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De Rotte 

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Close to my home in the City of Rotterdam, is a pretty unique natural space, a place I enjoy escaping too, when I have the time.

The river Rotte is a beautiful, scenic natural waterway that meanders its way slowly from Rotterdam's back garden and the Green Hart of the Netherlands to the bustling centre of the City of Rotterdam. With its lively urban docks, vibrant quaysides and natural green banks, the river offers a wonderful place where you can feel right at home and is a constant source of pleasure and relaxation for residents and tourists alike.

Popular with runners, cyclists, walkers, bird spotters and families, this unique destination provides an ideal escape for many thousands of people who live nearby.

This city river meanders through the densely populated and historic residential areas of Rotterdam and eventually flows into a larger expanse of water known as the Rottemeren recreational area, which is an inviting natural space, surrounded by greenery. 

Like many other rivers around the world, de Rotte becomes an important lifeline and a source of great fun, enjoyment, inspiration and peace, for all of those who visit the area. 

Above all, this river offers you a place to feel at home. A place where you can live life, smile and discover, all within close proximity to other interesting areas.

 
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The Ideal Setting For Photography

This area is a pretty incredible, I find it so interesting and I usually cycle here a lot! I also use it as a convenient place to walk, and collect my thoughts. Besides this, I see this natural space as an opportunity for me to learn and develop new skills in photography. As a hobbyist photographer, I like natural landscapes, together with the mix of wide open spaces, therefore I am always keen to discover something new together with the added addition of several landscape features, like trees and jetties in the water. The area provides a subtle combination of features and the challenges I need to improve my skills.

Along the rivers route, you will see a great deal of water and wildfowl, in the Netherlands this is a combination you see almost everywhere you turn. The birds are beautiful and watching them fly and settle in their natural habitat is a great sight to see and the sounds that accompany them, are perfect for anyone seeking a little peace and quiet.

Despite their natural beauty, I do find it really tricky to obtain a decent picture of wildfowl, mainly due to the fact I don’t have the added equipment to allow me to do so. Possibly, a telephoto lens, better camera and additional equipment might help, but for my work, an outlay of additional expense is not necessary so I will work with what I have.

Nevertheless, I always endeavour to keep working at establishing better image quality within my wildlife shots, so I tend to combine my photography with an outdoor activity. This always allows me to stay active and discover new places on foot or my bike, thus allowing me every opportunity to carry my phone. As a result, my Smartphone continually offers itself as my daily ‘go to’ photography companion, as it has endless possibilities that can often be overlooked.

Not only is it easy to carry, but all modern day phones have a superb range of tools, functionality and if the moment or weather allows, you can certainly test and challenge yourself to capture a range of exciting and inspiring images.

 
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Ook dit is De Rotte

A few weeks ago and much to my surprise, I received an email from Oook dit is de Rotte, which is a local tourist board based in Rotterdam. After reading the contents of the mail, they invited me to post some of my images on their Social Media Channels, after they were impressed with what I was producing on my own Instagram account.

Of course, I was delighted once I heard of their interest, and I was thrilled to have the chance of showcasing my work for others to see. After all, in a world swamped with so called experts, it doesn't happen that often, so it was important for me to take advantage of any chance I had.

As I often say, I am not a photographer, but I do enjoy embracing the moment, getting out and about, and enjoy finding opportunities to capture some new images of my local surrounds, especially when the weather is good.

You see, the weather in the Netherlands is not always that good, and needless to say, it can be somewhat unpredictable at times, changing constantly from one day to the next. As a result, it is crucial to always keep an eye on the weather and when the chance occurs, make the most of what little time is available.

Often, the weather can be lousy, miserable, grey and uninspiring, yet sometimes it can be the opposite and simply glorious. It is at that moment, you need to get outside and enjoy what you do, especially with those sensational early sunrises and lingering sunsets. Early Spring provides some of the best conditions, especially when the climatic mix of colder days start to give way to longer days and warmer temperatures. The results can be rather spectacular.

 
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Glorious sunrise

A few weeks ago, I had one of those moments, where everything just seemed to come together. It was a Saturday morning, and I woke up very early. I had struggled to establish a deep sleep and some much-needed rest, unfortunately spending most of the night tossing and turning. So, due to the lack of sleep, I thought I would make the most of my insomnia, creep out of the house early, get the bike and head for a morning ride up the Rotte river.

Soon after leaving the house, I felt that the conditions would be right for something special. It was evident it was going to be a bright day, with great deal of sunshine and the rare chance of some unseasonably high temperatures. That temperature mix were the conditions, I was looking for, so I cycled on, at speed, in the hope of reaching my destination before sunrise.

To my surprise and throughout the initial first few kms, the weather was very foggy and wonderfully atmospheric. The visibility was increasingly patchy by the riverside, with a sporadic mix of dense fog patches, followed by pockets of clearing mist.

Soon enough, the conditions were beginning to improve. The lingering fog was starting to lift, and the landscape was beginning to slowly reappear for another day. With that said, the sunrise began to illuminate the sky all around me, with intense sun rays cascading their way through the trees and onto the still waters that surround me.

I was captivated by this natural spectacle, so I decided to park my bike and go for a wander. As I walked, the morning air was calm, and the sounds from my surroundings were silent, yet the atmosphere all around me felt so alive. It was a surreal experience and one I was very happy to enjoy.

A new day was starting, and with it, the plants, animals and sun began to wake slowly from its slumber. Most of the time I don't get as many opportunities to get up so early and have nothing to do. Usually, I am up early, but then off cycling to work, so it was a real luxury to take a wander and simply enjoy what was happening all around me.

 
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Photography

To capture the images within this photography article I used my Smartphone.

The light was good, so I didn't play around too much with the settings, I just really focused my attention towards the scene presented in front of me and then attempted to capture it with as much detail as possible.

Each shot was surprisingly good. I shot in Pro Mode on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and manually altered the settings to hopefully achieve the best outcome. Once complete, I only really did a few minimal edits in various apps like Snapseed and Instagram, to achieve the desired outcome.

 

De Rotte

Regardless of my limited photography skills, I must make it very apparent just how wonderful the Rotte area is and what an amazing job the local tourist board do, when promoting this natural landscape.

With its proximity is so close to the City of Rotterdam and it could easily be overlooked or not recognised as a valuable addition to the area. It is a pretty place and a location where nature can undoubtedly thrive. The area also has a wide range of things for people to do, with a wealth of exciting recreational activities for all ages to explore and enjoy.

For more information, you can visit their website here.

I have also written several other informative posts about what you can do in the area, they can be accessed below.

Exploring Outdoor Valley

Essential Dutch Cycling Routes - The Rottemeren

Thanks for reading!

 

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