Henne Strand Winter 2023/24
New Years photography trip
I'm an introvert living the life of an extrovert. It took more then 35 years before I came to the conclusion that I must be an introvert, although the signs have been there early on. I always had good friends, but never a lot. I don't make new friends easy and I enjoy doing things on my own. I don't like to talk much and I hate small talk. I always felt like I had to recover from parties, family gatherings and other events with many people.
I was always seeking for solitude without being fully aware why I felt that way. I like to go alone to cinema, on vacation and especially on photography trips. I don't even have a problem with eating alone in a restaurant.
On the other hand I always enjoyed playing team sports, I get along with almost everyone, I was told that I can be quite charming, I have build my own family, I love to spend time with my kids and my job requires me to be extroverted at an substantial amount of time. For 35 years it seemed like those two extremes could go along quite well. But suddenly I felt that I need more and more time to recover from crowded events and extroverted outings.
At the same time I started to deep dive into photography. Right away photography and hiking became my perfect excuse to be on my own. With every trip and shooting it became clearer to me: I don't need people to be around. I love to have some of them around but I don't need it. And definitely not all the time. I get along with myself quite good. So it became a theme for me to take at least 1 week a year off of everything. Just me, a book and my camera in one of my two favourite places on earth. This year I took it to the extreme. It was the end of the year and I planned to start my trip right after Christmas until the 2nd of January. My primary goal was to go to the Dolomites and shoot them during winter time. Unfortunately I had to change plans on short terms and so I ended up in my second favourite spot, Henne Strand in Denmark. I really felt like I needed that photography vacation and I know it would have worked wonders to be in that place and only doing the stuff that I want.
But my expectations turned upside down for the fact that I wasn't in excellent health condition. In my case ongoing physical problems often result in mental struggles. I find it hard to enjoy things when constantly being reminded of pain and physical limitations. So instead of benefiting from the solitude, this time the loneliness was bothering me.
I wasn't able to switch off my thoughts and I simply couldn't enjoy my time on vacation.
Except the time I was out shooting. It wasn't as liberating as it used to be but still it was far more enjoyable than doing nothing and being on my own with my thoughts.
The winter season came in handy for me as the sun rose at 9 a.m. and went down at 4 p.m..
There weren't many occasion where there actually were sunrises and sunsets to be seen, but I liked being out with camera anyway.
I didn't miss a a single opportunity to go out shooting. I was very lucky two times as I was
surprised with great light despite a much worse weather forecast. And even the times where there wasn't any spectacular light I leaned into the moodieness of the scene. Due to the late sunrise I also tried some blue hour shots in the morning and even some night sky images with the moon still up there and visible. The Lyngvig Fyr Lighthouse became one of my favourite subjects to shoot and I really enjoy the variety of photographes I got.
I also revisited some old location I shot before and I consciously tried to get better results than before. On the one hand I was glad to see that in fact I got more clarified in the field and I knew exactly what I had to do. Thus I came away with technically perfect pictures. On the other hand I realised again how much we as landscape photographers depend on the weather and light conditions. It's the light that makes a photograph. We can try to the best of our abilities to find a pleasing compositon and dial in the right settings but in the end it's the light that makes a picture outstanding. Whereas I had great light at Lyngvig Fyr and around Henne Strand, I wasn't that lucky both times I visited the Bunker Mules at Blavand. I'm sure the light behind that wall of clouds must have been spactacular but unfortunately the curtain didn't open for me this time. However I also enjoyed this photo hsooting by using ND Filters for some long exposures to emphasise the incoming waves and the stormy conditions the bunker mules were exposed to.
There wasn one other shooting that I found quite remarkable. One afternoon I went out to the local beach and what I found was something I haven't seen before and I wasn't even aware something like that can happen. On the beach were hundreds if not thousands of starfishes. Later on I learned that it is not unusual in the winter month. The relatively high temperatures together with the strong sea flow are causing this phenomenon. While the kids and especially the seagulls had their fun with the starfishes it was rather disturbing for me.
Most of the starfishes are alive when washed ashore and most of them does not make it back into the ocean and end up as food for seagulls. It was the sheer amount of starfishes that was concerning to me. It is not far fetched to think of this as one result of the global warming.