A Sound Map of the River Isar


Echinger Stausee. Copyright: charles kenwright/ kenwrightfineart.com

I´ve started making a sound map of the river Isar. The river flows from it´s source near Scharnitz in the Austrian Karwendel Mountains to where it joins the River Danube in Bavaria, Germany. The idea is to select various places and record the ambient sound. The Isar flows through very differing locations – mountains, rural and agricultural areas, industrial sites, towns and also Bavaria´s capital city, Munich, giving a rich and varied selection of ambient sounds Eventually each location will be online and marked on an Open Street Map. I´ll be posting more recently recorded locations in the next few days. This one is a bird reserve which is next to the Isar – it´s strictly not on the Isar, but it´s part of the general ecosystem. So sit back, close our eyes and listen to the birds and the occasional sound of humans in the Echinger bird reserve. By the way, use headphones if you have them, it sound better.

Isarspitz, Landshut, Germany


Isarspitz, Landshut, Bavaria, Germany copyright: charles kenwright/ www.openmind-images.com

Isarspitz, Landshut, Bavaria, Germany copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

I´ve had a couple of odd weeks. After working flat out preparing for my exhibition which starts on the 28th of October, I handed my prints over to the framer a couple of weeks ago. It was quite a shock, really – what should I do now? And for a number of days I felt rather flat – but only for a while.

We´ve had a real Indian Summer here, but as the days progressed towards October, so the temperature has started to drop. Most mornings we had a fair amount of mist around. I had a shot in mind that needed this sort of early morning mist. It´s a landing stage on the River Isar, it looks east towards the early morning sun. So I thought that it would be perfect for a misty morning. Last week I went there to check it out – but as is often the way, things in theory don´t match the reality. The landing stage had a rather annoying sign on it – I´d never really taken notice of it before. Maybe it was because I´d often run past it and what with not stopping, just giving it a glance, I´d missed the sign. I guess I could have done it anyway and photoshop it out – but it took me out of my stride. Fortunately just a little further up the path, where the Klein Isar meets the Isar there is a rather photogenic point of land with water on both sides. So I took this shot instead. The observant amongst you will notice that´s it´s actually in colour, not black and white as has been my wont for many months lately. So now I have to prepare a print on demand catalogue for the exhibition, which I´d better get on with.

Winter Walk in Munich, Germany


Charles Kenwright

Mühlbach, Munich, Germany
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Another shot taken yesterday on my walk through Munich. I´m looking down onto a walkway which divides the small River Mühlbach from the much larger Isar. As with the photograph in yesterday´s post, I had to hang around for a while, leaning over the balustrade of the Maximilian Bridge until a walker came by to act as my model. Often, I find, people get in the way when photographing in cities, they choose to stand in exactly the wrong place, walk across the shot at exactly the wrong moment, sometimes, I suspect, with the purpose just to annoy me! But with this short of photograph, I think it needs someone in it to provide balance, to provide tension and a focus for the eye.

St. Johannes Baptist Church, Eching Bavaria, Germany


Eching Charles Kenwright

St. Johannes Baptist Kirche, Eching, Bavaria, Germany
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

The church at Eching, St, John the Baptist, was built in 1711 after the original Gothic church was destroyed when the River Isar flooded in 1709. It´s a typical Bavarian Baroque church with it´s “onion” topped tower. There has been a religious building at this site since at least 748.

Town Wall, Landshut, Bavaria, Germany


Town Wall Landshut Charles Kenwright

Town Wall, Landshut Bavaria
copyright: charles kenwright

There are still a few surviving stretches of the old town wall in Landshut. One bit runs along the banks of the Rivar Isar – hence the life belt hanging on the wall.

Down at the River Isar, Landshut Germany


River Isar, Landshut Charles Kenwright

Maxwehr, City Centre, Landshut, Bavaria, Germany
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

This is another cold, wet dusk shot which I took down by the River Isar. I like the “dirty” look of this photograph. During post processing in Capture One, I really ramped up the Structure level on the clarity tool for this – it´s resulted in a high contrast artifact line on the tops of the buildings, an effect that I would normally avoid like the plague, but with this shot I think it adds something. What do you think?

Cold and Wet! Maxwehr, Isar, Landshut, Germany


Maxwehr winter Isar Charles Kenwright

Maxwehr, Isar, Landshut, A winter´s Evening
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

The light had gone and a rather bleak, snowy evening was setting in. I was wandering around trying to keep my camera lens dry when the Maxwehr hydro power station on the Isar caught my eye. I posted a shot of this last June, but this one is totally different. Weather like this can really give some moody interesting shots (to my mind at least), you just have to keep the lens dry!

Lost Shoe, After the Floods, Landshut, Germany


Lost Shoe, Landshut, charles kenwright

Lost Shoe, Landshut, after the floods
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

The River Isar has now dropped to normal levels and the river side paths are now clear again. On one of my runs I run along a side arm of the Isar called Klein Isar (because it´s smaller) which also goes through the town. This too is now clear but there is still an amount of flotsam lying around. And as I ran there yesterday – yes, a lost shoe had been left high and dry by the receding flood waters! So I quickly came back with a camera to capture it! 

Maxwehr Hydro-Electric Plant, River Isar, Landshut, Germany


Maxwehr, Landshut, charles kenwright

Maxwehr Hydro Electric Plant, Landshut, Germany
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

When I was photographing the flooding the other day I took this one. These buildings house the equipment which lift the flood gates on the hydro-electric plant on the River Isar at Landshut. I´m sure they have a technical name, but I´ve no idea what it is. The form of these buildings is fascinating, they remind me of one of those 1930´s Art Deco cinemas.

By the way, the river levels have dropped quite a lot here now, but down stream there is still a lot of flooding.