My hotel 1900 (Novecento) in Muralto was rebuilt by the new owners 20 years ago. Breakfast organic and with vegan spreads, a lightness of being. The house has a nice garden, where tea is served with freshly harvested sage. The only thing they didn’t consider was the Internet. Therefore, my blog or video communication was hardly to think about.
On the last day I wanted to photograph the birch forests near Brione. The parking lot the day before was so crowded that I had no chance to park the car safely. Arriving at half past ten o’clock there were no problems. Even a tree was allowed to provide shade.
You only have to search a bit to find an exit to the banks of the river Verzasca. You’re not the first to try. If you make it, you will be rewarded by the photographic options with magnificent water between diverse and colourful boulders.
The selfie has many variations. A variant shows the pride of the photographer on location. Or a shadow selfie.
The rocks in the water change their color with the daylight and the water color they reflect. This makes these objects interesting and varied photo motifs. Once you find a hungry shark, who has already taken one or the other photographers. Or in the shadow, a white stone that looks almost metallic.
I couldn’t reproduce the delicate colorfulness of an autumn birch forest, the distance over the river was too great for that. The sun was still too high, it vanished far too soon behind a ridge, and the valley lay in the shade. Maybe you can still guess early autumn.
In the morning it is very cold in the Verzasca valley. Two hours earlier on site than the day before saved me the search for a parking lot. Two photographers were just at their last pictures. Again, I was relatively late.
First the rocks of Lavertezzo with the church, then the many puddles in the rocks with their reflections.
After many photographic attempts to gain momentum from the waterfall, I took one last picture in which I look at it flowing down into the valley. Note the sun’s rays in the tree on the left, as the clouds slowly move away.
The bright house near Motta had already noticed me the day before. As good as it is preserved and as beautiful as it stands, it might be a holiday home.
Waterfalls can be seen everywhere, in some places several waterfalls from different directions converge into a large one.
The valley of the Verzasca is famous for its clear water, which makes its way through rocks and takes on a characteristic green colour. Correspondingly, many people are attracted to it. Actually, you’re here for hiking. The Postbus stops at manyplaces and spits out large groups of hikers.
The first day I wanted to try out different locations to see what to expect.
The bridge, named Ponte dei salti, with the two arches is from Roman times and is good for many selfies. With a long-term exposure one can see the arcuate construction with its reflection in the water. And the many visitors who flock on the bridge are miraculously invisible.
Swirling water can be found everywhere, in a natural way picturesque photographs are created.
To my surprise, the sun was seen and felt in the valley for along time. It got really hot. Only in the evening, when the rocks gave off their heat, did it become less agitated.
The cross-country trip to Lucerne with a 20-year-old navigation system took me along many country roads, which used to be the only connection to this city. It’s hard to imagine how the traffic might have moved then. That’s why the system guided me down from the motorway through beautiful Swiss landscapes.
A little tired I arrived in Lucerne and went to sleep. Just in time for sunset I made a tour through the old town to Lake Lucerne, on which wonderful sailboats were on the way.
Two weeks ago I went to Lake Constance for business reasons. At 7 o’clock in the morning I could see a red sun rising in the fog between trees. That’s why I made a stopover at Lake Constance to take pictures there in the evening and in the morning.
The morning drive two weeks ago might have made you think of ghosts and of course there is literature on this subject from the area. The evening when I arrived was wonderfully sunny and fogless. By car I made an “ascent” to Hohenklinge Castle in Stein am Rhein, to see the valley from above. The view reminded me of a Renaissance painting.
There is no repetition for the landscape photographer. The natural light will never be like that again when you go back to a place. Where the sun was supposed to rise it was not foggy. It was cloudy. From here the Upper Rhine begins.
Early in the morning, all of a sudden, two women drifted in the river. The two of them wished me from below a “good morning. ”
Here in Stein am Rhein ends Lake Constance, which lies between the High Rhine and the Upper Rhine. Before sunrise you could see some discoloration of the sky, along with very little ground fog.
Two more days on the island. I had secretly speculated before the start of the trip to be able to make interesting longtime exposures of the sea. We went to the sea once very early and often late at night. On Friday, the 13th, the weather was particularly stormy. I felt that half a second exposure time was the optimal value to capture the dynamics of the sea’s motion and at the same time to get structure.
Many of the photographs I took with the quadrupeds, which were laid out as a coastal protection near Hörnum. Depending on the time of day and the weather, they are a fantastic backdrop. This image was taken early in the morning short after sunrise.
At the time of the highest water level during the flood, these concrete blocks almost disappear underneath the water surface. The next image is a combination of different exposure values to express the power of the incoming tide.
Without wind, the sea is so calm at low tide that you don’t want to imply anything violent to it anymore. To capture the calm of the low tide water I needed 30s of exposure time. However, the Moon would become blurred at that value. So I combined two shots into one picture.
Weather change is associated with stronger wind and light changes. This situation is often felt on the island in a rather pleasant way.
Black as a color is not so popular. In Iceland you always encounter a black, which only seems homogeneous at first glance. In fact, every black, whether in basalt or sand, is slightly inhomogeneous and interesting to the eye and not a gap.
My first encounter with the color black on Iceland was on the rocky coast near our hotel in Arnarstapi, which was easily accessible on foot. The power of the sea seemed to be best expressed in moderate long-term shots. Anyone who exposes too long will only get the average altitude of the sea level . . . .
Occasionally black was also found in buildings. At farms or at the famous Black Church of Budir, which I shot from many perspectives.
The reflection on the Vestrahörn was best achieved in the early morning at low tide on the damp black beach. The repeated flooding of the beach by waves disturbed the tripod and sometimes necessitated rapid escape movements, but they were also a prerequisite for good mirror images.
Last but not least, black and red were the dominant colours in the hot lava of the Fagradalsfjall, which we were able to see more closely on the last day of our stay.
Only a few kilometers further by car the sun began to shine and the clouds receded. In the southwest of the Reykjanes peninsula we felt the white of the lighthouse all the more radiant after our volcanic visit.
Before leaving, one last look at the waves, which are radiated by sunlight and seem to contain more energy than usual.
It is the photographer’s art to emotionally convey the mood and light during a shot. This becomes all the more difficult the greater the differences between the location of the recording and the location of the processing. When we departed from Iceland, it was only 6 degrees Celsius with nice Icelandic sunshine. In Frankfurt on arrival and in Heidelberg on the following days it was 30 degrees and more.
So it is all the more gratifying when a photo, developed late in the evening, is selected to Flickr Explore after the first 2 days of work and dead tired in the evening at 11:30 p.m. This time it is the famous Black Church of Budir. For aesthetic reasons, I had removed an empty flag pole that belonged to the cemetery.
This year, for the first time, several of my pictures were selected. To keep an overview, I have arranged all the in explores into one album.
On the way to Boudir, we drove through the Hvalfjörður Tunnel, which went alarmingly deep under the ocean. After leaving the tunnel, the rain stopped again and again and the clearing of the thunderstorm clouds over the mountains appeared in the south.
This clearance of the clouds and the breaking of the light were good signs. We had left Keflavik paralyzed by quarantine and in continuous rain. A strange ghost ship at the exit of the village with a big hole in its belly was swaying back and forth, whiped by gusts of wind and rain.
On the very sunny day of our return to Keflavik 11 days later it was gone. As befits ghost ships.
The last highlight of our trip through Iceland was the newly erupted volcano Fagradalsfjall in March in the Krýsuvík volcano system of the Reykjanes peninsula. After arriving at the parking lot, which we unfortunately could not pay for lack of a local app without internet connection on site, was by a lava river on the footpath to the viewpoints a long walk fully loaded with photo equipment to tackle.A long horizontal path to a steep climb that should be worthwhile. The last part of the 150m ascent was provided with a rope on which you could pull yourself up. Then came a plateau, on which the visitors spread out over a large area.
Right hand side in the background on a hill has landed a helicopter. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t noticed so much aircraft noise. A burning smell was everywhere in the air, sometimes pungent. After a short time, I started to have a slight headache.
The impression of a primordial landscape induces the last image.
In the morning a short review of the Vestrahorn in the hotel at the computer. The warm light of the morning sun was reflected in the dune grass, which grew into the black sand in repeated small domes. And in the mountain range that gave the name to the place.
I liked the simplicity of the house forms in Iceland. I’d like to photograph them all. Remotely, they are reminiscent of the wooden shapes of the houses and hotels of a Monopoly game.
A road that didn’t seem to be difficult on the map should take us to the foothills of Eyafjallajökull. On the way there we met riders who used the same road with Icelandic horses. They were clearly faster and, as if by magic, always quite a bit of us. The road was interrupted by watercourses that our simple car could not pass through. We had to turn around.
After a visit to Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi we drove to the ferry port, which takes you to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). Hefty wind and thin rain awaited us. The lens could hardly be held straight with the hand. Some grains of sand from the black beach penetrated into my left eye and keep me busy for some time.