I really don’t know why Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” came into my mind when passing below medieval Mauterndorf Castle during a little afternoon stroll earlier today. But somehow it got stuck in my brain, so I keep singing it silently….
“I’m on my way Driving at 90 down those country lanes Singing to Tiny Dancer And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real When we watched the sunset over the castle on the hill”
Actually the 11th century castle is on hill above the old mountain town of Mauterndorf in the Austrian Alps, but you realize it only when looking at it from down below (see image after the jump). But I liked the black and white version (doesn’t the iPhone take awesome monochrome photographs?) better for the title image of the post 😉
The last day of the year is upon us. Goodbye 2021! The Significant Other, Big Girl, two dear friends and myself spent the day hiking in the Austrian Alps in the Weißpriach Valley along the Lonka River. Enjoying a marvelous day. Walking along the mountain river has something cleansing to it. Washing 2021 away, looking forward to a brighter new year.
Things are really improving. With the number of COVID cases steadily decreasing, Germany is slowly opening up. The Significant Other and I are having our first week of travel in nearly a year, with a week long trip to Austria, just South of the Bavarian/Austrian border. It’s so awesome to finally being on the road again. A true change of perspective. Today I’m passing the two week mark since my second COVID vaccination, which basically means I’m cleared to return to a normal life. A good feeling after 15 months of restrictions. If this isn’t a path to happiness…
Image taken with my Leica M (Type 240) and the Elmarit 90mm F/2.8. Image specs 1/8 sec @ f/16 and ISO 200. Despite being in dense woods on a cloudy day, I had to stop down o f/16 and dial in the lowest ISO of 200 to achieve the low shutter speed of 1/8 sec to create this effect using the ICM (intentional camera movement) technique by slightly moving the camera vertically while pressing the shutter.
Good things come to those who dare – like on this magic afternoon in the mountains. The Significant Other and I decided to do a late afternoon hike up the Riedingtal, a valley in the Austrian Alps, despite the overcast and showery weather. And yes, while almost up on the valley floor, it started pouring, and we barely escaped into a serviced alpine hut for some cake and coffee. And then the magic happened….
Once in a while I like to name a post after a song title. Like in this case: “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles. If you don’t know it, check it out, a truly magic song. I was inspired by watching the movie “Yesterday” the other night, the story of a successless songwriter who, after a global power outage”, discovers he is the only person left on earth who remembers the Beatles and now makes a career of playing their songs as his own. And I happened to take a fitting image during one of recent mountain hikes.
“You’ve got a friend” is a great song by Carol King. If you don’t know it, look it up on Youtube. Big Girl got a new friend while hiking on Lake Gosau in the Austrian Alps this afternoon. The butterfly initially was attracted by Grandma’s shoes, then hopped over onto the legs of The Significant Other. Then he transferred himself onto the fingers of Big Girl. He sat on her hands for a good 15 minutes. The amazing close-up shot you can find after the jump…. Continue reading “You’ve got a Friend”→
The Friday preceding Easter Sunday is Good Friday, a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.
We are spending Easter at a very good friend’s house in the Lungau region in the Austrian Alps. Not really the place for Street Photography, but the opportunity to capture some monochrome landscapes.
The weather was not all that great, rather fitting for the subdued mood of Good Friday. While the kids took to the slopes, the Significant Other and I hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. Readers of this blog might remember my post about High Contrast Landscape Photography, where I took some Ansel Adams like images on a sunny December day in the very same valley during an earlier visit.
Today there were only low hanging clouds, nothing spectacular to photograph, so we just enjoyed the hike. Only when returning, I took my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom out of my backpack and shot a few detail shots of what nature gave me. Kind of zen-like. Probably nothing anyone apart from me would look at, but really satisfying me as a visual artist. I will share these images tomorrow.
My photo of the day was that of the mountain above us, in a brief moment when the clouds opened up and gave us a vista of a moody mountainscape. Perfect for a Good Friday.
Image specs are 1/640 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200, focal length 100mm (equals 200mm full frame equivalent).
Wish you all a great start into a hopefully splendid Easter weekend!
We are five days into the new year and I haven’t seen as much as a ray of the sun. It’s been mostly rainy here in Nuremberg and we have been busy moving the big girl out of the house into her own apartment in downtown Nuremberg. A huge step for her as well as for us, even though we just live 10 miles (16km) apart. Have I mentioned that I’m considering turning her vacated room into a photo studio 😉 ?
Yesterday I have stumbled across a video documentary about and with famous Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama (here the link to it on youtube). It is a priceless film with 84 minutes duration with English subtitles. I will do a separate post about it and about Daido Moriyama in the next days. But definitely worth watching on the weekend, if you have some time and are interested in the work of this iconic photographer.
The photo of the cabin in the mountains I have taken last week in Austria with my Olympus PEN-F with the 14-150mm F/4-5.6 travel zoom. Image specs are 1/250 sec @ f/9, ISO 200 and 47mm focal length.
Thinking in monochrome is nothing unusual for us street photographers. But when shooting landscapes it is nothing that I normally consciously look for. Today it was different. While the significant other and the big girl took to the slopes today on this marvelous winter day in the Austrian Alps, I grabbed the PEN-F with the 14-150mm travel zoom and my walking poles and hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. I had this stunning valley all to myself, during my 3 hour hike I passed only 2 other walkers on this freezing cold winter day.
The sun was shining on 2 feet of freshly fallen snow, and there was a lot of contrast in this high altitude mountain valley. When I passed a small bend of the Longa River that lowed with the reflection of the snowy peak behind, I couldn’t help thinking of Ansel Adams and is beautiful high contrast landscape photographs. And this was enough inspiration to get going myself. I set the PEN-F to its high contrast monochrome program which helped me look for and compose my own high contrast landscapes. I dialed in ISO 200 and an aperture of f/10, which gave me shutter speeds between 1/320 and 1/500 sec.
Remember how to capture the rays of the sun? You need to shoot with a narrow (small) aperture, like F16 or F22. If you also line up the sun just peaking around the corner of solid object, you are bound to get yourself some nice bursting rays in your image. This one was taken with F/18 and 1/60 sec at ISO 500.
I hope you liked my little excursion into landscape photography. This is what holidays are for, to wander off the beaten paths of what we normally do. What have you shot these past days that are outside your normal realm of photography? Feel free to share your results via the comment section.
All photographs were taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW conversion and high contrast monochrome treatment in Lightroom Classic CC.
Last week we travelled to Innsbruck, Austria to spend the weekend in the beautiful mountain chalet of two friends (A&O, if you are reading this – thanks so much again for the great time). Besides great talks, food and lots of relax we drove down to the historic city center of Innsbruck to visit the Christmas Markets in the Old Town and on the banks of the Inn river. For more details about Innsbruck and plenty photographs continue reading after the jump…..