Pursuing Creative Adventure in the Alpine Lakes
Freshwater lakes are an adventure photographers dream.
Dynamic views created by an intriguing depth of colour, creative flair transposed onto a reflective surface and a light to dark contrast are all visuals achievable from a stunning mountain lake view. There is arguably no better place to find freshwater lakes than in Europe, a continent punctuated with 16,000 lakes over 1km in width. Better yet, Europe’s premier mountains, the Alps, stretching over 12,000km and across 8 countries offer a diversity of cultures and environments to get your adventurous vibes humming.
During the winter months of 2019, Robert Edelmann hatched a plan for an alpine mission to seek out glacial lakes with some beautiful mountain hut retreats. The car was filled and Robert with a few friends hit the road. The first stop was Lake Eibsee, a 3km wide body of water at the base of Germany’s highest mountains. Although this particular spot is well-known, it is still a site that mustn't be missed. The turquoise water resembles colours one would expect to witness in the Caribbean.
Creating Atmospheric Shots
When the fair weather photographer seeks shelter or a warm snug to hide in, is when your true creative shooters are out in the elements capturing natures pure emotion. Atmosphere is a rare commodity in photography, it’s a set of natural circumstances you come across by chance and when you do, quite often a camera isn’t to hand. But, if you are willing to be committed and put in the long hours, you can earn your luck and capture those fleeting moments of beauty. The great point here is, seeking an atmospheric landscape doesn’t need to be rocket science.
Here are the best conditions to look for:
Mist & Fog - as the sun rises and warms the air, any dew on the plants or ground begins to warm and evaporate quickly causing a stunning misty landscape. Be quick though, it might only be there for 10 minutes before it has burnt off.
Layers - mountain valleys can create stunning inversions, this is where a layer of cool air at the surface is overlain by a layer of warmer air. For us as photographers, we look to gain height by hiking up a mountain to the point where we can shoot above the inversion. Focus on the points where trees are almost half in/half out of the cloud or points where scattered peaks punch out of the white layer.
Mood - drab, dark and wet conditions will often see most photographers retreat inside, but this is when we have the possibility to catch a landscape in it’s most raw and mood-drenched personality. The lower intensity of light can allow the dark tones to hold more depth, whilst dynamic shots of water droplets hitting into calm lakes can all start to build an emotive feeling to a landscape.
Light Game - This is far more luck than judgement, but if on a dark moody day you happen across a small crack in the clouds with the sun sheering through, you have achieved atmospheric heaven. Capturing a vast landscape, dark and moody, but with a ‘cloud parting’ moment can push the emotion and engagement of an image to new heights. Again, this is rare, but the more you immerse yourself with inclement weather, the higher the chances you will be able to photograph this.
Storytelling and Building Engagement
Robert Edelmann and his team were not just seeking beautiful views, but also a unique adventurous experience. They had a goal to camp overnight on a small island in the middle of an alpine lake. Immersed in nature, surrounded by ultra calm glacial waters, the team had found their utopia for the trip. They had a small inflatable boat, paddled back and forth from the mainland to courier their equipment to the island and then basked in the blissful comfort of complete isolation. This creative approach to their adventure enabled them to capture a pretty cool narrative, adding greater intrigue to their mission and some interesting dynamic shots. What do you think?
Social media has always been about sharing your story, but now we are far more skilled and educated on the best way to do this. Your social posts will be rewarded with more engagement and interest if you can hone the art of photographic storytelling. How is this achieved? Well, we consider the storytelling objective and plan out a list of shots to help us achieve our desired outcome. This could incorporate drone footage, macro footage, wide-angle landscape images. The plan can be as wide or narrow as you want, in professional planning we hone in on the smallest of micro-narratives that could help us to subtly convey values we want our audience to feel.
For example, it’s impossible not to sense adventure and wilderness from a beautiful campfire image. Robert captures the essence of wild camping with these stunning images. What iconic images will you look to shoot on your next adventure?
Thank you Robert for sharing your alpine lakes adventure with us, if you would like to see more from Robert, follow his page here. Also if you would like to share your own ‘member story’ with us, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to talk further.
What is WildTribe?
WildTribe is a community of adventure photographers and outdoor enthusiasts who have a passion for social media. Our ethos is to ‘inspire creativity in the outdoors’, whether you are a fully fledged professional legend pioneering the world of photography OR a weekend warrior who has a serious addiction for checking Jimmy Chins Instagram page, all shapes and sizes of wild nature devotees are welcome.
We work with a collection of brands and help to connect them with you, the outdoor photography community. In some cases, we can provide ‘social assignments’ which are an exchange of gear for content/awareness, and in other instances, we offer ‘professional assignments’. These allow the more dedicated and pro-level member to earn a commission from completing agreed projects. If you are interested in joining up and staying informed, then sign-up via the button below.