Read all about my recent trip to the Harz moutains. In part 1 of this article, you’ve read about how I photographed Schloss Wernigerode in some of the best weather conditions imaginable. You can read the first part of the journey here. It was pretty hard to leave the fog infested forest in its Autumnal peak behind, but I decided to make a run for the Bodetal before the fog cleared up.
After a 30 minute drive I arrived in the village of Thale, which is the gateway of the Bodetal. The Bodetal is overlooked by the Hexentanzplatz and the Rosstrappe which are accesible by either a gondola lift or a chair lift. Because the fog at higher altitude was still very thick, ascending these cliffs would be pointless because the view didn’t reach any further than 20 meters. I decided to walk upstream the Bode gorge instead. The Bode gorge is a 10 kilometers long ravine that forms part of the Bode valley between Thale and Treseburg. It’s quite easy to hike all the way from Thale to Treseburg to look for some nice angles to capture the white water.
It was my plan to go with long exposure photography and make the water look running fluently. I managed to capture similar shots on my previous visits to the Harz, but this time I brought a polarizer filter to make the highlights and reflections in the water more detailed. I was pretty excited to see if it would make a large difference. I set the shutter speed from 1,6 sec in the brighter areas to 2,5 sec in the shadier areas. At all time, I set the aperture at f/22 and the ISO to 100. My camera (Canon EOS 5d mk III) was equipped with my beloved 17-40 f4 lens for the close-to-the-water shots and a 70-200 f2.8 II for the longer distance shots. Right after the start of the trail, there were a lot of larger granite rocks spread across the river which resulted in a lot of white water and composition possibilities. Upstream, the trail started to move further from the water level and finding a good angle was getting more difficult. However, after 20 minutes hiking up the trail I was treated with a stunning view across the valley, surrounded by jacked and rugged cliffs.
The day went by quickly and I was pretty satisfied about the results so far. I mean, being a fan of mysterious and moody landscapes, I really felt I was at the right place at the right time. At 16:00, it was already getting a bit dark so I decided to head to my hotel in nearby Stecklenberg. (Thanks Germany Tourism!) After a refreshing shower and a clean set of clothes, I felt hungry and drove to the historical city of Quedlinburg, one of the area’s most important cities. Not entirely surprising, I had way too much food at a Greek place and afterwards, I thought I would be a good idea to explore the historical city center. There are many traditional Fachwerk and typical half-timbered houses and buildings in the Quedlinburg center and the streets are paved with cobblestones which give it a real medieval feel. Unfortunately, the most famous building and tourist attraction of the city, the Quedlinburg Abbey wasn’t visible from a distance at this time in the evening (completely dark already) so I headed for the main square where the Rathaus (City Hall) is located. I thought it might be a good opportunity to get a few night shots in. 20-30 second exposure should do the trick. After a few tries, I rushed back to my hotel because I really could use a good night rest. I set the alarm at 6 so I had time to have a shower and have some breakfast before meeting with an instagram friend at the Okertal. Instagrammers might know who this member of the German Roamers is. To find out, keep an eye out for my third and final blogpost about my visit to the Harz.