Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

February 12, 2012

Photo Exhibition at the National Park “De Hoge Veluwe”

Filed under: 2012,February — Hennie van Heerden @ 4:04 pm
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My very first photo exhibition!! I’m really proud that a selection of recent photos is exhibited in the visitor centre of the National Park ‘De Hoge Veluwe’!! Next to that, a small movie is shown about me and my other work. So far, the response is heartwarming. So if you have been there already, thank you! And if you are going to go to the ‘Hoge Veluwe’, you’re very welcome to have a peek! It still runs until the 1st of april.

Mijn allereerste foto expositie! Ben hartstikke trots dat een selectie van mijn recentere foto’s momenteel tentoon gesteld worden in het Bezoekerscentrum van Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe. Ook wordt er een klein filmpje vertoond over mij en mijn werk. Tot dusver zijn de reacties werkelijk hartverwarmend! Dus mocht je al zijn geweest; dankjewel! En als je nog naar de Hoge Veluwe gaat een dezer dagen ben je van harte welkom om een kijkje te komen nemen!! De expositie loopt nog tot 1 april 2012.

October 13, 2011

VNF jubileum festival 5 november Hanzehof Zutphen

Voor het eerst in mijn blog schrijf ik eens in het Nederlands omdat dit toch vooral een Hollands evenement betreft.

(I’m sorry for writing this blog entry in Dutch, but it’s about a Dutch Photo Festival, which I’m going to present on November 5th, and I guess it’s kind of a Dutch party)

Ik ben al een aantal jaren lid van de Vereniging Natuurfotografen en dan van de afdeling Apeldoorn. En dit jaar hebben we een feestje te vieren!! De club bestaat namelijk 25 jaar en we gaan dit groots vieren op 5 november a.s. in de Hanzehof in Zutphen. En raad eens wie het festival gaat presenteren 🙂 (ben nu al zenuwachtig en val straks vast van het podium af of zoiets..)

Er wordt al bijna een jaar aan de organisatie van dit festival gewerkt en het belooft dan ook een fantastische dag te worden.

Zo komen er internationaal en nationaal bekende gastsprekers waaronder ‘Wild Wonders of Europe” fotograaf Jari Peltomaki, Dutch photographer of the year David Pattyn en zal ons eigen clublid Jan Vermeer, 2x winnaar van Wildlife Photographer of the Year het festival openen met een prachtige presentatie over Africa. Niet de minste namen zou ik zeggen!! Verder zijn er werkelijk supermooie foto-presentaties te bewonderen van o.a. Karel Tomei en zal Gertjan Straalman een presentatie geven over filmen met de spiegelreflex camera. (heb ik zeker nodig want daar bak ik niks van :-)). Verder is er een ontroerend mooi klankbeeld over de Veluwe te zien, samengesteld uit ingezonden leden-beelden. Ongelooflijk hoe mooi dit relatief kleine Nederlandse Natuurgebied in beeld is gebracht!

Voor het volledige programma verwijs ik graag naar de website van het VNF-Apeldoorn en voor kaartverkoop naar de website van Foto Konijnenberg.

Het aantal toegangskaarten is redelijk beperkt dus bestel snel! Het zou ontzettend leuk zijn jullie daar allemaal te zien!

August 12, 2011

Workshop Wildlife Photography: Red Deer Rutting Season

Filed under: 2011,August — Hennie van Heerden @ 7:29 am
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I have just updated my website with an exciting new Workshop: photographing the beautiful Red Deer in rutting season!

If you are interested in joining me at this wildly fascinating event on either thursday 15 september or friday 16 september, please follow this link for more information. (Dutch only I’m afraid).

July 4, 2011

On safari in Holland

Last week at the National Park ‘De Veluwezoom’ was fantastic. You know, I’ve heard so often that to see ‘real’ wildlife, you have to go to Africa, or Antarctica, or the Galapagos. But close to home, often you can see so much wildlife that it’s dazzling. But maybe we don’t find it exotic enough. For me, seeing a Roe Deer or a Wild Boar is just as exciting as seeing an Impala or a Warthog. Especially when you’ve waited days to get a clean shot of one of them it’s equally rewarding as being on safari in Africa. Well, at least, almost as rewarding.. 🙂

The last couple of days have been awesome. I love, really love, being out there at the crack of dawn, nobody else, no joggers, no moutain bikers and especially no ‘tour-de-france-wannabees’ yet. (I could fill an entire blog page with my experiences with that group!). Totally quiet. The fun is approaching the animals without disturbing them. I’m getting quite good at that. My poor car is not enjoying rolling down a hill, motor off, heading with a speed of 5 miles/hour, but it works!! But to see the sun creep up the hills, setting the flowering heather ablaze with golden light is fantastic.

The Roe Deer don’t get disturbed but just continue fouraging, the Wild Boar let their young frolick around without heading off, the Doe shows her Fawn without totally panicking. I’ve seen Fox on several occasions but wasn’t able to get a clean shot. But I will, I’m sure.

Yesterday, the Roe Deer Foe who, by now, doesn’t seem to get alarmed by my presence anymore, let me approach her, by now only one, fawn pretty close. Imagine that up until this year I’ve only seen a fawn once, although I’ve been surrounded by Roe Deer all my life! All of a sudden I seem to know how to look, and where to look. Where I used to drive on after seeing a Deer Foe on her own, I now stop the car and wait patiently. Because a Doe on her own in June is likely to have hidden her Fawns somewhere. I can’t help it, but each time I see the head go up when she starts to call with soft high pitched sounds, I secretely smile. Patience gets rewarded every time!

There were two absolute highlights last week. First on monday, to see the Honey Buzzard. It’s a very rare bird of prey in Holland and there aren’t that many photographers that have a shot in their collection. I’ve seen one a couple of times before but had never been able to capture it right.
But this day was different. Although I had woken up an hour too late I still went but indeed all of the wildlife already seemed to have gone in hiding. Until I turned the corner, entering a road that’s overlooking a vast heather field. The light was harsh and shone directly in my face when I saw a shape sitting on a portruding branch. Hawk! I thought by the looks of the grey head and the bright yellow eyes. Exciting as I don’t have a good shot of those birds yet. Yes, dozens of in-flight shots when it’s flying over the meadow behind our house to it’s nest in the corner of the forest, but no ground shots. So I switched off the engine and let the car creep forward, rolling silently down the hill. Just when I was about in ‘shooting’-range, it flew off. Even before I could get a clear shot. Disappointed I sat back, until a shadow fell over the heather; it returned!! Be it one little branch further away. I started shooting although it was quite far away. Much to my surprise, it flew up only to land on top of a shrub closer by!! The harsh light I dreaded worked in my advantage as it shone beautifully through the stretched out wings from behind. When it finally took off altogether, I sat back, and ‘chimped’ through the images on my display and I suddenly realized I was looking, not at a Hawk, but at a beautiful male Honey Buzzard! So I waited around to see if it would be coming back but no such luck. Tried several times during the next days, but I’ve never seen it again (yet). Guess oversleeping made it my lucky day as chances are that I normally would have been out of the park already by that time.

Another highlight occured yesterday, which was my birthday. When I drove my usual circle I saw mom Wild Boar high up the hill. I’ve seen her there before (see upper photo) and I know she has little piglets. But the heather there is really high and usually all you get to see of the little piggies are the tops of their backs, shooting through the heather. But still, you never know, so I stopped and just waited. It took the good part of an hour but the little piglets came closer and closer!! When they were about halfway I suddenly remembered that my camera has a film mode, so I started taping some of the frolicks of the babies. I’m not good at filming but have a look at the video at the bottom of this blog entry. I think it gives a good idea of what I felt, watching those little piglets. Wait for the little white one to come racing through the frame! 🙂

While mom was still foraging, the babies came closer and closer until they were right next to the car! What a wonderful sight!! They started digging for food like tiny little shovels and it was realy too cute to watch them! Hard to imagine that one day these cute little babies will have grown into huge impressive Wild Boars 🙂

I don’t think I could have gotten a better birthday present as spending an hour or so with these little cuties!!



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