It’s quite fascinating, even when there doesn’t seem to be hardly any color left on a trist and foggy winter morning, nature still preserves little specks of color that catch our attention. Add a little bokeh and if you are lucky sometimes nature photography can look like a painting.
I can hardly remember a time where we used to have a sustained snow cover over at least a couple of days. Even temperatures below zero degrees Celsius seem to become scarcer and scarcer. Not that I’m a huge fan of winter, let alone winter sports, but the sight of a snow covered cityscape or landscape can warm you heart. OK, I hear the irony in that.
When I was visiting friends between Christmas and New Year – or as we Germans tend to say “zwischen den Jahren” (as in “between the years”) – we, as a matter of tradition, went on a little hike around a sort of lake (which in reality is just a bit of a bulge of the river Isar near Mammingen).
It was pretty cold, but there was not a hint of snow. Now, I wouldn’t even expect the fake lake to be frozen over but some hint of winter would have been nice. In particular for taking photos and trying to capture a “winter scene”. But as of late that seems to be almost an impossible undertaking.
For the time being, the images below will have to do as “winter pictures”.
All pictures taken with a Leica SL and a Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.
Normally I’m not very fond of the sort of dreamy images with glow and glare which are a bit reminiscent of wedding photography or equally romantic genres. But in this case I thought, why not. This castle has probably been photographed so many times from so many different angles and perspectives that a pinch of tackiness (if that’s a word) can’t hurt :).
Coachella Valley is a really interesting place. To the Northeast, towards Joshua Tree National Park, it’s a desert-like landscape. Very dry and rocky. To the Southwest there are huge mountains rising, on top of which there is actual vegetation. You wonder where these trees get their water from when down in the valley there is hardly any flora growing on its own without sprinklers. But you quickly forget that head-scratching action once you are stunned by the gorgeous view over the valley down below from atop Mt. San Jacinto.
I was playing around with the Lomo film in Joshua Tree National Park as well. But I have to say that I was a bit underwhelmed by the results. You would have thought that color works better for landscape than black and white, but apparently not for me. This photo is the only one of about 20 shots in the park that I took in color with the Lomo film that I found at least remotely presentable. Perhaps I can’t do color photography any more. Check out the monochrome photos in my blog entry of a couple days ago.
Next stop on my way down South: Joshua Tree National Park. Heard a lot of it, but have never been there before. Some education upfront: I didn’t really know that the namesake Joshua Tree was actually a cactus. Once you see one, however, it becomes very obvious. And you see lots of them.
Kudos by the way to the Park Rangers who are running the visitor center, recommend hikes for every taste and agility and maintain the numerous trails. Very friendly and well organized. What may have helped though is that at this time of the year the park was fairly empty. Which was great – so I even got to see a rattle snake that otherwise probably would have hidden under a stone. Speaking of stones – what looks like gravel are actually really big stones.
Being the photographer can have multiple advantages. For starters you are rarely to be seen on photographs yourself and not less importantly you can’t be recruited for other work since your hands are busy holding a camera and taking photos.
These circumstances came in handy last weekend when me and my friends decided to go pick strawberries. The only strawberries I picked ended up in my tummy. The rest wasn’t my responsibility :). However, I felt responsible enough to help eating the home-made strawberry pancakes after our successful picking exercise (of which there are no photos since they disappeared so quickly)…
A couple of days ago I had already posted some color images that I (and a friend of mine) had taken with my D700 on a hike in the “Elbsandsteingebirge” near Dresden. Since I of course never leave my Leicas at home, here are now a few more taken with my Leica MP and a roll of Kodak Tri-X :).
It’s interesting how black-and-white can even work in the woods as long as there is enough light for contrast. Green and brown colors are usually not rendered in high contrast on black-and-white film. In addition I had an orange filter screwed on my Summicron-M 35mm f/2 non-ASPH. which I think also helped boosting contrast a bit.
Enjoy. (Make sure you click on the gallery to see a larger view of the images.)