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My 10 best images of July

July was dedicated entirely to photography. I first spent a few days in Germany before travelling on to Norway. There I spent a good two weeks on the Lofoten Islands. Only towards the end of the month did I return to Switzerland for a short stopover.

1.Common cranes before sunrise

Zwei Kraniche vor Sonnenaufgang im Nebel.

1/500 | f/ 4 | ISO 400 | 500mm

That morning, a thin layer of fog hovered over the landscape. These two cranes were on a small hill above the fog. I was cycling along a dirt track when I spotted them. Immediately I had this image in my mind, carefully stopped and unpacked my camera. Fortunately, the two were relatively far away from me, so they didn't notice me.

When I then edited the photo, I experimented a bit with the picture format. Somehow the usual formats didn't seem to fit and so I finally arrived at a 2:1 ratio. This is not really a common format, but I like it and will continue to use it.

2. European hare

Ein Feldhase in einem blühenden Feld.

1/500 | f/ 4 | ISO 320 | 500mm

The same morning, I photographed a group of greylag geese. Suddenly, out of nowhere, this hare stood right in front of me. When we noticed each other, the hare paused for a few seconds before running off in the opposite direction.

3. Pied flycatcher in the forest

Ein Trauerschnäpper in einem dunklen Wald.

1/800 | f/ 4 | ISO 4500 | 500mm

This female pied flycatcher set down in front of me at the edge of the forest. I only had a few moments before it disappeared into the thicket, but it was enough for a few photos. Even though the bird was relatively far away from me, I like the photo very much, especially because of the dark colours.

4. Red-throated diver during midnight sun

Ein Sterntaucher bei Mitternachtssonne auf einem kleinen See.

1/1000 | f/ 4 | ISO 400 | 500mm

Even though the weather in Norway was rather bad for the most part, we still had two sunny nights. To get the most out of it, I didn't sleep for a minute during the two nights, but photographed through them. With all the animals, I didn't have time to think about sleeping anyway.

On this evening I photographed red-throated divers and the other inhabitants of a small lake until 4 o'clock in the morning, when the next bad weather front moved in. As I had already done a full-day hike through the Norwegian mountains the day before, it was not too difficult to fall asleep afterwards.

5. Backlit tufted duck

Ein Reiherenten-Männchen im gegenlicht.

1/8000 | f/ 4 | ISO 400 | 500mm

Besides the red-throated divers, I was also able to photograph this tufted duck. The bird was already busy moulting, so front lit photos were not quite as attractive. In backlight, however, the photos came out all the better. There were countless small insects in the air and on the water, which made for an interesting play of light.

6. Oystercatcher

Oystercatchers are anything but rare on Norway's coast. However, they are not always easy to photograph and this year I was not too lucky with the oystercatchers. However, this Oystercatcher was reasonably cooperative and landed on a rock next to me.

Ein Austernfischer bei Ebbe mit einem sehr hellen Hintergrund.

1/800 | f/ 4 | ISO 72 | 500mm

7. Young red fox

Ein junger Rotfuchs blickt neugierig in die Kamera.

1/1600 | f/ 1.8 | ISO 100 | 50mm

Like the month before, I was lucky enough to photograph a young red fox. This one was also very trusting and I was able to try out my newly purchased Nikon Z 50mm 1.8. Even though I had some problems with tarnished lenses because of the cool and wet weather, I managed to take some pictures that I am very happy with.

This photo is one of my favourites. The background was fully in shadow, which created this dramatic, dark background.

8. Sleeping kittiwake

I visited this small kittiwake colony three years ago and knew I wanted to photograph it again. Unlike usual, however, I didn't photograph the birds sideways to get a blurred background, but I photographed them frontally. This kept the whole rock in focus, but the darkness did not distract from the bright bird. I also really like the little green plant, as it further illustrates how exposed the little gull's breeding site actually is.

Eine Dreizehenmöwe auf ihrem Nest in einer dunklen Felswand.

1/200 | f/ 5.6 | ISO 90 | 500mm

9. Atlantic puffin

Ein Papageientaucher in einer norwegischen Seevogelkolonie.

1/500 | f/ 4 | ISO 500 | 500mm

It has been quite a while since I last photographed a puffin and ever since I wanted to photograph them again. Now I finally succeeded and even though I still have some unfinished business with these wonderful animals, I am very pleased with the photos. Photographing on the steep terrain was quite challenging, as I still had to allow for a safety margin for each step. After all, behind this puffin there was a good 200 metres of vertical drop.

10. Red-necked phalarope during midnight sun

Ein Odinshühnchen in einem kleinen Teich.

1/2000 | f/ 4 | ISO 900 | 500mm

The red-necked phalarope was another bird I was hoping to see during this holiday. On the morning of the day of departure it did happen and I was able to observe and photograph these exciting birds for a long time. Among other things, these birds are exciting because the bird with the more beautiful plumage (as in the picture) is not the male, but the female. The roles are reversed in these birds and the females are displaying and fighting for the males.

These were my 10 best photos of July. For once, choosing the best photos was quite difficult. In total I took tens of thousands of photos and I still have about 2'000 photos on my computer. So it might take a while until I have edited all of them.

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Nicolas Stettler

Weyernweg 27

2560 Nidau

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