2019 Autumn Desert Trail

Photographer Farcows in orange pants

This weekend I am shooting in my orange pants on the Bare Dunes because of the Autumn Desert Trail 2019.

Have you ended up on this website via the business card or the link of Equestrian Drenthe, nice that you come and have a look!

Like my facebook page to be kept informed about this and future events. I will be the first to share updates there via a new post.

Curious about all the pictures taken? The photos of this edition Autumn Desert Trail 2019 will be viewed as soon as they are ready at the end of this post.

Equestrian Drenthe, the organization

Equestrian Drenthe started working for the third year to get everything done. The sale of the cards went very fast and more than 700 horses are expected these two days. Equestrian Drenthe is a foundation with the aim of putting the horse sector in the North of the Netherlands more in the spotlight.

Consisting of only two ladies who organize such an event in addition to their full-time jobs. Hats off. With the help of a nice fixed group of volunteers, the participants can count on the days to be managed in the right direction.

On their website, the names of the photographers present have been kept, with links to the personal page where the pictures are to be expected. I have of course signed up and the list has grown to 19 names. The area is large, there is plenty of space, but it remains to be seen who will come next. At least I've been looking forward to standing on the sandy plain with the camera again. Just the weather…

The origins of the Bare Dunes

For the people who are not familiar with the area and this special weekend I will give some information. This is followed by my report on Saturday and Sunday in word and image.

First on to the Middle Ages. The start of…

In the Middle Ages, large parts of forests disappeared for fields and moors. The moors were mainly used as pastures for sheep. The animals were driven to the meadow every morning. By the afplaggen (for a.o. building plaggen huts) of the moors and driving with carts, the heath was irreparably damaged. As a result, the layer of sand underneath was released and the wind got a grip on the sand.

aekingers sand bare dunes

The Bare Dunes

The Bare Dunes, or more chic, the Aekingerzand is a vast area of sand sprays that is part of the Drents-Friese Wold. The Drents-Friese Wold is the largest contiguous forest area in the Netherlands after the Veluwe and was designated national park by the minister in the year 2000 because of its unique nature. It is even one of the most beautiful and important nature reserves in Europe and is therefore also designated as natura2000 site. In this unique area consisting of stream valleys, fens, forests, moors and sands, the aim is to increase diversity in plants and animals.

The Bare Dunes is located near Appelscha in the border area of the provinces of Drenthe and Friesland. This sand area is large enough to give the wind the chance to really let the sand swell. Areas with sand are relatively rare in the Netherlands.

Afforestation slowly disappeared a characteristic landscape with numerous special animals. Because the stuifzand character threatened to be lost, the State Forest Service has decided to cut down 200 hectares of forest.

Weather and wind have been given free regained re-release after the felling. The area has been fully restored by the State Forest Service in a few years and has been given the chance to re-enter the sand. With the help of grazers, the area is kept further free of grass and trees. Nature is largely left alone.

State Forest Service , Drents-Friese Wold National Park , Wikipedia

Access for horses

Normally, only the designated bridleways are accessible in the Drents-Friese Wold National Park. By trotting or galloping the horse once a year during this (sports) event, the sand is well loosened and the dunes continue to swell. It is a spectacular and unique tour through the most extensive sand area of the Netherlands. In addition, the State Forest Service is assisted with the management of this nature reserve. Although for the most part this will not be the main reason to enter this nature reserve with horse.

The Autumn Desert Trail attracts a lot of visitors every year. It's only one weekend in the year. You can only participate in registration. Full is full. On the days themselves, a new group is admitted to the area every hour. The instructions are clear, do not follow the paths this time and go right through the area. Cool for participant, spectator and photographer. 

The weekend ADT 2019 itself

The predictions aren't so good. Grey, grey, rainy and Sunday even worse. It is already clear that, despite the bad predictions, it will produce a lot of pictures.

3 white horses in gallop on sand

Saturday, Autumn Desert Trail 2019, day 1

It's September 28th and I'm standing on the Bare Dunes with a complete survival package of stuff. The weather forecasts are bad, so I put on my increasingly well-known ski suit with orange pants. Wind- and waterproof with inner lining, so I won't get cold. Thanks to the color, I also stand out.

This is also evident from the reactions. "Farcows right?," "Ah, the guy in the orange pants,"" "You're really not to be missed!" And that even though I'm not in the same place as previous editions.

This year, I'm somewhere else. Last year I wasn't 100% satisfied with the photos and by the amount I was actually late with putting all the files online. I choose a location with fewer viewpoints, but where the participants will still pass by in a gallop. In addition, I really intended to press the button less.

Survival package

Next to me, I put down two bags. One is the equipment with accessories and the other is full of food, drinks and dry clothes. To protect the equipment, I have a garbage bag, rain cover and towels with me. At the end of the day I had five showers, so I was happy with that. I was able to keep it dry myself. Thanks to the music I brought, time passes smoothly.

Short film of the ADT 2019

Besides shooting, I increasingly put the mobile on the camera. Because of the weight, I can't last all day. But if the sun shows itself on the plain for a longer period of time, I take the opportunity. Within an hour I will shoot a number of videos of various riders passing me by the way. They are later cut and combined into a short video that I can show everywhere:

Home is the food and first get started with the pictures. Nearly 64 GB needs to go to the computer, something like 1,700 files. Last year there were almost 4,000 so with this result I am very happy. That's going to take a lot of time. When I get into bed around noon, the computer's pounding. Everything has to be converted from original digital format to a smaller file in *.jpg so that everyone can view it without any problems.

Speed is important

The alarm goes off the next morning as needed. When I sit at the computer to see the current status, I hear from the bedroom that it has been cancelled. Very sad for the organization and participants. That does mean that I immediately go with the photos so that I can share them with the participants as soon as possible. Speed is important, because when you finish the photos last, you as a photographer are almost forgotten again.

If I can start putting together my message with images for an impression around 10:00, that has also gone according to plan. In fact, before the announcement there is that the first two hours are online and the rest is uploading, the first order has already been made. Clearly someone who came to look and saw the map. Thanks! Before 12:00 p.m., the remaining folders will be online and I can add an update. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, Autumn Desert Trail 2019, day 2

September 29th >cancelled due to the many rainfall

The photos of this edition Autumn Desert Trail 2019 can be viewed below. The further financial settlement runs through Oypo, so that possible combination with other events / photographers can be combined. My brief explanation about Oypo and the possibilities for ordering a print, digital file, garment or other gift with the photo taken can be found in this article. Have fun watching and until next time! 

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