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Waterfalls – a walk into the Belgian Ardennes

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A suggestive, intense and rewarding walk into the woods, waterfalls and deep nature.

The beauty of being a landscape and nature photographers is the eagerness to explore. For a long time, I had been thinking about including waterfalls in my portfolio. Finally, this opportunity came along. A couple hours driving took me to an area long time present in my wish list: the Belgian Ardennes. The Ardennes, situated in the south-east of Belgium, are one of nature’s unspoilt areas, rich in fauna and flora, with vast forests, hills and fast flowing rivers. Discover the most beautiful villages in the Walloon province worth exploring. The beauty of being a landscape and nature photographers is the eagerness to explore. For a long time, I had been thinking about including waterfalls in my portfolio. Finally, this opportunity came along. A couple hours driving took me to an area long time present in my wish list: the Belgian Ardennes. The Ardennes, situated in the south-east of Belgium, are one of nature’s unspoilt areas, rich in fauna and flora, with vast forests, hills and fast flowing rivers. Discover the most beautiful villages in the Walloon province worth exploring. I enjoyed this photography tour with my cousin Dario Mentesana, a very talented and inspiring photographer, which came visiting me for a few days.

Our trip

The alarm clock went off at 04:30 AM giving us enough time to hit the road at 05:00 AM. Good shots requires often some extra efforts. After about 90 minutes driving, the surrounding landscape beautifully changed from flat to hilly to mountainous. We decided to stop in the proximity of Aywaille to walk through one of many entrances that lead to the forest. A long, hilly and often tedious path was ahead us. I am happy we had good hacking shoes, extra fully charged batteries for our camera and stable tripods.

Photographing the waterfalls

The overall landscape was beautiful, rich, dense trees, waterfalls, and fast flowing rivers. The weather was quite cloudy and humid but it offered a perfect diffused light inside the forest. Our photography experience started almost immediately. Often our tripods were standing in the river forcing us to perform some acrobatic moves and poses to not fall into the water. Actually, a few times we were about to get quite soaked. We walk for about 7 km reaching an altitude of approximately 400 meters. Although we went back home happy and loaded, surely, it is never enough. A good excuse to pack and go soon again.

 

Some useful tips

  • It is advised to do some homework before getting into the car. The Ardennes covers a very large area and it is handy to know where to drive.
  • The level of difficulty varies on what path you take. In any case, good hacking shoes helps.
  • For long exposure photos, you will need a very stable and firm tripod. Depending on the light conditions and your camera settings, your shutter speed can easily go to 1-4 seconds, that is generally more than enough to obtain smoky water.

Remember to enjoy your favorite forest walks but please keep quiet, maintain good distance from wildlife to not disturb them, walk through visible footpaths and do not leave any rubbish behind.

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