At the beginning of may I went to Saxon Switzerland with my buddies Alex and Jan with the hope to get some impressions of spring back home. Besides driving to some locations with the car we went on a 3 day hike in the park. We got really lucky with the weather, on the first two mornings we had beautiful layers of fog covering the lower areas of the park and during the day we had warm and sunny weather, perfect for hiking.
I’m already sure to go back there in autumn to get some shots with a different palette of colours.
Here are the first shots I’ll add to the gallery:
Castle in the Sky / Tenkuu no Shiro Rapyuta Can you spot the castle in the sky far away?
The title has been obviously inspired by one of the best anime I've ever seen, directed by genius Hayao Miyazaki.
I took this image close to the famous Bastei in the Saxon Switzerland national park. Can it get any better when you have those conditions after the first night?
Fogtown The river Elbe did an amazing job cloaking the towns around the riverbed in beautiful fog. A view which is not so rare in the Elbsandsteingebirge - Sächsische Schweiz national park.
Mighty Wehlnadel After scouting this place in the night, Alex and I only had left a few hours of sleep before heading out again to be in time for blue hour and sunrise. On the next morning we woke up to beautiful foggy conditions. We already expected fog but didn't imagine such a dense layer of fog, which was a nice welcome surprise on our first day in the Elbsandsteingebirge - Sächsische Schweiz.
Bridging the Gap This is a rather classic view you get in the Elbsandsteingebirge - Sächsische Schweiz, a view towards the famous Schrammsteine. Nevertheless I was very intrigued to frame the setting sun in the rock crevice when I saw this location the first time.
Those 5 days in the national park have been very successful in terms of pictures, having nice company by my friends Alex and Jan was just the icing on the cake 😉
Secrets in the Mist On that very morning I was incredible lucky, the mist stayed in the valley for a long time so that I was able to capture several angles of that valley close to the famous Bastei in the Saxon Switzerland national park. There are more fog pictures in the pipeline, I hope you can bear it and don't get bored quickly 😉
Gloomy Gorge During the first day when we arrived in Bohemian Switzerland we had plenty of rain and an overcast sky. Good for us, because we had the ideal conditions to pay the Kamnitz Gorge (Edmundsklamm) a visit and were blessed with beautiful lush and saturated colours.
Because we went to the gorge quite late, like only a few minutes before sunset, we had the gorge to ourselves. Therefore we could totally enjoy the peaceful atmosphere there.
A beautiful sunset at the breathtaking Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, unfortunately photos can’t simply describe how cool this place is.
This beautiful waterfall is called Aldeyjarfoss, it was our first destination on the way down the F26 which lead us through the middle of Iceland, all the way to the south, passing by many beautiful areas in the highlands. When we arrived it was around late noon and the sun was shining. We immediately started to find out whether we can have some of us posing next to the waterfall for a pictures we’d like to take during sunset or dawn. While we came closer to the waterfall I discovered that there was a beautiful lush green grotto on the other side just below the ledge, where most photographers stand on while not noticing the beauty below them. So I already made a mental note to not take that hackneyed composition from the ledge above, instead climb down to the green grotto below and try my luck there, risking to not get that “moneyshot”, which a lot of photographers are really obsessed about, instead my hope was to get away with an original and refreshing capture of this beautiful place.
We almost spend a good half hour at the rocks right next to the waterfall. While sitting there the noise of the rushing water and the bright sunshine was so soothing that I almost felt asleep on the rock. We decided to go back to the car, have late lunch and get some quality sleep before heading back for sunset and a looong night…
This was the only occasion where we set foot into an Icelandic forest.
Because Iceland has undergone extensive deforestation since Vikings settled in the ninth century there are not many forests to discover.
However we were able to discover a very deep and bizarre birch forest on our way down the F26. I really liked the shapes of the trunks and branches, unlike usual birch trees these had this gnarly zig-zag ppearance, which mad them look really bizarre.
This will be the last entry until new years eve, therefore I wish everybody who reads this a peaceful and restful time over Christmas and new years eve. CU next year!
The name of this waterfall (Godafoss in Icelandic) suggests a more epic story then there acutally is. It is said that after Christianity became the official religion of Iceland at around year 1000, lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði threw all his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall when he returned from his duties in the national parlament of Iceland. At least I was hoping for a more dramatic story 😉
The lonely Iceberg
I think this glacier lagoon called Jökulsárlón was one of the most impressive scenes I’ve witnessed in Iceland. It’s so surreal and it always changes its look, only a few hours are enough and you get a completely different arrangement of icebergs, because there is a small channel which runs into the sea constantly drawing the icebergs into the sea. Especially during the quiet nights this place can be quite mysterious because of the cracking noise when icebergs break apart or when they run ashore.
This was one of these places we visited during the night just to be in time for the sunrise the next norming, little did we know how cool this place looks while arriving at around 11pm.
We were really surprised the next morning how cool these sanddunes and those gigantic mountains in the background looked like.
We were also surprised that this place was the only one we found in Iceland where we were supposed to pay 600kr just to drive on a sand road to get to the beach and the local lighthouse. The reasoning behind this “fee” was nature preservation, which I personally really doubted.
Iceland is full of natural wounds, two of them are waterfalls and canyons, there are just so many.
One of these rather popular canyons has a name which is really hard to pronounce, it’s called Fjaðrárgljúfur, one of my favorites (3rd image).
Canyon Nightfall To reach this waterfall we spend almost half the day cruising around on rough roads and fording several rivers. Ok, maybe we also killed some of that time during our personal hygiene routine in one of the icecold rivers we just were about to cross 😀
Around 4pm we finally arrived and spend the next hours scouting the location and having a nap in the car. Just at the right time when the sun was about to set we were back at the locations we scouted earlier. I picked this one because I liked the serene mood of the canyon during dawn, of course I've got away with some sunset shots too.
Black Fall That's exactly the name of this prominent waterfall in Iceland, or Svartifoss in Icelandic language.
The waterfall is surrounded by dark basalt columns, which gave rise to its name. These lava rock formations are quite common in Iceland, I have seen them in so many other parts of the country, they were even subject to inspiration for architects who used these hexagonal shaped columns as exterior elements at Hallgrímskirkja, a popular church in the capital Reykjavík.
As a tribute to the name of this beautiful waterfall I decided to do a B/W conversion and think it suits the waterfall very well 😉
Green Canyon Another canyon, this time a rather popular one, with name which is really hard to pronounce, it's called Fjaðrárgljúfur.
We woke up quite early to photograph the sunset at this location, for me on this morning it was really difficult to get up, Alex was already setting up his tripod while I was still in the car muffled up in my sleeping bag 😉
Unfortunately we figured out too late that the view we had at this canyon is far from ideal to catch the very beautiful sunrise over the canyon, so in the end we got a few good shots but regretted that we decided to stay there for the sunrise, we could have been already at far better places for sunrise pictures. Actually it was my fault because I liked the canyon very much and persuaded Alex to stay there and wait for sunrise 😉
Yes, autumn is here! Everything is becoming really colourful again. So I decided to visit some places in South-Bavaria (Berchtesgaden) to get my first autumn shots this year with a befriended photographer. As it turned out we spend so much time in one location (Weißbachschlucht) that we didn’t have enough time to visit the other spots. We weren’t disappointed at all, because we took our time to find some really nice compositions and also a very cosy place where we spend some time during lunch 😉
Here are the first three pictures in this series, enjoy 😉