In Episode 06 of Adventure Photography On Location – Chasing Autumn I’m taking you along on a 4 day trip to the german side of the Belgian-German border into the region of the Eifel. Known for its rolling hills, colourful forests and atmospheric castles and moody weather it will be the perfect place to capture autumn inspired adventure, landscape and nature images.
So how do I know about these locations you ask? Well it’s a few hours of preparation before I go.
I have found that the better I prepare, the better my final images. The reason is simple: I spend less time wondering what to do with my time and where to go on my trip, but more time at locations actually shooting.
I usually make use of Google Maps to place pins at all the possible photo locations I can find on the internet. I also alway try to attach the best possible image I can find of a location to that pin. It’s probably my planning tool #1. It’s free, powerful and you can save the map, share it and collaborate on them.
Obviously for a short trip like this one I won’t spend more than a few hours on creating my map, but the more time you spend doing this, the better! Once I’m on the road I’ll avoid looking at more images of places so I don’t get stuck or frustrated creating something that already exists.
I also found that Instagram is a great research tool. By looking for some # (Hashtags) I was able to find beautiful photos of others who had visited the areas before. Google image search is always helpful too. Try googling: German Eifel, Eifel Natur, Eifel Fotografie Eifel Autumn,… (try to google in multiple languages too – always helpful)
Also google for the theme you are willing to photograph. ‘long exposure autumn, autumn colours, autumn photography… you get the idea. Inspire your creativity.
Check out my Google Map below:
My short road trip took me from the north end of the Eifel, where I shot a long time bucket list location: Castle Eltz all the way down to the South Eifel where, close to the border with Luxemburg I went looking for compositions in between forests and cliffs of the Teufelsschlucht Nature Reserve (Devil’s Gorge).
Equipped with a brand new camper van we had the perfect tool to be at the right place at the right time. On the first night we parked a few minutes away from the castle Eltz and to our surprise weren’t able to beat the crowds in the following morning…
Turned out it was a school holiday in the near by Netherlands and it seemed like the castle was incredibly popular with the Dutch. So we decided to park the camper as close as we possibly could for the second night and be the very first out in the next morning.
Castle Eltz is a fairly easy subject to capture. There’s nothing you have to hide or no perspective that doesn’t work really… It’s pretty much a perfect castle in a perfect location. And with those beautiful autumn colours and moody weather it wasn’t a big challenge to shoot.
I usually try to work my way in our out of a location by starting as far aways as possible and working through various lenses and settings as I progress my way closer to the subject. Having been there the previous day I had already planned most of my shots and the second morning we ended up finishing in no time at all. What a great feeling!
We then drove on south to a place called the Teufelsschlucht (Devils Gorge). It’s right by the border with Luxembourg and is known for it’s beautiful forests and gorges / cliffs. (Definitely great spot for awesome climbing photos too – I might have to go back…)
Anyway, this one wasn’t quite as simple as the Castle Eltz shoot. Forests are all about creating order in chaos. Creating a composition that leads the viewer into the shot – into the forest. After about an hour or so of exploring it was obvious, I had to do something special to capture the depth and feeling of this 28m deep gorge we had come across.
With the camera attached to the end of my fully extended tripod I leant over the edge and managed to hold the camera at places and perspectives not seen before for this location.
Unfortunately the light we started off with faded before I managed to get the composition I was happy with. However I think the end result also works as a more atmospheric shot without the sun.
The third and last location was only a 20min drive from the Teufelsschlucht, at a place called Irreler Wasserfälle (Irreler Waterfalls) – although, because of a drought in September, the waterfalls are a bit of a joke this year my main reason for visiting was the beautiful wooden bridge I had found during my research.
This place turned out to be a bit of a challenge. The beautiful, mossy stones I wanted to so desperately use in the foreground of my images turned out to be incredibly slippery and spread scarcely in the fast flowing river. I took me over an hour to find the right composition. By adding a few brown leaves I finally captured what I had come for: Autumn Magic.
Keeping it light and mobile is my main goal. Luckily my Olympus gear is super light and compact and yet allows me to capture anything I need to. Perfect!
Equipped with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 Mark II and the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO as well as the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and the Lee Little Stopper (6 Stop ND Filter) and the Lee 105mm Circular Polariser this must be one of the most minimal adventures since I started the APOL series.
Like I mentioned in the video, I’m not a huge fan of tripods. Every time I see photographers use them I see them stay in the one spot. Even worse, they stretch out the tripod legs as far as possible and basically have the camera at head height. Most of the time they don’t even need a tripod for the shot they are taking…
So if I have to use a tripod, I make sure it’s the only way I can get the shot I’m after.
My tip, don’t take one. Unless you know you’re doing long exposures or shooting in incredible low light. And whatever tripod you take, make sure it’s a small, light one that HELPS and not bothers you. I’ve been borrowing the Sirui Tripod for half a year now and have maybe used it for 1% of the shots I have taken. But whenever I use it it’s I make sure there’s no other way I could have captured that shot. Make it an essential for the shot.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 – http://bit.ly/2kwIkf7
M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO – http://bit.ly/2kgKjWo
M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO – http://bit.ly/2jSoIA9
M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO – http://bit.ly/2ldfShL
M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 PRO – http://bit.ly/2kwG0Fd
Peak Design camera straps – http://amzn.to/2Bm5b40
Sirui Tripod – http://amzn.to/2F5wIsM
Lee 100mm Square Filter Holder – http://amzn.to/2F5Jrvo
Lee 105mm Filter Holder – http://amzn.to/2G74TS9
Lee Little Stopper (6-Stop) – http://amzn.to/2G7463D
Lee Circular Polariser 105mm (slim) – http://amzn.to/2F4Ucy8
Hoya 72mm Circular Polariser – http://amzn.to/2n3NH7z
ShapeWays Lee Filter Adapter Holder for 7-14mm f/2.8: http://bit.ly/7to14mmFilterAdapter
MountainSmith Lumbar Pack – http://amzn.to/2DswFXC
With over 1500 images captured during my 4 day trip it was a painful process going through the images. But the idea was to create a series of images that belonged together and stood for the theme of the trip: Autumn.
Which is why I wanted to create a look that would work across any situation / light and yet tie the images together so that they belonged together visually.
In this Autumn Photography Lightroom Preset Pack you will find presets that will help you with those moody autumn colours and make those orange, red and yellow tones pop, without over saturating the image.
Put together as a result of these (and a LOT of previous) images I edited over the past weeks I combined a collection of filters that work great for autumn and golden light images.
By buying this preset pack you support my work and help me create future episodes and of course more Lightroom preset packs. So thank you in advance if you do decide to buy one!
Well for me it’s a long trip back to Australia next. I’m still sitting on GBs of video material of Iceland and the Faroe Islands and will be publishing upcoming episodes of APOL in the coming weeks/ months.
Expect another kayaking episode – but this time in between Icebergs, one or 2 skateboarding episodes in the Faroe Islands and a few extreme weather episodes also on the Faroe Islands.
So plenty to stay excited about!
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I put a ton of time and energy into these episodes for you to enjoy and learn from and if you’d like to show your support it would be awesome if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Obviously buying Lightroom Preset Packs, Prints or digital images from me supports me a great deal and makes it possible for me to produce future episodes. ?
If you haven’t yet seen the first few episodes. I recommend watching (and reading about them) in the links below.
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