Colourful rocks and mosses in combination with the turquoise water of the South Pacific Ocean. This is one of those images which come to life at home in front of the monitor, as I was kind of in a hurry due the incoming flood. I didn't realise the great potential of this subject at first sight. Luckily I shot a few frames. Waikato, New Zealand.
Forêt de Bébour, La Réunion Island, France. An untouched rain forest on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. It was a nice adventure hiking through this amazing jungle, balancing from root to root, trying to avoid the deep mud holes along the path. This gorge was especially impressive and I returned several times. The conditions were different every time (sun, rain, fog).
Gastein Valley, Salzburg, Austria. A lot of snow and low temperatures transform a landscape into a white wonderland. But that is not enough to produce an unique image. Light is everything, like in this case I was very lucky to get this shot just minutes before I was covered in thick fog.
In complete darkness I hiked to this ridge to catch the first rays of sun on the peaks of the Swiss Alps. An ice cold wind was blowing and it was tricky to get perfectly sharp images. After all the result is what counts and I'm very happy with this vast view.
First light over the highest mountain range of the Alps (France). As it was mid September, I was surprised by the fresh greens at the top of this small hill.
I will never get tired of being overwhelmed by the beauty of an atmospheric sunrise in untouched nature.
To get away from the long winter in Austria I enjoy visiting warmer regions like the sub-tropic Canary Islands in February. Surprisingly there was more snow on the mountains than in the Alps. Frankly, I was disappointed, because there was no way to get on top of the more than 2400m high mountains. Luckily two days before I had to leave, the mountain road was open again and I could accomplish the shot I planned!
Dunstanburgh Castle by moonlight (Northumberland, UK).
It was already the second evening when I walked the 1,5 miles to the beach with the "dinosaur eggs". The evening before, the moon didn’t really shine through the clouds properly and I returned to my camper in disappointment. However, on the following day, there were fewer clouds in the sky and I only had to wait for a gap to open up and press the shutter. The half moon rose at the ideal position for beautiful sidelight approximately an hour before the photograph was taken. The striped pattern in the sky is created by the thin clouds scudding by. Quite special about the picture is the warm light at the back from the right which was caused by a distant town. Exposure time 15 minutes!
Fjallabak, Iceland. Never Give Up! This was the only time I saw the sun in 6 days. I got up in complete darkness, heading to this amazing, remote location, which I've visited the day before. It was raining like most of the time and the mountains were covered in dark clouds. And then, the miracle happened! The sun came through the clouds for a few minutes and I was overwhelmed by the explosion of colors and shot intuitively a few images. I saw a lot of sunrises during my years as a landscape photographer, but nothing comparable.
Stokksnes, Island. Black sand dunes are something special, even for Iceland. Proof me wrong, but I don't think that you can photograph anything like that on this planet. The nice clouds and the ideal illumination was kind of a compensation for the missing northern and moon light during the long night. A reason why I love landscape photography: you never know what you get and you need to be highly flexible.
Green Palace, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Completely by chance I found this hidden gem. Light rain and fog emphasized the atmosphere of this amazing place, where I forgot everything around me for hours. Only me, my camera and untouched nature.
Sea of Clouds, Stelvio National Park, Italy. The valleys are burried under thick fog while on the mountain tops Mother Nature is presentig herself as the greatest artist. October is a perfect month for a landscape photographer to travel through the Alps. Days are getting shorter, but the air is clear and the sun doesn't rise to high, as a result the light is suitable almost all day long.
Secret Whirlpool, Plitvice National Park, Croatia For the third time I visited the unique scenery of waterfalls and turqoise water. The swirl of leaves was too slow to be visible to the naked eye. It was quite a surprise seeing the movement on the camera display after the 30sec exposure.
Puig Major, Majorca, Spain. In magical, early sunlight the sparse mountain scenery of the Balearic Island appears colourful even in December. To flee from the cold weather and to satisfy my permanent thirst for "Silent Moments" I traveled spontaneously to Majorca for a few days. Puig Major is the highest peak (4741ft) of the island and part of the Serra de Tramuntana, which is nominated to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
Tuff Stone Erosion, Cappadocia, Turkey. Got a cheap flight to Mars recently to capture spring on the red planet! ;-) Cappadocia is a region in Turkish Anatolia, famous for its eroded tuff stone formations. From the first moment I was mesmerized by the unique shape and colors of the landscape. In spite of struggeling with bad weather during my five day long stay I brought home some nice views.
Tranquility, Danube Floodplains, Lower Austria. The Danube Floodplain is a flat and wood covered area, where nature is dominated buy the influence of water. Every spring the danube transports amazing amounts of melting water from the alpine regions to the black sea. When the nights are still cold in late spring, there is almost every day a lovely fog over the water surface. Perfect conditions to shoot atmospheric sceneries like this!
A Glimpse of Eternity, Madeira, Portugal. Before 5am the alarm of my cell phone wakes me up rudely. It's still dark outside and my body wants to stay under the warm blanket. But my will is stronger and forces me to get up and drive into the mountains. One hour later I jump out of the car, the temperature is only a few degrees Celsius above zero and I start my hike into this amazing mountain scenery, acompanied only by silence and solitude. The horizon in the north-west shows already a pale blue line, luckily I have enough time and need not to hurry. End of May the change from night to day takes quite a while. I enjoy to inhale the fresh, humid air at 6000ft altitude. Now it's time to wait and hope, that Mother Nature shows its glory. Within seconds the colors start to change from blue to purple and orange. Time stands still and I am overwhelmed by this terrific spectacle.
Distant Wonder, Adamello-Brenta Nature Park, Italy. After four days of waiting for useable light I was rewarded with thisunique morning view to the amazing Brenta mountain range. A few seconds before I was covered completely in fog.
Bruarfoss, Iceland. Not many tourists walk to this hidden waterfall, actually I was in complete solitude for hours. At the end of October the rivers carry only a little water, perfect conditions for shooting waterfalls. Furthermore there is snow on the mountain tops and far less people than in the summer (and cheaper car rentals!). The speciality of Bruarfoss is obvious, water drops into a canyon in the middle of the river, what a spectacle!
Gorbea Nature Park, Basque Country, Spain. An unbelievable amount of moss covers the soil in the Gorbea area. It was challenging to navigate in this thick fog, but it gives the image a special touch.
Playa del Silencio, Asturiasn, Spain. To be honest this wasn't a <Silent Moment>, because the Atlantic Ocean showed its wild side. When the sea level fluctuates over four meters due to the tides, it is crucial to know when and where to take photographs. Without keeping the water level in mind the shoot can become dangerous within minutes. As much as I love the ocean, I have a lot of respect of its raw power. Beeing the only person on that beach didn't give me a secure sensation. Although this image sends out a feeling of beauty and relaxation, the situation wasn't stress-free at all. Behind my back were steep cliffs, blocking the escape route from the incoming surf. Some waves came so close that I had to jump over the wet rocks from time to time, holding the tripod up high to keep the camera dry. Finally I was wet up to waist level.
Stillenstein Gorge, Upper Austria. On my way home from the mountains I recognized a road sign to this relatively unknown gorge. A break from the drive was welcome and I gave it a chance and hiked into the narrow valley without any expectations. There was nothing special, a small stream winding unspectacularly through rocks. And then, all of a sudden I was standing in front of this green dreamscape. That's what I love about nature photography, you never know what happens next. Allowedly not the second Columbia River Gorge, but a small paradise on its own and close to my home, which doubles the joy of having discovered it!
Glen Coe Autumn, Scotland, UK. Glen Coe and its surrounding valleys is one of the finest sceneries in Scotland. In autumn the intensive colours of the vegetation show up0 perfectly. The image shows the view to the west, with two of the "Three Sisters" on the left. I spent four days in the region and four days the weather was wet and windy. Due to the fact that the wind was blowing and it even rained while I was taking this picture, I am more than thankful for the result.
Beach at Jökulsárlon, Iceland. One of the most famous beaches of the world. It is not suitable for swimming! :-) After a cold night I was hoping for an atmospheric sunrise. Luckily the sun kissed the glacier in the background for a few minutes, enough time to nail the shot. What a surrealistic scenery.
Fremont River Valley, Utah, USA. The American Southwest is full of great photo opportunities. National Parks like Yosemite, Bryce or Zion are known for their outstanding and unique scenery. We've been everywhere during our 7 week long journey and I took almost all of the classical vistas. But what makes me really contented are the hidden, unknown views like this one. While driving through the Fremont river valley I recognized this small sight and I knew instantly, that this place is somehow special.
Rondane National Park, Norway. This mountain range is probably the reason why I became a landscape photographer. As an adolescent I saw an image of it in a coffee-table book (yes, a book, there was no internet yet!) and got immediately hooked by its simple beauty. My first trip to Norway right after high school led me exactly to this area, an unforgettable experience. Since then I hiked several times through the National Park with a tent, the last time in late summer 2015, when I took this image. Not with an Olympus OM-1 like more that 20 years ago, but with a digital medium format camera. The feelings enjoying this location remain the same.
Stormy Sunrise, Sylt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Sylt is an unique island. 50% is wild, untouched nature, the rest is crowded with people, holiday flats and luxury shops. The contrast couldn’t be higher! Wind is part of the typical weather at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The only way to get a sharp image under such stormy conditions is to stick the tripod deeply into the ground, which in this case fortunately was pure sand beneath the waving grass.
McLean Gorge, Catlins, South Island - New Zealand. McLean Falls are a well known spot to take decent waterfall images. In my opinion there is always more to consider than just capturing falling water. I always try to fit the waterfall into its surroundings. Actually, I just made a few quick shots of the famous falls, but in this gorge underneath I stayed for almost two hours to find the perfect perspective.
Cold Awakening, Austnesfjorden, Lofoten, Norway. Huge amounts of fresh snow and the still short days at the beginning of February lead to a landscape, which could't show better the fascination of winter. A few minutes after taking this photograph a colourful sunrise occured, but I chose this image as my favourite, because I prefer the monochrome, frosty impression.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Alto Adige, Italy. With the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) the most iconic mountain range of the Alps. Photographing well known views demands particularly good conditions, unless the result is just one image like thousand others. The challenge for me was to find a proper foreground, because there are plenty of colourless rocks. Luckily lots of rain during the night filled up this little puddle and I was able to capture the reflection of these uniquely shaped pinnacles surrounded by fresh pasture.
Alm Lake, Upper Austria. "I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” - Hermann Hesse
Skaftafell by Moon Light, Iceland. Frankly I travelled to Iceland in February with the intend to shoot snowy landscapes in magical light. Not this Winter, when green moss and mild temperatures were a good reminder, that a landscape photographer has to react and not to expect. By now every Winter photos of northern lights flood the internet. In most of these images the Aurora is the main subject and not much attention is payed to the landscape underneath. That is not my approach. Like in this image, I try to shoot an decent landscape photograph, the Aurora acting as the icing on the cake.
Lake Huron Sunset, Ontario, Canada. The unbelievable huge Lake Huron (60.000 square kilometers) is the second biggest of the 5 Great Lakes in Noth America. In late August I spent some time in an summer cottage on its north shore. Almost every evening I took the canoe and paddled to various small rocky islands to enjoy the sunset and tranquillity.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA. Although I knew prior to my visit that the Grand Canyon is a huge canyon, I was totally impressed by its dimension. It's best described by a mountain range flipped up side down.
Vøringfossen, Hordaland, Norway. Light rain, 5°C. The overgrown rocks are slippery and demand my full concentration during walking. But I don't have much time bevor the night closes in and I want to reach the end of the valley by all means. I miss my hiking boots with the good sole, instead I waer my gumboots. 1000 feet high rock faces end the deep valley and I am overwhelmed by the impressive view. I am overcome by a feeling of nothingness.
Lechtaler Alps, Tyrol, Austria. Spending an evening at a place like this is unforgettable. The solitude and the beauty of the surrounding mountains is something you cannot buy with money, but a real treasure.
Calm Awakening - Hohe Tauern National Park, Salzburg, Austria. My wife and my two kids were still sleeping as the first rays of sun light left their golden glance on the alpine landscape. This image shows perfectly the contrast between the harsh, rocky environment and the soft, green pasture.
Lighthouse at Cap Formentor, Majorca, Spain. An unforgettable moment, when the sun rises and the first light lets the world appear in almost unreal colours.
The Southern Alps of New Zealand are one of the most beautiful and inaccessible mountain ranges in the world. There is only one paved road through the mountains, which leads to the famous Milford Sound. I took this image only a few meters from the road before sunrise. These unreal rocks covered with red lichens gave me the perfect foreground.
During our ascent to this little pond in the French Alps we were covered in thick fog, followed by a sunset without any sight. As I knew the sky was clear above the fog, my hopes were fulfilled soon. As I looked out of my tent after dinner, the full moon rose through the vanishing fog. An unforgettable night! Quite a bit of wind made it uncertain, if the 30 minutes long exposure will be sharp. Luckily my tripod and camera have around 4kg.
Blueberry Alley, Styria, Austria. A colorful autumn morning in the Ennstaler Alps. This is exactly what I'm looking for, an unforgettable moment in solitude in the mountains.