Germany in a magical light
n his new book “Landschaftsfotografie in Deutschland”¸ photographer Heinz Wohner provides tips and suggestions on where to find the most attractive landscapes in Germany and how best to capture their particular magic.
The air is crystal clear. Overnight, fresh snow has fallen on the frozen surface of the lake – the Eibsee at the foot of the Zugspitze. The sun is now in line with the summit of Germany’s highest mountain and the snowy landscape glitters in its light. There’s not a cloud in the blue sky, and the photograph manages to convey the chill that lies on the scene.
The best photographers have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and this image demonstrates that Heinz Wohner possesses that talent. Here he has captured the fascination of the wintry vista in a wide-angle shot. And unlike many other photographers, he has no wish to keep the location to himself. Every image in his new book “Landschaftsfotografie in Deutschland” is annotated with the date and the time of day.
When he completed his studies in Photographic Design in 1984 at the University of Applied Arts and Sciences in Dortmund, Wohner decided to focus on landscape. Since then, he has travelled the length and breadth of Germany in search quest of the right moment and the best angle. His latest book is at once a photo album, travel guide, and textbook.
Wohner has photographed Germany’s classical beauty spots, from the North Sea coast to the Königsee in Southern Bavaria, and his perspectives depict these scenes in a magical light. He lets his readers know the best times to visit each location, when the camera has the chance to catch that elusive image that will linger long in viewers’ minds. He also explains the basic techniques of landscape photography, such as the use of the golden ratio as a framing device, and how to ensure that when the sun is in the picture, its rays form a regular, star-like pattern.
One other important lesson may be mentioned here. To take good pictures, it helps to be an early riser, and those who are not are well advised to try their luck in the evening hours. Most of the well-known landscape motifs in Germany have been photographed innumerable times and from every possible angle. To endow such familiar scenes with a special note, one must make use of the tricks that light plays – principally the soft and rapidly changing light at the break of day and at its end. At such times, veils of fog may lie on the Lüneburger Heide or the flanks of the Harz, or the fading sun may illuminate Burg Neideck on its perch above the valley of the Wiesent, bestowing a mystical air on the scene.
Wohner‘s photos also demonstrate that densely populated Germany nevertheless possesses a wide variety of captivating landscapes. The spectrum extends from the mudflats that fringe the North Sea to the Alpine vistas in the South. – And everywhere the photographer can hope for moments where light and landscape reach a mysterious and fleeting accord.
Landschaftsfotografie in Deutschland
Fotolehrbuch und Reiseführer zu den schönsten Landschaften
dpunkt.verlag, August 2020, 300 Seiten, komplett in Farbe
ISBN Print: 978-3-86490-785-2