PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN NATURE  Nature & outdoor photography




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About this site


The origin of the word photosynthesis is a combination of the Greek words "photo" (meaning "light") and "synthesis" (meaning "putting together"), so it approximately means "putting together with light". It is the well-known process by which a large amount of life on earth creates energy by using sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and carbohydrates. But I also thought it was a suitable name to describe what I love doing the most, namely wandering about in nature with my camera. After all, photography is all about working with the available light, and trying to make decent photos by using this light.


For many years, landscape photography was my main interest, with special places reserved for both night photography and photographing camping locations. It was my first photography passion and will always play an important role for me even though it is more in the background nowadays.


My other favorite is macro photography which has also been a favorite for a long time. This was mostly lichens, fungi and other static objects for many years, complemented with slime molds at a later stage as well. But, after fixing a dedicated macro rig in 2016, all the amazing tiny crawly stuff around us have really captivated me and driven me even more in the direction of macro photography. Close-ups of these tiny organisms show a completely different side of them, it shows them as a living creature instead of for example a tiny buzzing nuisance. Even people that really didn't like insects have bought insect prints of me, which is about the biggest compliment I can think of.

Nowadays, it is even a bit of a goal for me to take pictures of as many interesting species as possible since it shows the immense diversity of these tiny lifeforms (the results so far). That being said, even though I put a lot of effort in finding the correct species determination, I am not a trained biologist, and I am grateful for any taxonomical corrections or suggestions.


I have no visions of getting big or rich with photography, it's the fun with photography that counts. Therefore, this website should be regarded as more of a photographic diary than a marketing tool. I simply add the photos that I like, no other criteria are involved. After having been deceived by a photo agency, I no longer have my photos available digitally and this will not change. However, if anyone finds a photo of interest for scientific and/or educational purposes, please contact me.


This site is split up in three major parts:

"Galleries" => Part of the photos I have taken throughout the years are collected here.

"Photography" => To me, photography is the ultimate combination of creativity and technical nerdiness. As a result of my interest in the technical aspect of photography, I have been collecting and writing down information about photography, which can be found here.

"Experimental" => Experimenting with all kinds of photography related stuff seems to be a neverending story, and some of these experiments have been collected in this part.


Thanks for having a look!


About photography and outdoor ethics


The ethics side of nature photography is becoming increasingly important to me, and I therefore wanted to say a few words about it, despite the risk of sounding like a grumpy curmudgeon.


I am, like many other people who spend a lot of time outdoors, disgusted by the sheer indifference and disrespect for nature that is becoming increasingly common. And, unfortunately, an unhealthy large amount of "nature photographers" are part of the problem. Nature is resilient, but there is a limit to what she can take.

Especially after a trip to Iceland I was really disillusioned after seeing so many people ignoring every type of common sense, all in order to get that one "epic picture" or that perfect selfie to post on social media. Signs and fences were ignored, sensitive vegetation was ignored and destroyed, geothermal formations that had taken ages to form were trembled upon, and so on.... It was a really bad experience and very negatively impacted my love for nature photography for a long time.


For that reason, I wholeheartedly support the Nature First initiative, and hope that it will raise awareness. Leave no traces, and make sure that nature always comes first.


About me


My name is Roel Wijtmans and I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Since 2010, however, I am fortunate enough to be able to call the mountains, lakes and forests of Sweden my home and playground. I have no formal education in photography, but my obsession for nature photography has made me spend many, many hours reading, experimenting and learning. Both nature and photography have been passions for a very long time and the evidence is shown on the right. That's me at the age of two, taking a picture of the only wildlife available to me at that moment, my father!

Of course, this was far from serious business, but I really started discovering photography in my early teens when I started using my father's old Ricoh SLR to take pictures of my pets, like the leopard gecko below.


After that, both my interest in nature and in photography got a bit more on the background for various reasons, but a trip to the west of the USA in 2005 reignited those interests. I ditched my digital compact camera and picked up a second hand analog SLR camera and started shooting with diapositives, which is a great way of learning photography since it is so unforgiving. Making a mistake probably means that you'll end up with a useless picture, so you think twice before pressing the button.

But the digital virus has also infected me, and I have been shooting digital again since about 2008/2009. Although digital photography does have a somewhat less magical feeling to it, the immediate feedback is a great tool for challenging pictures and notoriously impatient persons like me.


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