Last year I paid my very first visit to the Hallerbos in Belgium. It was an overwhelming experience. So much beauty and so many photographic opportunities, but it is very hard to extract something nice out of the chaos that a deciduous forest usually presents. Back then, we were lucky to have a dense layer of fog, which hid a large part of the chaos from view. But still, I had a hard time taking good photographs. I remember returning home with many gigs of images, only to throw away almost all of them. But: the few keepers were successful in two contest and yielded an article in a magazine.

Last Friday, I went back. Getting up before 4am is never easy, but the reward is there once you arrive in the fairytale forest and are greeted by the intensely colored flower carpet. This time, we had a sunny day, which meant the light got way too harsh after about 11am. So only a limited timeframe to get the shots I wanted. Without fog partly ‘cleaning’ the forest, it was much harder still to create good photographs. The number of keepers therefore is even lower than last year. But again I enjoyed every minute of it. Wouter and Dik, thanks for the company on a wonderful day.

Hallerbos at dawn; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS; 1/30s at F4 and ISO200; tripod.