Horsetail plants

Horsetail Plants
by Kristel Schneider


One of my favourite places in  Auvergne is the Massif du Cézallier. An open area with lots of  different landscapes.  There are volcano lakes, little brooks and wetlands. The amount of different wild plants that grow there is enormous.

Driving up to the Cézallier   always means new discovery to me. This can be a plant I have never seen or a certain  light that appears in front of my eyes  because of the fast changing weather conditions.

The last time I was there, the weather was not that great. But along a little lake there were these nice Horsetail plants in bloom.

I decided to spend some time with them  and try to get some different angle and background shots. My eyes were constantly pulled towards the  white blooming bud with the brown little patches on it, so fantastic to look at.

The wind provided me with  the background I wanted, just a little bit of movement to get rid of the static look of the stem. I definitely will go back there to get some more detail shots of the stem and try to get a nice back-light shots, but that is for later.

The images on this page were all taken with a 5DMII Canon body in combination with a 150mm Sigma Macro lens .

Marsh Horsetail
Equisetum palustre

Horsetails (Equisetaceae) are perennial, ornamental plants that grow from creeping rhizomes. They look like miniature bamboos because of their single hollow, jointed stem with bristle-like branches. During prehistoric times, they grew as large trees.

Interview Kristel

Nature photographer Mike Moats has interviewed me about Macro Photography for his Blog: Tiny Landscapes.
You can read the interview here.

Interview with Photographer | Samuel Bitton

Visions and Nature
Photographers interview

..one thing that I like less than others, it would have to be the early rises!!

‘ ‘WOW’,  that was the sound that guided my eyes when I first saw Samuels work.  The light, the colours and the openness in his work made me love it immediately. By looking at his work you can tell he loves and respects the beauty of nature. I am happy to introduce you to his work and I hope you will enjoy his work as much as I do, Kristel.

‘I  am a professional landscape photographer based in Switzerland. My first interest in photography started in 2001 after buying my first SLR camera just before going on a trip to the Canadian Rockies. From that day I was instantly hooked and have been ever since. Up until September 2010 photography was purely a passion and was selling my work here and there as a side activity to my main job as a software engineer. In 2010 I decided to make the plunge and gave up that job to go full time as a professional photographer. It was certainly a big decision, not to say one of the biggest in my life, but I already have no doubt that I will never regret it.  At the moment the main part of my work relies on fine art print sales (certainly the one I enjoy the most), photo workshops, I edit my own calendar on the Swiss Alps theme, I have various collections of postcards, sale some of my images as stock and work on a few assignments, one of them being capturing the calendar images of one of the most prestigious Swiss watch maker’, Samuel.

Who is your inspiration?
Having discovered photography while I was living  in the UK, I have drawn most of my early inspiration from UK landscape photographers, the main ones being Joe Cornish, David Noton, Lee Frost, Tom Makie. I also love the work of US photographers like Rodney Loug, Gallen Rowel and Mark Adamus, and Australian photographers  Peter Leek and Ken Ducan.  Closer to home, I admire the world renown photographer Yann Artus Bertrand and his work on the earth from above, the fantastic images of Olivier Folmi as well as Philip Plisson.

What made him/her inspire you, with what kind of image(s)?
I think the common aspect that inspires me from all these photographers is COLOUR. They are all masters in capturing amazing light and creating very colourful images, something I am very sensitive to.

What do you like about Nature Photography?
Literally everything, but mostly what I absolutely love about it is that it allows me to spend a lot of time outdoor, discovering unknown beautiful places or re-discovering known ones under the magic of ever changing light.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Samuel Bitton — All Rights Reserved

Are there things you don’t like about Nature Photography?
I can’t say that there is anything I don’t like about photography. I just love every aspect of it. It is really a deep passion that dwells in me and I embrace everything that it involves. Now, if there was one thing that I like less than others, it would have to be the early rises!!
Indeed, at times, getting out of bed really early is a bit difficult but every time the effort never fails to be rewarded. Once up, it is such a thrill to be witnessing the spectacles that nature offers us so early in the day.

Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who would like to become   professional nature photographers?
Every time I am asked this question, my answer is dead simple, BE PASSIONATE. If you are really passionate about what you are doing (and that applies to everything in live, not just photography), you can achieve everything you want. So if you are completely passionate about landscape photography and every aspects of it, then you have every chance to be successful.

What are your specialities?
My first passion is really for the outdoors and the mountains. So this is what I naturally photograph the most and being based in the Swiss Alps, this is without a doubt my speciality.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Samuel Bitton — All Rights Reserved

Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?
It is always difficult to pick just one, but I have to say that never get tired of looking at my panoramic image of the sunrise over the Italian Alps and the Portjenhorn.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Samuel Bitton — All Rights Reserved

Describe how it was taken?
It was taken one early morning from about 3200 meters of altitude while climbing the south ridge of the Weissmies, a 4000m peak in the Swiss Alps. Not only it brings me great memories as it was my first 4000m peak climb but it also represents about everything I love in a photograph, strong warm colours over a wild and pristine mountain vista.

You are now on Visions and Nature Blog, a Nature and Landscape Photography Blog from Kristel Schneider. Do you know her work?
When you look at her gallery which image pops out for you and why?

I didn’t know Kristel’s work until now. Amongst the beautiful images that she presents in her gallery, the one that has struck me the most is the “amethyst deceiver with back light and details of the gills”. I find the colours very pleasing the composition perfect. It almost looks like an image taken from the deep underwater world. Click here to see the Mushrooms and Fungi Gallery.

Monts du Cèzallier | Auvergne | France

Monts du Cèzallier
Sunrise landscape shots

Getting up at 5am is not something I like but when I see the sun rise and the landscape changing colours in the fresh light I  forget all about that alarm clock.

Driving to the Monts du Cèzallier takes me to magnificent landscapes. Mountain meadows and valleys with nice lines and textures. My goal was to capture some images with wild Daffodils and because mother nature is a bit early this year I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The sunrise in itself was a bit disappointing but the early morning light provided me with nice warm light that I could use for my landscape shots.

See for more images : spring gallery

The massif of Cézallier is a French volcanic tray located in the Central Massif, between mounts Brown and the mounts of Cantal. It is shared between two departments: Puy-de-Dôme and Cantal. The medium altitude of the massif is located between 1 200 and 1 500 m. The climax of the massif is the sign of Luguet (1 551 m). -Wikipédia

Interview with photographer Edwin Giesbers

Visions and Nature
Photographers interview

Nature is an excuse for me to crawl

‘Wild Wonders of Europe (WWE) introduced me to Edwin’s work. On his WWE blog posts he published some images he captured in Liechtenstein. I loved his flower images, lots of colour contrast. I searched on the net for other images and found his landscape work also very interesting’, Kristel

Edwin was born in 1967 in Arnhem, The Netherlands. He has now been living in Nijmegen, close to Arnhem and the German border for several years. The love for nature started in his youth. He has been photographing since the age of 16, and for a number of years he has been a dedicated professional nature photographer. His topics in nature are very diverse, from small subjects such as plants and insects to bigger ones such as birds, mammals and landscapes. He likes to travel around the world and has visited the most extreme areas such as Borneo, Madagascar and Antarctica. Despite this, he also still finds it a challenge to take images in his own country, in a new and interesting way .


Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Edwin Giesbers — All Rights Reserved

Who is your inspiration?
Since the early years of my nature photography (and that goes far back!) there has indisputably been a photographer  who is my absolute favourite: Frans Lanting . Born (1951) in the Netherlands but soon after his studies in Economics went to America. After an additional study, he made the switch to become a professional nature photographer. Not a bad decision! Besides numerous articles for National Geographic, he has produced beautiful books as ‘eye to eye’, ‘jungle’ and ‘Penguins’.

What made him/her inspire you, with what kind of image(s)?
Often these photographers have a particular speciality such as macro photography, landscape photography, environment photography or black and white photography. But this guy controls everything: striking close-ups of reptiles, amphibians and insects, birds and mammals penetrating images of magnificent landscapes.
Each subject has the same characteristic: Lanting quality!.
In addition, he has created these images in every conceivable environment, from the hot humid tropics to the icy cold of Antarctica.
David Doubilet ‘most famous underwater photographer for National Geographic ” once  said about him, ‘I’m glad he does not (or barely) do underwater photography. And the few underwater pictures Lanting took are also top. Besides the gift of telling a story with photos Lanting also has a gift for the more creative and compelling images.
New fill flash techniques,  movement, striking camera angles and camera-traps, etc., Lanting was already practising these techniques as one of the first in the early 70th and subsequently, with also a very powerful image as an end result.
Over the last few years we’ve seen more images of animals in motion with slow shutter speed (so as to create momentum) in nature photography. Lanting was already making such images already 20 years ago. It is the same for the now much vaunted “animal in landscape’ instead of ‘animal portrait’ images, Lanting has made them for many decades. And not just in a dull landscape. Think of his famous statue of courting albatrosses in an incredibly beautiful landscape. There were also the tightly framed animal portraits of incomparable beauty, that made you almost look  into the soul of the animal (at least for me). Consider for example the Puma-portrait on the cover of his book ‘eye to  eye’.
Made in captivity, incidentally! And yes Lanting didn’t hesitate to create beautiful portraits in captivity images which were often not possible to make in “real” nature.

What do you like about Nature Photography?
What else? Nature photography is for me being in nature and enjoying it. As a young boy I already would explore the nature around my home.
Nowadays it is an infinitely long and exciting journey where I always see new subjects and look for new ways to capture them. And nature is an excuse for me to crawl (also as a young boy) in a field of beautiful flowers and strange-looking insects, but now with a camera around my neck. And with nature photography, we have a tool in our hands to show magnificent nature to other people and make make them aware that it is necessary to protect such fragile nature . It gives me the possibility to spend much time in nature. You must get to see the beautiful places on earth. And photography is a natural process that is continuously developing. You always learn new ways and it challenges you every time again.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Edwin Giesbers — All Rights Reserved

Are there things you don’t like about Nature Photography?
First of all I totally agree with the view of Marsel van Oosten. No more words to add to this very clear and refreshing vision . Second: the time it takes when I travel to a remote location. I find it annoying to travel many hours in an air-plane or in a car. And of course the time that I’m away from home. Missing my girlfriend and children when I’m abroad for a job. And the Confrontation with the decline and disappearance of natural areas. All around the world I have seen it happening. Even on a recent trip to Madagascar, I was faced with the problem. Nature photography can, and must play, an important role in the protection of the vulnerable nature everywhere on earth.

Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who would like to become   professional nature photographers?

 

Three trips for Nature Photographers every time in general;

  1. Natural wonders are everywhere, even in your own backyard. You do not have to travel  to wild places on the other side of the world to make exciting images. Everything you need to do is open your eyes and look.
  2. Choose a project (for example one species) near your home town, read and learn everything about this species and then try to capture it in differential ways and work with it until you can tell a story with your images.
  3. Look at the work or other photographers (not just natural), look at work of famous painters, visit exhibitions, but find your own way.

And for people who would like to become a pro nature photographer: mmmm …. Probably these days as difficult as winning the lottery but it works if you’re the luckiest man / woman on earth.

What are your specialities?
I photograph many subjects but a differential probably speciality is the photography of natural subjects such As small plants, insects, reptiles and amphibians.
I try to capture them  in a more creative style with quiet backgrounds and foreground. Keywords are simplicity, form and abstract.

Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?
I find it difficult to choose my best picture, I have a few favourites. But the picture of the two Adelie penguins in their habitat is certainly a big favourite. It perfectly reflects my feeling of Antarctica, penguins as tiny as small creatures in a magnificent blue and white world. It looks as if they are connected to each other by the touch of a wing. They are definitely friends.Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Edwin Giesbers — All Rights Reserved

Describe how it was taken?
During a nice journey through the Antarctic waters (thanks! Magazine Browsing / Netherlands)  I was impressed by the beautiful blue tones of the landscape. With the zodiac we were sailing in a bay with stunning Icebergs of all shapes and shades of blue. And in a flash I saw, from a great distance, the two penguins at exactly the right place on the most beautiful icebergs in the bay.  I immediately responded and made three images and then the penguins plunged into icy water. The moment lasted only 2 or 3 seconds but I will remember it forever. These are the special moments and one of the reasons why I have become a nature photographer.

You are now on Visions and Nature Blog, a Nature and Landscape Photography Blog from Kristel Schneider. Do you know her work?
When you look at her gallery which image pops out for you and why?  Yes, I know her work from the website Nature Inspirations.
The images I like is the image with moving trees. It gives me a feeling or a dream forest and I like the creative approach. Click here for the image(s) Edwin likes in the dream and mood gallery.


 

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