germany

Winter Weekend Break

Hi everyone,

our trip into the German mountains has pretty much become a regular thing. Just in case you haven't seen the blog post from last year please check out the link. Similarly to last year we flew from London Heathrow to Hannover in Germany from where we drove roughly one hour to our apartment in Wernigerode

 

The area is most famous for its beautiful landscapes and scenic valleys and mountains. Therefore it's quite popular for hikers. The first day we hiked to the Brocken Mountain, which is the highest mountain in northern Germany.

Here are some more shots from the drone which Anja bravely carried all the way up to the summit.

On our way back down we got rewarded by the most beautiful sunset. 

The next day we went a different route to see a sled dog race that was taking place nearby. From there we continued our hike through some dark forests and some striking clearings. The entire area used to belong to the former German Democratic Republic during the Cold War. Even until today you can still see evidence from that time, mostly in the shape of abandoned watchtowers that marked the borders between east and west Germany.  

The Harz Mountains - A hike through the snow

Hi,

although pretty unknown to the outside world the Harz Mountains are one of the biggest mountain ranges in Northern Germany. It occupies well over 2000 square kilometers with the highest summit reaching more than 1100m. It is particularly popular amongst hikers and there are plenty of routes, guiding you though dark forests and lush valleys along sharp cliffs and hillsides to scenic peaks and picturesque villages.

 

A lot of German fairy tales originated in the Harz mountains. The Brothers Grimm took a lot of inspiration for theirs stories from various places in the area, and even Heinrich Heine and Goethe were frequent guests.

Tonight the mountain’s mad with magic
— Faust, Goethe

For us the journey started less magical at Heathrow Airport at 5am in the morning. We took the plane from London to Hannover from where it's only about an hour long drive to our accommodation in Werningerode. For the first 2 days of our stay the weather had gotten quite chilly and it was snowing a lot. The third day we got really lucky and were rewarded with sunshine and a dark blue sky what led to some fantastic photos.

A New Years on Rügen

Hi everyone,

this year we decided to go with a much more relaxed New Years celebration by escaping the city trouble and having a laid-back time at the coast. Rügen is the biggest German island surrounded by the baltic sea, having an almost 600km coastline and around 75 000 inhabitants. It's widely famous for its signature chalkstone cliffs which have also been awarded to be a UNESCO world heritage in 2011.

 

Our first day was cold but sunny, perfect condition for to visits the small and picturesque fishing village Sassnitz at the western coast of the island. After a stroll over the pier we headed off to the typical chalkstone cliffs in the north.

The next day we were less lucky with the weather as it was wet and foggy. We visited the old lighthouse at the so called Cape Arkona, a peninsula which is also referred to as being the most northern part of the island.

I hope everyone else had a similarly great start into the New Year. Best wishes and good luck for 2016!

A Photowalk through Hamburg

I have to admit,

getting up some pictures of my hometown Hamburg was way overdue. The place where I bought my first camera back in 2005 and where I since shot so many photos I kinda lost sight of how pretty this place can be. Ironically when I went there last week Hamburg didn't quite show it's sunny side. Instead we got mizzle and drizzle, so black and white was the only reasonable option to keep my photographic Me happy. 

A typical view from the riverside onto the dockyards

A typical view from the riverside onto the dockyards

I was quite lucky and my good friend Daniel kindly joined me for a stroll through the town, starting at the signature hanseatic harbour though the old tunnel below the river Elbe and then back into the centre.

 

What to do with all that rain?

If you're travelling to different places sooner or later you will hit a rainy day, it'll be lousy and cold, all theory about that perfect light and the Golden Hour lost behind a grey curtain of rainfall and fog. On the bright side these conditions are a great opportunity for some moody black and white shots. And it's also a great creative exercise as you have to be much more aware of your surroundings. Everyone can shoot great pictures during a sunset whereas getting that perfect shot on a rainy day is a great challenge. Here are my tips from last weekend:

  1. Look for contrast. Since you're gonna get rid of all the colours you're pretty much left with just luminance. Also thing ahead of what you might be able to do with an image in post processing. Harsh shadows are usually a no-go but can look fantastic in black an white
  2. Skies. Always make sure you're sky isn't clipped. I'd even go as far as slightly underexposing the foreground in order to get enough detail in the sky. Especially on a stormy day clouds can add a lot of dynamic and atmosphere to a landscape or panorama.
  3. Look for Shapes and Patterns. Stairs, brick walls, tiles, fences, everything that's geometric or repetitive. 
  4. Reflections. Look up, look down, look into puddles, get out of you're usual comfort zone. Move yourself, shoot downwards or upwards, shoot windows or mirrors, traffic lights reflecting on wet roads.

I'm sure there a dozens more things you could try, so leave a comment to send me a message if you fancy sharing any tips for that rainy summer day. These are the pictures I took. Enjoy.