The Netherlands Photo Tour 2020…

As for everyone, 2020 has been a strange year. With so many trips cancelled this year I was delighted to get one in…

I had looked at this photo tour in 2019 when it was first advertised, but unfortunately it fell on the same weekend as my sons wedding.. even I have to put family first, well now and again. But as with most events this year, the wedding was postponed until 2021. That did leave a slight silver lining because it meant I was free for a tour, and as the American photographers pulled out, it meant there was spaces…lucky…

The tour was being run by  Emma van VeldhuisenMandy Roeting and Laura Oonk as assistant. Their were 5 days of shooting planned, along with processing tutorials. Something to look forward too, having seen these photographers work I knew we would be in for a treat..

I decided to drive across to the Netherlands for this trip, and booked a cabin on the overnight ferry from Harwich to The Hook. Just my luck, the night I was due to sail, it was a tail of a storm, gales 7-9 with waves reaching 8m. Now, I’m no sailor, normally laying on the floor, crying for it to stop… But I found that the executive lounge was a good place to get my sea legs. I woke refreshed & with no noticeable effects from the night crossing..

Soon I was driving across The Netherlands, heading for our base for the next few days.  We were to be based on the edge of the biggest nature reserve in The Netherlands, perfect for locations.

Day 1… The first day consisted of meeting the rest of the group, a quick chat of what to expect, then straight into the shooting. The first location was an area of heather, absolutely stunning, the colours were amazing. During the shoot, advice was given, the horses and models were fantastic, moving into positions we had asked for, great images followed by some action. I had been looking forward to this. A total of 3 models and 5 horses, a large amount of images for me…

Between the shoots each day, we were all busily sorting & processing images, with help from the three masters.  We were shown how to process their way.  I found the process great fun while learning even more techniques I could use on so much of my other work…

Day 2.. With the ever changing weather…lol.. they say the UK has bad weather, this place is just wet. They have over 30 words just for rain.. The ladies were doing miracles swapping times and locations to accommodate the weather. This day we opted for an early one and we were on our way to a flower garden. Well, it was fields of colourful flowers and the field we used were full of Dahlias.  Spending a few hours shooting different poses from every angle. Soon we were on our way back to search through another thousand images. It was a full on trip, every gap that used to sort and process images. I always like to show images from my trips, day by day, I know a lot of my friends & family like to keep up with what I am doing. As normal I was trying to keep up with this.

Day 3.. Busy day. First up was another flower field, different feel, two horses and two models. I’m no horse expert, I don’t know all the breeds, but these were some stunning beasts. One at a time, the horses came, modelled and were on their way. Then it was back to the house for more sorting and a great presentation by the masters, showing even more techniques. Always enjoy learning new styles, gives me so many ideas to revisit old images. Late afternoon and it was time for another shoot. Two shoots in a day was a push but great fun. We all met on a heath, covered in long grass, heather & backed with trees. Here we set up posed shots, with the sun streaming through the trees behind. Great colours. Then on to the sand area to let these beasts run free, I always love an action shot…

Day 4… A much more relaxed day, gentle start, had a nice walk around the nature reserve, more beautiful colours, bright sun, glorious… Then it was time to get back in front of the screen. Late afternoon, it was time to head out. This time we were off to a lakeside location, we were in for a treat. The horse and the models were amazing.  The horses had a long mane and stunning eyes. The model, the first one was a very cute boy. These were cracking images, the smile, the connection between these two. That’s what I had been capturing during these shoots, the connection. Another model, another horse, this time in the lake rearing. great action and another thousand images to sort…lol

Day 5… Last day of shooting, again the morning was spent sorting and processing a lot of images. The young lad had done some stunning posing. Today we had our final shoot planned, we would be shooting late afternoon on a beach, but again the weather was playing a part. We headed north to a dune & beach area, meeting up with two of the models from previous shoots. It was a stunning location, great colours. One of my favourites shoots.  It was beautiful, great light, moody skies. Yes and even rain, but the models and the horses cracked on, felt sorry for the model as she road through the sea, the temperature had dropped..lol.. above and beyond what was expected of her, thank you Laar..

Time to go… Yes time to load the car and head for the ferry.  It was hard to say goodbye to all the lovely ladies who I had spent the last few days working with. The drive gave me time to think about the Photo Tour and what I had come away with. All in all it was a great trip, I had been able to take some amazing images. Something I will use in my photography, an another angle to my work. Processing wise, I came away with a lot of new techniques, understanding of developing techniques. My final selection were a mixture of what the masters had taught me & some in my own style. 

Thanks for reading..

Colin

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