New Years vacation in the woods
After all the Christmas hustle and a tough year without a couple-vacation my partner and I were very much in need of a timeout. For 5 days it should be just the two of us - and our dog Rosi. We wanted to be somewhere remote but not without sacrificing too much comfort. We wanted to spend some time without seeing too many people, enjoy the calmness of nature and wanted to get there fast. Well, that does not leave you with too many options but the one we had turned out to be as good as it gets.
It only took us about an hour to get to the Eifel national park. We rented a small but comfortable cabin that is part of the Neugrad Eifel portfolio. Despite it's beautiful woodland and and rivers the area has some history to be told. Neugrad Eifel is part of the Vogelsang IP, former national socialist order castle that is now used as a meeting and educational institution. Whilst the architecture itself is impressive and a worthwhile photography subject I wasn't there to make photographs. I enjoyed walking the dog, reading books and breathing fresh air. With all the things I've done on that trip I enjoyed the most that I did it together with my partner. There was one day in particular where the weather was nice enough to go for a hike through the woods. But nice weather for a long hike is not necessarily compatible with photography. But I realized that woodland photography works quite well. However photography wasn't prio #1 I couldn't resist to at least take the camera with me. I put on my 56mm prime lens and left the rest of my equipment at home. No more lenses, no filters, no spare battery, just the body and a fixed focal length.
At the end of the year there was not much foliage to photograph. But as part of the woodland in this area is pine needle forest and a lot of the branches are covered in moss there were plenty of subjects available. And in addition in turned out that the available light was quite pleasing for what I had in mind. Of course it's easier and maybe nicer to photograph during the morning or in the evening light, even in woodland. But when keeping an eye on the histogram it is also possible to photograph in the middle of the day. Sometimes the 56mm focal length wasn't enough. There were plenty of possibilities to shoot deep into the woods capturing a fairy-tale-like scene with beautiful light. I shot those scenes anyway but I had to crop them afterwards significantly. I came away with a decent amount of pictures that I really like but most of all I liked the hike itself. Looking back on the hole trip I used the 56mm fixed focal length more often then normally. I liked being more mobile and leaving my bag and tripod at home. Although without my tripod and shooting handheld it felt more rushed and the versatility of a zoom lens especially on the longer end of the focal length was missing.