The German North Sea coast
One of my favorite places out there is the German North Sea coast. However, as much as I love the feel and the atmosphere of this place, the landscape itself isn’t too photogenic at first glance. To begin with, it is flat as a pancake: no hills, no mountains, no elevation whatsoever. Furthermore, it is relatively uniform, with minimal variation. And yet, it has a certain rough and harsh beauty to it. It almost feels pure and honest, showing its true character without pretense or allure. You get what you see, no more and no less.
And then, when you have made your peace with the absence of glamour and delusion, the landscape reveals its hidden beauty:
It’s there in the air so fresh that it seems that no one has ever breathed it before, sometimes scented with the salty smell of the mudflats and the sweet fragrance of the salt marsh flowers.
It’s there in the lonely cry of a seagull hovering effortlessly in the air, carried by the wind.
It’s there in the sky’s endless vastness, this glorious sky with its pure and unstained shades of blue or its awe-inspiring mountains of clouds, sometimes white and brilliant, sometimes dark and ominous. You can also find it in the seagrass, continually swaying in the relentless winds. In short, it’s the least narcissistic landscape imaginable.
It doesn’t shine in its visual characteristics but in the feeling and atmosphere of its smaller details, which constitute an experience far larger than the sum of its part. And these qualities make it even harder to photograph it. To do so successfully, you must try to capture this atmosphere with your camera, which is particularly tricky in black & white. And this is what I have tried in this collection of photos from the Butjadingen Peninsula.
Photos from Butjadingen
So in this collection, you will find the result of my efforts. Some of them are still work in progress. Others are variations of the same shot, only different in the aspect ratio or some local adjustments. However, I do hope that you like them and that I could convey at least some of the simple beauty of this place.
These images are a part of my ongoing Frisian Landscapes project. You can find photographs from other locations along the German North Sea coast from Eastern and Northern Frisia in my Frisian Landscapes gallery.