The Dark Forest Double Workshop
2 Mornings in the Mysterious Dutch Forests
A short Adventure in the most Beautiful Dutch Forests
While I usually guide Dutch photographers in the Netherlands, people on social media kept asking me if there will ever be a guided tour through these beautiful woodlands for an international audience.
That day is finally here.
Join me for either or both days and a unique opportunity to see the Netherlands through my eyes. Not the usual windmills, Amsterdam canals and Zaanse Schans, but moody forests at the height of autumn. That not only means forests and trees, but also an in-depth reveal of how I create those glowing mushrooms. It’s up to you what you want to learn!
Maximum of 4 participants for the most personal learning experience.
Special Guest on Saturday: Inge Bovens - Dutch Queen of Forest Photography!
2 subsequent mornings in October for the highest probability of mist and ethereal light
Fill out this form and we will contact you as soon as possible.
This Tour in a Nutshell
Dates: October 19th - October 20st
Available Seats: 4/4
Tour Leader: Daniel Laan
Special Guest Leader: Inge Bovens
Price (Saturday w/ Inge Bovens & Daniel Laan): 160 EURO
Price (Sunday w/ just Daniel Laan): 99 EURO
Arrival: Schiphol Airport, October 18th, no later than 11 AM
Departure: Schiphol Airport, October 21th, no earlier than 15 AM
Included: Tuition and guiding on location.
Not Included: Transportation, meals, beverages or accommodations. Private insurances, taxes, duty and visa fees. Souvenirs and travel insurance.
Why Choose this Tour?
A Chance to View my Natural Habitat
I have intimate knowledge of these parts. You will be put into position for fantastic photo opportunities, not matter the weather.
Both Forests and Mushrooms
The timing of this tour coincides with an explosion of mushrooms right across the forest floor, as well as a high chance of mist.
Small Group and Guest Leader
On Saturday, you’ll get to see how Inge Bovens works in the field. We’ll work more on wide-angle trees or mushrooms the next day.
Saturday: Speulderbos & Hierdense Beek, Veluwe
This place is extremely diverse, although it is known as “The Forest of Dancing Trees”. Speulderbos is the single largest connected woodland in the Netherlands and according to the media, the most beautiful one.
Guest Tutor: Inge Bovens
Inge is adept at translating a unique, oneiric vision of the forest into a true work of moody art. She’s always holding back when asked to do a workshop. Not because she doesn’t want to tell her secrets, on the contrary. Inge is just very good at being there in the moment and putting her feelings into pictures, often alone. Inge Bovens will teach you how to pursue that yourself, while being just the nicest person to be around.
We start on a Saturday morning with photographing the forest with longer lenses. Our focus is to able to control the chaos of the forest, which both Inge and Daniel will be showing you in depth.
After that, we’ll move on to a patch of woodland next door called Hierdense Beek, Hierdense Beek (Creek of Hierden, pronounced hee-rden), is a small outlet of the river system in the Netherlands. This country is basically a huge river delta and most of the land area was originally either a swamp or claimed from the sea. This photogenic forest is fantastic for capturing the soft autumn light, reflected in the meandering creek.
Here, we’ll work on getting you into more advanced techniques like focus stacking that yield razor sharp images, front to back.
In total, this morning is 6 hours worth of shooting. I’ll point you to a restaurant when we’re done, but I advise you to bring a couple of energy bars and some water to keep you going. At noon, though we’ll say goodbye to Inge, while there’s more on offer the next day.
It’s up to you if you want to join me for one day or for two. Day one is more for beginners, while day two takes everything from day one and builds on that.
Sunday: Veluwezoom National Park
I think this is one of the most underrated forests of the Netherlands, and yet it’s close to the place we went yesterday. We’ll start with techniques we’ve covered yesterday, because focus stacking is important for what we’re about to do next.
Mushrooms or Trees?
What you photograph, is entirely up to you. Veluwezoom is an old place. We have century-old beech trees here that are great for the spectacular wide-angle shots, but it’s also a location known for its diverse mycology, meaning mushrooms literally everywhere!
It doesn’t matter if you’re rather working with trees or mushrooms. The dark, mystical and sharp images I create are made using the same techniques. If you do want to photograph mushrooms, I highly suggest bringing a headlamp or a very small flashlight (preferably incandescent, for the warmer light).
Note that Inge will not be joining us on this day - it’s just us.
Payment & Reservation
Either pay all at once or make a deposit to reserve a seat in the car. For workshops, we accept bank transfers or I can send you a payment request through PayPal. Click the button saying “Book Now” at the top of this page to start making your reservation.
Cancellation and refunds
Unfortunate things can happen to anyone. Therefore we handle a refund policy when you have made reservations for this tour but can’t make it in the end due to whatever the circumstance. Based on the full fee of the tour, we strictly handle this schedule to cover the costs made on our end.
Cancel 60 days before the start of the tour or more: Full refund minus € 200 service charge.
45 days or more: 75% refund
31 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 31 days: No refund
The Netherlands are flat. Most of my country is anyway. We will not be doing jogging or hill walking this tour. It’s a couple of leisurely strolls in the forest, but it might be a while before we return to have a bite to eat or use the bathroom. We’ll walk about 5-10 kilometers early in the morning, so I suggest to get some energy bars and be prepared to take a bathroom break in the woods.
Please do not come on this trip when you have a heart condition, suffer from epilepsy or severe asthma or when you have a bad leg. This will hinder our ability to show you everything we have in store, but more importantly, it will jeopardize the positive experience of your fellow participants.
All participants are required to sign this standard document before the start of the tour. Find it here.
Daniel Laan ~ The Netherlands
Moody, ominous landscape photography is as much my passion as it is my career. For more than a decade now, I've had the mindset of developing a specific dark and moody style of photography that shows a part of myself through my images. I have a deep appreciation for the landscape, the weather and find something of beauty in trivial subjects.
With a degree in design and visual communication and over 15 years of experience in Photoshop, it's my goal to train you to look at the landscape differently. While explaining everything from pre-visualizing to exporting for the web or for print, we uncover a truth. That the stunning landscape of the Netherlands, isn't there to take home with you. The most important aspect is not to bag the best locations, but to appreciate your surroundings; to become aware of things that others walk straight by.
We will pay attention to create order amongst chaos and get beautiful, personal pictures in the process.
Guest Leader: Inge Bovens ~ The Netherlands
Honestly, I can write what Inge is like, but I honestly suggest to look at her work on Instagram if you haven’t already. She is the Dutch queen of photographing fairytale forests and has the heart and patience to teach you everything she knows.