Stories Behind My Photos

In this serie of blog posts I will write about the photos from my portfolio. About the choices that I had to make, why I even made that photo, but also why I edited the photo in a certain way. By writing about this I hope to learn more about my own photos, so I can improve myself even further. And I hope that you can learn something too!

Walking in the Palace Park in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

One of my favorite forest to walk in is the Palace Park in Apeldoorn. This forest, which is 650 hectares, is part of Het Loo Royal Estate. Traditionally this park was for the royal residents of palace Het Loo and their guests. They used it for relaxation and recreation. From the 17th century they decorated the Palace Park with paths, ponds and alternation between open spaces and tree areas. They created a varied landscape that looks very natural. It’s very peaceful in this forest and I always feel inspirited when I walk there. And even after coming here for many years I still haven’t seen everything there is to see, let alone that I photographed it. That makes me even more excited to walk in the Palace Park again.

Path Covered by Grass – 2017
Walking path with in the forest with on the sides multiple trees. The path is covered with grass. Taken in Palace Park Het Loo Royal Estate.
Path Covered by Grass – 2017

When I walked in the Palace Park I came across this scene. I looked for the right composition and when I found it the whole scene was telling a story in my head. The grass that covers the path makes it look old, like it doesn’t get used a lot. The two trees on the left of the frame are almost hugging each other, like there lonely. As if they miss the turmoil of people walking past them.

I made this photo at the end of the morning, so the sun was already shining bright and I love the look that this gives the photo. The sunlight coming through the leaves from above give the photo a nice contrast between the dark shadows and the bright parts that are lighted by the sun. I applied a film simulation filter in DxO OpticsPro as a starting point for my edits because this gives the photo a more contrast and colorful look. I increased the contrast even further and made the blacks darker, this made the trees stand out even more.

Shadows on the Tree – 2017
Tree with shadows of leaves on the tree trunk in the forest. Taken in Palace Park Het Loo Royal Estate.
Shadows on the Tree – 2017

I composed this photo of a tree in a way that the branch and its leaves almost look like a flat, horizontal line. When you look quickly you may not even notice the branch. But if you do look close enough you can clearly see that it’s part of the tree. And that the shadow on the tree trunk is coming from the same leaves.  I like that you need to look more closely to really “see” this photograph.

With this photo I wanted to make a more minimalistic photo of the forest. But I still wanted to show the whole forest, so instead of focusing on one subject I focused on a small scene inside the forest. When I noticed the shadow of the leaves on the tree trunk I just knew that I had my minimalistic subject. I chose a shallow depth of field to isolate the tree a little bit more. Ideally I would have used a even more shallow depth of field, but since I also wanted the branch and the leaves in focus I couldn’t use a bigger aperture to blur out the background even further.

When I made this photo I used exposure compensation to make this photo darker so I didn’t have to do it in post-production. I didn’t increase the contrast, but I did make the blacks a little bit darker. I also fixed the white balance and of course I straightened and cropped the photo slightly.

Both photos are part of the Nature Scenery album