It’s 04:00 am. Time to get ready for an early morning landscape shoot. I’m not alone this time. Ron, a lifetime friend and fellow landscape shooter is joining me today. As we set of at 04:30 am, we can already see the early morning start will pay off. A dense ground fog is hanging over the fields as we drive northeast. I’ve got a location in mind, which under these conditions could be just the right place. We’ve got 45 minutes before sunrise and it’s just a 20 minute drive away. But as soon as we drive into the countryside east of Groningen city, the ground fog is nowhere to be seen.
That’s a problem. Because it’s all we have to play with. The sky is cloudless and this time of year, as soon as the sun tips over the horizon, it’s a big and bright ball that ruins everything. After a quick assessment of the situation, we decide to turn back to where we started. With a bit of luck, the ground fog is still there and our efforts will not have been in vain. But as always, time is running out. Just as we arrive in the fields west of Groningen city, the sun says hello and a new day has started. It’s in these situations that you realize how important it is to have as many potential ’landscape-ready and approved’ locations in your landscape arsenal as possible. As the sun gains height, we quickly drive to a location where we can use the fog and back lighting for some scenic shots.
As we get out of the car and grab our gear, the sun is already bright enough to shoot handheld with a long focal length. I quickly mount my 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II, set the aperture on f/7.1 (don’t ask me why..), the iso on 200 and start exposing. With shutter speeds in access of 1/800 sec., it’s more than enough to forget about setting up the tripod. Speed and making the most out of this quickly changing situation is all that matters now. As I look next to me, Ron is shooting just as franticly. With the light evolving and the sheep constantly changing position, we need to be as flexible as possible. It looks chaotic but big smiles tell it all. We have a ball. And best of all, we’ve eventually ended up less then a mile from my home. So a fresh cup of coffee and breakfast is almost within our reach. Have a great weekend!