A community is created when like-minded people get together and share their passion for a common interest. In this case, the common interests are photography, knowledge-sharing and micro adventures in the outdoors.
Four OM System ambassadors from Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark came together on the very first Ambassador Meet-Up trip. With a desire to strengthen the OM System outdoor photography community, we met to share knowledge and ideas, to explore new places and to create new adventure-filled memories together.
The five day trip happened in the scenic area of Møns Klint, about a two hour drive south of Copenhagen. With the spectacular white chalk cliffs, rising over 100 meters above the coastline, the moody forests and one of the clearest starry night skies in all of Denmark, the scene was set for a perfect micro adventure. The four ambassadors, Rania (SE), Louise (SE), Julia (Swiss) and Daniel (DK), are all passionate about outdoor photography, and with their individual educational backgrounds, photography skills and expertise from different types of nature/environments, there was a lot of knowledge and inspiration to be shared.
The trip was organized by the Danish ambassador Daniel in collaboration with the campsite, Camp Møns Klint, which won the prize for the best outdoor campsite in Denmark in 2022.
A new tradition is about to be built, that hopefully can help boost the OM System photography community and create a platform where ideas can be shared and new inspiration can grow. As Helen Keller says: “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much”.
- Daniel Villadsen
Exploring the outdoors together
Foggy forests, partial solar eclipse, starry skies, bonfires and beautiful hikes. That’s just a few words to describe the last few days that I got to spend in Møns Klint, Denmark, together with three other photographers – Daniel, Rania and Julia.
The surroundings were beautiful around the house where we were staying. Beech forests, fields and the famous white cliffs at the ocean were just minutes away, making this the perfect place for a successful photo trip.
The first two days came with fog, which made the forest look like something straight out of a fairytale. And since I love everything magical, I had to create some fairy-like photos. Rania was kind enough to be my model and for the first photoshoot she got to borrow my cape and my sword.
The forest looked beautiful in every direction, but I chose to have the lightest part of the forest as the background to make Rania’s silhouette pop. I asked her to move a bit with the cape to get some movement in the photo as well. I used the OM-1 with the 45mm f/1.2 to get a nice depth of field and to get most of the focus on Rania and the sword. It was one of those photoshoots were everything we did turned out amazing.
The second day of fog called for yet another magical photoshoot. But this time I wanted to do something different. I had brought a lantern with me, which we filled with some fairy lights to get the light and glow. Rania was my model once again and it was like walking around in a dream in the mysterious forest.
During these days we got so many amazing photos, we had many hours of editing sessions where we shared tips and tricks, we inspired each other with our different photography styles and learned a lot from each other. We laughed, we talked, we ate, we hiked and most of all – we created memories for life.
The power of a community
Having a community around your passion, hobby or work is something I find incredibly important. And I had forgotten how much it feeds my creativity and energy to spend time with like-minded people within my field. Photography is a creative endeavour that is very enjoyable to do together with others. This autumn, after years of going at it alone, it was finally time.
Together with Louise from Sweden and Julia from Switzerland, I headed to Denmark where Daniel had organised an OM System Ambassador week for us. For four days we lived together in a house at Møns Klint, an island two hours south of Copenhagen. The days were spent shooting together and exploring the island with our cameras. In the evenings we cooked together and then sat down to edit our photos. Being outside creating together was a great experience, but for me it was truly invaluable to sit around table and watch each other edit and talk about photography. I will cherish those evenings for a long time! We covered everything from sharing tips on gear, editing, pricing and social media to running a business as a photographer.
We are all very different photographers with different styles, which means there was even more to learn from one another. We also use very different equipment which, combined with our different niches, makes all of our photos from the trip look very different. And Møns Klint was the perfect place for a trip like this, as there was a lot of variety in nature a very short distance apart. So there was something for everyone. I used the OM-5 and the 20mm F/1.4 or 12mm F/2.0, and focused mostly on outdoor lifestyle portraits and outdoor cooking.
I enjoyed experiencing the beech forest behind the house, especially since we were lucky enough to get some moody fog on the day of our arrival. This forest was very different from the coniferous pine forest I have back home. More open and with quite a ‘tidy’ forest floor. There was a lot of negative space between the trees, which looked great with the thick fog dancing around the trunks. The photos I took here I simply could not get back home!
But my favorite shoot was definitely our sunset outing in the Land Rover. After two foggy evenings we got a golden sunset, which is one of my favorites. On top of that a friend of Daniels took us out in a car that just looks great in photos, and he cooked us a fantastic meal over an open fire. Outdoor lifestyle and cooking is what I normally do for work so I was ecstatic to say the least. I literally ran through the fields while changing lenses to capture the car with rays from the setting sun coming though the window. It's in moments like these where I truly come alive, and at the same time completely zone out. I'm one with photography and the rest of the world disappears for a bit.
A handful of micro adventures, please – tales from the ambassador trip to Denmark
It’s a dark night in Denmark and there’s a world of stars overhead. You can hear the sea rolling in softly in the distance and the wind is sweeping our hair into our faces. Suddenly, something silver flashes in the moonlight in front of us – a sword in the hands of a figure in a dark cape, a figure that is turning around slowly and moving towards us...
Solar eclipse and starry nights—a trip full of highlights
Cut! We’re on the set of a photo shoot at OM Systems’ first Ambassador Trip and the caped figure is our fellow photographer Daniel. He not only thought up this epic scene for our Milky Way photography session, but also organised the other four days of this trip in his homeland – a place where one photogenic situation follows another. Misty forests, steep cliffs (the highest in the country!), campfires, a partial solar eclipse, a thoroughbred, and a hot tub are just some of the highlights from our trip to Møn Klint. And we were at the heart of it all – we being Louise, Rania and I, and our host and fellow photographer Daniel.
A journey into new worlds
At the end of a long day of adventure, we came together in a small house surrounded by thick forests reverberating with the sounds of hooting owls to cook and to share our editing knowledge, tips and tricks during editing sessions that ran long into the night. During all this, we took a deep dive into the stories of our fellow photographers, from the magical worlds that Louise creates in her images, full of illuminated mushrooms and delicate creatures in the moonlight, and the mystical yet earthy moments captured by Rania, with gnarled trees and subtle natural details from her environment in Sweden, through to Daniel’s images of flickering northern lights and freezing cold kayaking trips from his travels throughout the Nordics and photographs of my camping adventures in Alpine regions, from frosty nights in the tent to radiant sunsets. What we all have in common is that we capture all our memories on OM System cameras. Lightweight, compact and weatherproof, they are our companions no matter the conditions, from thunderous downpours to freezing nights, and help us capture and share vivid images with others.
On the fourth morning of our trip, we arose from our warm beds early because a very special premier was awaiting us, the launch of the OM-5! We all sat spellbound in front of the screen and were wowed by the incredible stories that have been captured all around the world, and in part by us. From Australia to America, from Sweden to Switzerland, over the past few months ambassadors have travelled around the world on guided tours. And it’s not only pictures that were taken, but videos too – something that’s possible in portrait mode with the new OM-5. This new feature reflects the growing trend for more vertical moving images. And we are delighted to be able to tell our stories in a more varied and moving – in the truest sense of the word – manner. With our equipment by our side one thing is for certain, we are ready for any adventures that may come our way.