Baltic Sea and moody photography
Landscape photography is supposed to be slow. It should be immersive and make you engage with the environment. At least that's my approach and it worked out very well for me in the past. You arrive way ahead of the optimal light, you scout around the location and find a composition that you stick to. Most people think that photographing a beautiful location may distract from the things that you see with your own eyes and distract you from being in the moment. But it's the other way around. With my camera I spend far more time at a location, watching the sun go down, as I would without my camera. In fact my camera is reason why I can nowadays enjoy natures movie even if it has extra length. Let's be honest when was the last time you were watching the setting sun over it's entire length? Without a camera you probably would have never done it.
However, sometimes even nature isn't able to slow you down. By the beginning of December 2021 I went on a photography journey with an old friend. The same that already accompanied me during my 2020 Denmark vacation. The struggles began early. Because of our main full-time jobs and because of family demands, photography often comes off badly. We had planned a 4 day trip to the Baltic sea where our main subject should be the famous Gespensterwald. Unfortunately we both couldn't take a day off so we had to manage to work remote and do the photography in the morning and in the evening. To make a long story short: We managed to do all we had to do and all we wanted to do. But in the end everything was missing out a bit.
Besides, we also chose the worst time to go to this location. Preparation is everything! Keep that in mind. The weather was just brutal most of the time. Which was to be expected at that time of the year. But the winds - or should I say storms - that we were witnessing, almost made photography impossible. The tripods were useless the minute we stepped out of the car. And even when shooting handheld with high ISO and IBIS just every 10th shot was sharp. The other thing that we haven't taken into account was that in the winter months the sun would not be visible in our pictures at all. Not in the morning and not in the evening. It always stays behind the trees of the Gespensterwald and never appears on the sea side.
It took us a while to adjust to the situation but then we managed to deal with it. Why not go for moody images.
After all we had one evening and one morning (the morning of our departure) with decent light. That was fortunately enough to take a keeper of this beautiful location.
The other spare time, we spend in Warnemünde, where we concentrated on shooting in the beautiful streets and the harbor with it's lighthouses.
It wasn't the relaxing and immersive shooting experience that I hoped for but in the end it was quality time with an old friend and I've been to one of the great photography locations that we have in Germany. Is it worth the visit? I would say Yes, but for me it's not worth visiting it again. I would rather visit the north sea again or go to Rügen with it's even bigger coastlines and more traditional looking houses and architecture.