Hi, I am Ellen Borggreve, a professional Dutch landscape photographer and author. I have been photographing almost my entire life. I prefer to find places with as little reference to humans as possible and usually refrain from having any people in my pictures.
For me, it is all about the power and magic of this amazing planet we live on.
Even though I am mostly known for my forest photography I also love to photograph seascapes.
I grew up surrounded by forests and have always been fascinated with trees. Woodlands fill me with a sense of stillness and wonder, which is so often missing in this fast-moving world. The vast Dutch skies over the sea also inspire me, they provide magnificent backdrops for our mostly flat landscapes.
My main workhorse is the Panasonic Lumix S1R, a full-frame mirrorless camera with 47 MP which is neither small nor lightweight. It is built to last, it can handle high humidity levels, rain and low temperatures and it is utterly reliable. It is also a dream to handle and the lenses available for this system are extremely well built and deliver great results. The colour rendering of this camera is absolutely beautiful, which is very important to me.
Even though my S1R has never let me down, in the past I had cameras fail on me whilst teaching a workshop, so I also have a backup camera, which is the Panasonic Lumix S1. This is a 24MP brother of the S1R and is great at high iso levels, which is why I take this camera into the forest on windy days when I need higher shutter speeds and therefore higher iso levels.
The final camera in my bag is the Leica Q2, also a 47 MP full-frame camera with a fixed 28 mm f1/7 lens. I simply love this camera. I can take it everywhere, it is as analogue and no-nonsense as digital can be. No superfluous menus, just the pure essence of photography. This little companion is always in my bag. The image quality is amazing and it is an incredibly well built little camera.
Panasonic Lumix S-Pro 70-200mm f/4 – my most used lens. As a landscape photographer, I don’t need a fast telephoto lens and this one is of amazing quality. This is the lens that is usually on my Lumix S1R.
Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 – is a heavy lens but delivers stunningly crisp images with a great amount of depth. I use it often as I love the way a fixed focal length lens makes me slow down and think harder about a composition.
Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 – another lens I use quite a lot. It might be “just” a kit lens, but it is super sharp and delivers very good images. This lens is usually on my camera when I go scouting as it covers a large focal range. In forests with the trees closer together, this is my go-to lens.
Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f/4 – my least used lens but one that I love. This is just another lens from the L-mount system that is ultra sharp and has the same manual focus clutch that many of the other lenses have.
All of these lenses can handle rain and bad weather conditions, which is very important to me.
My gear is carried around in a Mindshift Backlight 26 L Greenfield backpack, which I really like. It distributes the weight of everything nicely and it also carries my tripod. Attached to my backpack is the Peak Design Capture Camera Clip, which I could not do without. It makes carrying my large camera so much more comfortable and it is easily accessible at all times.
Because I tend to walk great distances I usually carry a low weight tripod with me which is the Benro Travel Angel FTA28CV1 with the Benro B1 or CV1 ball head attached. I am about to purchase a sturdier tripod for seascapes because the Travel Angel is not stiff enough in the Dutch coastal conditions.
Another essential is my B+W filters. I use the B+W F-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular Polarizer MRC Filter most of the time in the forest, filtering out unwanted glare on leaves and saturating the colours a bit more. These filters are of very high quality and they tend to stay clean without any effort.
The ND filters are used on the seaside when I want to smooth out the water and lengthen the shutter speeds. I really could not achieve the kind of images I create without these filters and they are always in my bag.
The Giottos Rocket Blower is always in my backpack as well as two microfiber cloths. The Arctic Butterfly is essential for keeping my sensors clean.
The last but a very important part of my kit are my Lowa Renegade hiking shoes, the first ones I have found that I can actually hike in for hours without any pain. I easily walk for fifteen to twenty kilometres when I am photographing and good shoes are vital.