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Photoblog - Back to the English Garden

Following our initial post on Munich's English Garden, Frau A and I went back for more photos.  (Frau A also wanted to see if any new chicks had hatched from the water bird population.)

We took the U-Bahn north, from downtown to Münchener Freiheit.  It's one stop past Giselastrasse, just off the top of the map you see here.  The idea was to walk south through the park from Kleinhesseloher Lake, photographing the Chinese Tower, Monopteros, and surfers (yes, surfers, you'll see) on the Eisbach.  Lastly, the State Chancellory is just outside on the park on the way home.

On the map you can see a creek running along the west side of the park, which feeds eventually back into the Isar river.  Atop the bridge railing as you enter the English Garden, the park service installed a new flower planter.  Very nice.  The Germans really like flowers and have high quality displays throughout the city.

We kept walking west to the Kleinhesseloher See.  This is most famous for the beergarden that sits on its shore, called the Seehaus.  It seats 2500 people!  In addition to the Seehaus, one can rent paddleboats and canoes to take on the water.  On our last visit, we weren't experimenting with HDR Photography, so this time I bracketed and tonemapped the waiting paddleboats.  More HDR to come.

In the next photo's background you can see the throngs enjoying food & beer at the Seehaus -- in good weather it is always packed.  Perhaps this guy wished he'd picked a paddle boat instead -- look's like he's taking a rest from rowing his sweetheart around?   She looks relaxed though.

These guys know how to enjoy life.  Take refreshment with you onto the water, put your feet up, and soak in the sunshine.  (The sun gave us a colorful reflection on the water too.)  Notice the geese hanging around, just in case any humans care to share their snacks.

On the southern tip of the lake, where it narrows to a feeder heading towards the Isar river, Frau A saw the feathery babies she was hoping for.  This train of goslings was motoring after mom & dad.  The guy in back seems to be yelling for everyone to wait up.

We brought breadcrumbs to feed the waterfowl - some come out to get a more strategic position.  It's harder to see in the web-sized photo, but you can see this baby's tiny teeth.  Notice also that the adult in the background has a tag around its foot, part of the wildlife management in the English Garden.

Next along the way was the Chinese Tower.  There's a beer garden here also (not shown).  There was a German "oom-pah" band playing on the second story (hidden from this view) -- common entertainment in good weather.  The sun was really bright now - even with bracketing and tonemapping there are still some blown highlights, but that's just my inexperience showing.


We continued walking south to the Monopteros.  This was a prime candidate for HDR too.  I got some serious vignetting, but it doesn't distract too much so I didn't try to fix it in post processing (also a bit lazy... could correct for some distortion as well...).  As usual, HDR brings out texture in stone and contrast in the clouds that you wouldn't get in low-dynamic range output.

As you near the park's south exit, you should always stop at the Eisbach to see the surfers.  The Eisbach is a small man-made river flowing through the English Garden (and another small Isar tributary).  One section at the end has a standing wave, perfect for surfing -- the surfer stays in place as the water flows by.

Technically, this was illegal... but never enforced.  That's probably why they made it legal in 2010 and now just post warning signs.  The surfers only have a few meters in which to go back & forth, so you can catch the spray on camera:

There will often be a lot of spectators, watching from both banks of the small river, or loooking down from a small bridge that spans the Eisbach just a couple of meters before the wave.  The guy below was probably the best surfer we saw that day and gave us plenty of opportunity to get some good photos.

Check out this Eisbach surfing video on YouTube, taken from the bridge.  There are regular surfers, beginners just lying on the board, and even body surfers!  The water is cold, hence the wetsuits.


Finally at the end of the afternoon, one more chance to bracket photographs and try HDR - at the Bavarian Chancellory building.  This is outside the English Garden, inside the small Hofgarten.  Lots of glass and stone make for a good subject to tonemap.

There is just so much to see in the English Garden.  Frau and I will return again in Autumn to see how things have changed and photograph some other nice spots.

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