In north eastern Poland close to the border with Kaliningrad you'll find Poland least developed area called the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship . However, like in many similar countries, less economically developed often means the most unspoiled. Rolling hills, less agriculture farmed land then in other parts of Poland and a paradise for storks during the late spring and summer.
The storks were long gone, it rained for 80 % of the time, the skies were often grey and yet I had a very nice time exploring the landscape. Also the remaining 20 percent of the time offered great photography possibilities. I managed to try my luck on 3 separate evenings.
My first attempt was the small city Reszel with it's main attraction the Gothic Episcopal castle. After driving around for a while I found an area where you could easily walk on the newly cut grass to reach higher elevation. This made it possible to incorporate more of the landscape and also provided some less cluttered views of the castle itself.
I choose the location to shoot towards the setting sun. Because the cloudscape was pretty low and dense my feeling was that the sun rays would not spread across the sky. Therefore it was best to focus on the landscape right in front of the setting sun. I used a telephoto lens for most of the photos to compress the landscape.
The weather was excellent this evening, it felt more like a summer evening then autumn. I was lucky that the local farmers had only grown grass in the particular area, which made it possible for me to walk around searching to different compositions. It's important that you always try to take photos from different angles and really ”work the scene” and not be satisfied with the first best location you come across and take numerous photos that will look exactly the same.
The second attempt was on the road between 2 smaller cities, Ketrzyn and Bartoszyce. This area reminded me of the farm land you see in central US. This could as well have been in Oklahoma or Nebraska, especially with the rain storm in the background. I used the Lee ND filters to darken the sky and also the Lee little stopper to create some movement in the clouds. I really liked the moody weather, just wished the sun could have been stronger to lit up the sky.
The third and final attempt was something of a flop especially considering how I messed it up. During the day I had found this interesting place right outside Mrągowo. You could stand right next to the road with a nice view of a small lake and the surroundings. The weather was not particularly good, mostly cloudy and rainy. I used the Lee big stopper to emphasize the cloud movements. Right before sunset the weather turned even worse and I decided to head back home. On the way I stopped at the local store to buy some micro brewery ”hipster beer”.From the parking lot I had to run inside the store as the rain started to pour down. Coming out of the store I was meet with a orange glowing sky. There was no time to head back to the earlier spot so I tried to find another location but it was hopeless. Another lesson learned to always stay at your location to the very last rays of light.
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