The Black Forest is worth a trip. Not only since rising crude oil prices the flights to long-distance destinations expensive and latest safety precautions make air travel more difficult. The varied landscape, the comparatively mild climate in Germany’s southwest and the excellent Baden cuisine as well as top wines from the region make the Schwarzwald a visit. I know what I’m talking about, because I live in the Ortenau, a part of the border between the northern and the middle Black Forest, since the year of 2000.
The Black Forest is world famous for its black walnut cherry pie as well as the cuckoo clocks, the cake I have already seen in Dubai. He is also known for the “Bollenhüte”, the gentle alpine pastures and the good Schwarzwälder milk. As a photographer, he also offers a lot of worthwhile motifs around the year.
The Fasent, otherwise called Fastnacht or carnival, is cultivated here during the fifth season, from November 11th at 11.11 am until the Ash-Wednesday in the Thuringian form. The many Fasent parades in small and large castles of the region offer endless motifs. Long focal lengths and bright lenses are recommended because many events in the dark season go up late into the evening and the use of the flash unit often disturbs the atmosphere in the picture. If you have to use it, you should only use it as fill-flash with the long-time synchronization, so a maximum of light at the same time with a better picture clarity remains in the foreground.
The landscape is very diverse and extends over a length of approx. 160 km in the north from Karlsruhe to the Swiss border in the south and in the west the Schwarzwald is bordered by the Rhine valley and reaches in the east to Pforzheim and Donaueschingen.
The landscape is shaped in the west by extensive orchards along soft alpine pastures to rocky watercourses and waterfalls and mountain peaks up to 1,493 meters, the Feldberg in the southern Black Forest.
A photographic tour in the northern Black Forest could start in the orchards between Achern, Offenburg and Oberkirch. In the spring, countless apple, cherry and plum trees blossom there and make an incomparable sea of flowers from the area. Especially between the communities Zusenhofen, Stadelhofen and Nussbach there are very idyllic paths through the fruit trees. A polarizing filter is advisable, so the saturated blue sky stands out better from the white or delicate pink flowers. Even with a macro lens you can get here at its own expense and can observe the busy bees in the flowers.
The photo tour continues to Oberkirch, you drive into the village center and turn left on the main road in front of the hotel “Obere Linde” and follow the road uphill until it ends at a small mountain car park. From here you can walk to the well-preserved ruins of Schauenburg. The view in nice weather to the Strasbourger Münster and the Vosges compensates for the somewhat strenuous, because rising, about ten-minute walk. The castle itself also offers numerous photographs in both black and white as well as in color. A strong wide angle lens can be used here as well as very long focal lengths (with tripod). I myself have used focal lengths of 15 – 600 mm (@35mm).
Back in Oberkirch follow the signs to Ödsbach or “Waldhotel Grüner Baum”. In front of the large grounds of the Waldhotels you will find the “Hotel Die Alm” on the left, a cozy place for an excellent lunch, in good weather, of course, in the beautiful garden with a view of the surrounding alpine pastures and a playground for the little ones. Specialties of the junior chef is pike-perch fillet in all variations, käsespätzle belong to the “light delights” and also the Kirschwasserkrapfen with Zimttortillas or the homemade yoghurteis of the boss are not to be despised. Why, already hungry?
After a great meal, the hotel invites you into its modern and comfortably furnished rooms in the “Schwarzwald Style” with a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains and countryside. The hotel is a successful mixture of local ambience and a trendy design hotel.
The Allerheiligen waterfalls offer the extra extra calories. From Oberkirch, take the B 28 direction Oppenau, where you leave the B 28 to the left and a small winding road with a picturesque view leads directly to the waterfalls. On the way to the left and right again and again interesting Fotomotive, unfortunately, but not always parking facilities. They can only be found at the lower end of the waterfall on the right side of the road. From there you can explore the waterfall by foot on a picturesque path with many stairs and discovered every season diverse motifs. At the top, the ruins of the Convent of All Saints offer interesting perspectives of medieval architecture and the nearby café the well deserved refreshment.
Afterwards, you walk down the waterfall again and continue uphill to Schwarzwaldhochstraße (B 500). There the Hornisgrinde with 1,164 meters offers a magnificent view in the closer and further surroundings, with clear visibility up to Strasbourg and the Vosges beyond the French border. Ideal for panoramic photographs with a panoramic camera or stitching software is also the Schwarzwaldhöhenstraße near Lake Mummel or better still the view tower on the Hornisgrinde. The Mummelsee also offers charming motifs, you can comfortably walk around in a three-and-a-half hour walk. On weekends and in good weather, however, he is overpopulated by many visitors and numerous bus tours.
If you want to spend a few days longer in the Black Forest, it is worth a visit to the Vogtsbauernhöfen, a freilichtmuseum on the B 33 between Hausach and Guttach on the Schwarzwaldbahn (not in the Breisgau!). The winter break has been completed since the 25th of March and it is open daily from 9am to 6pm. There you can still find the typical Schwarzwaldhäuschen, the photographing on the museum premises for private purposes is expressly permitted, but commercial photographers need permission.
Also the Feldberg, the Titisee, the Wutachschlucht or the Höllental between Titisee and Freiburg offer as well as the city of Freiburg with its all-outstanding Münster countless picture motifs. The weekly market (daily except Sundays) on which farmers, butchers and winegrowers offer their products from the region is also of interest to photographers. For those who love nature, the Taubergiessen is a nature reserve with a meadow landscape at the Oberrhein near Rust, which is famous for its Europa-Park, which, of course, is a compulsory program on the Reiseroute, especially for the younger family members Easily with the standard zoom can capture.
Railway friends come to the Achertäler railway from Achern to Ottenhöfen, the Sauschwänzlebahn between Blumberg-Zollhaus and Weizen or the Kandertalbahn between Kandern and Basel with pictures from the old steam-engine time.
In winter, by the way, a visit to Gengenbachs near Offenburg in the pre-Christmas period offers an interesting photo-motif. Around the town hall of Gengenbach there is a Christmas market. The town hall itself is considered to be the largest advent calendar in the world, with 24 windows to the market square, decorated with 24 window images by Tomi Ungerer. Every evening at 6 pm, a new window is illuminated from the inside, so that the window image becomes visible, until 24 December all 24 windows shine brightly. A tripod is a prerequisite for good pictures.