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Nicolas Alexander Otto
1,766 followers -
German photographer specializing in Land- and Urbanscape!
German photographer specializing in Land- and Urbanscape!

1,766 followers
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Just got published in the +Landscape Photography Magazine again this month with an article on "the necessity for discomfort". Because sometimes you just have to put some extra physical effort in to your shots. You can read the whole article in the newest issue here:

https://landscapephotographymagazine.com/magazine/issue-69

The current issue also features great articles from the likes of +Sean Bagshaw, +Ian Plant and +Adam Burton so it is surely worth checking out!
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"Weather the Storm" (Summer 2016)

After about a week of trying to catch up what I've missed and neglected during my almost 4 weeks of travelling I finally got around to actually edit some of my captures. This might be one of the most obvious shots I've taken. Most of you might already be familiar with this perspective of the 30 meter high Mulafossur below the 10 inhabitant valley Gasadalur on the Faroe Islands, on the island Vagar to be precise.

During our stay on the islands Philipp Lutz Photography and I went to this location about 4 times because it is very easy to reach and right next to the airport. But actually nothing on the islands is really out of the way since the maximum distance some one may need to cover is 80km (as the crow flies). This particular shot was taken during a very stormy evening while the wind was blowing at 10 to 12 meters per second. Luckily I did bring my heaviest tripod for situations like this and while most of the shots still turned out blurry this one was reasonably sharp. I just loved how the different wind blast influenced the waterfall and surge. The split waterfall is a result of a longer gust which forced it closer to the cliff but only half way through the exposure.
I will certainly post some other shots of this location in the future as it is incredibly interesting to shoot and offers a quite wide variety of possibilities.

#Nikon #D800 - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 24mm | 8 secs | f/9 | ISO 100
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Check out this article on my thoughts in field and post processing I wrote for +dpreview. Hope it's informative and a pleasant read.

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"Living on the Edge" (Spring 2016)
Another great sunrise spent in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. I always wondered why there are so few shots of this particular view, even though it is so promising - usually better even further into the summer with the sun rising more to the left of the frame. But even during the first days of May the sun shows it's face quite beautifully, complementing the high drops of the Affenstein Plateau.
When Philipp Lutz Photography, Jan Pusdrowski Photography and I visited this spot we were surprised that even though this is one of the lesser known spots in the area, we encountered a fellow photographer and his buddy through the camp of which we more or less stumbled on our way to the edge. After enjoying some blue hour photography we engaged in conversation and a while later the photographer walked out onto the farthest part of the stone formation to capture some closer images of the 'Heringstein' located in front of the ridge we were standing on, presenting me with a great opportunity for a classic ID shot.
I also took several shots without the human element, but I personally liked the ID a bit more because the photographer lends the image some referential scale. After we were done we talked for a while and went our ways. I must say I always like these types of "on location meetings", only very seldom have I met fellow craftsmen and women who weren't cool characters. Must be the landscape photographer blood bound everyone together.

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 26mm | 1/50 - 0,4s | f/16 | ISO 100
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"Bardenas Twilight" (Spring 2016)

Jonas Piontek Photography and I walked 35km for this shot alone, do you think it was worth it?

After driving up from the southern Portuguese coastline the day before I knew I just had to get this prolific canyon in the Bardenas des Reales onto my memory card somehow.

Our friend and fellow traveler Blondebeard Photography, after having had trouble with his beloved Gypsy Bus (with which he travels all over Europe and was kind enough to let us tag along) the last time I was out shooting with him in the Alps, due to melted breaks and a costly repair, decided that the bumpy desert road might be to much for his bus to take. So instead of getting about a 6-8km walk Jonas and I decided to take on the full distance from Castillo del Tierra all the way over to Paso de los Ciervos in order to get the shot we had been looking forward to during our time at the coastline. It was just to good to pass up so close to the goal line.

After walking next to the road for about 2 hours we headed into the canyon lands, not exactly knowing where we had to go to find what we were looking for. I had been to the location prior, but not at the exact spot. So after another 2 hours of more or less random exploration that resulted in an ascend of a nearby canyon ridge only to notice that we were utterly lost, we finally did end up finding the access point to the plateau above the canyon lands. (from above the route seemed so simple in retrospective)

Arrived on top I was exhilarated since I don't know too many photographers that have shot the canyons in the Bardenas before and I was looking at a very interesting set of compositions. In the end we waited for the blue hour, after the sunset didn't offer to much intense light. However the last refracted dusk light painted the canyons in surreal colors and enabled us to capture some great textures as well. Most of my shots ended up pretty blurry due to the severe winds that blew over the desert that day, even though I schlepped my 4kg tripod all the way there, hoping it'd help against the gusts. This is one of the view sharp shots I was able to take before the light faded away and we were left in darkness and another 16km walk back to the car, where we arrived at about 2:30 am if I remember correctly.

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 35mm | 30s | f/8 | ISO 250

P.S. I walked the whole distance n my barren sneakers because my trekking boots were still wet from a freak wave that got me the day before while shooting a sunrise at Punta de Pidade.
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"A Sign of Life" (Spring 2016)

This one is dedicated to my buddy +José Ramos with whom I planned to meet up while on my trip with Tino Klein to Portugal. Sadly he was stuck at work all week and didn't get to spend some time with us out shooting, I guess this is what work in a hospital is like. Hope you're getting some time off to relax and shoot soon!

Praia da Adraga is certainly up there on the list with my all time favorite beaches to shoot, including Ruby Beach, Reynisfjara, Luftenholz Beach and Shimegaura. I've been there three times now and it's been a great source for compositions time and time again with the tides changing, light moving and even the sand is never the same (I will post some comparison shots soon so you get the idea). And this time has been no exception. Still, the last two visits were not blessed by great sunsets. This time I had a better foreground so a classic 2/3 composition was more straight forward and the sun had a good angle in between the rocks. Circumstances simply to good not to take a sunset shot even though I was originally there for the moonset of which I will post some images another time. The editing was basically only an exposure blend of 4 different exposures, some curves and orton, and minor cleaning of the sand (don't you hate it when oblivious people just run through your shots?).
Tino and I spent about 3 days at and around the beach shooting, and the results were surely worth the effort. We even got to meet another German photographer to chat and shoot with: Ruben Kretzschmar. You can check out his works from the beach on his 500px account here:https://500px.com/kretzschmar

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 19mm | 1/50 1/25 1/13 1/3 | f/8 | ISO 100
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Hey Guys and Gals, I did an talk with the APN group from DeviantArt the other day with some interesting questions. Here you can read some interesting facts about my artistic process and my motivations! Give it a read!


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"None Becoming" (Summer 2015)

When Philipp Lutz and I arrived at ‪#‎Stokksness‬, Iceland be believed that we weren't able to get any good images with the conditions we found. At night the area was foggy and drizzling, and the green aurora overhead tinted everything in a slight cyan tone, we just went to sleep and after 4-5 hours we got up and worked very hard to find a good composition in the pre-dawn. We were shooting for about 4 hours well into the day without noticing. Behind every dune there is a new foreground and a new midground to be found, and the importance of the tripods height becomes imminent depending on where in the dunes you are searching. I shot so many different compositions that it got hard to pinpoint which was the best. In the end I took this one because I found the structure in the sand to be very much correspondent to the the skies liquid seeming clouds drifting past the peaks of ‪#‎Vestrahorn‬ and at the same time offered some good tonal range throughout the image for a black and white edit. Since the window of light was very brief and the sun only illuminated the side of the mountain for about a minute whilst I was occupied with another composition further in the back of the area I decided to choose composition and texture over light in this instance. Something I only seldom do. But I thought that Vestrahorn itself is one of those spots many probably see every other day in their feed (as do I), but almost never a good black and white shot. Since the textures were there and the dynamism of the composition for me seemed to carry the image I went with it. I hope you like it!
‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 18mm | 30 secs | f/10 | ISO 50
"None Becoming" (Summer 2015)

When Philipp Lutz and I arrived at ‪#‎Stokksness‬, Iceland be believed that we weren't able to get any good images with the conditions we found. At night the area was foggy and drizzling, and the green aurora overhead tinted everything in a slight cyan tone, we just went to sleep and after 4-5 hours we got up and worked very hard to find a good composition in the pre-dawn. We were shooting for about 4 hours well into the day without noticing. Behind every dune there is a new foreground and a new midground to be found, and the importance of the tripods height becomes imminent depending on where in the dunes you are searching. I shot so many different compositions that it got hard to pinpoint which was the best. In the end I took this one because I found the structure in the sand to be very much correspondent to the the skies liquid seeming clouds drifting past the peaks of ‪#‎Vestrahorn‬ and at the same time offered some good tonal range throughout the image for a black and white edit. Since the window of light was very brief and the sun only illuminated the side of the mountain for about a minute whilst I was occupied with another composition further in the back of the area I decided to choose composition and texture over light in this instance. Something I only seldom do. But I thought that Vestrahorn itself is one of those spots many probably see every other day in their feed (as do I), but almost never a good black and white shot. Since the textures were there and the dynamism of the composition for me seemed to carry the image I went with it. I hope you like it!

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED | 18mm | 30 secs | f/10 | ISO 50
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"Alter Magnitudes" (Winter 2016)

This is the fitting shot for the behind the scenes image I shared the day before yesterday. After walking up the slopes of Passo Rollo (and partially ski tracks) Philipp Lutz and I were walking on a narrow ridge to get this nice angle of the Cimon della Pala during a full moon night. This is a 6 shot vertical panorama stitched together in Lightroom and post-processed in Photoshop for some clean up and curves - there was not much to do there as the night colors were simply gorgeous. The only thing that did bug me was the cold wind as while we were originally standing in the wind shadow of the ridge, it later turned and hit us with all it's force - at -11° it didn't feel very pleasant. Hop you enjoy this shot.

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Nikkor AF-S 20mm f/1.8 G ED | 20mm | 15 secs | f/6.3 | ISO 1250

#nightscape #nightphotography #moonlight #panorama #mountains #alps #outdoors #winter #starrysky
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"Stranger Than Fiction" (Fall 2015)

I thought this was just too good not to upload. I always thought scenes like this usually emanate from #photoshop and are works of pure editing. But alas this is indeed real, however a blend of a shot for the foreground and one for the sky. But only in order for the foreground not to be too dark. The sky is not a sunset but a #moonset so the light is not too intense to block out all the stars or the emerging #milkyway; because it is so deep on the #horizon the color of the light passing through the atmosphere makes it seem as if it were a #sunset. The haze around the sun is caused by the drifting spray of #Dettifoss (Europe's largest waterfall).

After shooting the moon set down at the fall itself Philipp and I went up and noticed the change in light was just too good to pass up so we set up the cameras again before the moon was gone. Sadly we didn't have much time to compose a good foreground. But I've never seen anything like that night sky before so we had to do it and, as already mentioned, I had to share it.

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Samyang 14mm 2.8 IF ED MC | 14mm |30sec + 415sec | f/2.8 | ISO 3200 / 800
"Stranger Than Fiction" (Fall 2015)

I thought this was just too good not to upload. I always thought scenes like this usually emanate from #photoshop and are works of pure editing. But alas this is indeed real, however a blend of a shot for the foreground and one for the sky. But only in order for the foreground not to be too dark. The sky is not a sunset but a #moonset so the light is not too intense to block out all the stars or the emerging #milkyway; because it is so deep on the #horizon the color of the light passing through the atmosphere makes it seem as if it were a #sunset. The haze around the sun is caused by the drifting spray of #Dettifoss (Europe's largest waterfall).

After shooting the moon set down at the fall itself Philipp and I went up and noticed the change in light was just too good to pass up so we set up the cameras again before the moon was gone. Sadly we didn't have much time to compose a good foreground. But I've never seen anything like that night sky before so we had to do it and, as already mentioned, I had to share it.

‪#‎Nikon‬ ‪#‎D800‬ - Samyang 14mm 2.8 IF ED MC | 14mm |30sec + 415sec | f/2.8 | ISO 3200 / 800
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