I’ll tell you that was the best sleep I’ve had wild camping, ever. I think I went to bed about 10pm and didn’t awake till 6am and man did I feel better after that! Yesterday absolutely killed me.
As I looked out of my tent door, the weather looked to be perfect but was it cold! It must have been below freezing as my tent was covered in frost. It has to be said, seeing the epic Swiss mountains from my own tent door was honestly something I never thought I’d see, if you asked me when I first started wild camping about a year ago that I’d be sleeping underneath a Swiss mountain in a years time, I’d say you were nuts! It’s amazing how things change, and although this is the last day, it’s been an absolutely awesome experience and I’m sure I’ll be back.
Anyway, the sun was rising in an almost perfect position through a gap in the mountain range and so I would have the sun almost right from the horizon. I decided to head for the Auberge de Salanfe, which is a cabin positioned within the ‘gap’ (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this!). As I walked there, it was quite nice just taking in the blissful sounds of nature and of course, the beautiful view of mountains. Everything was very still. Soon the sun made it’s first appearance on the tallest mountains, and as I was still a few minutes away, I decided to hurry the hell up – I didn’t want to miss this!
I made it before the sun but I knew I didn’t have much time, and as I had an unobstructed view of the mountains across the valley, I thought I could attempt a panoramic image. I frantically planted my tripod, got my camera stable and….. bam – the sun appeared. Unfortunately, by the time I acquired focus and dialled my settings, the sun was already too high due to flaring. Bugger!
But I didn’t want to let that stop me. (now this sounds like an inspirational movie)
There were a few pine-looking trees dotted about the place, and so I decided that would still allow to me to shoot into the sun as the flaring would be dampened by the various branches. As the sun rose that little bit higher, to be honest only about 15 mins after sunrise, the sun’s light created rays into the valley making for quite a dramatic scene.
This image comprises of two shots, one exposed for the shadows and the other, for the highlights (i.e. the sky, sun, etc.). I then used Luminosity Masking to ‘paint’ in the relevant under-exposed shot to make for a more balanced image. I’m quite pleased with the result, although I wish I had nailed the focus better. Unfortunately, as I was frantically trying to figure out what shot I wanted to get, how I wanted to shoot it and dialing my settings, you’d think focus would be one of the critical elements. Clearly not in this case as it could be sharper. But hey, that’s all part of the learning curve!
After finishing up the sunrise shoot, I looked back at the mountains behind me and I couldn’t believe the amount of snow that had gone over the 3 days we were last at the lake!
I made my way back to camp where the guys were packing their kit away. I opted for breakfast and a coffee before doing that, it was lovely just sat there taking in the view.
Once we packed away for the last time we did a quick group shot for Scott’s video and then we were on our way. The route back to the car was meant to be quite easy, really only about 2/3 miles but because it was all downhill, it soon took a toll on my legs and with the heat beating down on me, it was actually quite knackering.
And we made it back to the car! What an adventure and I couldn’t think of anyone better to spend it with. Lucy, Austin & Scott – thank you guys! Honestly, the whole trip lived up to my expectations and then some, plus I learnt so much and has given me even more reason to do this again. I’m not kidding after about 2 hours of us being in the airport, the heavens opened. Great job on picking the dates Scott, we had near perfect weather the whole time and just as we ended the adventure it started raining – sorted! 🙂