Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Hermitage. Verenaschlucht Einsiedelei

North of the city of Solothurn, in the silence of Verena gorge, is a hermitage. There is still today, a recluse who carries out his religious duties

 I've been in Switzerland for 15 years and only heard about this place about two weeks ago. The weather today was lovely with bright sunshine and deep blue skies so we decided to venture out for some fresh air. naturally I took some photo gear with me. namely my EOS 5d, a 17 - 40 zoom and my Benbo tripod.

I actually didn't hold out much hope for good photos because it was in a gorge (shadows) and the sky was bright. I therefore decided to take only HDR images direct from RAW files.

I wasn't too inspired with the scenery on the way to the hermitage as it was typical February weather. No leaves on the trees and a bit muddy.

 The first exposure I made.

Memorial candles

Plenty of small waterfalls

Then I caught my first glimpse of the religious buildings.

 In the distance

A hollowed out cave and the church loom into view

 This was looking promising. I was in photo heaven. I didn't actually see the hermit but after all that is the nature of being a hermit isn't it?

I spent about forty-five minutes or so recording images. It would have been quicker but there were lots of hikers and I was using the self timer feature on my camera to reduce as much as possible, my touching the camera. This meant that I'd compose the shot and then look around to see if anyone might walk into my field of view in the next ten seconds (which was the self timer setting.)

Most of the images were converted to HDR from my normal three exposures but when I thought that there was too much "clipping" (i.e. no details at all in the highlights), I took six images.

 This was the first one using six images

 Another HDR using six images

 This one as well, use six images

 Inside the chapel which is carved into the rock.

The last image of the day
also using six images.

All in all, we had a great walk through some lovely countryside and discovered a hidden (from me anyway) gem.

The HDR process certainly saved these pictures and I'll definitely go back in summer or autumn when the colours will be fantastic.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are as always, welcomed.

Further details about the hermitage (Einsiedeln in German) can be found (in German) on the Solothurn tourist site

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