Sharing my stories, passion and knowledge, but even more so, my experiences with photography in my blog section is something I needed to do. It is not easy, but love -not expected- to write more and share my experiences.

Visiting the Empese and Tondense Heide (with video)

So being back from Scotland and the Isle of Skye I struggled with the photos and drone shots. Sometimes wine needs to age to get to that point where it is at its best. This feeling, the need to let go and let it sit for a while, is what I especially have when coming back from these kind of trips. The experience is so “overwhelming”, that I can not directly edit the photos with a clear mind.

So the Scotland blog will come, but later, obviously. First I needed to go somewhere that was on my to do list to scout the place for future landscape and nature photography.


That happened to be the “Empese en Tondense Heide”.

See all the photos and video in large at the end of the page

This relatively new nature reserve is restored to it’s natural state to where it was, a flower rich wetland, almost sixty years ago. The restoration was done in the last couple of years where ditches were cut off and water was redirected. This meant that an agricultural land was transformed from grasslands to a more wetlands type of soil. Resulting in some exotic plants, flower and more birds in the area.

It is a small area, but beautiful nonetheless, perfect for some misty morning fall rising sun photographs. This time I also brought the drone with me to capture the low hanging mist just over the trees. Together with the rising sun gave some epic shots.

The hike started just after sunrise, but the sun was not strong enough to really push through the thick mist. After 30 minutes or so, the first sun rays were visible. This part of the hike wasn’t really photogenic, so I left the camera (Fujifilm X-T2 + 10-24mmF4) in the bag and set up the drone and took off.

Empese en Tondese Heide (1 of 8).jpg

The early sun just peaked through, the mist and the trees just visible gave that early morning fall fresh morning feeling. I realised I still needed to wait a bit longer for the real sunrise sunny shots. As I love the DJI Spark for its small and easy to fly design, the batteries are small and with the cold weather the flight time becomes a challenge. Luckily I had three batteries with me, so I still had two chances.

Walking on, grabbing the camera for the first shots, I ended up the “wetlands” part. Where the water is at the surface of the former grasslands. The water now forms small pools and there the plants and flowers prosper. The sun also pushed through and started to light up the surroundings with a yellow glow. The mist helps in this regard to disperse the light evenly without making it to harsh.

Tondense Heide.jpg

Now it is time to get the drone back into the air and getting that sunrise, yellow, misty morning feeling shot! And wow what a shot it was. The drone photo, see below, doesn’t do it justice, so I started filming. My first real (OK second one, first ones are still being processed form the Scotland trip) video with the drone.

All in all a nice morning scouting out the place. One thing that still “bothers” me is the realtively crowded nature areas in the Netherlands. I know, I should not complain, but living in this small country with this many people, you’ll find yourself never truly alone in nature. This time specifically a hiking event was planned that started just after sunrise. So this meant big groups of people were present in this area in the morning. Well, in the end, all the people I met were really happy and enjoying this beautiful morning. A contrast to the crowded city areas during the week.

I do not know if I’ll be back here soon as it was relatively small, but beautiful nonetheless. The frost, come winter, will be quite something else I think. So maybe, just maybe I will be back soon.

Photos and find the video at the end!