Let’s be honest. The biggest problem in photography is not ‘being there when the light is good’. Of course this can be a problem when you went out to make a photograph or travel and at the time you are at your chosen location the light is not good, but in general there is a lot to plan to aim for the best conditions possible. The rest is luck. No, the biggest problem, or at least my biggest problem in photography is knowing goods spots for the present weather conditions in the area.
And the reason why: I have already not enough time for photography, so time for location scouting is even a bigger challenge. The fact even is that I usually go out for a shoot to either a known location, or visit a possible new one, but always when the light gets good, so finding the right spot is than the ‘extra game against time’. And this is the fact as well in the morning (even more difficult when it is dark) as well as the evening. I try to combine my shoots with location scouting since I am at the location anyway, but often there is no time for that. Also this October…
Autumn! Great time of the year for photography!
: Walking through the ‘Speulderbos’: ‘I found some curving trees, but not a real dancing tree scene’
Lots of days with great skies in the morning and the evening. Unfortunately for photography, I most of the time had to bring kids to school or pick them up at the end of the day, so making photographs was not ‘in the picture’. But finally last weekend I decided it was time to go out, and more precisely to go back to a location I went multiple times before: the Speulder forest (‘Speulderbos’) with the famous ‘dancing trees’. This time I didn’t go to my usual spot, I decided it was time to discover another part of the forest where these trees also should be.
So I took my iPad and started the search for the right location. Of course there would be some photographers who would have mentioned where in this rather large forest you could find the dancing trees. And otherwise the sites about the forest it self would probably mention the locations. I looked on all the websites I could find about the subject, even searched by looking for photos, etc. I was astounded! Nowhere I could find a map, drawing or description of the places to visit within the forest if you wanted to photograph these trees. So I tried different keywords and looked in several blogs. Lots of photographs about these famous trees, but no clue where to go. Nothing!
: ‘I ended up making telephoto stills of pine trees and trees in autumn colors.’
This might have a reason. You might think that the trees could be found everywhere in the forest. But this is not true. I had walked through a rather large part and had only found some spots. So what to do… Finally I decided to go to an area someone had mentioned me before and see what I could find: the surroundings of the forest-house “Drie”.
Next morning I arrived at the forest house around sunrise. At the parking spot stood a hand full of people near a car, drinking coffee or tea, apparently waiting for others to arrive. ‘probably other photographers’ I thought. And since I rather go on my own, I made a mistake. Instead of asking them were the trees could be found, I got my backpack and tripod and went into the forest ‘by luck’.
I walked several kilometres and found some curving trees, but not a real ‘dancing tree scene’. I ended up making telephoto stills of pine trees and trees in autumn colors. And pictures of tree trunks in close-up which looked spooky. Not bad, but not what I came for…
: ‘And pictures of tree trunks in close-up which looked spooky.’
Just before I had no time left and had to leave for home, I met the group again, talked with them and found out they could easily tell me were to find the trees. I ran to the location to find another group of photographers making compositions of the trees. Unfortunately the good light was gone and since this morning there was no mist, I decided to leave the camera in the bag. I walked around, checked the location and decided to come back some other time.
So if you are looking for the dancing trees, look at the map below. I tend to update this map every time I have visited the ‘Speulderbos’. Hope this helps if you want to take pictures of the dancing trees.
: The map of the ‘Speulderbos’ with the locations I know of dancing trees. 1) is the location near Drie: park at the Teahouse parking (the P), walk south to the camping, cross the camping and just after the camping you will find dancing trees. 2) en 3 are locations near the eastside of the forest. Good for morning light hitting the trees. You can park at the parking on the east side of Drie. Then take a walk (15-20 minutes) to the east side of the forest. Lots of dancing trees there (see header image)! A) en B) are spots I haven’t visited yet. Some photographers I met told me that’s were the small hills are with dancing trees around and on them. You can acces this part from Drie or from the parkings at the north side of Garderen.