The first week of November was dedicated to quality family time. Me and the three women in my life spent a week in a cottage near the sea. Just to be away from the daily routine for a few days and have the seabreeze clear the clouds in our heads. At least my head, as I doubt that our two little daughters are bothered much by any thoughts, ramblings, obligations, tasks and appointments. They only care about eat, drink, sleep and play. And not even always in that particular order. Well, the clouds have definitely faded, because the seabreeze turned out to be galeforce winds. The weather app of my smartphone more than once showed an exclamation mark to warn for heavy gusts!
The weather forecast was rather bad rainwise, but as is often the case, weather is very changeable at the coast and we could time our visits to the beach to be dry. I went back to the beach alone, but with my camera on the two afternoons the sky looked most promising. On both occasions, the low cloud cover ultimately blocked the setting sun, but incoming, almost black stormclouds certainly made up for the lack of vivid colors. Only the lower parts of the stormclouds were hit by the setting sun, the upper parts being very, very dark. I chose a high position for the camera. Not only because of the composition, but also to prevent the low-flying sandblast from hitting the lens and filters. I experimented with all kinds of shutterspeeds for different effects. In the photograph above, I especially like the different layers.
We also went for a walk in the beautiful Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. It features a lot of different types of scenery, with dunes, plains, canals, ponds, lakes and both deciduous and coniferous forests. Highly recommended. The area is home to a huge number of Fallow Deer, which made the walk a blast for our daughter, always searching for the next deer around the corner. Also, some 300 foxes live in the reserve, a handful of them used to humans and almost tame. They are fed daily by hikers and appear from nowhere at the slightest rustle of a plastic bag. It may not be wise to feed these wild animals, but we had a great time watching the foxes go about. Now that I have seen how things roll there, I do not believe any photographer who claims to have photographed these foxes without providing food anymore. As soon as the foxes learn that there is no food, they will disappear fast. So either the photographer lied about not feeding them, or simply exploited the fact that someone else was feeding the foxes. Which to me is all the same. Fact is that the foxes attract a lot of people to the reserve. We even met a large group of Belgian photographers that had especially travelled all the way up there for the foxes. All this extra attention for a much hated animal cannot be a bad thing, can it?
North Sea Coast; Canon 5D Mark III w. 17-40/4L; 0.5s at F16 and ISO100; ND Grad filter, tripod, remote release