Wide angle living - Part 3: Christmas Markets and snow!

The Christmas Markets are always a great opportunity to grab some colourful shots in-between drinking Glühwein or eating a Bratwurst! Join for me some Christmas spirit and plenty of snow.  

It's a bit like groundhog day when the Christmas markets roll around at the end of November every year, as most of the stalls are in the same place. However, the good news is that pretty much every little town in the country has their own little market, so there are plenty to see in addition to the bigger city ones. And even within the cities, there are usually 5 or more big Christmas Markets to wander around. Not a time to lose weight that is for sure, but a great time to have a camera handy. And what better camera than my new wide angle Hassleblad Xpan, I knew this would get some me really wide perspectives to take in all the hustle and bustle at the markets!

These photos are shot over a few weeks and include visits from my parents and my friend Conor and his wife Nerea, so plenty of Christmas Market visits over a few weeks. It also snowed on two consecutive Sundays, and quite heavily too, which made for a great backdrop for some of the shots. All photos are shot with my Hasselblad Xpan on the following films: Kodak Portra 400, Fuji Natura 1600, and Ilford Delta 100.

Christmas markets

Below are my favourite shots from the various Christmas Markets I have visited in the past few weeks. For all horizontal (all, except the odd vertical shot) shots, remember to turn your phone sideways for full wide angle viewing, if viewing on a mobile device.

One of the many Frankfurt Christmas markets, this one is right in the middle of the old part of town and as such has a really nice setting.
My Dad enjoying one of the many stalls, it is great how I can get the entire stall in the frame as well as some of the background with my camera.
It is really hard to compose a vertical image on the Xpan camera, but really cool that you can easily fit in the really tall Christmas tree and stalls underneath it. Great colours too!
Who said merry-go-rounds are just for kids?!
Conor & Nerea enjoying a Glühwein and the Christmas atmosphere.
Part of Frankfurt's Hauptwache market viewed from above.
I really like this shot - sometimes colour can be a bit overwhelming, and black & white provides a really moody shot.
One of my favourite shots - this is a super sharp lens! Lovely colours in the background too, and it is snowing!
As you can see, the markets are very popular, however there are always some markets that only the locals know about, so at least you can stay away from the tourist spots if you are in the know!

Snowy December

We received heavy snowfall two Sunday's in a row, which only really lasted for that day, but was long enough to cause air traffic chaos across Europe. However, on the positive side of things, it made for a great backdrop for some really cool photos!

This shot has loads of character, and looks like it was taken 50 years ago! I must find a way to print out these panoramic photographs, they would make for some great poster size prints!
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The usually bustling and busy banks of the river Main are emptier than usual...!
Cold, wet and pretty miserable outside, but at least they are smiling!
The low cloud and fog really adds to the shot here. Thee building on the right has a really cool restaurant that uses the old Docks Crane and unit as backdrop, I assume these were used for shipping containers on the river Main once upon a time.
Beautiful snowy scene with Frankfut Cathedral barely visible in the distance.
A cropped view looking down towards the ECB building and Frankfurt skyline in the background - snowing heavily!
Another cropped shot. I really like black & white shots at night, they really come into their own. Especially fun with so much snow around, making for great contrasts.
The "Osthafenbrücke" in Franfurt's Ostend - a really great bridge for some wide angle shots!
A very cold looking River Main.
A very long barge taking an aggressive turn to come into the Harbour.

Around Frankfurt and environs

These are a collection of random shots I took with some of the film I was using for the Christmas markets shots. All taken in and around the Frankfurt area, including a visit to the town of Wetzlar.

The quaint town of Wetzlar (also visited as part of my 52 rolls of film project - review here.).
We stopped alongside the road outside a small village for this shot - I really like how it came out. There is something magical about snowy landscapes in black & white.
The lone worker. Inside the Leica factory, Wetzlar.
One of the many optical installations across Wetzlar. They are very proud of their history of optics and producly promote science and learning. Given where the photo is taken from you obviously cannot see what I could see, but you get the idea of the installation. You can see only your eyes and the other persons mouth - it is quite funny!
Long exposure shot of the River Lahm, that runs through Wetzlar.
Great posed shot of Conor and Nerea, taken wth my Xpan and the exceptional Fuji Natura 1600 (35mm film).
I really like the effect of this photo, where the only colour you can see is the bright yellow, as everything else is covered in snow!
Conor diligently investigating the mechanics of my Rolleiflex camera.

Overall observations

I really enjoyed these shots and the variety I managed to get with the different film types and subjects. Truthfully, there are only so many Christmas Market scenes you can shoot, but I still managed to get a bit of variety, and of course the snow helped too!

I hope you enjoyed these shots as much as I did!

See you next time!

Neil