The Dutch island of Terschelling in winter? Serious? They say you will enjoy the famous Wadden islands no matter what season. Well, with strong winds and freezing temperatures you don’t want to be out for long on this small and flat island. But there is one major advantage of visiting Terschelling in winter (especially for photographers): the combination of landscape and beautiful light!
The Wadden Sea is part of the Unesco World Heritage List. It’s a coastal wetland area stretching from the north of the Netherlands via Germany all the way up to Denmark. The Wadden Sea is one of the last remaining large-scale, intertidal ecosystems in the world. The area hosts around 2,300 species of flora and fauna, including seals!
On the Dutch side there are 5 main islands (we call them the Wadden islands): Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. In total around 25,000 people live on the islands permanently. In tourist season I’m sure this number easily doubles though; it’s a popular destination!
We spent 4 days on Terschelling (5,000 inhabitants), the third island from the right. We experienced lots of rain and a storm with wind gusts of 80-90 km/h (wind force 9). Not really the time of year for long walks or bicycle rides, not to mention being sand blasted on the beach (watch the video!). But when the clouds disappeared to make way for the winter sun that’s when I, as a photographer, became really happy…
Yes, Terschelling has the widest beaches in Europe!
Photography is mainly about two things: composition and light. Composition you can learn, where sometimes the object or landscape itself helps. Light is different. Of course you can play with the features of your camera, but have you ever heard of the Golden Hour or Blue Hour? These are the moments when photographers go out to capture the best light of day. There is even a Golden Hour calculator to help find the right time.
The Golden Hour is the hour right after sunrise or just before sunset when the light is at its best for beautiful photography. And I can tell you that when the sun shines on the Terschelling landscape in winter, it’s Golden Hour all day long!
Terschelling is one of the 5 inhabited Dutch Wadden islands. 80 percent of Terschelling is nature, with some areas that are prohibited for visitors during breeding season. The island features over 70km of biking path, there is a lot to discover. Tourism is the main source of income for Terschelling. In summer the famous Oerol theater festival attracts people from all over the world.
There are more pictures of our Terschelling trip available on this blog, just click here for the Photography section.