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End frame: Scots pines silhouetted at sunrise, Loch Maree, Scotland by Peter Cairns

Simone Opdam chooses one of her favourite images

Simone Opdam

Simone Opdam is a passionate Dutch nature photographer from Waterland with a special liking for landscape and macro photography. Her images are characterised by atmosphere and softness. She loves to capture the landscape of her beloved Waterland, preferably around sunrise. Travel photography is another branch of photography she likes. Her favourite destination being Great Britain. Simone is involved in various nature conservation organisations in the region, she runs photography workshops and works as a photo tour guide (Scotland and Wales). She regularly exhibits her images locally.


Charlotte's request to write a piece for the End Frame section of OnLandscape was a true surprise and an honour. My favourite landscape photo. Difficult question. In the end frame section, it is not just about an image that appeals to you, I think it is even more about a photographer that inspires you. So the first question is: which photographer inspires me most? I can name many photos that inspire me. There are also various photographers that I admire. Colin Prior with his calm and yet strong landscape images. He knows how to capture the power of mountains and water in an excellent way. I am also a great admirer of the work of Joe Cornish. His photos are masterpieces of composition.

My choice

For the End Frame, however, I want to put a completely different photographer in the spotlight. Someone who is less known for his landscapes, but especially for his beautiful pictures of wildlife, which usually feel as an encounter between the animal and the photographer. However, his landscape photos are also beautiful. His portfolio contains photos from all over the world. As a true Scotland fan, the pictures he took in Scotland appeal to me the most. It was difficult to choose a single photo as a favourite. But the rules for this End frame are clear: choose one favourite photograph.

I have chosen an image that can be seen on Peter Cairns’ website under the heading "Conservation Communication" and also in the book "Scotland a rewilding journey" (pages 202-203). For me, this photo symbolizes the message that Peter Cairns wants to convey with his book and his lectures (more on this later): Nature in Scotland is still beautiful, but has been considerably stripped down. A large part of the ancient pine forest has disappeared. Only a small percentage of trees remain, in other words, the forest is only a shadow of what it once was. But there is hope on the horizon. If we intervene now and give nature the chance to fight its way back, then there is a future for nature, for us and for a world in which man and nature live in harmony with each other.

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