Austrian Landscape Photography Workshop – Day 1 at The Gorge
Austrian Landscape Photography Holiday
McFade Photography’s “Austrian Photography Holiday & Workshop” took 5 photographers over to the stunning Tirol area of Austria in the middle of October 2012, an area of outstanding mountains, lakes and gorges.
A long weekend, from Thursday to Monday, with 3 full photography days in stunning locations, fantastic food and accommodation with Keith and Manu Holt on their traditional Austrian farm, with Keith being the perfect location guide, and Ade teaching you photography skills throughout.
We also spend time in the evening reviewing your photographs, over a few beers of course…. it is Austria after all!
Day 1 of the Austrian Photography Holiday
We went to a spectacular gorge to take on the photographic challenge of capturing the grandeur of the space, the flowing water and mixed lighting conditions.
The journey from base to the gorge was exciting enough, passing through immense valleys bounded with pointed cliff tops, trees turning orange and yellow and azure coloured rivers.
Once parked and through the entrance, the gorge started almost straight away with a man made channel creating a waterfall for us to practice our composition and exposure skills on. Low light dictating longer shutter speeds, we all created smooth water effects, with the tripod been almost essential.
With this water-side shot we see the water blurr with a shutter speed of around 1 second – a lovely effect we’ll show you how to do – on your tripod!
The Austrian’s do things properly, the gorge has a long, strong walk way made from girders and thick wooden planks, so you are never in any danger of falling in! Unless you climb over and walk to the river. However, you can use your longer lenses to get “in on the action”, as can be seen in this shot – taken at 200mm to capture the shapes in the rock
This has its challenges of course – a 200-300mm lens needs a sturdy tripod to eliminate movement – any wobbles and you get soft shots. This could be tricky on a wooden walkway when people passed. So it was well worth taking 3 or 4 shots of the same thing to be on the safe side.
The mix of blue-hued water, cold rocks and autumn leaves created a wide range of colours.
Towards to top of the gorge, it gets really narrow, dark and noisy – with this waterfall at the end. It’s probably 15-20 feet tall, and you walk right over the top of it. This series of shots were taken with the 200mm lens and show the movement of water over the static rock – check out the different shapes and textures – it’s amazing how the water has moulded the rock over the millennia..
It’s probably the most strenuous day of the trip due to the climb up to the pub for lunch. After the gorge we follow the river for a while then have a steep ascent for about a mile – this really tests your fitness and makes you question the heavy kit you’re carrying!
However, when you get to the top, it’s pretty spectacular to say the least.
And the view across the other side of the valley isn’t bad either!
We got our breath back, enjoyed a beer and some amazing traditional food in the pub at the top of the hill – taking a good hour in the blue skied valley. Then we headed back down the gorge, which is happily FAR easier to descend than climb up. You do see new things on a second pass, so we took time to capture images – using different lenses so you get a whole new perspective on the area.
The Return Trip
A quick detour on the way back gave us this spectacular lake, with water the colour of which I’d never seen before! As you can see the weather was against us, so managed to get just 5 shots out of the camera before the heavens opened and called a close on the day’s shoot, but we look forward to seeing a spectacular sunset here on our 2013 return!
And so back to Ellmau and the farm house… at this stage, the mountains had not fully revealed themselves…. we were treated to this a little later in the holiday