Exploring new ground

To all my readers who have been anxiously waiting for new updates (hello, dad and brother!), I'm still here and finally ready to talk about my latest photo explorations.

It's definitely not for lack of activity that I haven't posted in a while. In fact, since my last post here 1½ months ago, I have taken more than 1000 pictures! Of course, 90% of them will never go any further than my hard drive, and the amount of pictures may sometimes be more an indication of not really knowing what I'm doing than a burst of brilliant creativity.

So this is the first step in attempting to catch up with everything that has happened since I bought the new camera. For that I have to go all the way back to April 10 and a beautiful vacation day that was just perfect for taking pictures, with just the right mix of clouds and blue sky, and temperatures that were finally bearable after a long cold, gray winter.

So I took my bicycle on the train and went all the way to the Copenhagen Airport metro station. No, I didn't get on a plane to Iceland or anything fancy like that. Instead I jumped on my bike and rode down along the coast, passenger planes passing right above me at low altitude for their runway approach. And yes, of course, I did stop to take pictures of them, with the Öresund Bridge, between Denmark and Sweden, in the background - a recurring ingredient throughout the day, it turned out.

My target for the day was actually not the airport, but the village of Dragør, a small town south of Copenhagen strangely unaffected by the presence of Scandinavia's largest metropolis just a few kilometers to the north. In order to get there, I had to follow a bike path along Amager Strand, a beach area that I hadn't really given much thought during my planning. But as it turned out, the beach area was a scoop in its own right.

Now, by all measurements Amager Strand is probably nothing special - just a typical Danish beach - but 1) since I don't get out much, and 2) since I see everything with new eyes after I got into photography, to me, Amager Beach was a revelation. I was awestruck by its beauty and briskness, and I knew Dragør would have to wait a bit as I carpet-shot the area with my Sony A7 II.

One of the most interesting features of the beach was a number of narrow docks stretching far into the water, a perfect opportunity for photographers such as myself looking for leading lines. The below image was one of the first of many, many that I took of this phenomenon and probably the best. Possibly because it was the only one I managed to take using a bit of long exposure. See, while I deliberately hadn't brought my tripod (it would have been too clumsy to carry it on my bike), I did bring my beloved Platypod, figuring that would be enough. And yes, it would have been enough if it hadn't been for the fact that you can't use a Platypod without your ballhead. And where was my ballhead? You guessed it: still attached to my tripod 40 kilometers away at home.

So what I did for this image was to put the camera on top of my backpack to elevate it just a little from the boards. But while I did get this shot in the bag, a backpack just doesn't cut it so I quickly reverted to hand-held.

This next image is one of my favorites of the day. I like its simplicity and balance. I can only imagine the scene during a sunrise. That's for another time.

As I roamed the beach, planes kept coming in. When one had touched down on the landing strip beyond the dike, the next one would appear in the sky for its approach. I took dozens of pictures of planes. Most of them are useless because, although the planes came in low, they still appear rather tiny in the pictures - unless you crop them really tight, in which case they were just rather bland pictures of airplanes, and you missed the scene with the bridge in the background. This is where a monster zoom lens might have done wonders, but oh well.

Well, I finally reached my destination, the town of Dragør, famous for its yellow thatched-roof houses such as this one in the image below. Entering the village, you feel like you are stepping 100 years back in time.

It didn't hurt that, just as I was walking down the street, a crack opened in the clouds and allowed rays of sunshine to shower the houses in the kind of light that makes a photographer's arm hairs stand up.

After walking around town for a while, I spent some time at the local marina. I included a picture of that in my last post, so here instead is another one I took there of two seagulls chasing each other.

My day of shooting was coming to an end. I fought my way back to the airport on my bicycle with a head wind that felt like a cyclone, but I had enough energy to capture this stitched panorama of Terminal 3 that I was quite pleased with. I actually captured in the neighborhood of 400 pictures on this day alone. It seemed like every way I turned, every airplane I saw, every building I passed was an opportunity that couldn't be missed. I ended up with a ridiculous amount of very similar pictures with only a few great ones. In hindsight, I regret not using the zoom lens that I do have (270 mm), but then again, that would have required a tripod... and a ballhead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram