Remember when I told you about that back log of RAW files, piling up on my harddrive ? Well guess what, yesterday, instead of processing images, I went shooting, making the pile even bigger. Because, let's admit it, that's more fun, right? No matter how much I like seeing a picture finished, I've always preferred going out and shoot.
I visited the Bulskampveld before, when I was taking an X-T1 for a spin. It was summer then, which translated into fairly bold hues of green. This time around, I chased that distant haze, typical of winter and autumn mornings. Alas, it wasn't meant to be: the haze was minimal, and the sun never really broke through the cloud cover, however delicate and fragile the clouds appeared to be. It made for a soft light (which is not my favorite for landscape), that was gentle enough however to play well with my camera's dynamic range, and mostly preserve some large scale structures in the sky. And after all that said and done, I must admit that for the shots I took, the light was simply perfect (perhaps even more so for the black and whites, here).
Did I mention the cold? Let's say I got an opportunity to try those long johns I bought for an upcoming trip to Iceland.
As I'm rather fond of low key images with a fairly high contrast, I felt I had to work on the files straight away, while I still remembered the soft, pale tones I saw during the shoot. Now that I look at the 5 images above, I may even have overdone the contrast. While I went for accurate colours that are representative of how the scenes appeared, I'm particularly fond of the five above (in case you're wondering, that little black speck in the upper right corner of the third one is a bird - thought I'd leave it in). Perhaps because they look like preboreal woodland vistas (yes, that would be the archaeologist popping up) ?
A watery sun broke through at the exact time we passed a patch of beeches. Lovely how the dappled light, carrying an almost unperceivable hint of warmth, lit up the trunks and the brown leaves. 
Leaving the patch behind, we were greeted by a flying ra ... sorry, wood pigeon, which literally walked towards us and started following us around. Maybe stalking is a more apt word, as she only left us when we cleared the forest, but anyway, she came close enough to pick some leaf litter from my gloves. A bit further down the path, a similar thing happened: we were approached by a little wood mouse that frolicked around for a while, seemingly oblivious to our presence, before disappearing in the cover of fallen leaves.
Oddly, though perhaps not as much as the thing with the animals, is the fact that all pictures were taken with a 135 mm lens. Could be the new toy effect, but I'd rather tell myself that it's the focal length, and the ability to frame tightly (and therefore exclude more easily) that have been a pleasant surprise to me.

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