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day 12 – Castles, Castles and Sausages ;)

Innsbruck, Austria > Fusen, Germany > Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

I really wanted to get to Zugspitze which is the highest mountain in Germany, its a bit of a theme this trip trying to find the highest points in each country, en route I realised I was really close to Neuschwanstein Castle.

I visited the castle when I was I think 8 with my parents, can remember some things but not much, one thing I do remember were the crowds, soooooo many people, I did a little research while I was in the area to try and find a spot to shoot the famous castle that wasn’t the same shot everyone gets, I literally spent the entire day there as I also wanted to try a new feature on the Olympus OMD which meant waiting till it was completely dark so I could grab star trails.

Blindsee, a lake of Tyrol, Austria

This is what we need in Aus, its like a sausage sizzle take away shop, awesome, home made bratwurst, crunchy sauteed onions, pickles and a soft toasted roll, YUM!!!!

Hohenschwangau Castle, here King Ludwig lived as a child

Not exactly sure what  was happening here, but I have a feeling it was a TV crew of some sorts filming, maybe a travel program? they cruised around Neuschwanstein Castle and the surrounding mountains for about an hour before/during and after sunset.

Neuschwanstein Castle with the heli.

I found an open field and lay in the grass low down to try and create a bit of a dreamy frame around the castle.

Cows everywhere.

I spent a few hours on the ‘tourist’ side of Neuschwanstein Castle trying to find as many different locations to shoot it, nothing was really inspiring me so I went to my trusty GPS trying to find a road that lead up in to one of the surrounding mountains.

So I back tracked about 10km toward Fusen and found a little town called Oberpinswang, the town had a few roads that seemed to lead close to the castle on the side that I wanted.

I spent the next 3 hours driving what I thought were roads for cars only, evidently this wasn’t the case, they were Mountain Bike trails, a few abusive conversations with locals and riders which I didn’t quite understand but I kept going and for a few brief moments I really thought I was getting somewhere, however each and every time the road lead to a dead end. Unfortunately this is a common theme for photographers and me when I travel, but I love it, in my eyes if I hadnt tried I would have never known so am more than happy to go up these roads, so many times I have done this and ended up somewhere amazing.

Dead End!! Grrrr

Another Dead End!! Grrrr

This looked like it had been there for quite a while, it was deep in the forest, along a road that looked like it hadn’t been driven on for years and to walk here would take hours, perhaps a spot for soldiers to keep an eye on the surrounding areas? heaven only knows.

Fussen, Germany

Cows, these guys took over the road

I needed to use my Lee filters on the Olympus lenses, however I only had a filter holder for my smaller lens, so came up with this little trick to keep the holder in place 😉 not bad and worked perfectly on the M.Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 PRO

My setup waiting for the sun to set over the mountains, let me just say the amount of mosquitoes here was crazy, the funny thing was though none of them bit me.

The Yeti in B&W.


and the shot I wanted, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has a new feature known as ‘Live Composite’, basically its a long exposure with a difference, you take an initial shot as above of the castle, the camera saves that as your base shot, then the shutter stays open for as long as you want (up to 3hrs) and only records changes made to the scene, so for a star trail shot this is perfect, no need for Photoshop to composite the image it is all done in camera.

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