jessicamyscofski
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sarahdarvill April 07, 2016
You should enter this in my Black and White Abstract photo challenge!
The link is viewbug.com/challenge/abstract-in-black-and-white-photo-challenge-by-sarahdarvill

Edge



Mist makes the world smaller, while walking in the palace grounds at Schleissheim, Bavaria.
Mist makes the world smaller, while walking in the palace grounds at Schleissheim, Bavaria.
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Behind The Lens

Location
This was from the grounds of Schleissheim Palace, outside of Munich, Germany. I had arrived not too long before this from Colorado, and was entranced by the landscapes, architecture, and just about everything I found here. I am a self-taught photographer, and was using equipment that was unfamiliar to me, so it was a huge learning curve.
Time
I was staying with my aunt in Munich, and we had decided to visit Schleissheim on New Year's Day, since almost all the stores would be closed for the holiday. That morning, it was so dark that we were afraid the weather would be terrible. But we decided to go anyway. As it turned out, there was no rain, just chilly fog. We walked there for most of the morning, until the fog started to dissipate in the sun. It was one of the most magical experiences I can remember having.
Lighting
I was fascinated by the mist on this cool, but not rainy, winter's day, and the mystery of walking through the woods with immense trees appearing and disappearing in the fog. I tried to keep this feeling of mystery in my photos. This was taken using only available natural light, then post-processed to black and white to underline the shot's simplicity.
Equipment
I used an Olympus OM-D EM5 with the battery grip and 12-50 mm lens. I had a tripod with me, but didn't use it here.
Inspiration
Walking through the palace grounds in the fog was like entering an entirely different world. The paths at Schleissheim loop and intermingle with each other in a carefully ordered pattern. But the fog turned it all into a wilderness where just about anything might be lurking around the next bend. We came out of the woods on the right side of this photo onto a long, straight path that borders a canal. However, with the mist hanging the thickest over the water, nothing to the left of the path is visible. Only this one straight line leading into a misty void. I felt like I'd been dropped into a fairy tale, and that all kinds of unknown things were hiding just inside those woods. I wanted to convey that sense of mystery and adventure in this photo.
Editing
I did only minor adjustments to the exposure, then de-saturated the colors and heightened the contrast to make the shadows more defined. The EM5 did a good job of metering the exposure so that neither the shadows nor highlights were overblown.
In my camera bag
During my three months in Germany, I had the OM-D EM5 permanently glued to my side, usually with the Zuiko 60 mm macro. I also used the 12-50 and 50-140 zoom lenses, along with a Manfrotto tripod. Unfortunately, this equipment belonged to my aunt, so I had to leave it in Germany when I came back to Colorado! I now use a Fuji X-Pro2 and 18-135 mm, which continually surprise me with their color and sharpness.
Feedback
The wonderful and difficult part about landscapes is that they change so frequently. Especially in conditions like this, where the main subject is something so ethereal and liable to dissipate at any time. I would say to always be prepared for a photo opportunity to arise, especially if you're not expecting it. Take a chance even if conditions don't seem ideal. Play with every setting your camera has, and don't be afraid to experiment. Most of all, travel. Whether it's just a few minutes at a spot near your workplace or halfway around the world, there is nothing so necessary for nurturing the creative heart as curiosity and exploration.

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