Dave Derbis :: Photography Photography and Fine Art Prints by Dave Derbis Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:07:37 +0200 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.11.3 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.dave-derbis.de/feed/ New Photo: Aurora Warp

"Aurora Warp" - Iceland

Some Northern Lights dancing at the horizon a few hours after sunset and are reflected in this little lake while countless stars are flying by above in the night sky, photographed in the area of [...]]]>
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:49:11 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/aurora-warp/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/aurora-warp/&ref=feed/

"Aurora Warp" - Iceland

Some Northern Lights dancing at the horizon a few hours after sunset and are reflected in this little lake while countless stars are flying by above in the night sky, photographed in the area of Hvollsvöllur, Iceland.

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New Photo: Zugspitze Spiegelung

"Zugspitze Spiegelung" - Bayern, Deutschland

Die Zugspitze und der sie umgebende Wald getaucht ins warme Licht während der goldenen Stunde vor Sonnenuntergang und alles perfekt gespiegelt im ruhigen Wasse [...]]]>
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 18:16:37 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/zugspitze-spiegelung/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/zugspitze-spiegelung/&ref=feed/

"Zugspitze Spiegelung" - Bayern, Deutschland

Die Zugspitze und der sie umgebende Wald getaucht ins warme Licht während der goldenen Stunde vor Sonnenuntergang und alles perfekt gespiegelt im ruhigen Wasser des idyllischen Eibsees.

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New Photo: Hintersee Island

"Hintersee Island" - Bavaria, Germany

One of the famous little islands of the picturesque mountain lake, called  Hintersee with its crystal-clear and turquoise-colored water, the surrounding fairytale forest [...]]]>
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:48:10 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-island/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-island/&ref=feed/

"Hintersee Island" - Bavaria, Germany

One of the famous little islands of the picturesque mountain lake, called  Hintersee with its crystal-clear and turquoise-colored water, the surrounding fairytale forest and the massive peaks in the background during the golden hour before sunset.

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New Photo: Aurora Reflection

"Aurora Reflection" - Iceland

An awesome display of Northern Lights reflected in this lake and dancing all around me in the area of Hvolsvöllur in southern Iceland.]]>
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:00:30 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/aurora-reflection/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/aurora-reflection/&ref=feed/

"Aurora Reflection" - Iceland

An awesome display of Northern Lights reflected in this lake and dancing all around me in the area of Hvolsvöllur in southern Iceland.

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New Photo: Eibsee Islands

"Eibsee Islands" - Bavaria, Germany

These are the fantastically beautiful small islands named (ltr) "Maximilianinsel", "Scheibeninsel" and "Ludwigsinsel" in the mountain lake calle [...]]]>
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 17:04:27 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee-islands/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee-islands/&ref=feed/

"Eibsee Islands" - Bavaria, Germany

These are the fantastically beautiful small islands named (ltr) "Maximilianinsel", "Scheibeninsel" and "Ludwigsinsel" in the mountain lake called Eibsee with the massive Mt. Zugspitze in the background, which is also Germany's highest mountain with a height of 2.962m, all illuminated by the soft light of the golden hour before sunset and photographed from above.

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New Photo: Ice Stream

"Ice Stream" - Iceland

The massive Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue with rugged, moss covered volcanic mountains like Svarthamrar on both sides and Hrútsfjallstindar (1773m) in the background to t [...]]]>
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 16:09:56 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/ice-stream/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/ice-stream/&ref=feed/

"Ice Stream" - Iceland

The massive Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue with rugged, moss covered volcanic mountains like Svarthamrar on both sides and Hrútsfjallstindar (1773m) in the background to the left with its summit surrounded by clouds catching the last light of the golden hour, photographed from above.

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New Photo: Mountains of Landmannalaugar II

"Mountains of Landmannalaugar II" - Iceland

This is the view when hiking up to Blahnukur with all the huge and impressive rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar around in the Highlands of Iceland. [...]]]>
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:15:33 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/mountains-of-landmannalaugar-ii/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/mountains-of-landmannalaugar-ii/&ref=feed/

"Mountains of Landmannalaugar II" - Iceland

This is the view when hiking up to Blahnukur with all the huge and impressive rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar around in the Highlands of Iceland.

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New Photo: Ancient Ice

"Ancient Ice" - Iceland

This is part of the massive Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue reflected in the water with rugged, moss covered volcanic mountains in the background with their summit surrounded by stor [...]]]>
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:31:47 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/ancient-ice/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/ancient-ice/&ref=feed/

"Ancient Ice" - Iceland

This is part of the massive Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue reflected in the water with rugged, moss covered volcanic mountains in the background with their summit surrounded by storm clouds in this very moody scene.

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New Photo: Bavarian Postcard

"Bavarian Postcard" - Germany

The famous mountain lake called Eibsee naturally framed by the surrounding forest with the massive Mt. Zugspitze (2962m) in the background during the beginning golden hour before sun [...]]]>
Tue, 31 Jul 2018 16:59:01 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/bavarian-postcard/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/bavarian-postcard/&ref=feed/

"Bavarian Postcard" - Germany

The famous mountain lake called Eibsee naturally framed by the surrounding forest with the massive Mt. Zugspitze (2962m) in the background during the beginning golden hour before sunset.

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New Photo: Hintersee

"Hintersee" - Bayern, Deutschland

Der ruhige Hintersee bei Ramsau / Berchtesgaden mit seinem glasklarem und türkis-farbenem Wasser, dem bis ans Ufer ragenden Zauberwald und dem massiven Berg Hochkalter ( [...]]]>
Mon, 30 Jul 2018 16:28:34 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-bayern/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-bayern/&ref=feed/

"Hintersee" - Bayern, Deutschland

Der ruhige Hintersee bei Ramsau / Berchtesgaden mit seinem glasklarem und türkis-farbenem Wasser, dem bis ans Ufer ragenden Zauberwald und dem massiven Berg Hochkalter (2.610m) im Hintergrund.

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New Photo: Hintersee Alpenglow

"Hintersee Alpenglow" - Bavaria, Germany

It was such a nice quiet evening at this picturesque mountain lake, called  Hintersee with its crystal-clear and turquoise-colored water, the fairytale forest [...]]]>
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:48:21 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-alpenglow/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-alpenglow/&ref=feed/

"Hintersee Alpenglow" - Bavaria, Germany

It was such a nice quiet evening at this picturesque mountain lake, called  Hintersee with its crystal-clear and turquoise-colored water, the fairytale forest and the massive illuminated peaks of Mt. Hochkalter (2.610m) in the background at sunset.

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New Photo: Isar Aerial

"Isar Aerial" - Bavaria, Germany

The river Isar with wild wide forests and mountains all around near lake Sylvenstein in Bavaria, Germany.]]>
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 16:11:08 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/isar-aerial/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/isar-aerial/&ref=feed/

"Isar Aerial" - Bavaria, Germany

The river Isar with wild wide forests and mountains all around near lake Sylvenstein in Bavaria, Germany.

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New Photo: Reflection Mountain

"Reflection Mountain" - Bavaria, Germany

A heavy thunderstorm with hail and a lot of rain right before sunset created this very mystic mood with fog at the beautiful mountain lake Hintersee with the reflection [...]]]>
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 14:53:12 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/reflection-mountain/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/reflection-mountain/&ref=feed/

"Reflection Mountain" - Bavaria, Germany

A heavy thunderstorm with hail and a lot of rain right before sunset created this very mystic mood with fog at the beautiful mountain lake Hintersee with the reflection of the massive Mt. Hochkalter (2.610m) catching the last light of the day.

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New Photo: Sylvensteinsee

"Sylvensteinsee" - Bavaria, Germany

The Sylvensteinsee with crystal clear and turquoise blue water is a large  artificial lake which lies like a fjord between the wild mountains of Bavaria, Germany.]]>
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 14:48:03 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/sylvensteinsee/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/sylvensteinsee/&ref=feed/

"Sylvensteinsee" - Bavaria, Germany

The Sylvensteinsee with crystal clear and turquoise blue water is a large  artificial lake which lies like a fjord between the wild mountains of Bavaria, Germany.

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New Photo: Hiking Landmannalaugar Blahnukur

"Hiking Landmannalaugar Blahnukur" - Highlands, Iceland

The surreal landscape of the active Volcano Brennisteinsalda (855m, middle-right) in rhyolite based Landmannalaugar mountains in the Hig [...]]]>
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:03:47 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hiking-landmannalaugar-blahnukur/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hiking-landmannalaugar-blahnukur/&ref=feed/

"Hiking Landmannalaugar Blahnukur" - Highlands, Iceland

The surreal landscape of the active Volcano Brennisteinsalda (855m, middle-right) in rhyolite based Landmannalaugar mountains in the Highlands of Iceland during a beautiful summer day. The dots along the trail down from Bláhnúkur (~945m) are actually people, but hard to see in this small web-version of the photo.

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Bavarian Lakes Tour In early July I had a week off from work and decided relatively spontaneously to do a little bavarian lakes photo tour in the german Alps. I wanted to revisit some places I last visited about 10 years ago, scout some new locatio [...]]]> Sat, 21 Jul 2018 05:45:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/bavarian-lakes-tour/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/bavarian-lakes-tour/&ref=feed/

In early July I had a week off from work and decided relatively spontaneously to do a little bavarian lakes photo tour in the german Alps. I wanted to revisit some places I last visited about 10 years ago, scout some new locations and primarily just enjoy nature and relax but also do some decent mountain hikes which I wanted to do for quite a few years now, like the so called "Höllentalklamm" (devils deep), a very impressive, narrow, rugged and wild gorge near the Zugspitze (Germany's highest mountain, 2962m).

 

This time I had no particular photos in my mind which I wanted to create like I often have on my other photo motivated trips like the Heringstein Mountain Bivouac - instead I wanted to focus on the outdoor experience and just take photos along the way. That said, I ended up with almost 2000 new photos taken with the Nikon D810, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus drone and my Samsung Galaxy S8 mobile device - and I am pretty satisfied with the photographic results! The photo below shows my very organised storage management of all the photo equipment on the co-drivers seat. The drone, a D810 body, a backup D800E, two tripods, lots of lenses (14mm - 300mm) and filters, cable releases, cards, batteries, chargers, several backpacks and an ICU for hiking and whatnot.

 

 

Ford Mondeo Photo Gear

 

Here is a view of the chaos in the trunk where I've slept in the back of the drivers seat next to all the camping gear, needed clothes and food for such a trip. The trunk of the Mondeo has plenty of space for all this stuff and me sleeping stretched out without any problems with 1,81m size. With some blankets, pillows and a Thermarest mat with sleeping bag it is reasonably cozy and comfortable during the night.

 

 

Ford Mondeo Trunk Camping

 

 

 

I packed and loaded up my expedition modified Ford Mondeo like I did on several photo tours before, for example during my roadtrip  through Scotland and hit the road on very warm and cloudless ~30°C summer day and I was very happy to go to some colder climes in the mountains and out of the stressful, loud and hectic city.

 

After a seven hour drive I arrived at my first location, a lake called "Hintersee" near Berchtesgaden in Southern Germany at about six in the evening. Funnily, 10 minutes after I arrived there a two-hour thunderstorm with hail, heavy rain and incredibly loud thunder started and I was sitting in the car on a parking lot directly at the lake and enjoying the show in front of me. The temperature dropped from 21°C to 11°C in 15 minutes or so. During the second hour I was a bit disappointed and worried about my planned evening stroll and sunset shooting. Fortunately the weather calmed down in time and I had enough time left to scout the lake and possible locations for sunset. As it turned out the thunderstorm was good for interesting photo opportunities with a lot of fog and mist in the air which created some nice mystical conditions at the mountain lake. See the photos below.

 

 

Hintersee - Prints Available

 

 

Mystic Mountain - Prints Available

 

 

Bavarian Coast - Prints Available

 

 

Raven Island - Prints Available

 

 

Reflection Mountain - Prints Available

 

 

Two additional photos from previous visits:

 

 

Mountain Ghosts - Prints Available

 

 

Summer Solitude - Prints Available

 

 

After sunset I drove to my previously scouted location to spent the night in the car there. It was a very nice and quiet spot in the forest, not far from the lake. I've slept quite well but not that much. After breakfast I strolled around in a nearby forest called "Zauberwald" (fairytale forest) which was a nice experience, except the company of too many other tourists.

 

 

Hintersee Fairytale Forest - Prints Available

 

 

Ramsauer Ache

 

 

Fairytale Forest Hiking Path

 

 

After that I started my drive towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitz region on a road called "Deutsche Alpenstrasse". It was a very nice and scenic 190 kilometers drive on partly steep and narrow roads but with great vistas along the way. A nice contrast to the monotonous seven hour drive on the Autobahn the day before. In the late afternoon I arrived at my next destination, a large artificial lake called "Sylvensteinstausee" - of course in the pouring rain. I scouted the location but postponed my planned flight with the drone to take some photos of the place and continued my way towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 

 

 

Wild Bavaria - Prints Available

 

 

Along the way I discovered a very special place I didn't know before and which I hadn't expected. A place which impressed me a lot, especially seen from above with the drone. It strongly reminded my on the vastness of the landscape of my northern adventures last year in Scandinavia. See photos below of the impressive valley with its streams and forests, the river Isar and the Rißbachtal, all enclosed by mountains.

 

 

Rissbachtal - Prints Available

 

 

Sylvensteinsee - Prints Available

 

 

Isar Aerial - Prints Available

 

 

In the evening I hiked from a parking lot called "Alpencamp" some paths at the mountain called Wank and strolled around and enjoyed the vistas over Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Due to the rain and grey skies I did not take any interesting photos that evening. When I woke up the next day the skies were still grey and the rain was still pouring. So I opted for the hike up and through the Höllentalklamm. One of the wildest and most adventurous hikes I ever did, until now. The hike started in the hamlet Hammersbach and led along the river, through really nice forests and between the massive mountains Waxenstein (2277m) and Alpspitze (2628m). All the rain and the fog in the mountains and forest gave the hike a very mystical touch and pretty intense green colors. See some snapshots of this breathtaking hike below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an hour or so of constant, partly quite steep ascent I arrived at the gorge entrance. The landscape suddenly changed and it became very loud due to the Hammersbach river crashing down in the deep and narrow gorge. Water was literally everywhere and as I continued my way on the countless ladders, bridges, tunnels and stairs I got wet to the skin of icy glacier water. With 12° C outside temperature, it was a pretty refreshing experience! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've spent quite some time completely wet in the icy cold canyon and took countless pictures, always fighting with water on the lenses and the cold in my fingers and then eventually enjoyed the wider Höllental (devils valley) with its more open landscape and very mystic atmosphere with all the mist and fog in the air and the spectacular views and vistas along the hiking path in this high mountain wilderness. It was breathtaking and I enjoyed it very much but after three hours completely wet and cold I decided to descend back to the village but again through the raging gorge. I think I only needed a little more than an hour to get back to the parking lot and then I was very glad to have a hotel room to dry all the wet clothes and to enjoy a very long and hot shower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Altough this trip-report is named "Bavarian Lakes Tour", this impressive and adventurous mountain hike might be the true highlight of the trip. It was a very memorable and intense experience that I do not want to miss! Due to the weather and the strenuous hike I've spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing and warming up again.

 

In the evening however I drove to a lake called Lüttensee near the village Mittenwald, scouting for image compositions but left the place without a single photo. For sunset I drove to a famous alpine lake called Geroldsee (or Wagenbrüchsee) but the thick gray clouds of rain prevented even seeing the mountains behind the lake, so I just enjoyed being there breathing the fresh mountain air and appreciating solitude without creating images. To give you a sense for the place here are some photos I created there some years ago.

 

 

Geroldsee Reflection - Prints Available

 

 

Geroldsee Huts - Prints Available

 

 

The next day the rain finally stopped and I visited a Viking village (picture below) directly at a huge lake called Walchensee and revisited the place which impressed me so much the other day. I really enjoyed taking my time there doing my thing, strolled around the area and flew around with the drone in search of new image compositions, soaking in the wild landscapes.

 

 

Viking House

 

 

On my last evening I've explored and enjoyed the area around the Eibsee and scouted for new image compositions. The weather was cooperating with my photographic endeavors, so I was fortunate to create some (imho) decent new photos. See some of them below. It was such a nice place to be! Very quiet with no winds, almost no other people around and I enjoyed the scenery and the smell off a nice summer evening at the mountain lake a lot! I kept shooting and being in awe of the landscape until the last light was gone und then hiked back about 4km to the car through the dark forest during the blue hour. The forest there somehow reminded me on the forest of Saxon Switzerland with all the huge rocks and ancient, rolling paths and so on.

 

 

Ludwigs Island - Prints Available

 

 

Eibsee Golden Hour - Prints Available

 

 

Almbichl Aerial - Prints Available

 

 

Eibsee - Prints Available

 

 

The next day, I started my way back home and with lots of new experiences and photos made, I returned with a smile on my face, looking forward to review and process all the new images.

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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New Photo: Eibsee Golden Hour

"Eibsee Golden Hour" - Bavaria, Germany

The famous mountain lake called Eibsee with the massive Mt. Zugspitze (2962m) in the background during the golden hour before sunset.]]>
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:50:02 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee-golden-hour/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee-golden-hour/&ref=feed/

"Eibsee Golden Hour" - Bavaria, Germany

The famous mountain lake called Eibsee with the massive Mt. Zugspitze (2962m) in the background during the golden hour before sunset.

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New Photo: Eibsee

"Eibsee" - Bavaria, Germany

A curious duck swimming towards me in the very calm and idyllic Eibsee with dreamlike little islands in it on a nice summer evening in July with Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2.9 [...]]]>
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:00:07 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/eibsee/&ref=feed/

"Eibsee" - Bavaria, Germany

A curious duck swimming towards me in the very calm and idyllic Eibsee with dreamlike little islands in it on a nice summer evening in July with Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2.960m) in the background.

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New Photo: Wild Bavaria

"Wild Bavaria" - Germany

A wild landscape with mountains, rivers, lakes and little islands I encoutered while strolling through Bavaria and flying around with the drone finding new perspectives.]]>
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 11:43:46 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/wild-bavaria/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/wild-bavaria/&ref=feed/

"Wild Bavaria" - Germany

A wild landscape with mountains, rivers, lakes and little islands I encoutered while strolling through Bavaria and flying around with the drone finding new perspectives.

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New Photo: Rissbachtal

"Rissbachtal" - Bayern, Deutschland

Zu sehen ist der Rißbach, ein rund 30 km langer Wildfluss in Tirol und Oberbayern, der das Rißtal durchfließt, fotografiert von oben.]]>
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:09:07 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/rissbachtal/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/rissbachtal/&ref=feed/

"Rissbachtal" - Bayern, Deutschland

Zu sehen ist der Rißbach, ein rund 30 km langer Wildfluss in Tirol und Oberbayern, der das Rißtal durchfließt, fotografiert von oben.

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New Photo: Hintersee Zauberwald

"Hintersee Zauberwald" - Bayern, Deutschland

Eine typische Waldszene im Zauberwald bei Ramsau am Hintersee.]]>
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:07:37 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-zauberwald/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/photo/hintersee-zauberwald/&ref=feed/

"Hintersee Zauberwald" - Bayern, Deutschland

Eine typische Waldszene im Zauberwald bei Ramsau am Hintersee.

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Heringstein - Mountain Bivouac "I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wildness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May [...]]]> Fri, 01 Jun 2018 06:35:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/heringstein-mountain-bivouac/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/heringstein-mountain-bivouac/&ref=feed/

"I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wildness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May they at least know that some of us tried." - Guy Tal

 

 

Last week I spontaneously decided to give a long anticipated photo another chance to be finally realized. There is only a time window of a about a month per year to create this photo where the sun is at the right desired position during sunrise, clear horizons provided. Only between the end of May and mid-June the suns position at sunrise would be there directly behind the rugged peak of the Heringstein summit which results in a nicely composed and interesting image, at least in my humble opinion. As usual I've planned this trip with various apps, maps and tools like Photographers Ephemeris (screenshot below) to know where the suns position is when or GPSies (among others) to plan the hiking. But so far, previously either the weather was suboptimal or I had no time or motivation to be up there at 4:30 in the morning. My last attempt was about two years ago where I had to cancel my mountain bivouac in the middle of the night due to a upcoming thunderstorm. On last friday the weather forecast for the next two days looked stable and promising enough for me to motivate myself for another try.  

 

 

 

Honestly, I had not that much expectation for the perfect circumstances and weather conditions and hope to be able to create the exact image which I had previsualized in my mind but I was really looking forward to the nature experience during the weekend and to be out of the loud and stuffy city and hike through the mountains and enjoy the forests, views and the fresh air instead. Nevertheless the whole trip was planned around this possible sunrise shooting at the peak called Heringstein where I was many times before. I also wanted to just explore the area and some other and new places I don't know so far and to scout possible new locations for upcoming photo trips into the region. (By the way, the images below are shot with my mobile phone, Samsung Galaxy S8 in pro mode)

 

 

 

 

I started the tour in the early afternoon in Leipzig and drove towards Dresden and the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Luckily I had no traffic jams and was there in time, like I planned it. After arriving at the parking lot I immediately started the hike. It was a very sweaty and exhausting hike with my heavy backpack with all the photo equipment in my ICU (Nikon D810, 14-24mm, 24-120mm, Tripod, Filters, Batteries, Remote Release etc.) and of course the food, enough to drink, additional clothes, camping gear and whatnot needed in order to spend a night in the mountains. But shortly after I started the hike through the forest I also started to calm down and shake off all the stress of everyday life. Nice.

 

 

 

 

Once the beginning very steep sections were overcome I even more enjoyed nature, the forest and its natural sounds without any disturbing noices of civilization. When I arrived at the top of the plateau the first thing was to check out the place where I wanted to bivouac during the night. It's a bit hidden and off the trial. As I hoped nobody was there and everything looked as in my memory, so I continued my hike to another place (roughly a 40 minutes walk away) where I wanted to shoot sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

On my way I enjoyed some really nice eye-opening vistas and I came along some places where the forest smelled like some kind of sauna infusion. This was really awesome and I enjoyed this natural forest scent and the scenery along the way very much. 

 

 

 

Relaxing and soaking in the scenery

 

 

When I arrived at my sunset location there were a couple of other people. Of course they were sitting right in my desired image composition and frame. So I waited for about an hour or so there until the beginning golden hour and sunset and finally opted for another composition, which was also ok, but not what I really wanted. You can't have it all, I guess. At least this time the weather was as expected.

 

 

 

Shooting sunset at Carolafelsen

 

 

After sunset, during the beginning blue hour, I made my way back to my bivouac place for the night. I was worried that maybe other people would be there too by then, but fortunately I again was alone there. Below you see a photo of my small campsite directly at the sunrise location. When everything was set up and prepared I chatted a bit with my girlfriend on the phone and then tried to sleep a little.

 

 

 

My little bivouac camp for the night

 

 

The night was unbelievably quiet and peaceful. There were absolutely no sounds, no birds, no wind, nothing. From time to time I heard a few other campers in the distance, that was all. A very special experience being there all night alone and in the dark on the mountain, just laying on ground without any protection around you like a tent, a car, a flat or a house like most of us are used to. I did not really sleep though. Two times a bat flew over me very closely and I had two visits of creepy-crawlies on me. The end of the "night" was at about 4 o´clock in the morning when I unexpectedly heard some voices coming out of the dark forest exactly towards me. First, I was a bit scared and frightened but then I saw that the three tall guys were photographers too. We had a nice chat and then started to prepare our camera gear for sunrise.

 

 

Shooting sunrise at Heringstein

 

 

When the sun hit the horizon at about 5 o'clock in the morning I was prepared and at the right position where I had planned to be. Luckily there were no clouds at the horizon an no mist coming up from the valley. (I once climped a peak called Kl. Winterberg for sunrise only to see thick mist there and not the desired vista and the rugged mountains I hoped for and returned without a single photo from that trip.) So, this time I was happy with the conditions and started to shoot several image compositions and exposure brakets as well as some frames with a closed aperture (F-Stop for the sunstar) in order to blend it later all nicely in a final single photo like the ones you see below.  Looking back this time everything worked out fantastically. From the preparations of the trip to the execution and the weather conditions at sunset, during the night and of course the sunrise which made me walk down the mountain and back to the car with a smile on my face. After some fruitless attempts I was finally able to create the photo I had in my mind for quite awhile now. Yes!

 

Her are the final processed photos:

 

 

Heringstein Sunrise - Prints Available

 

 

Vizima - Prints Available

 

 

Sunset Fortress - Prints Available

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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Roadtrip through Scandinavia At the beginning of the year I began to plan a long anticipated roadtrip through whole scandinavia. I had scheduled about a month off from work during summer in August and September of 2017. For this photo expedition I booked a c [...]]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2018 13:37:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/roadtrip-through-scandinavia/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/roadtrip-through-scandinavia/&ref=feed/

At the beginning of the year I began to plan a long anticipated roadtrip through whole scandinavia. I had scheduled about a month off from work during summer in August and September of 2017. For this photo expedition I booked a camper van, a Karmann Dexter, early in the year. I knew this car very well from our roadtrip through Fjord Norway in 2015. But contrary to our travels back then where the main focus of the trip was to enjoy the travel experience and the beautiful landscapes itself, this time my focus was on photography like it was during recent roadtrips through Scotland (2014) and Iceland (2008, 2016, 2017). Also this time I was traveling alone which made it easier for me to focus on creating new images at "bad times" of the day when the light is good or interesting for landscape photography but "normal" people prefer to sleep or just relax. Unfortunately this also made the trip a very lonely one with long days on the road and overall about 7000km (~4350 miles) of driving - but of course it still was very enjoyable journey overall with a lot of time for myself and solitude.

 

 

 

 

As usual, a lot of planning and preparation took place ahead of the start. I studied a lot of information provided by different maps and websites like visitnorway.com and norgeskart.no for instance to plan the rough route. I used the photographers ephemeris and Google Earth to plan possible photos and previsualize them in my mind before even being there. Depending on the weather at the location this sometimes works very well because most of the essential elements of a good landscape photograph you can actually plan before being out shooting. I've written about this topic earlier in this article. Previsualizing and thinking about what kind of photos you strive to create also helps a lot when planning the route of such a trip and the time of the year. I choosed August and September for this trip because of the temperatures and vegetation in the highlands, mountains and the arctic then and because from September onwards you also have the possibility to see Northern Lights on the Lofoten (or any other place above the arctic circle) for example. I have to confess that I really enjoy studying maps and imagining what it will be like to be there later. For me that is already part of the actual journey. The same applies to the post-processing of the photo and video raw material and writings about such a trip. The latter part also often brings up a lot of good memories when sitting in the comfort zone at the computer with a hot and tasty coffey. Sometimes it's a bit tricky with the experiences of such trips. They are like good wine, the older they get, the better they become. But even if you sometimes remember past tough experiences and challenges of a trip like this you should also keep in mind that nothing worth having is easy.

 

Also next to creating new photos one side goal of the trip was to find my personal Skyrim and Skellige like landscapes in scandinavia - and fortunately I did! I've found my personal Skyrim in Jotunheimen National Park and in the area of Norways national mountain Stetind in northern Norway (Nordland) and I've found my personal Skellige on the Lofoten Islands. The rugged and harsh landscapes there combined with very moody weather conditions and the feelings while being there alone reminded me a lot of my virtual adventures in Skyrim and Skellige. Another "goal" of course was to just enjoy the freedom and the time being outdoos, hiking, exploring new landscapes and take deep breaths of the fresh arctic air at a nice sandy beach between rugged mountains without any hecticness or stress, just doing what I really like and focus on creating new images. I've also really enjoyed the ride along all those breathtaking landscapes flying by while driving and listening to some nice music. Sometimes I caught myself driving with an open mouth, totally in awe of the spectacular landscapes! 

 

 

First morning in Sweden

 

Once the car was booked and the rough route was planned it was time to think about the needed equipment for the trip. Since the Karmann Dexter is fully equiped with a large bed, fridge, heater, kitchenette and even sockets I didn't need so much camping gear as I needed in Scotland where I mainly slept in the back of my Ford Mondeo. One day before the start I loaded the camper with all the needed camping equipment, food products, clothes, toiletries, quite some reading material and a lot of music for several weeks of traveling.

 

The camera gear for this trip was a DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ drone, a Nikon D810 body, plus a D800E as replacement camera, lenses spanning from 14mm to 300mm, six batteries, cable releases, Polarizer and GND filters, two tripods, battery charger, about 100GB of CF cards, another smaller camera, the netbook with an external harddrive (for saving the RAWs), cleaning wipes, some lenspens, a large and a smaller camera-/hiking backpack for carrying all this stuff during the wanderings and a whole galaxy of adapters and stuff to be able to charge all the different devices in the car while driving (which worked very well by the way, even with the drone).

 

So, that was the rough planning and preparation before the trip. Once everything was purchased, prepared and packed and the first ferry to Sweden was booked the trip finally started in mid August!

 

 

Fjord Norway - Prints Available

 

 

After saying goodbye to my girlfriend, which was very difficult for both of us, I started my journed to the North with very ambivalent feelings, a mix of sadness and excitement. On the first day my goal was to reach the ferry in Rostock and sleep somewhere in Sweden near Malmö just along the road. Of course, this did not happen as planned. After a few hundred kilometers on the Autobahn I got stuck in a traffic jam for serveral hours. Once I finally arrived at the harbour in Rostock the ferry was long gone.

 

So, after loudly cursing the traffic jam I asked my way through all the different shipping companies in the port terminal and finally found another ferry on the same day but it was going to Gedser in Denmark and not Trelleborg in Sweden which I originally planned but I was moving forward and was no longer stuck in Rostock.

 

After a few hours on the Baltic Sea I arrived in Denmark and directly started driving through the whole country over the famous and impressive Öresund-Bridge to Sweden where I've found a nice place for the first night in the car. While driving through denmark where the landscape was illuminated by nice soft sunset light I smiled and enjoyed the scenerey and some good music and I was happy with the first day of the journey, although it was a very bumpy start with the hours lost in the traffic jam and the extra costs for the ferry to Denmark. After finding a nice spot for the night just along the road I've had a short talk with my girlfriend on the phone and then I fall asleep immediately after more than 14 hours of traveling.

 

 

Bergsdalen - Prints Available

 

 

On the second day I continued driving through Oslo and into Fjord Norway. This was another day full of driving, all in all about ~1500km on the road during the first two days. Luckily I had found a nice spot for the second night, directly at a lake where I scored my first good image of the journey (see sunset image above "Fjord Norway").

 

It was such a peaceful scenery and very welcome after the exhausting drive through Oslo and on the narrow mountain roads with the camper van. Two norwegian guys stood at the shore fishing, the temperatures were very mild with almost no wind and I was very lucky with the light and clouds during sunset. During the blue hour I also sat at the shore and enjoyed the landscape and the peace on the spot. Somehow the whole scenery strongly reminded me of Montana and the movie "A River Runs Through It". The rest of the evening I realaxed in the camper with a good book and a talk on the phone.

 

 

Jotunheimen Mountains - Prints Available

 

 

The next day I drove through the mountain village Øvre Årdal on very narrow and steep mountain roads on a very interesting drive towards Skjolden and then further to the Jotunheimen National Park where the rough plan was to spend a few days there and just take my time exploring the area and finding new photo compositions on the ground and fly around with the drone for some interesting aerial images and new perspectives.

 

At about midday I arrived at an altitude of ~1300 meters on the E55 in the rain. I decided to cook lunch and then see what the weather forecast says. The forecast said very dynamic weather conditions for the next couple of days and a mix of rain, strong winds, clouds and sun which can be quite interesting for landscape photography so I decided to wait in the area for some interesting light conditions.

 

The rest of the day, it has poured like a bucket with very strong winds and I spent my time in the car reading. At night the storm and the wind were so bad that I was partly afraid the car would tip over. A memorable experience! The nights up there in the fjellet were so cold that the batteries of the cameras and drone almost discharged over night. I had to drive some extra kilometers during the day to be able to load all camera devices and of course the mobile phone, which actually was the most important device of the journey. It was my connection home to my girlfriend and family in case anything happens while I'm traveling and hiking alone in remote regions.

 

 

Sognefjellet Storm - Prints Available

 

 

During the next couple of days I explored the area and did some hiking and test flights with the drone but the weather was too bad for serious images combined with a lot of rain and strong winds there in the Sognefjellet in the mountains. I know the saying "bad weather equals good photos" - but not in pouring rain and boring grey skies. After a few days there in the rain I was a bit disappointed because the weather just did not get better and the forecast also gave little hope. So one afternoon, after spending most of my time reading and watching the storm outside, I decided to move on further north on the next day and to finally escape the bad weather.  When you are travelling alone for several weeks, far away from home and everything familiar, often tired and sleeping in the car at remote and exposed spots, several days of rain and the strong cold winds can be pretty annoying and upsetting. During those moments it helps immensely if you once again have a successful experience with the camera and motivate yourself with thinking about why you're doing such a trip. It's good for the own morale (just like a good warm and tasty meal). Fortunately on my last day in the mountains near Jotunheimen the storm cleared for a few hours and I created the image above with dramatic skies and sunset light on a nice location at a lake I've scouted some days earlier. I left the fjellet with a smile on my face and continued my road trip the next day.

 

 

Myself at the Arctic Circle Center

 

 

The next two days I mainly spent on the road driving a lot of kilometers again. While driving through Fjord Norway I again was often totally in awe of the landscapes flying by. You could literally stop every ten minutes and take a picture with all those breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and the combination of countless lakes, fjords, waterfalls and mountains. After a long day on the road I looked for a nice camping spot along the E6 to spent the night there and had my evening ritual, which consisted of a phone call and reading or watching nature documentaries on the laptop and of course eating (mostly convenience foods or sandwiches).  On the following day I crossed the Arctic Circle at 66°33′ north and asked another tourist to take the cheesy shot of myself above. I then visited the center and bought some souvenirs and a wrote a postcard from the Arctic Circle to my girlfriend back home in Leipzig. (There is a post office in the center just for this purpose.)

 

Arctic Forest - Prints Available

 

 

On my way further north towards Bodø and the ferry to the Lofoten Islands I came across some very nice wild landscapes, again with countless waterfalls and forests like the scene above which I photographed with the drone. There was not much wind but it was drizzling a bit but luckily that did not affect the device. When driving through a whole country one really gets a good feel for its actual size. The sheer vastness of the landscapes of scandivia (especially in the far north with very low population density) reminded me of documentaries I had seen about Alaska and Canada and I began to feel like a real adventurer exploring and photographing the wild landscapes alone there in the far North.

After another long day on the road I finally found a pretty nice spot for the night directly at the ocean not far from Bodø. The sunset was quite unspectacular with not much photo opportunities. So I only had a walk along the beach and relaxed the remaining evening. I was pretty exited to return to the Lofoten the next day which I visited the first time in 2013 and also was the main destination of my scandinavia trip in 2017. Here you find a list of hiking reports I wrote back then, including Reinebringen, Kvalvika Beach, Bunes Beach on Moskenesøya and Tjeldbergtinden near Svolær on Austvågøya.

 

 

Arctic Idyll - Prints Available

 

 

The next day I continued my journey to the harbour of Bodø, parked the camper van in the waiting line for the ferry and explored the city a little bit. I also took the opportunity to restock my supplies of food (and some tasty arctic beer) in a large supermarket because on the Lofoten those things are a bit more expensive caused by their exposed location. On that particular day the sea was quite calm and the ferry ride to Moskenes took about three or four hours, I think. The ferry arrived after sunset so I drove directly to a nice camping spot I scouted in Google Maps prior to the trip. It felt great to finally arrive at my main destination and to suspend driving countless hours and days for a while and to do some hiking and exploring and again focus on creating images for a change. To be honest at this point I was already a bit tired of driving but also somehow proud that I drove there all on my own, not taking the usual flights to Bodø. Plus, the ride itself was definitely worth it just because of the great scenery I saw along the way.

 

The photo above shows the very scenic fishing village Reine with a 'classic' postcard like view of the harbour, the red rorbuer huts and the reflection of Olstinden (675m) in the water on a beautiful summer day in the arctic.

 

 

Ågvatnet Reflection - Prints Available

 

 

Unfortunately the next couple of days were again a mix of strong winds and a lot of rain, the same what I experienced previously in the Mountains of Jotunheimen. Looking back, I was not really blessed with good weather on this whole trip. The photos you see here in the article are actually the selected highlights of light and weather condions of a trip spanning over several weeks. So, one might get the impression that I was very lucky with the weather but in truth the opposite is the case. In fact most of the time during this trip the weather in Norway was not on my side with a lot of rain, strong cold winds and boring grey skies.

 

Nevertheless, I drove around Mosekensøya, Vestvågøy and Ausvågøya and explored the area, did some moderate hiking and scouted possible photo compositions, just in case the weather should eventually get better. I mainly camped on a nice spot near a picturesque village called Å (photo below) in the south of the islands or at a really nice beach near Flakstad (photo below "Skasanden Sun") on Flakstadøya.

 

 

Å - Prints Available

 

 

Here is a little side story about another long anticipated (since 2013 when visiting the islands for the first time) hike I planned for this photo expedition but dismissed while being there. Back home in Leipzig I originally planned a two day hiking adventure to the summit of Hermannsdalstinden (1029m) the highest mountain on Mosekensøya. I've read quite a few hiking reports about the mountain and the hike itself and I was really eager to see the awesome view from the top of the mountain and of course to create a decent photo at sunset there (at about ~08:45pm). The mountains of the Lofoten are just to high and rugged to get this view with the drone, especially at sunset. One could maybe climb up to about ~500m altitude and then try it but I also wanted to capture the awesome vista with my full frame sensor camera for maximum image quality and sharpness.

 

The initial plan was to do this very exhausting and demanding hike directly when I arrive at the islands. But, of course, the weather did not work as planned and everything was muddy, slippery and wet after several days of rain and to be honest my motivation to do this strenuous and slighty dangerous hike alone was not that high as it was back home while planning it in the comfort zone of my office in my loft. At this time, the weeks I have spent on the road and the hikes I already did have left their marks I think. After thinking about it for a while, I opted for the more reasonable option and against this hike and to explore some other locations instead. It was a tough decision because I was so looking forward to it, but the right one, I think.

 

 

Hamnøya - Prints Available

 

 

So instead of doing the multi-day hike up to Hermannsdalstinden, during the days when the weather was good (means no pouring rain and strong cold winds) I was driving all around my previously scouted locations and flew with the drone and created lots of new images with the normal cameras which always lifts my spirits again on photo dedicated trips like this. Especially after some days of rain in a row mostly spent reading in the car. In the end, for me, creating new images is one of the main reasons for such trips next to the freedom, exploring, enjoying solitude and of course not to forget all the time spent outdoors. I noticed that having the possibility to do this somehow is in a magical way connected to my overall constitution and general mood on trips like this.

 

The image above was taken on one of the famous bridges connecting the islands. This is Hamnøya with its typical red rorbuer huts and blue skies above on a beautiful summer day. In one of those rorbuers (Willi-Bua) I've spent about ten days back in 2013 during the first visit of the Lofoten.

 

 

Ågvatnet - Prints Available

 

 

On days like this such a trip is just amazing! It's so much fun driving around the previously scouted locations, exploring new ones, enjoying the breathtaking views, fresh air and take your time for creating some decent new images. It's just so much fun and this is what it's all about - having a good time doing it!

 

The image below shows Skagsanden Beach where I planned to catch some Northern Lights during the nights. I've spent more than three nights there and tried to stay awake up until three o'clock in the morning. Actually the conditions where quite good with a relatively strong aurora forecast of more than 4 Kp and no clouds. So I've spent my time a lot with waiting, walking along the beach, creating sunset photos, studying the behaviour of other tourists (which can be quite funny), reading books and talking to my girlfriend on the phone.

 

 

Skagsanden Sun - Prints Available

 

 

After spending two nights with waiting and seeing no Aurora Borealis during the night I almost lost my motivation for another night of waiting. But during the third night I was finally rewarded with a nice little display of Northern Lights. Unfortunately it lasted not long enough for my planned composition which included Hustinden (691m) and the reflection of the Dancing Lights in the water at the beach, so I quickly improvised with the composition of this one. Also, compared to the intensity of the lights I saw in Iceland, it was kind of "weak" but nevertheless very enjoyable. I went to bed with a smile on my face.

 

 

Dancing Lights - Prints Available

 

 

In following days I drove around and focused on enjoying the incredible landscapes, a nice tasty burger at the harbour in Reine and of course finding new perspectives for interesting images like the one below. This is an aerial photo of the small island called Sakrisøya, its harbour and yellow rorbuers and the rugged mountain Olstinden (675m) in the background. For me as a enthusiast of spectacular landscapes, this looks like some kind of arctic paradise and it actually is - the right weather provided.

 

 

Sakrisøya - Prints Available

 

 

On days of good weather I tried to be as productive as possible. I drove a lot back and forth all around the islands to capture as much of their beauty as I could. Below you see the famous bridges of Fredvang and the turquoise beaches of the Lofoten Islands, photographed from above with the drone. With conditions like this without strong cold arctic winds and blue bird skies and no rain its really a pleasure to fly around with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ and to compose some nice images of those awesome landscapes, again this is just a lot of fun! 

 

When the weather forecast prognosticated rain for the next days I decided to go on and leave the Islands and the bad weather behind. On this particular day I started in the south near Å and headed up north to Svolvaer where I spent most of the day visiting the city, again buying some souvenirs and presents, writing postcards and enjoying the scenery at the harbour. I then drove to a nice spot for the night which I remembered from my travel there in 2013. The spot is not far from Svolvaer and provides some really nice views of rugged mountains and fjords but this last night on the islands was one to remember. This night the predicted bad weather rolled in from the sea and brought a heavy storm with very strong winds and rain and during the night I again was partly afraid the car would tip over - for the second time on this journey. Another memorable experience!

 

 

Fredvang from Above - Prints Available

 

 

Another thing I wanted to mention is that apart from the weather, it is completely safe to stand and sleep anywhere in Norway and Sweden. I was not even afraid that the car would break open or be attacked by burglars or anything like that. Scandinavia is from the tourist point of view a very safe travel destination for people with a camper van.

 

After the stormy night, a hearty breakfast and a short hike directly starting at the parking spot and some snapshots of the location I made my way up to Lødingen on a very scenic road with breathtaking views to catch the ferry via Vestfjorden back to the mainland to Bognes where I took the ferry via Tysfjorden to Skarberget. I then drove to my last planned photo location, the famous Stetind, Norways National Mountain (photo below).

 

 

Stetind - Prints Available

 

 

When I arrived at the Stetind parking lot the weather was very dynamic with fast moving high clouds and a mix of low clouds, sun and rain. On my way to the location I drove along some nice other places like Efjorden where I was fortunate to capture the image below which shows the mountain Karikollen (753m), a rainbow and a little fishing boat floating in the calm water with a perfect reflection of the whole idyllic scenery. The whole area of the Ofoten strongly reminded my on Skyrim (btw, I'm listening to the Soundtrack of Jeremy Soule while writing this), the famous northern virtual adventure whereas the Lofoten are my personal Skellige.

 

When I arrived at the Stetind in the late afternoon I ate dinner and then started to explore the nearby area. It was such a beautiful and peaceful combination of natures elements with the stream and its cascades, the green forests, the calm fjord and rugged mountains all around. It really was just beautiful and luckily I had enough time to take a deep breathe and to enjoy it all and take my time to compose some photos.

Actually I was prepared to camp there for a few nights and wait for better weather because when I arrived I couldn't even see the summit (1392m) of the mountain and it was drizzling and I really wanted to create a decent photo presenting Norways National Mountain. But after a few hours the clouds suddenly cleared and the landscapes and clouds began to catch the light of the beginning golden hour before sunset. As I saw this I grabbed my camera gear and the tripod and ran to my previously scouted favorite location to create a photo with the mountain and composed the photo above.

 

 

Karikollen - Prints Available

 

 

Satisfied with the picture of my last planned photo location of the trip, I finally set off for home the next day. I drove further north up to Narvik on winding roads in order to return via Lapland and Sweden. I made a very slowly progress this day and I had my mind that I had to drive about 2700 km until I would be back home but I was very looking foward to it.

 

The way back across the eastern coast of Scandinavia was relatively unspectacular. I traversed the fabulous vastness and the endless forests of Lapland. That was really impressive again and a real eye-opener. I actually wanted to make several more explorations for upcoming trips to Sweden, but somehow I had no more peace and wanted to go home. At this moment the spirit of adventure in me was satisfied. I did several photo-stops along the road and also camped just along the E4 on my way back. The scenery below was one of those camp spots for the night. Really quiet and peaceful and I was lucky with the wind, clouds and light at this evening. It is also the last serious landscape photo that I created during this trip and somehow marks the end of this journey.

 

 

Sunset Lake Reflection - Prints Available

 

Looking back it was an awesome roadtrip through Scandinavia with very dynamic weather and a lot of solitude. I often had wether cloudless blue skies or completely grey skies with a lot of wind and rain and not that much interesting sunsets/sunrises with spectacular light and some colour as I had hoped for. Difficult conditions for creating interesting landscape photos, but I think I made most of the possibilities I had. I am pretty satisfied with the photographic results of the trip and all the new experiences and what I learned about myself. With the experiences of the past twelve years with landscape photography I've more and more realized and came to the opinion that the best (or most successful) photographer is not the one with the most spectacular photos but the one who has most of the fun while scouting new locations and perspectives, simply creating new photos in the field (without any pressure or expectations) and who is also enjoying the selection and post-processing process back home in the comfort in front of the computer (or the digital darkroom) with a hot tasty coffee and some good music. This is what it's all about - having a good time doing it! In my humble opinion the best photographer is the one who has most of the fun doing it! And - most of the time - I've enjoyed the trip with all the new experiences and impressions along the way. Travelling with the camper van again worked great for me. Enough space, very mobile and cozy during the cold evenings and all the rainy days. I especially enjoyed another advantage of the camper van which is that you are completely flexible and can make your own schedule, adjust the plan to the weather which is not possible with booked hotel rooms for example. Sometimes during the journey I really started to feel completely free and enjoyed the vagabond lifestyle without any restrictive obligations - at least for a while.

 

 

See more photos from Norway in my gallery.

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

Interactive road map:

 

 

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Favorite landscape photos of the last year With this article I want to present to you my annual selection of the twelve personal favorite landscape photos from the year 2016. You can read on and scroll down or feel free to directly check out the gallery or sitback, re [...]]]> Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:35:00 +0100 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/favorite-landscape-photos-of-the-last-year/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/favorite-landscape-photos-of-the-last-year/&ref=feed/

With this article I want to present to you my annual selection of the twelve personal favorite landscape photos from the year 2016. You can read on and scroll down or feel free to directly check out the gallery or sitback, relax and enjoy the slideshow!

 

2016 was a absolutely great year! We directly kicked off on the first of January with an awesome moody evening at the Baltic Sea where I created Ocean Serenity and Windswept. In the first month of the year we also started planning our upcoming longer trips in the summer time which was quite some work with all the flights, rental cars and accomondations and the photography location planning and so on. I was also fortunate to create some new work for my Urban Architecture and Cityscapes gallery like the image City Lights and Bayrischer Bahnhof

 

Ocean Serenity

City Lights

Bayrischer Bahnhof

Spring Forest

 

In Feburary I worked on a new project which I am thinking about for years now. Check out the new gallery called Artifacts of Soviet Occupation here. During spring I explored the forests and parks in and around Leipzig and created some images like Fairytale Forest and Spring Forest with wild garlic and a leading river featured by the setting golden sun in the forest. Images which I have also previsualized in my head for years now, this year all the components and elements needed came together.

 

Ocean Solitude

Pandora Mountains

Lago di Limides Blue Hour

La Gusela

 

When summer finally arrived and everything was in full bloom I started my mountain bivaouc trip to Saxon Switzerland. Then, in July, the first longer trips followed where we again visited and enjoyed the wild beaches at the Baltic Sea where images like Solitude Beach were created. This tour was directly followed by an awesome trip to the Dolomites in the Italian Alps. In contrast to our last years visit this year we were pretty lucky with the weather and I was able to create a lot of the images I previsualized during our last visit and the planning of this trip. We also took our time and just relaxed and enjoyed the breath-taking mountain scenery there. Back home I started post-processing the images of those two trips which produced lots of new photos and also started the very detailed planning of our long anticipated Iceland roadtrip.

 

Passo Giau Sunset Panorama

 

In late August we finally started. I was so worried about the weather and other circumstances which I can't control that I could barely sleep the night before the departure. But, to my surprise we were so incredibly lucky with literally everything - the flights, our rental 4x4 Jeep, the conditions on the wild highland roads and river crossings, wind speeds, temperatures, the weather in general, sunsets, puffins, humpack whales and we even were lucky enough to see northern lights on several cloudless nights at different locations in September. Everything I hoped for we did actually see and we had so many new and really eye-opening, sometimes very humbling or even frightening experiences on this roadtrip. During those weeks of traveling, exploring new locations and hunting the light which are filled with so many new experiences I really feel alive and I am happy, even if it is pretty exhausting at times. I admit, I do also like to be back home after some time of traveling and just enjoy some time selecting and post-processing all the new images with a hot and tasty coffee and some good music.

 

Power of Nature

Puffin

Diving Whale

Jökulsárlón Icebergs

 

However, in October I started another four daytrips to the Harz region and Saxon / Bohemian Switzerland to photograph and enjoy the autumn foliage in the National Parks there. I visited my beloved Ilsetal in the central german highlands where I finally created Spirit Garden which I also had in my mind for years now and I also hiked to quite a few locations in the Saxon / Bohemian Switzerland like Khaa- and Kamenice valley, Teichstein and Heringstein. On some of those tours I was lucky with the weather (see links above) on others I just enjoyed the views after hiking and being outdoors undisturbed by ever beeping devices and apps and whatnot. Beside landscape and architecture photography I also started a new photo project - Virtual Adventures with three new galleries. After spending countless hours in virtual worlds I thought why not combining the two interests photography and digital adventures and do In-Game-Photography.

 

You can also watch the film here in full HD: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtXuFMWCMPo

 

Looking back I am really happy with the trips, new experiences and their photographic outcome. I noticed that this year I was more motivated with landscape photography in general than in the previous year. Maybe I needed a little break after almost ten years or something. What may have also affected my motivation is the very positive feedback I've received in 2016 with lots of very kind comments, features on various sites, some awards and not to forget new publisher and reseller contracts with a lot of new licenses and print sales. And of course also things like my feature on deviantArt.com with an article about my artistic progression after ten years and another Daily Deviation for Carolafelsen Sunset. I am also proud to be featured with three of my Iceland photos on EarthShots.org as photo of the day on their site (Seljalandfoss, Fjallsarlon, Homeland). And last but not least one of my forest images was choosen to be the title page of a large calender for 2017.

 

Jökulsárlón - Prints Available

 

This year it somehow finally feels like all the hard work with planning and executing of those countless light hunting trips is slowly paying of. Of course sometimes the new experiences are reward enough but when you spent so many hours planning and quite some money on those trips it is definetly more satisfying to return home with some decent new images! I think this year I was so productive like never before and I am glad that I could create a lot of images and realized ideas which I had in my mind for so long. It may now be a bit surprising but one goal for me next year is that I'll try to relax more and be even more experience oriented and not that much goal oriented with my photography. Trying more new things (like in the beginning when I started with creating images) and simply to more enjoy the ride and the whole process of creating photographs including some strenuous hiking and scouting and intense exploring of new locations (without a specific previsualized photo in my head - and being disappointed when it does not materialise), trying new post-processing techniques and just enjoy the time spent outdoors in nature with an overall feeling that I can create new images, if I want to, but I don't have to - just let the experience be reward enough without any expectations. So, I am looking forward to 2017 with hopefully a lot of new experiences, challenges and trips to come. 

 

Below you see my twelve personal favorite landscape images of 2016 (out of about ~15.000 images I captured). You can also click here to view more of the latest photos or the following link to see all images of 2016, or Artifacts of Soviet Union or Virtual Adventures.

 

 

Gallery of my twelve personal favorite landscape photos of 2016

 

 

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Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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Roadtrip through Iceland Hi there, we're back from an awesome trip through Iceland. In the last weeks we drove more than 4000km all over the island and had really close encounters with wild puffins, seals and huge humpback whales, saw breath [...]]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:45:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/roadtrip-through-iceland/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/roadtrip-through-iceland/&ref=feed/

Hi there, we're back from an awesome trip through Iceland. In the last weeks we drove more than 4000km all over the island and had really close encounters with wild puffins, seals and huge humpback whales, saw breathtaking Northern Lights dancing directly above our heads and all around us, paddled through huge glacier bays filled with icebergs, had nice sunsets and interesting river crossings in the highlands on the F-roads and had some fun with our Jeep, not to forget all the hiking and the thousands of waterfalls and rainbows along the road and simply the interesting and active volcanic landscapes everywhere you look. So many new impressions and (sometimes very humbling) experiences! However, I will not write a very detailed report about this trip like I did for our road-trips through ScotlandNorwayItaly or our mountain hiking tours in the Saxon Switzerland in Germany or the Lofoten in North Norway for instance. So if you want to know more about our preparation of trips like this feel free to read the linked articles above. As a little side project to landscape photography we tried to video document some of our experiences during our road-trip all over the island. Watch the film below:

 

 

You can also watch the film here in full HD: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtXuFMWCMPo

 

 

Since we were pretty lucky with the weather during this tour I shot more than 7000 new raw files during the two weeks. Here are the first processed photos (see more in the Iceland gallery):

 

 

Northern Paradise - Prints Available

 

 

Paradise Falls - Prints Available

 

 

Fjallsárlón - Prints Available

 

 

Seljalandfoss Sun - Prints Available

 

 

Northern Lights - Prints Available

 

 

Landmannalaugar Brandsgil - Prints Available

 

 

Godafoss - Prints Available

 

 

Jökulsárlón Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

Hnausapollur - Prints Available

 

 

Fjaðrárgljúfur - Prints Available

 

 

Homeland - Prints Available

 

 

Skogarfoss Rainbow - Prints Available

 

 

Highland Falls - Prints Available

 

 

Vestrahorn - Prints Available

 

 

Colors of Iceland - Prints Available

 

 

Dancing Northern Lights - Prints Available

 

 

Brennisteinsalda - Prints Available

 

 

Dettifoss Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

Spirits of the Night - Prints Available

 

 

Kirkjufell - Prints Available

 

 

Vatnajökull Ahead - Prints Available

 

 

Mountains of Landmannalaugar - Prints Available

 

 

Fjallsárlón Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

Land of Wonders - Prints Available

 

 

Power of Nature - Prints Available

 

 

Puffin - Prints Available

 

 

Diving Whale - Prints Available

 

 

Seljalandfoss Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

Dettifoss - Prints Available

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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New In-Game Photography Gallery In the last months I worked on a new project - in-game photography. Since I like exploring and enjoying virtual adventures like Skyrim, Witcher, Fallout, Doom etc. and I've already spent quite some time with those adv [...]]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 16:25:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/new-in-game-photography-gallery/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/new-in-game-photography-gallery/&ref=feed/

In the last months I worked on a new project - in-game photography. Since I like exploring and enjoying virtual adventures like Skyrim, Witcher, Fallout, Doom etc. and I've already spent quite some time with those adventures and I already have some knowledge about creating images in general, I recently thought why not combining both interests. This new gallery of in-game photographs is the result of this endeavor. All the images below are created in the world of Witcher III, most of them in Skellige. The islands of Skellige remind me the strongest of the real northern realms like Scotland, the Lofoten Islands or Iceland

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

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On the road again During the last two weeks we were finally on the road again and drove a few thousand kilometers from the Baltic Sea in the North of Germany south to the Dolomites in Italy. We had lots of new impressions, experiences, awesome [...]]]> Sun, 10 Jul 2016 06:20:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/on-the-road-again/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/on-the-road-again/&ref=feed/

During the last two weeks we were finally on the road again and drove a few thousand kilometers from the Baltic Sea in the North of Germany south to the Dolomites in Italy. We had lots of new impressions, experiences, awesome scenic drives and beautiful grand vistas. And, in contrast to some previous trips, this time we were incredibly lucky with the weather. We enjoyed a very good mix of sunny weather with blue bird skies to relax and spend some time at the beach and some dynamic mountain weather with a lot of drama in the sky which is perfect for landscape photography. I will not write a very detailed trip-report like I did for other photo tours like our road trips through Fjord-NorwayScotland, Saxon Switzerland or the Lofoten Islands for example in the last years. However, I am really looking forward to select and post-process all the new images! (~2500 exposures) 

 

 

On the road again - Prints Available

 

**UPDATE** - here are some of the processed photos

 

 

Driftwood Sun - Prints Available

 

 

Eriador - Prints Available

 

 

Lago di Limides Sun - Prints Available

 

 

Lago di Braies - Prints Available

 

 

Solitude Beach - Prints Available

 

 

Passo Giau Alpenglow - Prints Available

 

 

Ocean Solitude - Prints Available

 

 

Hikers Paradise - Prints Available

 

 

Summer at the Lake - Prints Available

 

 

Passo Giau Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

Lago di Limides Blue Hour - Prints Available

 

 

Floating - Prints Available

 

 

Alpine Idyll - Prints Available

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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Mountain Bivouac "I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wildness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May [...]]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 06:45:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/mountain-bivouac/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/mountain-bivouac/&ref=feed/

"I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wildness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May they at least know that some of us tried." - Guy Tal

 

 

Last weekend, after a period of very unstable weather with lots of thunderstorms and heavy rain here in Germany, on Friday, the forecast for the next two days looked stable and promising enough for me to go on my mountain summit bivouac in Saxon Switzerland National Park. I planned this trip around a possible sunrise shooting at a peak called Heringstein, where I wasn't before. I wanted to explore the area and scout possible new locations for upcoming trips into the region. Between early June and mid-July the suns position at sunrise would be exactly between two peaks you see from Heringstein which would result in a nicely composed and interesting image - assuming the correct weather. As usual I've planned this trip with various apps, maps and tools like Photographers Ephemeris (screenshot below) to know the suns position or GPSies (among others) to plan the hiking.

 

 

 

 

I started at midday in Leipzig with blue bird skies and a nice forecast for my destination and drove towards Dresden. When I was almost there I saw dark skies and lightnings at the horizon and my hopes for the trip were almost gone but after a brief moment with doubts I kept driving - directly into the thunderstorm with heavy rain and lightnings and thunder all around. Once arrived at my destination I waited for an hour or so and walked around in Hřensko and Schmilka... and then the rain stopped and the clouds started to clear. At about 4:30pm I started my hike up the mountains. It was a very exhausting hike with my heavy backpack with all the photo equipment and food, enough to drink, additional clothes and whatnot needed in order to spend a night in the mountains and because directly after the rain the humidity was ridiculously high and I sweated a lot. In those moments you sometimes ask yourself: what the f**k am I doing here. Why do I not enjoy my weekend back home with a nice bike tour, some tasty meals and a good digital adventure like the new Witcher III DLC Blood and Wine? I don't know, sometimes some strange power seems to pull me out of my comfort zone for whatever reason. However, after two hours of driving and an good hour for the ascent or so the strenuous part was done and I was on top of the plateau and started to explore the area and tried to find my desired viewpoint for sunrise. After a while of bushwacking and try and error I eventually found the location with its breathtaking and very beautiful view you see in the photo below.

 

 

Pandora Mountains - Prints Available

 

 

When I first saw this scenery I immediately remembered the hanging mountains in the fantastic movie Avatar, hence the title. In my humble opinion it is one of the best views in Saxon Switzerland and among my personal top three locations in the National Park. I enjoyed this view for quite a while and took some test shots and looked for possible image compositions. After about one or two hours I started to hike to another viewpoint which I already know well but I simply wanted to see and enjoy it again. Half an hour later I arrived there and enjoyed the eye opening view, solitude and some good music. I also eat dinner there and then shooted sunset, photo below.

 

 

Carolafelsen Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

After creating the image above I thought why not hike back to my other location before the sunset is over and see if I can catch the last light of the day there before it gets dark. (A good photo today is better than a perfect photo tomorrow. Quote from a movie called "The Edge") So I packed and started to hike back to my main destination. Just when I arrived there I saw some pink clouds in the sky, hurried and instantly started to get my camera, tripod and remote release ready and started shooting. The image below is the result of this endeavor taken at about 21:45pm. And then the light faded away and quietness and darkness came in this moonless night and I started to set up my camp for the night. It was completely calm without any distractions from other people, devices, noise from birds or whatever. A striking contrast to my other life in the city.

 

 

Heringstein Sunset - Prints Available

 

 

During the next two and a half hours the fog you see in the image above became more and more. At 00:30am I could barely see the valley below anymore but I enjoyed a fantastic night sky with lots of visible stars and no clouds but it simply was too dark without the moon to create a descent photo with this sea of fog and the stars above. And then, in the middle of the night, clouds started to roll in and I saw lightnings in the distance. I observed the sky for a while and eventually decided to cancel my trip at this point and to postpone the sunrise shooting to another day. You don't want to be on a mountain summit in the middle of a thunderstorm, I reasoned. And so I started to descent back through the pitch black forest and back to the car. Of course, it was a bit annoying at this point not being able to shoot sunrise after all the effort. The weather forecast for this two days was completely useless. Looking back with a bit emotional distance and seeing the final photographs I am nevertheless pretty happy with the trip, after all. Hopefully I can manage to retry my next attempt to shoot sunrise at this location during this season, provided that the weather and social obligations allow this. 

 

 

Heringstein Blue Hour - Prints Available

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

 

 

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Artifacts of Soviet Occupation Since I was born and raised in East Germany, or the GDR (German Democratic Republic), which was reunited with West Germany in 1989 and I formerly was - for instance - a so called "Jungpionier" during primary school and s [...]]]> Sun, 29 May 2016 06:25:00 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/artifacts-of-soviet-occupation/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/artifacts-of-soviet-occupation/&ref=feed/

Since I was born and raised in East Germany, or the GDR (German Democratic Republic), which was reunited with West Germany in 1989 and I formerly was - for instance - a so called "Jungpionier" during primary school and surrounded by Soviet influences, I am particular interested in the past of the UDSSR and their influence of our lifes in the GDR between the World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and beyond. Even now (2016+) a lot of people are living in soviet like buildings which we call the "Platte" here in East Germany. I find it somehow fascinating that after almost 30 years after the collapse the Soviet influences are still so visible in such important aspects such as living room and still many people here live like the people in Prypjat, Jekaterinburg, Wladiwostok or somewhere else in the former Soviet Union. However, all photos of this gallery are created in East Germany in 2016 (or later). I had the idea of doing something like this in my mind for almost ten years now. I still have lots of ideas for this project but to create the desired mood for the images I have to find the right places, the correct light, weather and seasonal conditions... it is still work in progess.

 

Below you see some images from the gallery. Here is the link to the gallery with all the new images: Artifacts of Soviet Occupation

 

 

 

Feel free to add any comments or questions below.

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Bärlauch Blüte Bärlauch Blüte im Frühling   Im Frühling (Anfang / Mitte Mai) blüht in den Parks und Wäldern wie der Burgaue oder dem Elster- und Pleiße-Auewald rund um Leipzig überall der B [...]]]> Thu, 12 May 2016 15:44:36 +0200 http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/bärlauch-blüte/&ref=feed/ http://www.dave-derbis.de/article/bärlauch-blüte/&ref=feed/ Bärlauch Blüte im Frühling

 

Im Frühling (Anfang / Mitte Mai) blüht in den Parks und Wäldern wie der Burgaue oder dem Elster- und Pleiße-Auewald rund um Leipzig überall der Bärlauch. Der ganze Waldboden ist überzogen mit einem Teppich aus weißen Wildblumen. Das Ganze sieht für ca. zwei bis drei Wochen meiner Meinung nach einfach fantastisch aus und sorgt neben der Optik auch für einen interessanten Geruch in der ganzen Gegend. Mir macht es jedes Jahr viel Spass die Wälder rund um Leipzig neu zu erkunden und dabei wundervolle, teils sehr ruhige, Orte (trotz der Stadtnähe) zu entdecken und ihre Schönheit in Bildern festzuhalten.

 

Nachfolgend eine kleine Galerie mit den fotografischen Ergebnissen meiner bisherigen Erkundungstouren.

 

Sollten sie Interesse an einer individuellen Fototour in der Region Leipzig haben, zögern sie nicht mich direkt zu kontaktieren.

 

 

Fairytale Forest - Prints Available

 

 

Wild Garlic Trail - Prints Available

 

 

Bloomming Bears Garlic - Prints Available

 

 

Spring Forest - Prints Available

 

 

Bears Garlic Sun - Prints Available

 

 

Bears Garlic Forest - Prints Available

 

 

Waldweg Bärlauch - Prints Available

 

 

Forest Idyll - Prints Available

 

 

Blooming Forest - Prints Available

 

 

Awakening - Prints Available

 

 

Zögern Sie nicht einen Kommentar oder eine Frage zu hinterlassen.

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