Christkindlmärkte: Always read the small print

Even when it has to do with Christkindlmärkte! For those of you who don’t understand German, Christkindlmarkt is the Christmas market which is so popular here in Germany and in Austria and in other places as well. They even started appearing in Greece a few years ago during the prosperous years but that’s another story; we are focusing on Germany in this post. A Christkindlmarkt appears usually around the 25th of November and for some strange reason only the Germans can understand, it is closed down just as Christmas arrives and the actual holidays begin on the 25th of December. Anyway … They can be found on squares, around historical monuments, communal grounds, pedestrian streets, castles and everywhere else really were there is enough space for a few (or a lot of) huts and people to stand. The number one product sold there is the “Glühwein”, which for all effects and purposes is mulled wine. Other than Glühwein and depending on the market size, one can find all possible edible and non edible things in a Christkindlmarkt. More on Christkindlmärkte in my next post or the one after that.
Last week I wanted to go and photograph a Christkindlmarkt and decided to combine that with a castle and a lake. Hence the decision to visit the Christkindlmarkt of Schloss Blutenburg (Blood castle … creepy) in west Munich. I found out about this Christkindlmarkt in a website with relevant information. So on Sunday afternoon we (me, wife, baby) set of for Schloss Blutenburg. Upon arrival we saw the small print (in this case big yellow billboard on tree just outside the entrance), which said that the Schloss Blutenburg Christkindlmarkt will only operate on select few days in December and in any case not on that day. So that was that with the Christkindlmarkt photo session. Luckily the castle and the lake were still there and the sunset looked like it was going to be a good one, so I looked for a nice location to take a few photos of the castle being mirrored on the lake waters with sunset, etc. Then came the next blow: half of the lake (the side near the castle) was frozen over. That meant bye-bye castle reflection. Then I saw the café. Right in the middle of the external castle wall, next to the lake. With big ugly sun umbrellas and cheap tables. This was really getting “better” by the minute. I didn’t like the café so that meant that I was only left with the option to photograph lake and sunset. Which I did. For as long as there was something interesting to photograph and wife and baby could withstand the cold. I took several slightly different compositions during different sunset phases. Most of them were bracketed for HDR. The photo you see here is the best single frame I have (for this composition) slightly processed in Lightroom.

The only part of the castle not spoiled by the cafe on the far right ...

The only part of the castle not spoiled by the cafe on the far right …

I am still processing the HDR photos and I am having problems with ghosting (ducks swimming and tree branches also moving in the wind). One software package deals well with the trees but not the ducks, the other the opposite. Therefore, I have to do extra blending which takes time. The end result however looks very promising and I will surely post it here when ready. So after a long passage for only one photo all I can say is “watch this space for more to come”.

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