To my relief, the fog was still fairly dense when I drove to the Okertal, a creek located on the Western side of the Harz.
However when I arrived at the parking space I noticed the fog was stuck only in the higher parts of the surrounding hills. Guess you can’t win them all. My instagram friend, Max Fischer (@iamarux on instagram) was already waiting for me and hand gestured me exactly where I could leave my car. Max is probably the most famous local instagrammer and most likely played a big part in convincing me to visit the Harz with his stunning images. He assured me to show me some nice places, starting off with the Okertal.
While driving from the City of Goslar towards the Okerstausee, the roads curves it’s way alongside the Oker river. A 10 minute drive will get you to the nice looking Romkerhall, which was as Max told me, ‘the smallest kingdom in the world’. To be honest, I was more interested in getting down to the waterside asap. We started to walk the path which laid parallel to the river and we quickly noticed a nice set of boulders laying on the side of the creek. I used my tripod and applied a 1,6 sec exposure on my 17-40 mm f/4 lens. To reduce the highlights as much as possible and gain more details, I also had a polarizer mounted to the lens. I was very curious to see the results, especially because I’ve never used a polarizer before. The shots were decent but because of the fading fog, less mysterious then yesterday while shooting in the Bodetal. Anyway, I was still having lots of fun. You see, it’s still pretty spectacular to us Dutchies to shoot in a mountain area with cliffs and white water, so I couldn’t really be bothered by the lack of ‘outstanding weather conditions’. Max and I talked about instagram, work, photography and previous and coming trips before heading back to our cars. Before driving to the next location I asked Max if it was a good idea to go for a drone shot over the river. ‘I suppose it’s a good idea’ He said. So I quickly set up my DJI Phantom Pro 3 Advanced and flew it over the river. Because I’m not very experienced with flying drones, I’m quite shaky and very careful which probably stands in the way of getting outstanding images. I know I really need to work on that. However, the river image turned out quite okay!
Hahnenklee is a small village located close to Max’s home in Clausthal. The reason we had Hahnenklee on our list as the second stop of the day is a magnificent wooden church, called the Gustav Adolfskirche. The cool thing about it was that it was built following the typical traditional Norwegian Stave church architecture. As I’ve seen one close to Oslo in Norway, I really needed to check out this German version. We took a couple of shots and tried different angles. Again, a wide angle lens made it work for me.
Up the mountain
We decided to try our luck at an higher altitude where the fog should still be around (Basically a low hanging cloud), so Max lead me to a dirt road which he assured me had ‘fog guarantee’. He told me he went to shoot at this exact location with a number of times with lots of photographers who came to visit the Harz. And, yes… The forest was covered in fog. I was surprised to see the trees got shorter as we went further up the mountain. ‘In that way, they are better resistant to the colder weather’ Max told me. Sounded legit to me. The woods were all covered by gnarly looking pine trees and dark green moss on the soil. It was a very mysterious and moody looking setting. Occasionally, a glimpse of sunlight broke through the clouds which nicely lit up the forest ground. It was a perfect ending to two perfect days photographing the Harz in it’s Autumn coat. Max and I agreed to plan a sequel to our trip when the mountains will be covered in snow.