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Entering the realm of UV photography

After an in-depht test session with the Kolari UV Bandpass Transmission filter and the Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens I can answer the question I had asked in the previous post: The 28mm works wonderfully with ultraviolet light – no hotspot, perfect focusing, great effects.

So I went to an area in the northwestern region of Switzerland, which borders the Jura mountains. The area near the towns of Oensingen und Balsthal harbors many old castles and castle ruins. It is notorious as a major car traffic axis, the highway that runs through it connects the major cities of Switzerland: Bern, Basel and Zurich.

The area has also a reputation for hauntings and unusual phenomena. At least two castles are said to be haunted, and in 2012, a rash of sightings of a mysterious black panther made national headlines.

It’s a very interesting area with tons of great spots.

But let’s get back to topic: UV photography.
Some things I’ve noted so far:

1. Contrary to infrared and visible light, UV casts weaker and much nicer contrasts. Shadows aren’t as dark and harsh as in IR, the image looks much more balanced. So UV photography is perfect for cloudless, sunny days.
2. Speaking of sunny days: Skies in UV are very bright and a bit foggy. This means that the focus of the viewer gets much more directed towards the subject itself, in my case castles and ruins.
3. Trees and grass are dark or black.
4. I think structures, especially stone, look great.
5. And I think also that landscapes and especially mountains have a very special, dreamy look. I’ll have to explore this further.

The image above shows the (allegedly) haunted Alt-Falkenstein castle in Balsthal.

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