For the last of my 2014 favorites postings I have selected a few images from my autumn trip to Bavaria and the German Alps. I have shared all these images before here on my blog, so I won’t bother you with repeating the story behind them.
Evening light, Riessersee
The trip to Germany exceeded all my expectations. I was really fortunate with the autumn colors and the weather. I hope to return to this region soon, maybe already next autumn.
This concludes my 2014 favorites postings, and it only remains to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2015! I will be back next year with more images, so stay tuned!
Driving from Garmisch-Partenkirchen towards Ammersee one day early in october, I was continuously scanning the landscape for interesting scenes. The skies were overcast and there was light rain in the air, perfect conditions for photography in the forests. After a quick lunch I passed a small but dense forest. I stopped on a small turnout and headed into the woods. On my way back the car, these wonderful twisted backlit trees caught my attention. Hope you like my image, have a wonderful weekend!
This is a new release in my gallery nordhaugphotography.com
Before I go on a photography-tour, I always have a few photographs in my mind. Before my recent trip to Bavaria I had planned to capture some images from German forests, in addition to the obvious mountainscapes. I had a weak conception of straight, tall trees over a colorful autumn forest floor and I was hoping for some fog. This day I drove down from my base camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the lower areas to the north. These areas are mostly agricultural, but when I followed the smaller roads, I now and then passed a dense forest. The skies were grey and dull, which is perfect for forest-photography, and after a while, a rain shower hit the lowlands. Moisture gives the foliage extra saturation, so the conditions were ideal. I stopped numerous times to photograph, and the initial impression was that I probably had a few OK images. On my way back to Garmisch later the same afternoon, I found a larger forested area close to Ammersee. I parked my car and wandered around in the woods for a couple of hours, struggling somewhat with finding a good composition. On my way back to the car, this beautiful yellow tree with the winding path next to it caught my attention and I worked here for a few minutes. As I sat down with the post-processing later the same evening, this image slowly emerged. Of numerous captures from the German forests, this is probably the one that came closest to what I hoped for. Hope you like it too. Have a splendid weekend!
This is a new release in my gallery: nordhaugphotography.com
Bad weather is very often good photography-weather. My favorite time is the transitions, when good weather turns bad or the other way around. At such times, light can be really awesome with dramatic, dark clouds and divine sunbeams. This particular day started out grey and dull, and after a while the rain was pouring down from a low, heavy steal-grey sky. I drove to Ammersee in hope to catch the lake in this moody weather. After a while by the lake, the skies started to clear and I hoped for a dramatic transition. The wind was reduced to a slight breeze and the lake was colored in a beautiful emerald hue by the emerging sun. However, before the sun really managed to break through, a new system of clouds rolled in from the west and brought winds and new precipitation. I found this pier just in time before the storm approached. There were no dramatic transitions that day, but I noticed the contrasts between the tranquil sun-lit waters and the incoming clouds and tried to capture that. I always try to pre-visualize the finished product when I am in the field. This is one of techniques I use to help my vision to speak to me (hm, that came out much more new-age than I meant it to, but you get my point…) And then I try to use different techniques to make my image according to how I want the finished product to be. E.g. I used a 2 step ND grad to bring out the contrasts in the clouds, and have further accentuated this in postprocessing. Also, a low shooting-angle and wide-angle lens (18mm) underlined the length of the pier so that it seemingly stretched for the clouds. I used a small aperture of f. 20 to assure that the image was pin-sharp from near to far. I hope the image conveys the feeling of an incoming storm by a moody lake. Hope you like it too!
I had planned an autumn-trip to Bavaria and the German Alps since early summer. Besides the magnificent mountains in the area, I also wanted to capture some archetypical countryside and cultural landscapes. I could probably just as well have gone to Austria, Switzerland or the Italian Alps, but Munich turned out to be easiest to access for me by air. As I always do before I embark on a photographic adventure, I carefully studied maps and guides for the area. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, only about one hour drive from Munich, stood out as a perfect starting-point. Near Garmisch is Germany’s highest peak, Zugsptize, numerous beautiful lakes, small picturesque towns and lots of typical alpine countryside. A car is essential and was rented at the airport in Munich. I stayed in Garmisch the whole week, and can highly recommend Hotel Obermuhle! (no affiliation!).
Geroldsee is one of the photographic hotspots in the area. Only about 15 minutes drive from Garmisch, I had the opportunity to visit several times during my stay. After my first three visits, I was somewhat disappointed. The place was nice enough, a beautiful small lake, a wonderful field with numerous old barns and the spectacular Karwendel-Alps as a backdrop. However, the light and the weather did not cooperate and I did not feel that my images did justice to the place. I decided to give it one more chance on my last day. My plane didn’t leave Munich before 17:30, so I basically had the whole day for shooting. I got up at 5 a.m. to catch the best light. The receptionist at the hotel gave me the usual “are you raving mad” eye when I left in pitch dark at this early hour. When I parked by the road near Geroldsee minutes later, a weak red glow was barely visible in the eastern sky, behind the Karwendel Alps. This was promising! And from what I had seen on the way up from Garmisch, I had hopes that there could be some fog over the lake too! After a short walk from the parking I arrived at Geroldsee to find the place still dark and shrouded in a dense fog. As daylight slowly emerged, I walked up the fields to get above the fog and have the barns in the foreground. The morning glow of the emerging sun slowly appeared behind the Karwendel mountains. After having studied the landscape and considered the composition, I rigged up my gear and did the usual metering. Because of exposure differential I decided to use a ND grad to avoid that the skies were blown out or the valley was pitch black. The image below is one of my favourites from this morning and was captured at 06:57, only minutes before the sun appeared over the mountains. I returned to my hotel for breakfast a few minutes later, happy with finally having gotten what I wanted from Geroldsee. Hope you like it too!
Tech stuff: Nikon d800E, nikkor 24-70, f 13, 1 sec exposure. 2 step ND grad. Processed in Lightroom only.
Schloss Neuschwanstein, Oct 2014.
Although “only” about 150 years old, this castle was built in a medieval style by Ludwig II. The fairytale-like impression it emanates is underlined both by the several beautiful towers and the spectacular location on top of a cliff overlooking the Bavarian lowlands. Rumors has it that this castle served as inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty-castle. This image is captured early in the morning as the first rays of the sun lit up the eastern face of the building and the fog still laid densely below.
One of the things I regularly reflect upon during my photography-travels is how the culture mathces the landscape. Everything from architecture through food, beer (!) and music. Ludwig II who built this castle was a big admirer of Wagner. In a way the castle, the landscape and Wagner’s music just fit perfectly!
Hope you like my image, have a super weekend!
This is a new release in my gallery: Nordhaugphotography.com
Ok, I promised that my next post was going to be about equipment. However, I just returned from my trip to the German alps and have started to process images, so I wanted to share this new release in my gallery first. Bavaria has so much to offer the landscapephotograper, and I was really lucky with both weather and the autumn colors which seemed to peak last week. More images from the Alps in the weeks to come!
This is a new release in my gallery: Nordhaugphotography.com