A lamp, old buildings, and a narrow street, Salzburg, Austria
With this photograph I’m back to that theme of the lamps on the walls of Salzburg, Austria. As I mentioned in an earlier post, once I noticed them I began to see them everywhere, always attached to the exterior walls of buildings and always with the same lamp shape, the same curving stem, and the same two bars to brace it.
This one is actually in part of the Salzburg castle, if I recall correctly. It was getting to be late in the afternoon and the angle of the sun was becoming lower, creating more shadows with their blue-toned light. In the photograph one wall is still lit but the sun, and the foreground wall picks up a bit of the reflected glow of sunlight on a wall behind my camera position. Given that the place was busy with tourists, I had to be patient and wait for a moment when the scene was clear.
Countryside around Salzburg, Austria and the Bavarian Alps, as seen from the Hohensalzburg castle.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, while we did not actually stay in Salzburg during our 2013 trip to London, Germany, and a tiny bit of Austria, were there on several days during our week near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria. We arrived in Salzburg by train from Heidelberg, and we left from Salzburg on the return journey. In between we made additional visit to Salzburg and the surrounding area.
On this visit we decided to walk up to and into the Salzburg Castle, sitting high above the old city. The castle is worth the visit for many reasons, but if you keep climbing… and climbing… and climbing you can eventually reach the highest accessible point, from which you have huge panoramic views in all directions. Behind me was the city itself, and stretching off in this direction was an alternative patchwork of buildings and fields and trees that appeared to reach all the way to the base of the Alps in the far distance.
The Bavarian Alps rise above Königsee in Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany
Over the course of a summer week in 2013 we had a lot of opportunities to gaze at these Bavarian Alps. We spent a week with family in the Berchtesgaden area, staying in a big farm-house with views across a bucolic valley and into the mountains as they rose to the summit of the Watzmann, the second-highest peak in Germany. We did the “tourist thing” and rode the electric boats up the Königsee Lake between high ridges, and on one memorable day we visited Jennerbahn, took the tram to the top, and spent the rest of the day descending alpine valleys on foot — with a mid-hike stop for snacks and a beer!
During our stay I think I got a sense of how these mountains are different from my “home range” of the Sierra Nevada — though I would need a much longer stay and more hiking to get to know them well. Because they are built from different sorts of rock, the shapes of the peaks are often quite different. The tall rugged peaks also rise almost directly from relative lowlands — for example, a short hike took us from the lake to the base of a huge cliff at Die Eiskapelle, a place that felt thoroughly alpine. In the Sierra we have kept vast stretches of the range relatively wild, isolated from human structures to the point that one can imagine that he/she is in a fully wild place. In the alps there are huts, and you can stop for a beer in the middle of an afternoon hike! The ridges and valley in this photograph rise from the shoreline of the Königsee.
The Salzburg Cathedral and surrounding area, Salzburg, Austria
On this trip to Europe in the summer of 2013 we did not actually stay in Salzburg, Austria — but we did end up in this town several times. In the middle of our visit, which started in London and then included Heidelberg, we took a weeklong trip to Bavaria where we stayed in a big old farmhouse near Berchtesgaden and Königsee, with views of the Alps. Our train from Heidelberg ended up in nearby Salzburg, we ended up visiting Salzburg again while we were “just up the road” in Bavaria, and then we went back to Salzburg again to catch the return train to Heidelberg.
This spectacular cathedral is a famous icon of Salzburg, and here it is seen from a slightly elevated location just outside of this central square. Since I shoot digital, the original photograph is color, but it seemed to me that the bit of dramatic cloudiness would be more effective in monochrome, and the brighter light on the close walls of the structure seem “right” in black and white, too.
The Karl Theodor Bridge, the old gate, the Heiliggeistekirche, and portions of Altstadt-Heidelberg, Germany
It has now been close to two years since our visit to England, Germany, and parts of Austria back in 2013 — too long, I think! Our visit began with a week in London, where various members of the extended family met up, and then adjourned to Germany, where we have relatives. We stayed with them in Heidelberg for a few days, then took a train to Salzburg and ended up at a big country home at the base of the Alps near Königssee and Berchtesgaden, Bavaria for a week. This was an incredibly picturesque location, with the peak of the Watzmann towering above us as we sat at picnic table behind the farm-house where we stayed. Then it was back to Heidelberg for a few more days before heading back to the US.
In Heidelberg we stayed in a home not far from the old town area along the Neckar River. We were a short walk away, over a hill and along the footpath called the Philosophenweg (or “philosopher’s way”), then down to the riverfront and across the old bridge to the town. The old town of Heidelberg appears like something out of a fantasy of Europe, with narrow streets, many church steeples (including the Heiliggeistkirche seen in this photograph) and the Heidelberg castle on a hill above the town. At the lower left of this photograph you can see the bridge leading across the Neckar River to the old gate to the town.
A bench on the bluff at Coal Chute Point, with inlet and peninsulas leading toward green hills, Point Lobos
A few days ago I needed to go make photographs, following a period during which that has not been possible, so I headed off towards the Monterey Peninsula with a vague plan that might have ended up here at Point Lobos or could have taken me further down the coast highway. It was overcast further north and inland, so I figured that by going south a bit I could find better light. In fact, I did, though it was not without its challenges — though the challenges of thin clouds (with their softened light) and haze usually appeal to me.
Without thinking about it a lot I ended up at Point Lobos, a place I have visited regularly since my family first came to California when I was four years old. Needless to say, this is familiar territory for me! I arrived shortly after the park opened and I headed straight to Whalers Cove and soon saw the peninsulas across this bay fading into atmospheric haze and finally to the “impossibly green” hills of the coastal range — and I knew that this would be my first subject for the day.
Monterey Cypress trees growing at the edge of a rocky cliff above the Pacific Ocean, Point Lobos
It has been a very busy few weeks, for reasons I won’t explain here in detail. In any case, it was important today for me to head out and make some photographs. I originally had planned to go yesterday, but California’s strange weather wasn’t looking too promising, so I delayed for a day, hoping that the cloudiness that has been around might move further north. I was up early today and on the road, and while there were some clouds it looked like things might be a bit more interesting to the south by the ocean, so I headed towards the upper end of the Big Sur coast. (Usually I like clouds, but some types of clouds make for particularly challenging light.)
I arrived at Point Lobos within a half hour of its opening, which turned out to be critical as the place quickly became busy enough that they closed the entrance gates a few hours later! I started out in the Whalers Cove area and decided that I would walk along the north shore trail since I had in mind some photographs looking back towards this cove from higher ground. The light remained challenging for a while, but them changed to what can be a special sort of light, where high and thing clouds mute the intensity of the light but still give it a clear directional quality. This kind of light also fills the shadows better than more harsh light, and that allowed me to photograph the shady side of this rocky prominence topped with Monterey cypress trees.