An idea of Ansel Adams regarding the reality of a photo keeps me captive. His best photos, as he writes in hisbook “The Negative”, are often described by viewers as truly realistic. But they’re not. On the contrary. These would often have been the most intensively worked on by him.
He repeatedly insists in this book that the best images would have been those in which he left reality in the processing to show what he wanted to show or felt.
I am often impressed by the clouds passing by or the play of clouds in the sky. In a colored picture, I don’t quite succeed in directing the weight of the picture to the clouds in the sky. Despite the use of filters with and without gradients, the color image is beautifully colored and bright, but the desired focus is lost. With black and white pictures, it seems to be easier.
The Braderuper Heath is a northeastern part of the island of Sylt, with a white cliff of kaolin. While walking we came across an eviscerated duck that was suddenly lying in front of our feet. The head was dark or black, the throat was flabby, the internal organs were probably used for food. Maybe some dog owners had become angry already about their naughty four-legged friends.
That’s not enough. A short distance later we came across a shipwreck whose hull with the upward-facing edges offered the same aspect as the duck’s disemboweled body with its ribs. Since the tide was low, we were able to approach the mortal remains of the ship without water running into our shoes. We just sank a little into the tidal mudflats.
We could have made bets on the age of the ship and the cause of the accident. The three-masted grain schooner was moored as an unauthorized party ship off the coast of Braderup and sunk due to a fire in 1981. The cause of the fire was never determined.
There are many places with a white cliff. This one is part of the same geological structure as the cliff in Morsum.
In Morsum one finds a cliff on the northern shore at the border to the Hindenburgdamm, shaped some 120.000 years ago, which is a national geotope. It is a soil structure formed by northern European glaciers with red (limonite), yellowish and white(kaolin) sands. These sands itself had been deposited 7 – 11 million years ago. More detailed information can be found in a Wiki (English oder German).
The image is an HDR of 5 exposures, intentionally overexposed and combined manually and one processed with software (HDR Efex Pro 2). Doing so no traces of a technically generated HDR image are recognizable. The resulting HighKey image looks natural. I adopted this way of processing HDR images from Harold Davis.
The layer structure only detects at close range. These layers are like loose sandstone. Unfortunately, they got knotted. Some layers a pretty coarse.
North Sea is rough and versatile. The water comes close to the cliff. It was low tide today when we passed by. So we didn’t get wet feet.
It is spring on Sylt, during the year everything blooms later than in the South.
Always changing weather conditions is normal on Sylt, the northern most island of Germany. Heat, winds and rain alternate continuously. Just arrived I had to go straight to the beach, where clouds and sun welcomed me at the same time.
The on average better weather awaits one in the north, the so-called elbow, a peninsula near List. A lot of unused beach chairs with low numbers are standing there.
Some 40 km south one finds the south tip of Sylt with its characteristic lighthouse. Many lighthouses can be found on this island, which is surrounded by sandbanks and often changing flow conditions of the water at low or high tide.
A beach walk is accompanied by many birds, seagulls mostly, but also cormorants or sandpipers. Sometimes you flush them out unvoluntarily and they fly wildly confused.
Cyclists become tiny like ants against the seemingly overpowering clouds. Without mountains one loses any scale.
Experimenting with longtime exposure my first results of waves at the beaches are not yet convincing. Three seconds turn out to be a vivid interval of the time fusion on my sensor.
It’s the primary goal of many photographer’s who travel to Heligoland: bird photography. For more than 20 years now the Northern Gannet populates largely the red rocks of the island.
A short walk leads to the rim where these birds are breeding amongst seagulls and guillemots. Birders populate this rock early in the morning or late in the evening close to the rim, where the birds are nesting.
Gannets like to fly like students roam around in their school yard. Very attractive to see. A long and late sunset close to the summer solstice enhanced the experience.
The birder population varies largely with the year as the bird population does. This January, empty nests and no birders on Heligoland. This evening we were attracted by a beautiful sunset. After the sunset no further bird photos could be made. What a pity !
After sunset the color palette turned into orange and turquoise. Turner in Venice used these colors in his last watercolors often. A power plant still was working a little bit.
After a rainy New Years eve and a cloudy 1st January there was a chance to escape to an island in the sun: Sylt.
A walk south along the beach at noon had a phantastic front light. We strolled without sorrows. The horizon wasn’t clear at all.
It’s good to have these days without sorrows.
Short after 4 pm the sunset happened much earlier than in southern parts of Germany. The winds became more weak. A composit image of horizontal motion blur and a normal shot after the camera movement rendered a little bit of structure.
Increasingly great reflections occurred the next minutes. Hot waters ?
The darker it becomes the more fatigant is our way home. Less people are now on the beach. All tend to go home.