My name is Mikkel Due Andersen. I am 43 years old and an all things nature photographer from Denmark. I live on the amazing rock island of Bornholm, where you can find the most diverse nature in the country with loads of beautiful landscapes. I work as a primary school teacher. I have always had a creative nerve, while playing music or as a photographer. I have a family with lots of kids and the best supportive wife. I think she knows that I have to be in nature to reload and create.
We used to travel a lot before the pandemic and really can’t wait to visit rainforests and arctic areas again. But my local island is my favourite, even though it lacks a fair amount of the mammals found on the mainland. So much magic going on here that I haven’t even been close to yet. The way that it’s possible to know how the weather is best, how the season is changing, the routines of how nature and the light interacts is crucial for me to evolve as a photographer.
It all started when I got a Canon EOS 1000FN (EOS Rebel II in the US) when I was a teenager. All my savings were used to develop film and making prints of nature. Later in my youth, music took the first place as the creative platform in my life. When I returned to photography about ten years ago, it was the easiest choice to get a digital Canon SLR.
I really can’t say much negative about the Canon cameras. If it wasn’t for one very crucial thing, I could still have been a Canon user. I needed a 600mm F4. The Canon model is so expensive and huge. It takes everything about being portable out of the idea about my kit. My main setup is now 840mm f/5.6 (full-frame equivalent) and so light and small compared to a full-frame.
The full-frame mirrorless systems are getting a long way, but the lenses are still heavy, even more expensive and not portable as Olympus is. So I made the switch, selling my three Canon workhorses and all the lenses and began to build up the Olympus park. I only have very, very few things I miss, but so many features I now can’t live without.
I really like to pursuit pictures that reveal a special scene, like the viewer actually being there and experiencing the moment. The best moments, for me, are always when the light is low and the fog is out, when the dusk is turning the day, and the cold dew is making my shoes wet. In that little light, I need a camera that can handle long exposures handheld. Somehow my melancholy nature and the birds and animals melt together with the possibilities of Olympus image stabilization.
I shoot a lot of landscapes, a bit of astro, semi macro, plants, trees, animals in all sizes, some underwater with an Outex system, and birds in flight with long exposures. I try really hard to keep the pictures real and unspoiled without the lighthouses, bridges and other human-made objects. As you can read, I need a light, compact, but very versatile setup:
• M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO for astro, ultra-wide shots and the special things a fisheye can do. It’s so small, that it fits in a pocket.
• M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 PRO, my main landscape and “carry-along” lens.
• M-Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO for the bokeh shots and family portraits. Amazing thing.
• M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO I use it a lot to photograph butterflies and other flying insects. Most of the time with the extender. It is also unbeatable in lowlight situations.
• M.Zuiko 300mm F4 PRO is the most used lens of mine. I use it for everything. Pseudo macro, wildlife, landscapes and bird hunting. Most of the time it’s paired with the extender. Only in low light I use it without. It’s a truly amazing lens.
• M.Zuiko MC-14 1.4x Teleconverter
• OM-D E-M1 Mark II
• OM-D E-M1 Mark III
I carry the two cameras most of the time, with the 12-100mm and the 300mm+1.4 on each shoulder. I dream about the 150-400mm instead, making it an even more perfect match for almost anything. For now, I’m waiting for it to be available in Denmark.
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