“Castle in the Sky” – Hohenzollern Castle, Germany – Robin Holler – Featured Photographer
Wow! Is anyone else thinking “Jack and the Beanstalk”? I had to do a double take to make sure this wasn’t altered, but it is 100% real. A castle in the clouds just blows me away. Please read Robin’s account of the experience below then make sure to see his world class portfolios of Europe and beyond.
The area is a low mountain range and known as the Swabian Alps in southern Germany. In terms of geology this is the Swabian Jura, consisting of mostly limestone, which formed the seabed during the Jurassic period. So the area is hilly and the northwestern border of the Swabian Jura forms a steep escarpment called the Albtrauf. This photo was taken while standing on these limestone rocks of the Albtrauf and watching Hohenzollern Castle, which was built on an isolated mountain in front of the Albtrauf.
The point of view is called “Zeller Horn”. The view is great from here, and the clouds below, filling the valley between the Albtrauf and the isolated mountain, seem spectacular. It’s not very often, but on cold winter days with no wind you can see this beautiful phenomenon. It’s called “temperature inversions”. This means there are stable low hanging clouds and temperature rises with elevation.
In January, I walked there without any idea what view to expect. The great thing about this point of view is that you have to walk through the woods and you start watching the castle and landscape just by reaching the forest clearing. I often come to this place, and I always like to be surprised what it looks like when the forest ends and the view opens. There was one older man coming along and he was surprised as well, telling that he didn’t expect these clouds today as well.
It’s taken with an EOS 5D at 90 mm. It’s a little special at least because it is taken with a special lens: TS-E 90. And indeed I used tilt here (upwards), just to try how it comes out if the woods in the lower right gets some unsharpness … but I had to choose a smaller aperture (f/5) to get the whole castle sharp. But still you can take notice of the unsharpness in the foreground – because it’s still stronger visible, than it would have been at f/2.8 and usual/conventional focus without tilt.
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