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Andreas Wonisch
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Sky-High

This is my second photo from my vacation to Madeira in March. The great thing about Madeira is that the island is so diverse. Besides the coastal towns and the wide area covered by the Laurel forest which I already showed you the island also offers a large mountain range. The highest mountains can be found in the center of the island. This is a view from the famous Pico do Arieiro viewpoint which has an altitude of 1,818 m and is the third highest mountain on Madeira. Every day I watched the webcam to look out for good conditions to go there. Often the peaks were covered in thick fog. One day in the morning even a small layer of snow could be seen there. But after a few days finally the conditions looked promising and we went up there. It couldn't have been a better day: When we finally broke through the cloud the view was spectacular, with just the mountain tops peeking through a sea of fog. We hiked along the path through the mountains and then stayed at this viewpoint until sunset and watched in awe as the setting sun illuminated the landscape and clouds below us.

#Madeira #LandscapePhotography  #Clouds   #Sky   #Sunset   #Sun   #PicoDoArieiro  #Portugal #Travel
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Spring Flash

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Ever since having seen photos from the "blue" forest Hallerbos a couple of years ago I wanted to go there myself. This year finally all conditions were right and I undertook the four hour drive to Belgium. The forest looks like any other forest at first but when you enter it you know why this place is so special. In many areas of the forest almost all of the soil is covered by bluebells which give it an almost magical look. The blue carpet sometimes stretches over hundreds of meters and together with the smells of the blooming flowers it's fantastic just to stroll there for hours. Even though the forest is quite busy during the bluebell blossom it's so huge that you easily forget about all the other people observing this wonder of nature. What I found especially spectacular is the interplay of colors between the bluebells and the young green leaves of the trees. Together with the light coming from the setting sun it made the place even more mystical to me.

#Hallerbos   #Forest   #Bluebells  #Hyacinth #Spring #Sun #Nature   #Landscape   #Tree   #Light  
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Another World

Two weeks ago I've been on a vacation to Madeira, a small island in the Atlantic west of Portugal. While I intended it to be more of a relaxation trip of course I couldn't go there without taking my camera gear with me. The island itself offers a unique mixture of fresh vegetation, giant cliffs and a rough seaside, so I found many great locations for photos there. One of these is the Laurel forest which stretches over vast areas of the central island. A smaller part of this forest almost is really unique. In this area there are some of the oldest trees on the whole island. Some of these trees apparently already grew there when the first settlers made landfall more than 500 years ago. It's a magical place. And it almost feels like an enchanted forest when mist begins to enwrap the ancient trees.

#LandscapePhotography   #Forest   #LaurelForest    #Trees  #Old #Ancient #Madeira   #Travel   #Portugal  #Green #Vegetation
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The Mountain Village

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This is a photo from summer 2014 when I visited Villnöß (Funes), a small village in the Dolomite mountains, together with some fellow landscape photographers. While we had hoped for a spectacular sunset on that evening instead it began to rain and thick fog formed near the mountains. The view was still spectacular but I was so disappointed by the lack of direct light that I kind of forgot about this image.

However, after buying a Surface Pro tablet last month I had a look at some older photos and began to retouching this one. I have to say that by using a stylus instead of the mouse editing becomes much more intuitive. Especially dodging and burning feels very natural, it's like painting with light. The subtle, indirect light in this photo seemed to work very well with the stylus retouching and it's definitely something I will do more often now. I hope you like the result.
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Warm Up

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For my German followers: Anfang Februar biete ich wieder einen eintägigen, deutschsprachigen Workshop im Schwarzwald an, diesmal geht es um die Grundlagen der Winterfotografie. Wer wissen möchte, wie man solche und ähnliche Wintermotive am besten fotografiert, kann sich hier dafür anmelden: http://www.lightandland.de/fotografie-workshop/ansehen/winterfotografie-im-suedschwarzwald

And now for everyone else: Winter is coming, even though quite slowly. It will probably take another month or so until we have enough snow in the Black Forest again. This photo was taken last winter on a tour with some fellow photographers which was basically a dry run for next year's workshop (see above). While this fantastic light only lasted for 30 minutes or so it was still worth it driving in the middle of the night to the top of the Schauinsland mountain near Freiburg. On that day I had another motif in mind but since it was obvious that the sun wouldn't be out for long I also took some photos on my way to the main location, an observation tower on top of the mountain. But the scenery from the tower wasn't as good as I had hoped for since the light was slowly vanishing. Which brings me back to this photo and my realization that landscape photography is all about the light.

#Schwarzwald #BlackForest #Workshop #Winter #Schnee #Snow #Cold #Sun #Sunrise #Warm #Tree #Feldberg #Schauinsland #Deuschland Germany
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A Million Years

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This summer I kind of got addicted to Milky Way photography. There's nothing more impressive than looking at the sky, seeing it full of stars and realizing that many of them emitted their light thousands or even millions of years ago. This becomes even more impressive when you are standing around old castle ruins as I did here at castle Lindelbrunn in the Palatinate Forest. While this castle lasted a few hundred years during that time the night sky barely changed at all. People living in this castle must have looked at the same beautiful sky full of stars as we can do now.

However, compared to the night photos I did in the Black Forest I noticed that in the Palatinate Forest the Milky Way didn't come across as clearly. While it was still well visible with the naked eye it didn't look as crisp and detailed. Probably the higher elevation in the Black Forest and the smaller number of settlements with light pollution helps here. You can see some of this light pollution near the horizon here, glowing orange. This is something that certainly must have been different during the medieval ages. So maybe the castle inhabitants had an even better view of the night sky and the Milky Way.

#MilkyWay #LandscapePhotography #Landscape #Nature #Sky #Stars #PalatinateForest #Palatinate #Castle #Ruins #Lindelbrunn #Germany #Pfalz

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I'm back from a small vacation which was great but didn't allow me to take any landscape photos. So it has been some time since I last uploaded a photo here. But now finally the weather and the fall colors seem to be just right and hopefully I will be able to take lots of photos in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime this photo from my archive is a reminder of the great opportunities the Palatinate Forest offers during fall. In the background you can see the Trifels castle -- taken from more than 20 km away. You might need to view this photo in fullscreen to see the tiny looking castle which almost seems to blend into the landscape around it.

#LandscapePhotography  #Landscape #Nature #Palatinate   #PalatinateForest   #Forest   #Fog   #Mist   #Trifels   #Castle   #Sunrise   #Travel  
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Last year I've been at Seceda with some of my fellow "German landscapers" (check out +Dennis Fischer and +Michael Breitung here). We stayed at a hut which is only about 1 km from this fantastic view point -- however what we didn't know when we booked it that it is 1 km linear distance. In fact you have to hike up more than an hour on a steep mountain trail in the middle of the night in order to get there for sunrise. After a few exhausting days of hiking and photography in the Dolomites before six out of seven of our grup didn't make it up there. The only exception was 21 year old Max who managed to go up there just in time for the sunrise (which was fantastic by the way). I just stayed in my warm bed, unable and unwilling to hike any more.

This "failure" bothered me ever since. So I planned to go there again and after spending a few days in Venice last month I convinced my partner to make a small detour on the way back from Germany. We stayed at the same hut (it's still the nearest) but this time I was rested and had a clear goal in mind. When I woke up in the middle of the night it was pitch black and there was thick fog. You couldn't see for more than 10 meters. But I knew that I at least had to try this time. Luckily I already knew the way up and arrived in time half an hour before sunrise. At this point I felt that all the effort was in vain because it was still extremely foggy. But just before the sun came out the fog suddenly lifted and unveiled the majestic mountain tops. It felt like a great breakthrough and I quickly took as many photos as I could. A few minutes later everything was again covered in fog. But I went happily back to the hut -- knowing, that I finally had captured the photo I wanted to take ever since the big disappointment last year. Going back to bed for another hour of sleep never felt better.

#LandscapePhotography #Dolomites #Seceda  #Alps #Mountains #Sunrise   #Sun   #Sunbeams   #Sunrays   #Clouds   #Fog   #Mist   #Travel   #Nature   #SouthTyrol   #Italy  
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I have to admit: I don't like getting up early. But over the years I learned that the best photos can be taken around sunrise. Still, it's always a struggle for me to get on the location on time. When PIXELFREUDE PHOTOGRAPHY invited me to the Mehlinger Heide near Kaiserslautern I had to get up at 4:30 am and drive one hour in order to get there in time. I was quite reluctant at first and questioned myself if it was really worth it but when I arrived there I immediately knew that the decision was spot-on. It was a magical atmosphere with small layers of fog in the air and the first light shining across the purple fields. These perfect conditions only lasted for 30 minutes or so. After the sun came out and the fog lifted, the landscape looked quite normal again. But at this point I could drive to work quite satisfied with what I saw -- and photographed. It was way better than sleeping three hours longer.

#LandscapePhotography   #Landscape   #Nature   #Fog   #Mist   #Germany   #MehlingerHeide   #Heide   #Mehlingen   #Heather   #Blossom   #Bloom   #Wilderflower  
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If you want to do some serious photography inside Antelope's Canyon, you need to book a photographer's tour -- otherwise you are not allowed to use your tripod. If you book such a tour one of the first advices you will get from your tour guide is never to include the sky in your pictures: "It's too bright!". While this might have been solid advice ten years ago when camera's didn't have todays dynamic range and HDR photography was just emerging, by now you can complete forget about this advice. In fact, I think including the sky put's thing into better perspective. I was especially lucky during my visit because some nice clouds had formed in the sky. It made looking up even more rewarding.

#LandscapePhotography   #AntelopeCanyon   #LowerAntelopeCanyon   #SlotCanyon   #Colorful   #Landscap    #Colors   #Abstract   #Nature   #Travel  
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