The forest hide
15 minutes walk into Nittedal's deep forests, the forest shed is idyllically located by a small artificial pond. As long as there is a supply of water, there will be a beautiful water level at the forest shelter in the summer, and in the winter the pond is frozen.
Eurasian jay, squirrels, small birds and woodpeckers are regular guests at the forest shed all year round.
In the spring, April - May - June, the badger is an special guest. The badger often appears in the evening while there is still some light left. The badger is also often active until early in the morning while it is still bright at this time of year. Badger activity continues through July and August, while in September it begins to get dark when the badger appears. The badger is still active until November, it will now fatten up for hibernation and is constantly on the lookout for food.
In summer there is a magical light by the pond, especially in mid-June there is a fantastic evening light.
During the autumn, the birds of prey appear, first the common buzzard appears in August, often together with the sparrow hawk. The common buzzard is often on site until September October. The winter 2021-2022 is very special with no less than two common buzzard that have decided to stay close at the photo shelter during the winter, this provides fantastic opportunities for you as a guest.
The northern goshawk is always nearby, the hawk is a regular guest from September. During this period, there is often rivalry between buzzards and the goshawk. This season, there are five or six northern goshawk visiting the forest shed, a young pair and an adult pair, as well as an adult male and a young male who occasionally drop by. So far, all guests have received one hundred percent payout, but this is no guarantee, it is after all wild animals.
There is another activity then bird of prey and a badger at the shelter as well, a lot of squirrels, eurasian jay, woodpeckers and small birds. Not to mention the natural forest atmosphere with all the sounds and experiences while waiting. The marten visits the hide almost every night, three times it has been in front of the shed in daylight, and foxes and lynxes lurk in the bushes, lynx has been observed by one of the guests.
What photo equipment is needed
You sit at about seven meters distance to the end of the pond and it is close! Which means that you have to be very careful with sound and movement, especially it is movement you have to be careful with.
It's nice to be able to use a powerful tele. I myself use Olympus' 150-400 4.5, which is equivalent to 300-800 mm in full format. A 200-400 mm, a 500 mm or 400 mm will be nice focal lengths if you have full format. In the photo hide there are two Gimball heads and two ball heads with archa swiss mounts that you use, these are the most common mounts for lenses.
As an Olympus photographer, I also use Olympus 40-150 2.8. That lens has a wide range and is bright. Compared to full format, we are talking about a focal length of 80 - 300, which means that for example a 70-200 2.8 could be a good alternative to house number two. Should the northern goshawk decide to take a bath, you will only get the head of the hawk with a powerful tele. Or if it were to land on the ice in the winter right in front of the photographer. That is the reason for having a house two, in case something unexpected should happen.
To get the very best pictures, I have placed the camera low, exactly at the height of the water surface or the ice in winter It gives a wonderfully low position and lovely close-ups with an nice intimately to the subject. With a camera placed low, you also have the best opportunities to place the window in the shed at perfect eye level when sitting, so that you get a good view of the entire space. I myself use the camera screen twisted out to the side when I take pictures I sit well in the chair and only use the screen on the camera to see the subjects. This will probably be unfamiliar to those who have not used the technique before. But like I said, all my photos are taken this way and it works brilliantly!
It is a quarter of an hour uphill to walk, so a thick sweater and jacket should be packed in a backpack, because you are guaranteed to be warm. Good solid footwear is smart, there is a small part that is soft, as well as something rough. In winter there is a hard-trodden path and you do not need snowshoes. It can get a little chilly to sit still for a long time, so bring warm cloths. A pair of warm slippers or thick socks is also recommended.
There is a gas stove in the shed, it makes it quite comfortable on cold winter days. There is a bucket toilet in the shed, intended for heavier cases, otherwise you bring a pee bottle.
God plass, panoramautsikt og fire Gimballhoder venter fotografene som kommer til skogskjulet i Hov Søndre Land
Foto: Brynjar Eidstuen.
Lavt standpunkt for kamera gir en unik nærhet til motivene, kombinert med vannspeilet får du fantastiske muligheter til skikkelig blinkskudd.
Reven lusker rundt skjulet og kan dukke opp når som helst.
Hønsehauk fotograefert ved skogskjulet i Hov august 2022
Det er et stort og flott toalett i skjulet, samt to veldig gode senger som benyttes i sommersesongen når grevlingen er aktiv. Hvis du lurer på når vi går inn og ut av skjulet så er det avhengig av årstid og soloppgang og solnedgang. I sommerhalvåret, den perioden der solen går ned mellom klokken 21:00 og 22:57 overnatter man i skjulet. Grevlingen kan komme fra 21:00 og utover kvelden, så for å forstyrre minst mulig går man inn i skjulet noen timer før ni. Dette gir noen herlige timer med fotografering av alle de andre artene ved skjulet.
Så står man opp, gjerne en time før soloppgang, Dette er kanskje den fineste stunden man har ved skjulet, svarttrosten synger sin vakre morgensang mens naturen gradvis våkner til liv. De første ekornene begynner å svinse rundt og lyset blir nå gradvis bedre og bedre. Du sitter på første rad som gjest, mens arenaen foran skjulet fylles opp med stadig flere gjester, og er du heldig kan grevling, rev eller rådyr komme ruslende i det skjøre morgenlyset.
Naturfotograf Kai Jensen foran skogskjulet i Hov Søndre Land Foto: Brynjar Eidstuen.
The forest hide
A lot of work has been put in to get as optimal photo conditions as possible, both in terms of lightning, backgrounds scenery, the possibility of having two camera housings. Everything is organized so you can be able to take pictures that really stands out. I accept a limited number of photographers who get a completely unique opportunity.
After a successful spring / summer 2021, I have found out that the best thing too do in the brightest period of the year is to spend the night in the shelter during the spring / summer season, so that the badgers and the wildlife is disturbed as little as possible.
For you as a photographer, it means a small marathon session with nature photography. We are talking about five hours of evening photography, then a few hours of sleep before we start again. Four to five hours of morning photography. In other words, there may be badgers both in the morning and in the evening. You can also be lucky to get martens. But of course there is also a bustling bird life by the pond, with squirrels flying back and forth. Most things can show up here!
In late autumn, from October it is different, then you go in while it is dark, and out while it is dark. Then you should bring a good packed lunch and be prepared for an exciting and long day.
In winter, there are even shorter days with magical light all day. A winter trip to the forest shed will provide experiences for life, closer to nature than this is hard to get!
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