A very fun four-day creative flower photography workshop was had at the Heidelberg Summer School of Photography. This was a great group of compatible people and talented photographers genuinely excited by the subject matter. English was spoken (because of me) and also German (my feeble attempts at German were lovingly corrected). Italian was also spoken—not to mention the universal language of “photography.” The agenda included field trips to a lovely horticultural nursery and to the greenhouses at the Heidelberg University Botanical Gardens. We also practiced studio flower photography, and followed the full workflow of my method for capturing and processing flowers for transparency on a light box.
The image above is a study from the Heidelberg Botanical Gardens field trip. Since it is in monochromatic, it is a fitting segway to the next workshop, Creative Black & White Photography that starts in a few days. I hope it is as much fun and fosters gemütlichkeit as much as the Flower Photography did. You can see some of this gemütlichkeit, umlauts and all, in the row of wine glasses I shot at our farewell dinner, shown below.
I am told that Neuenheim was originally a small and somewhat impoverished fishing village across the Neckar River from Heidelberg, Germany. Today it has been incorporated into Heidelberg, connected with bridges that straddle the Neckar at roughly one kilometer intervals, and boasts some of the most expensive residential real estate in Germany.
Uferstrasse follows the banks of the Neckar on the Neuenheim side, with a pleasant grass meadow verging from the street to the river. On a pleasant summer afternoon you are likely to see people sun bathing, flying kites, picnicking and generally frolicking on the grass.
At the corner of Schulzeng and Uferstrasse the gargoyle-like sculpture shown on the left is built into an otherwise fairly ordinary apartment building. This is a distinctive corner of the world with layers of history, and it is hard to say what the face represents, but I think it can be fairly characterized as slightly odd and quite interesting—like the city of Heidelberg itself!
The old Jesuit Church in Heidelberg, Germany has been remodeled in a high-key. It’s been sandblasted and the interior painted white, and practically gleams of lightness—except the confessionals, which are shrouded in dark black curtains. There’s enough of the Catholic symbolism around so that it can be seen—barely—as an old-style church.
Scouting for locations for next week’s black and white workshop with Gerhard, my host and the director of the Heidelberg Summer School of Photography, we explored the nooks and crannies of this somewhat unusual church. Definitely a good place for the monochromatic vision, particularly in a high-key—and I photographed from behind the pulpit stairs, bracketing and overexposing with the high-key light in mind.
This is the Alte Brucke (old bridge) in Heidelberg, Germany. It crosses the Neckar River and leads through an arch in a tower to the pedestrian-only area around the cathedral. I photographed the bridge after sunset, and used a one minute exposure.
The only way to combat jet lag flying east—there is a nine hour time difference between California and Germany—is to try to get some sleep on the plane, then stay up as long as possible, until something like a normal bedtime. This makes for a very long day. What better way to fill it than with exploration and photography?
My first photo was of a courtyard in old Heidelberg, converted via Waterlogue:
Here are the stairs in the hotel I am staying in. Modern, but still very cool:
I had dinner in a hole-in-the-wall place called “Schnitzelbank” in old Heidelberg. This place actually does make a pretty mean schnitzel, and they were nice to me, too. Seating is communal, and the general style is touristic-pseudo-genuine, with a nod to being genuine so a bit of being seedy and outspoken is okay. That said, as noted they were kind and the food was pretty good.
There are many bicycles in Heidelberg. When you are recovering from jet lag, the trick is not to get run over by one of them, particularly if there is a reflection of another bicycle in a mirror world to further confuse:
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