New Years Eve in Germany is called Silvester, for Saint Sylvester’s feast day.  We started the morning off with a hearty breakfast of egg and sausage burritos, then went for a walk/hike.  This was a great opportunity to try out my graduated filter on my new lens.  I was very pleased with the results.

The path was very wet and muddy in places.  Trying to skirt a certain area of the path I went to pass by some over-grown brush.  These thorns caught my eye just as I was going to brush past.

The first few photos I took along the way were blown out (or over exposed) for the sky.  Then I remembered to put on my graduated filter, a filter that darkens half of the lens and decreases (or graduates) to clear at the bottom.  You can see how there is little/no detail in the top of this photo, it was just too bright.

Below, see how this photo has blue sky and detail in the clouds.  Thanks graduated filter!

At our turn-around point we came across a pasture with sheep.  These guys were a bit skittish, but ultimately warmed up enough to let us scratch the tops of their heads.  

I called this one Napoleon.  He just had a way about him.

I could have stayed up there all afternoon.  The light was golden and warm, the sheep were fun, and the view was beautiful.  But, as all good things, time came for us to make our way back down to the car.

On the way down, we discovered some interesting things.

Before we knew it, we were back where we had started. 

We took it easy the rest of the afternoon.  In the evening we went to dinner at a friend’s house (almost in France).  They spoiled us with great food and conversation.  We rang in the New Year on their balcony, watching fireworks going off all around us, the church bells ringing, and the kids blowing party horns, lighting sparklers, and throwing poppers.  We arrived home safe and sound about 3 hours into the Neujahr and quickly fell asleep.


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