The photographer's mind is constantly changing and evolving when it comes to search around interesting places and variation of the subjects. As they all say, change of genre in photography is like a rest for the mind as it creates a way of looking at things differently and produce other kind of artworks. Different places and scenes always give us the opportunity to do so.
One day during a walk around the streets of Munich, I came across a bridge properly known as “Eichbach” (ice brook in German). Basically its a small man-made river, 2 kilometres long, in Munich. It flows through the park known as the Englischer Garten and is a side arm of the Isar River. Just past a bridge near the Haus der Kunst art museum, the river forms a standing wave about 1 metre high, which is a popular river surfing spot. The water is cold and shallow (sometimes only 40cm deep), making it suitable only for experienced surfers.
Surfers practising their sport on this place is a very special happening in Munich. It provides photographers a fine break from street and architecture photography. There is plenty of action around the brook with many surfers and its quite a surprise considering that Munich doesn't have a sea.
I came across this beautiful bridge on an overcast day in September. The dark clouds made sure the light was low and allowed me to could experiment a few motion shots with slow shutter speed and create some interesting effects in the images. I thought that was the best thing to try as the low light wouldn't give me fast enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of the dynamic moving surfers.
The great thing about this bridge is that the surfers are quite near and even a normal lens or a wide angle like a 24-105mm can make some interesting images with the surfers as main subject filling the frame.
These two images were made with a 24-105 lens. As one can see, the variation in shutter speeds can result in a smooth structure on the waves and create an illusion of surfers looking like actions heroes.
I like the reversion to BW which allows me to have a deeper control over the tones and contrast and to make more of a personalized style of art.
Both images were clicked at relatively long shutter speed of ¼ sec and 0.3 sec making the waves milky smooth and tracing the movement of the surfers.
Getting the effects in the camera saves a lot of work on editing and simple adjustments are enough to make the images look like you want. Only Lightroom 5 was used to reverse them to BW. Contrasts were increased and shadows pulled down for a darker view and outline of the surfer. If you like more focus on the surfer, adding a highlight priority vignette helps.
Visiting this little bridge was really surprising to me as I absolutely didn't have a clue of surfing activities on a river and brook. They are common from summertime till autumn and provide a great opportunity to take various kind of images like these completely different surfing impressions also taken in Munich by Christoph Hessel and Marei.
As they say, a photograph is just a selection of few degrees out of the 360 degrees available to us. This place is highly recommended if you are in Munich in the summer or fall. You will have a lot of fun and a chance to create amazing surfing shots.
Here is the link to the map showing this beautiful place.
To end this short article, a small gallery of amazing surfing impressions taken “on the ocean” by 1x members.