Imagine what it would be like for a few days to leave all the stress and all the noise behind you, breathing in the forest scent and meeting its four-legged or winged residents face to face and assuming the role of a real nature photographer.
The rain hit hard on the windowsill. Along the bumpy village street, small rainwater channels are formed here and there and effectively fill in the holes in the asphalt.
– I did not expect any rain today, I say, and look out the window.
– We are in no hurry, says Conny. He reaches for the coffee pot and offers me a fill-up.
Conny Lundström is a wildlife photographer. Stationed in Kalvträsk, with the golden eagle as his specialty. And I am meant to play nature photographer for one day in his company.
– But really, there is no such thing as bad weather, says Conny. Photography is all about making the most of your conditions. You know, the most spectacular images often come from what ordinary people consider to be really crappy weather.
No bad weather
Conny angles up his laptop and shows a portrait of a golden eagle with a frosted face.
– Such a picture can only be taken if it is -35 degrees.
– Minus 35, I say, and can not help but wonder if it’s not cold being a wildlife photography in winter.
Conny shakes his head. He says that he has a proper hide by the foot of the nature reserve at Vitbergen.
– Timbered, with a toilet and stove and seating for four photographers. So it never gets really cold.
Outside the rain continues to fall.
– We will give it another hour, says Conny and I nod.
Instead, we look at more of Conny’s images. He speaks with great feeling. I’m beginning to understand that there is a story behind each image that appears on the screen.
The lake has an absolutely mirror finish. The rain has almost ceased. Silently the canoe glides out over the water.
– There, says Conny pointing towards a peak. There you have Vitbergen.
Vitbergen is a nature reserve. A 900-acre hilly and mountainous area with hints of old growth forest. A few years ago, I followed Conny up on Vitberget. We walked. And climbed. 17 meters up in the observation tower at the top. Then it was night, mid-summer and the views were breathtaking. I remember how the woodlands, veiled in fog, demanded their space. Completely unabashed. On the horizon rose blue mountains, and here and there sparkled the evening sun in the still mirror-like water.
A perfect backdrop for nature photography. Even I could get that.
– I have been running my own little project this summer, says Conny. I shoot sunrises from the tower.
I bring along a sleeping bag and spend the night up there.