Autumn Photography

Autumn Photography
by Kristel Schneider

Autumn, one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. A season full with colors and atmosphere .

Every year the Autumn season makes a photographer’s heart go faster and every year is different. This year the season was late, the climate was too warm to bring out the nice autumn colors on the trees. But when the trees finally are at their best, photographers have to act quick because the top season does not last long. Rain and wind can destroy the scenery overnight.  The sun is not always required for Autumn photography an overcast day and mist are great weather conditions to get these colors popup.

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TIPS for successful Autumn Photography:
– go out even if the weather is cloudy and grey
– get up early to get the first light even in combination with mist.
– use a polarization filter, the colors  get more intense and the filter is also very useful for
wet leaves reflection .
– look at your white balance settings, try out different modes.
– when taking photos of mushrooms look at your background to create a nice color

Even the late Autumn colors (red/brown tints) are nice to capture in landscape photography. So although this year may not have been the top Autumn season, even now,  in November, it is still nice to go out and enjoy some mushrooms and  the late season colors.

New autumn workshop/tour dates available for 2012.

Interview with Photographer: Leon Baas

Visions and Nature
Photographers interview
by Kristel Schneider

 ‘…more attracted by the bugs on the beautiful flowers than by the bride. ‘

I have come to know  Leon via Wildpixels, a Dutch nature forum. We were both moderators for the macro section. Leon’s work made me look  at macro photography differently. The first images I saw by him were insects surrounded by spectacular light. Looking at these images I always wondered how he could do that? He politely answered  sorry, I can’t go into much details about my technique otherwise everybody will copy it.  Luckily this has not been the case, Leon created his own style and mastered the techniques so well that  Canon’s office was decorated with his work in 2008. After this, everything moved fast and his images were published in many magazines (such as Focus, Zoom , Cameramagazine etc.) and on websites. I am very pleased to introduce his work to you and hope you will enjoy it -Kristel

Leon Baas at work

I started with photography 12 years ago. It then was nothing as it is now. It didn’t have any line in it and I would shoot everything my eyes saw. By doing this I learned more and more to look for details. My next step was wedding photography, which I did together with my wife. But to be honest my eyes were more attracted by the bugs on the beautiful flowers than by the bride.  Luckily my wife made the wedding shots so we got away with it.

My interest in nature photography grew fast the following years, especially macro photography. I learned to look for the perfect compositions and lighting techniques. I pushed myself to high standards, which I couldn’t reach at the time. I just wanted to create the perfect lighting and exposure. – Leon.

Who is your inspiration?
I  get my inspiration mainly from reading about a lot of old and new nature photography from which I have learned a lot of tricks. I learned a lot about photography by listening to other great photographers.

My toilet has been filled with a lot of photography books because this is the only place in my house I have nothing else to do except waiting for things to come. Your camera manual is the first book that will end up in a drawer. Now you know where you should  put it instead.

What do you like about Nature Photography?
I love the amazing world of insects. It’s a hard world with no rules. Sorry, just one rule…eaten or be eaten. An always different world and that fascinates me every time. Again and again.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Leon Baas — All Rights Reserved

Are there things you don’t like about Nature Photography?
I prefer to work alone and do not like to be disturbed when I’m doing my work.

Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who like macro photography ?

  1. Try to get as low as possible. For example. spiders will look even more impressive when  you can get even lower that the animal
  2. In the morning the animals are very slow. Just take advantage of that moment and don’t forget your tripod.
  3. Try to approach your subject as slow as possible. Before you know it they will fly or run off. The use of a 100mm lens or longer will help you  get a safe working distance.
  4. To lure insects you can make your garden more attractive to insects. By placing a butterfly box or a real insect hotel you can get some really nice species in your garden. You can make your own insect hotel by drilling many holes in an old tree stump in different diameters like 6, 8, 10 en 12 millimeters. Water is very important and lures a lot of insects to your garden like butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, even newts, frogs and other water specious.

What are your specialities?i
I have specialised  in making photos of insects in surreal areas. I try to achieve it by applying special exposures with special colored flashes, to make their world more dramatic.  I also focus on habitat macro photography which shows insects in their habitat with an extreme depth of field.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Leon Baas — All Rights Reserved

Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?
It is a photo with a take off from a ladybird. A photo with a moment that will never come back. I am really proud of this picture I have to say.

Photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Leon Baas — All Rights Reserved

Describe how it was taken?
For this photo I used two coloured flashes. One for the background and one for the object.  The background was a coloured canvas.

That day I was photographing mushrooms. I had everything ready when the ladybug climbed against the mushroom.  An exciting time for me to watch. What I hoped for happened. And I’m still happy with the result.

You are now on Visions and Nature Blog, a Nature and Landscape Photography Blog from Kristel Schneider. Do you know her work?
I know Kristel as a serious photographer who does her work very good and thoroughly.I love her enthusiasm and surprising themes.

When you look at her gallery which image pops out for you and why?
The photo ‘’drop on a leaf’’ still appeals to me most.
But her other work is also surprisingly good.

Interview with Photographer Jeroen Stel

Visions and Nature
Nature Photographers interviews
by Kristel Schneider

..“do my own thing” and not be bothered with the opinions of others and this works well for me

I attended my first nature photography workshop with Jeroen in the Netherlands, many years ago already. He had a great way of telling us about his passion and this was really inspiring and motivating people, as he did with me. I saw Jeroen’s  first images on,  they were macro images of all kinds of topics.

His work made me want  to read and experiment more about that type of photography. Jeroen’s photography passion is bird photography and although  this is not one of my favourite subjects I love his bird images as they do not look like registration images but show the birds in their natural habitat, surrounded in a great atmosphere, blue light or sunset tints.  I am personally happy to add Jeroen to the list of Series Photographers interviews on Visions and Nature and I hope you will enjoy his work.

Who is your inspiration?
Nature in itself is extremely inspiring and its shapes and movements inspire me the most.

What made him/her inspire you, with what kind of image(s)?
I like the “element of surprise” nature offers me on a daily basis. Be it  rainstorm whilst photographing Kingfishers or the last rays of light during sunset, providing a rim of light around a Roe Deer for instance, can create a big smile on my face.

What do you like about Nature Photography?
Having worked in the fashion industry for many years as a fashion designer I realised I was always working and thinking in boxes which limited my creativity. By working as a full time nature and wildlife photographer I have now limitless possibilities in making creative  images. Moreover  nature is the most beautiful “office” to work in. This does not mean it is easy, but I have always liked a challenge.
Furthermore the freedom and peace of mind nature provides me with is something to be found nowhere else.

Are there things you don’t like about Nature Photography?
When I left the fashion industry I was glad  not to elbow my way in any more and get rid of all that envy and animosity that surrounded me. Unfortunately as time passed by I have noticed that things are not that different in the world of nature photography. That is one of the reasons I decided to “do my own thing” and not be bothered with the opinions of others and this works well for me. Luckily I still get to meet many interesting and friendly people in nature photography and I would not want to swap my “job” for any other.

Something else I do not like is that many nature photographers are fixed on photographing exotic species and tend to forget about the beauty that’s around the corner. I see many interesting photos of lions, bears, elephants or eagles showing up on forums but so few outstanding photographs of a “simple” black-tailed godwit for instance. I am not saying that it is easy to take good pictures of exotic species (just look at the fantastic work of the earlier interviewed Marsel van Oosten and ask him how many hours he spends on his images..) but I am disappointed that many nature photographers just focus on creating full frame “registration images” of our own species instead of creating art.

Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who would like to become   professional nature photographers?
Do not quit your current job…..or at least not until you are certain you can make a living with nature photography as this is very difficult. I have always believed that if there was something you really wanted to do you could do it. It has to be your lifelong dream though and you have to be mentally and physically strong in order to be able to cope with the many disappointments you will face. Besides, the image quality you produce has to be top-notch all the time.

Something I would advise people is to specialise in a certain subject or in photography style as this is the only thing stock agencies will still be interested in. If you have a passion for what you do and strive to be the best then anything is possible.

What are your specialities?
I started out with macro photography as I liked experimenting with all sorts of lenses and equipment to produce extreme macro photographs. Macro is still one of my specialities but I have become pretty much an all rounder as I shoot anything from Landscapes to Mammals and from Insects to Star Trails. In terms of species I’d like to think I am a Kingfisher specialist as I have been working with Kingfishers every year since 2003 and have more than 15.000 Kingfisher images and many HD film clips in my files.

Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?
It is always hard to mention your favourite photograph as there are many photographs which might not have turned out as prize winning shots but they are my favourite memories in terms of wildlife experiences.

Describe how it was taken?
One of these experiences was the time I was laying in a clover field hiding behind my lens and waiting for a fox which had just been hunting Grey-lag Geese and had caught one. She was on her way back to her den and walked only 2 meters past me. This shot was taken at my minimum focal length at a distance of about 4 or 5 meters, as when she was walking  toward me.

You are now on Visions and Nature Blog, a Nature and Landscape Photography Blog from Kristel Schneider. Do you know her work?
I have known Kristel for several years and have seen her photography style grow in to her own “handwriting”. Whether her name is mentioned or not I can recognize a true “Kristel Schneider” from a mile away and that is a big compliment and a huge achievement on her side.  I like the romantic touch her images have and the way she uses depth of field.

When you look at her gallery which image pops out for you and why?

I do not have a personal favourite as I like many of her images and hope she will continue to make this beautiful work in her own style.

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