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Two generations, one mission :) Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/200, f/8, iso 3200, tripod, flash + PocketWizard.

Earlier this year I travelled to Kalkalpen National Park on behalf of the European Wilderness Society. I spent a week documenting wilderness themes like natural processes, landscapes, species and wilderness–human interaction. I provided the European Wilderness Society with a whole range of photo’s to be used in their wilderness campaigns.

Kalkalpen National Park features the largest forest region in Central Europe and the largest karst well in Austria. Kalkalpen was awarded with the Gold Candidate Wilderness Diploma at the beginning of this year and has been subject to an international wilderness assessment this summer. Read more about Kalkalpen NP on the website of the European Wilderness Society.

Seeing firsthand the devastation brought upon forests by either avalanches, bark beetles and the wind was very impressive. It makes you realize how small humans are compared to the full force of nature and I’m grateful there are still places in Europe that are simply wild.

Katrin Schikorr of the European Wilderness Society: “Wilderness can - and as we experience - needs to be defined by sets of criteria. But wilderness is also vastly about emotions and feelings, it needs to be touched, smelled, discovered, experienced. Thanks to Bart who kindly offered to go through the challenge of picturing wilderness in one of Europe’s wilderness areas, the Kalkalpen National Park and to share his impressions via some stunning visuals!”

 


My father beholding the effect of bark beetles and wind. Iphone 5s
My father beholding the effect of bark beetles and wind. Iphone 5s
 


Special thanks go to the Österreichische Bundesforste and Nationalpark Kalkalpen for their support and on-site assistance. Also a big thank you to my lovely assistent who had to carry equipment up and down, up and... It was fun spending some father-son time, despite the foggy and rainy conditions :) Check out my favourite images of this assignment:

Wilderness and biodiversity: it's not only about the large carnivores. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/80, f/2.8, iso 125, handheld.
Wilderness and biodiversity: it's not only about the large carnivores. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/80, f/2.8, iso 125, handheld.

Spring colours of the forest. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/10, f/7.1, iso 100, handheld.
Spring colours of the forest. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/10, f/7.1, iso 100, handheld.

Find the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM, Canon Extender EF 1.4x III, 1/1250, f/8, iso 1250, tripod.
Find the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM, Canon Extender EF 1.4x III, 1/1250, f/8, iso 1250, tripod.

Former hydroelectric power plant from WWII era. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/800, f/2.8, iso 200, handheld.
Former hydroelectric power plant from WWII era. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/800, f/2.8, iso 200, handheld.

Curving path through old pasture lands: rewilding? Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/640, f/2.8, iso 250, handheld.
Curving path through old pasture lands: rewilding? Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/640, f/2.8, iso 250, handheld.

Dead tree giving life. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/60, f/4, iso 400, flash, handheld.
Dead tree giving life. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/60, f/4, iso 400, flash, handheld.

Hidden waterfall. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 0,4, f/18, iso 100, Cokin filter, tripod.
Hidden waterfall. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 0,4, f/18, iso 100, Cokin filter, tripod.

Exploring wilderness. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/200, f/10, iso 400, tripod, flash + PocketWizard.
Exploring wilderness. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/200, f/10, iso 400, tripod, flash + PocketWizard.

Avalanches destory entire forests like mere matches. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/40, f/4 iso 100, handheld
Avalanches destory entire forests like mere matches. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/40, f/4 iso 100, handheld

Common toads (Bufo bufo) in amplexus. Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/160, f/4, iso 100, handheld.
Common toads (Bufo bufo) in amplexus. Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/160, f/4, iso 100, handheld.

Countless waterfalls carrying melting water. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 0,3, f/22, iso 100, Cokin filter, tripod.
Countless waterfalls carrying melting water. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 0,3, f/22, iso 100, Cokin filter, tripod.

Well-developed moist deciduous forest. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/30, f/4, iso 100, tripod/
Well-developed moist deciduous forest. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/30, f/4, iso 100, tripod/

Circle of life, showing the hoof of a dead red deer (Cervus elaphus). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/60, f/5.6, iso 100, handheld.
Circle of life, showing the hoof of a dead red deer (Cervus elaphus). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/60, f/5.6, iso 100, handheld.

Forest canopy in black and white. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, HDR, f/5, iso 100, handheld.
Forest canopy in black and white. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, HDR, f/5, iso 100, handheld.

Hiker enjoying a view over Kalkalpen NP. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/320, f/4, iso 100, tripod.
Hiker enjoying a view over Kalkalpen NP. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/320, f/4, iso 100, tripod.

Into the woods. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 25, f/8, iso 200, light painting, tripod.
Into the woods. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 25, f/8, iso 200, light painting, tripod.

Caterpillar of the scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula). Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/125, f/3.5, iso 100, handheld.
Caterpillar of the scarlet tiger moth (Callimorpha dominula). Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/125, f/3.5, iso 100, handheld.

Sideview of avalanche damage. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, HDR, f/4, iso 125, handheld.
Sideview of avalanche damage. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, HDR, f/4, iso 125, handheld.

Wilderness produces crystal clear water. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/100, f/7.1, iso 100, EWA-Marine, handheld.
Wilderness produces crystal clear water. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/100, f/7.1, iso 100, EWA-Marine, handheld.

Misty mountains around the alpine tree line. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/250, f/3.5, iso 100, handheld.
Misty mountains around the alpine tree line. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/250, f/3.5, iso 100, handheld.

A gorgeous fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/125, f/5.6, iso 400, tripod + flash.
A gorgeous fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/125, f/5.6, iso 400, tripod + flash.

Trees clinging to the mountain side. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/640, f/5.6, iso 100, handheld.
Trees clinging to the mountain side. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/640, f/5.6, iso 100, handheld.

A possible tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/100, f/4, iso 1600, handheld.
A possible tansy beetle (Chrysolina graminis). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/100, f/4, iso 1600, handheld.

Nationalparkjäger Michael and his dog. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/200, f/5, iso 100, handheld.
Nationalparkjäger Michael and his dog. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/200, f/5, iso 100, handheld.

Moody conditions in avalance territory. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/80, f/6.3, iso 100, handheld.
Moody conditions in avalance territory. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/80, f/6.3, iso 100, handheld.

A watchful female goosander (Mergus merganser). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM, 1/1250, f/5.6, iso 3200, handheld.
A watchful female goosander (Mergus merganser). Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM, 1/1250, f/5.6, iso 3200, handheld.

Silhouettes of avalance damage. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/160, f/8, iso 100, handheld.
Silhouettes of avalance damage. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM, 1/160, f/8, iso 100, handheld.

Wilderness: endless vistas. Stitched HDR panorama of the Hintergebirge. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, HDR, f/4.5, iso 100, handheld.
Wilderness: endless vistas. Stitched HDR panorama of the Hintergebirge. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, HDR, f/4.5, iso 100, handheld.
 


Assignment: Kalkalpen National Park