Wim van Velzen photography - articles

keeping the books

reviewing the results of a three weeks landscape shoot - 2005


Summer 2003 was the first time I wrote some landscape photography targets down before packing for our holidays. These targets and what came out of it is written in this article: Keeping the books, reviewing the results of a two weeks landscape shoot. This process was certainly helping, so in Winter 2003 I did the same: 'Every morning is different', a trip to Scotland in Winter.
Putting targets, making photographs and than a thorough review - it all is an enormous help for me. It stimulates to keep improving my work and to enter new grounds.

Summer 2004 we moved from Katwijk to Veenendaal, so we didn't leave the Netherlands all year. Now in 2005 we were happy enough to pay Scotland a visit once more. I am still working on the story of our trip , which will be published witin a few weeks.


Before putting my 2005 targets, I first looked at the Summer 2003 conclusions:

Summer 2005 targets

Our plans

The number of our party is four: for the first time Teun (6 months of age) will go with us, together with our 7 years old Klaas, Marleen and me. Because the youngest will need quite some rest, the main time for photography will be between 6 and 10 a.m. and in the evening.
The Renault 19 is no longer our loyal servant; we are now travelling with our Renault Kangoo: more space, quite nice with the extra passanger! As in the past, we will camp with a tent in simple campsites, for maximal flexability.

We have three weeks to travel, with as main aim a number of Northwestern islands: the twin island Lewis & Harris and Skye, Britain's largest islands, with 20,000 and 8000 inhabitants respectively. Given their area, the same islands would have more than a million people in the Netherlands!
The islands we are heading to are mostly treeless. So I will aim at the coast and climb somewhat more often. There are more prehistoric monuments than pictoresque towns or sweet castles.

Being there, I am quite sure I will buy countless books with local information, books on nature, culture and history. And as most people on these islands speak Gaelic in every day life, I hope to buy especially in that field.


In 2003 the big news from me was that I changed from a Bronica EC system to the Rollei 6008. This year I feel almost forced to explain why I still (sic!) don't work digitally. Briefly this is why:

That said, I have to admit that in some situations a look on a histogram might come in handy. On the other hand - bracketing is easily done.

between fear and hope

As I write these lines, we just arrived back home. The films are sent for development and eagerly expected, even as I can quite well estimate the outcome. Working digitally has a point here.

what happens when you use a dropped lens... Without talking about the details of the trip itself, I can say that the photography was highly influenced by three things. First the mediocre weather, with very disappointing mornings and evenings. Most of the time than the light is at its best, but now most days were gray and overcast. We rarely experienced spectacular light conditions, apart from some very bright sunny spells around noon. Rather frustrating to be in a very beautiful landscape, but without the light to go with it.
The second point was that one of my spectacles' glasses fell out of the frame. The only other glasses I could use were sunglasses of about my own strength, but with different cilinders. This didn't really encourage me to go on and make photographs. But anyway, lesson learnt. I have got two identical pair of glasses now.
I managed to show even more clumsiness by have my 40mm fell out of the bag onto the road surface from about 1 meter. Most of the blow was taken by the back lens cap, but after two days a few parts of the diafragm iris were moving inside the optical path. I suppose all the lenselements are not exactly where they should be as well. Rather annoying ... and very stupid!

But even under these circumstances the islands scenery was often overwhelming. Wide and rugged, turbulent weather and ditto history.
More than in other years we had some nice talks with the local people. A baby, bad weather and not too many tourists contributed here, as well as bit of Gaelic (chan eil moran, ach tha mi a' ionnsachadh...). These contacts were probably the most surprising and agreeable part of our trip.
These contacts did'nt bring much photography, but that is because I feel a bit embarrased to ask or even just forget to ask. Nevertheless, I managed to do some photographs anyway. For me a first, but certainly not the last time to do this!



some numbers

I also counted the number of times I used a certain lens (in hindsight on the light table - I am quite sure I have got more than 90% right). These are the percentages of the 343 final images.

    Lenses           used       
ext. tubes0,6%

Of course the 40mm would have seen more use, would it not have been crashed.

some remarks about gear and film

did I achieve my targets?

Ratagan panorama      Ratagan panorama      Ratagan panorama

PS Much more than in other years I documented our holiday and our party as such: camp sites, ferry crossings and especially our boys. Of course they are terrific subject matter!

new targets & strategies

New targets

How to achieve?

You can find this trip's portfolios here, in chronological order:

Invermoriston: Loch Ness

This article is written by Wim van Velzen, © 2005.
Comments on the article and photographs are welcome!

All the photographs shown here and lots more are put in several portfolios!
It is also possible to order prints or to use them editorially or commercially.