Website portfolio update | Latest Work

by Kristel Schneider

Spring time, the season of colors and new life.
For me the time where I focus a lot on flower photography, especially the last couple of weeks I visited my favorite flower ‘hotspots’ in the area
I was happy to see that the wild orchids were doing very good this year, some species came out even too early for me as they were already to damaged to photograph.
Nature is acting pretty unpredictable over the last couple of years and the flora is adapting better to this than our nature flower guides. So it is better to see for yourself and look when
certain species are out or not. Because of the weather (hot, warm, wet, wind) I returned to the flower areas a couple of times to see  their blooming status and to have better photography light conditions.

Today I updated my portfolio | Latest Work, to give you a small overview of what I have been photographing lately.
Feel free to have a look at my website





Follow the steps editors pick- Landscape gallery

Follow the steps editors pick- Landscape gallery
on NatureScapes.Net

Montagne des Allebasses
Altitude, 1365 m.
PNR Livradois Forez | Auvergne |France

See blog post: – Emptiness – for more images, Montagne des Allebasses

Some feedback so far:

  • Wonderful image. I usually get frustrated when I see footprints on an otherwise immaculate snow cover.
    You used it to tell a story. Great job!
  • Great composition, wonderful details in the snow……and I just love the Fox tracks, excellent!
  • Perfect! A good eye in composing this…well done!
  • very pleasing image
  • Very beautiful composition.
  • Very compelling image. Great detail capture in the snow up close. Well done.
  • Nice use of the elements to introduce a strong leading line into the distance where that lone tree is.
  • Gorgeous!
  • Lovely scene
  • The isolation here is excellent!


Other editors picks in 2013:

Emptiness on the summit

– Emptiness –

Montagne des Allebasses Altitude, 1365 m. PNR Livradois Forez | Auvergne |France


The last couple of days I visited the summit of Montagne des Allebasses twice, and each time the weather conditions were totally different. This is what makes going back to the same location so interesting, it never looks the same and light conditions change very rapidly, especially when you’re on a high altitude. I just love walking into the emptiness with my snow shoes. The sound, the view of such a huge open space in-front of my eyes make me feel so small. Sometimes the overwhelming beauty of such a scenery, the emptiness around me can be difficult to capture in just one shot. It’s at that moment that I am happy to see lines in the field, or fox-tracks. I just want to follow these tracks and explore the same route this animal followed before I did. You can see the zigzag in the open field, wandering, looking for food. Following the route, it was important for me not to step into hidden holes the wetland is known to have underneath the snow. The trees on the summit were not totally covered with snow anymore, the warm temperatures had removed the heavy loads from the branches. But there was just enough left for me to capture the winter spirit.

On the second day there was a lot of wind and the sun was already very low. The summit did not only feel cold but it also looked very cold. The peaceful empty scene  of the day before had now transformed into a rough textured snow field. The wind was blowing the snow over the ground and the sunlight was changing fast with the moving clouds in the back. There was no use of putting on my tripod and because of the low angle I chose I had to be very careful not to get the full blast into the camera lens. And at one point I was not alone anymore, two people and a dog popped-up from behind, this made my ‘empty’ scene look totally different again. Summit-Montagne-des-Allebasses_12

12 Favorite photos of 2013

2013, looking back at another great photography year
Fun, challenging, exciting and rich

Now, in 2014, I can look back at a successful but busy photography year. Through my work for the regional natural park (PNR) Livradois Forez I could, by all means, draw a lot of lessons. To put myself outside my comfort zone (Nature and Landscape Photography) and to do photo reportages with lots of different types of people in all kinds of weather conditions and locations was exciting and challenging. But most of all, fun to do (click  here for an overview). The only drawback was that there was  not a lot of time left for my personal photography plans.  And if at the same time the weather acted funny, then I ended up with a poor selection of images for 2013. However I think I had some great moments in nature and thanks to the wide variety of photo assignments I was given, I could discover new photo sites to explore from now on.

To say goodbye to 2013, here is my selection of my private best shots of 2013:

Last light taken in January 2013.
Etang de la Colombière, a local fishing lake in the middle of the  forest in Haut-Livradois. That day, I remember, it was cold and the mist was gathering around the trees. I only had to wait for some great light to finalize the nice atmosphere. A beautiful place that always will be on my photography list ;  it will have its own particular charm, whatever the season.

Trees in the winter taken early  February 2013.
Readers who visit this blog more often know how much I love trees and one of the things I always wanted to do was walking on snow rackets in the forest. So together with photographer Cyril Coudert (partner from Massifs Centraux) I planned a photo day in the Sancy area (Auvergne, France) in the place calledVallée de la Fontaine Salée | Chastreix-Sancy  (1299m). There is nothing more peaceful than walking in a forest covered with snow. Great day that was ! Read all about it here.

Puy de Redon taken in February 2013.
A snowshoe hike I will surely never forget. That day was the 3rd time I went on a trail with snowshoes on, so the idea of climbing to the top of the high mountains in the Sancy was exciting and hard at the same time, but  a real adventure. Read all about it here.


Man Orchid taken in May 2013.
Being a real Wild Orchid lover  I was very happy to find a protected orchids site – nearby Puy de Pileyre vulcano, not far from my home. This year spring was very wet and although I visited my orchid site a couple of times it was difficult to find flowers that had not been damaged by the heavy rains. These Man Orchids were nicely protected by a bush and the day I took that image the light was poor and that I had to work fast between the storms that passed by over my site.

Man-Orchid_Orchis-anthropophora_2bWinter in Spring taken in May 2013.
During a private photo tour we visited Col de la Croix St Robert in Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park. The plan was a sunrise session but due to the weather conditions we unfortunately had to skip the sunrise. Instead we got lots of snow, fog and frosty trees later on in the morning.  Not quite what we expected during this Spring Photo Tour in Auvergne. But the scenery was so beautiful and the trees with the morning frost were magical.
Birch-trees-with-frost_3Birch-trees-with-frost_7Rossignolet taken in June 2013.
When you organize workshops in your own area you visit certain locations a lot. Such is the case with the so-called Rossignolet waterfall nearby the town of Mont Dore.
Each time the view and the atmosphere are different there and the day I took this image the fresh green leaves popped-out nicely against the white running water.
See here my blog post about that day.

Common-dog-violet taken in August 2013.
On my way home from a photo session I saw this purple color patch of violets on the ground. I parked the car on the side of the road and just put myself next to these fragile little flowers. This lonely violet caught my eyes and made my day!


Cholizas taken in November 2013.
The rough water conditions were challenging that day but it was great, rainy and overcast – ideal to photograph a forest scenery.
The night before we had had heavy rainfalls and I could immediately see the impact the rain had made : the scene looked amazingly different from the one I had seen a couple of days earlier.
Read more here.Cholizas_8

Tuscany of Auvergne taken in December 2013.
Driving back home from a Christmas local market I remember thinking that the weather was so mild that the scenery in front of me could be the one of a late summer evening.
With the only difference that the fields were empty and not nicely covered with sunflowers or garlic.
Tree-in-evening-sun_Billom-areaSunny moments in the snow taken in December 2013.
Sometimes the weather is not very motivating to go out with your camera, like the day I took this image : the weather was grey and dull.
But I am happy I changed my mind and around 3 pm I drove to the Haut Livradois area, not very far from where I live. The temperature was below zero degree celsius, which made the scenery frosty and cold.
The clouds were hanging low over the trees, many still covered with snow from the heavy showers. After that day temperatures went up and the snow disappeared fast.
Read more here.

Livradois-Forez-winter-scenery auvergne

Overview 12 favorite photos 2013 click here.

Image | last light editors pick

Last light editors pick- Landscape gallery
on NatureScapes.Net

Etang de la Colombière
Livradois-Forez Auvergne France

Image from early January at a lake in the middle of the forest. I took a series of images that day and this one almost landed in the wast basket.
In 2011 I wrote a blog post about ‘the old box‘  and mentioned that sometimes it is good to take some distance from your work and let time pass before you actually work on them
and decide if this is a keeper or is ready for the trash bin.

Etang-de-la-Colombière  Some feedback so far:

  • Love it!
  • Very, very nice.
  • Beautiful and surreal. I really like the blue cast and reflection.Gorgeous Kristel!!
  • What a wonderful mood and it just exudes peace and tranquility.


Other editors picks in 2013:

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