Germany's Black (& White) Forest

by Lee Santiva January. 24, 2021 216 views
Snow-covered evergreens in the Black Forest, Germany (black & white)

Snow-covered evergreens in the Black Forest, Germany (black & white)

It's called the Black Forest because the density of the trees allows very little sunlight through to the forest floor. When you leave the path and enter the woods, it is dark except for in the winter when the evergreens and the ground are covered in snow. Thus, for a few months every winter it is a black and white forest :-)

The weather on the day of this photo shooting started out sunny then clouded over quickly. I switched to black & white because there was no longer any light contrasts. As many photobloggers had posted their intentions to do more black & white compositions this year, I guess I'm following the trend.

Snow-covered, wind-swept pine (black & white)

Snow-covered, wind-swept pine (black & white)

The Black Forest region is located in the southwestern corner of Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It extends 150 kilometers from north-to-south down to the Swiss border and is approximately 30-50 kilometers wide between Germany's border with France to the west and the state of Bavaria to the east.

Every winter I go cross country-skiing here, except for this season because I am still recovering from a knee injury. It takes me about 1.5 hours to drive to the northern most part of the Black Forest to this national park and nature reservation.

Cross country ski tracks in Germany's Black Forest (black & white)

Cross country ski tracks in Germany's Black Forest (black & white)

The Black Forest is popular tourist destination in normal times and this year its popularity has exploded.

As of January, the lockdown restrictions in Germany were increased so that basically everything was closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies, health care centers and places of employment. For millions of Germans and thousands of families with school-age children since there was nothing to do because the schools were closed so the only thing left was to spend time in nature.

A week later after I took this series, I went back to continue the shoot but I had to turn around and drive back home because there was just nowhere to put the car.

That day (a Wednesday!) all 8 parking lots on the mountain were hopelessly overfilled and there were dozens of cars waiting for someone to leave. It filled up with families who brought their kids and sleds and/or their dogs. Unfortunately the masses ruined the cross-country ski tracks.

Upland moor lake called Hochmoorkolke in German (black & white)

Upland moor lake called Hochmoorkolke in German (black & white)

Photo #4 looks like a river but its actually an upland moor lake. Located at over 900 meters elevation, the “Hochmoor” is a swamp-like, torf landscape. Over the past 10,000 years, the torf has built up to over 8 meters thickness which means the plants have no access to the ground soil and thus very few species survive in this nutrient-poor environment. A moor lake is different from a typical lake due to the lack of stability in the ground and thus does not have a consistent smooth surface.

Black and white forest reflected in a small spring (black & white)

Black and white forest reflected in a small spring (black & white)

I hope you liked the series and as always, I'm appreciative of feedback and tips to improve the quality.

Sources:

  1. Black Forest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Forest
  2. Upland moor (in German): https://www.schwarzwald-tourismus.info/attraktionen/gernsbach-kaltenbronn-hochmoor-7fbe77fc31
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Berckmans Peter 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Nice series, really should visit there in winter

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks Peter! Its beautiful in the winter and if you like to cross-country ski there are many tracks for all skill levels which have spectacular views

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
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