Neuschwanstein or a nightmare on a beautiful autumn day

The Story

Last weekend I went to castle Neuschwanstein which is one of the castles King Ludwig II erected in his Bavarian kingdom during his twenty two year rain.I took a co-worker from Singapore there and wasn’t really aware of the still ongoing nut race of the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans and last but not least Americans. I mean the castle is nice to look at from the outside in spite of the scaffolding covering the entire southwest wing until mid 2013 and it’s certainly built in one of the prettiest landscapes of Germany but …

… why would you visit the inside massacred by themes of Wagner’s operas?

If you really need to go there, climb the Tegelberg right next to the castle which offers an amazing view onto the castle and the lake behind it.

Another alternative is the castle Linderhof in Ettal which is about 50km away from Neuschwanstein. It was also built by the fairy tale king (as if this is a good thing) Ludwig II. However, the castle is surrounded by a beautiful park and it’s just fun to walk up and down the hills and enjoy a nice autumn day.

 The Summary

Autumn in Bavaria is nice this year. But avoid any people who chase a Wagnerian fairy tale and its mad king


The Making of a Self Portrait

Last Sunday I posted a self portrait on my g+ account and I just wanted to share the making here.


The Taking

I used a Elinchrome Quadra Ranger RX with two head. One head with the main power output (2/3) with an 8degree grid was positioned on my left with the narrow spot on the half without make-up. The other head with less power (1/3) was basically in front of my in a softbox. My Nikon D3 was on a gorilla pod on the table (my arca-swiss ball head is in service) right next to the softbox. A macro lens was on the cam to create a real lens blur and I tried to get my left eye in focus which turned out not to be totally easy. I tried different poses and angles until I finally got the image I liked. I was leaning forward looking in a thirty degree angle left of the camera, rotating my shoulder back and releasing the camera with a cable release. The make-up side had decent fill light to work with and the spot created highlights on the other half of the face.

The Editing

When I loaded the image into Lightroom 4, I really didn’t know what to do with the image and how my vision realizes. I started with some basic adjustments in Lightroom. I increased exposure slightly, got clarity down to almost -100% but painted the clarity back into my right eye. Now I brought the image into Photoshop and started removing blemishes in the white make up. I started NIK’s Viveza and got the structure down even more but placed again a local adjustment on my right eye to keep structure and sharpness in there. I opened OnOne’s Pefect Effects next and applied the Movie Look “Velvetees” but blended it down to about 30% opacity. In the last step I went to NIK’s Color Efex Pro and applied a bit of tonal contrast, Darken/Lighten Center and last but not least the midnight filter which I reduced to about 30% on the right eye only.

I gave it a final touch up with the healing brush and changed the opacity of the filter layer to about 80-85% to get a bit of detail back on the left half of my face.

What do you think?



Hello world!

Hi there,

I decided to start a blog again. I know I’m already busy keeping up with G+ and I never went anywhere with Twitter. But hey, let’s see where this goes. Before I was nicely hooked to all the apple gadgets. I used iPhoto for albums, web galleries and books. I handled my web and blog presence with iWeb and published to the web space but they will discontinue the service in 2012.

So, here we go. I’m new at WordPress and will see how it works out.


Dark, Sinister and Fabulous