Last Monday, yes, on stormy Monday, I spent the day in the picturesque valley of the Hoegne river in the Belgian Ardennes, together with friend Jos van de Kerkhof. We had a very enjoyable day in a landscape that is so close to home, yet so different from what we are used to. In the deep valley, the wind had no chance to come along and play, so no extra trouble keeping the tripod still. The leaves did rustle a lot which made for interesting arty effects, when combined with the long exposures we were forced to use because it was a very dark and gloomy day. Sorry for the milky-water-haters out there, but we had no choice. Upping the ISO to 1600 was not an option. Perfect weather for a day in the forest, because the high contrast that comes with sunshine is usually hard to tame. Besides dark and windy, it was also a very wet day. My wetsuit got very wet. Not only from the occasional hefty shower we had to endure (and kept us busy cleaning lens, filters and spectacles all day), but also from a classic case of slippery when wet. The polarizer did a good job of cutting through reflections, but the manual does not state that it in fact does not reveal the degree of slipperiness of the rocks on rockbottom. Hoegne – photographer: 1-0. Too bad the cloth I used to clean the lens, filters and spectacles was also submerged on the occasion. It certainly made me improvise for the remainder of the day. We had fun and missed all the fuzz about the storm. I’ll leave it to this for now and hurry back to my empty suitcase, that is in desperate need of being packed for the flight to Nairobi tomorrow. Masai Mara, here we come!

River Hoegne; Canon 5D mark III w. 17-40/4L; 2.5s at F16 and ISO50; polarizer, tripod