traffic (even though I had enough time, but it is good fun to go as fast as you can on a bike). In half an hour I was on location. Looking at the sky I wasn’t really sure whether or not the sunset would be nice. A thick band of clouds at the horizon blocked out most of the sunlight. So I was a bit worried. 


I was looking for a nice composition on the water’s edge. Something with a leading line towards the setting sun. There were different textures in the water, breaking the light in different angles. But also parts that were completely smooth and reflecting. When I found my composition I put the polarizer on. I wanted to take away some of the glare on the water and I wanted to deepen the colors a little more. This whole area is a swamp and to get my composition I was in the water with my sneakers (I need to buy me some wellies). But it was worth it because it improved the composition a lot! With my camera in live view mode, and everything set, I was waiting for the colors to change. Because I’m using a remote, I could keep my hands in my pocket, which for this time of year is a nice thing! The reason I had this setup is that in these lowlight conditions, I’m shooting with a slow shutterspeed. So in order to avoid camera movement (and keep my feet more or less dry) I used the remote. And since I was going for only one image, I didn’t need to change anything on my composition.    

A flock of birds

As the sun was setting, it turned out that the band of clouds wasn’t that thick. So I was happy! Then, while taking photos, a really large flock of birds flew past, turned and flew over me. I was stoked! Because this was an element I needed to uplift my composition a bit more.

The quality isn’t that good (phone video), but to give you an idea of the noise the birds made.

I thought this was really exhilarating and I was happy that I made the decision to go by bike. I was lucky with the birds and I was even more lucky, when I noticed some splashes in the water, that none of it had hit me, or my camera 😀 

That was a big one! Right in front of me 😀


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