Sleepy Valley

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Read if you want to understand what this photo mean to me. Geroldsee sunrise

Only a photographer will understand; It's a crazy endeavor for most people to get up before the sun and trek out into nature to capture a photograph. I was up well before sunrise for a solitude hike into the southern Germany mountains near the town of Garmisch. Imagine if you can; It's 5am with barley any alpine glow in the sky above the mountain peaks. It was cold, about 45 degrees, but not windy. The chill I felt came from the dense fog. I was hoping with the sunrise it would dissipate. Darkness surrounds me. I was here in this exact location the evening before with my wife on a sight survey hike and thus knew there was a defined path leading up into hillside. I could sense I was close, but in the dark all the huts look alike.

Although on this short vacation I forgot to bring the wall adapter for my battery charger, I was smart enough to bring my rubber muck boots. As expected, the tall grass was wet from the damp thick fog blanketing the hillside.
As I was standing in the pasture high above the lake my camera was now mounted on the tripod ready for a photographic opportunity to materialize. In that total darkness surrounded by a dense fog I started to wonder if I would be lucky enough to be alone all morning in this iconic photo location. It's not had to find this lake if you do a bit of research, like I did. Photographers know about this spot. (Wagenbrüchsee aka Lake Geroldsee)

It was now about 6am and the sun began to lightly grace the mountain peaks and illuminate the sky above. I was mentally taking it all in and processing the views for later memories. I was thinking; why am I so lucky to be in this place and experience this magical event that is simply nature's way of saying; Good Morning. I was determined to not take this opportunity for granted.

Not that I doubted my photographic abilities, but at this point I realized that I didn't really care if I captured a “keeper image” as I was satisfied to blessed with this splendid experience. That's just how I felt in the moment. If you were with me, you would understand. The forest was calm and quiet… I could hear the soft tinkling of cowbells coming from behind me in the adjacent field. Occasionally the silence would be broken by the distant sound of a train horn echoing across the valley. It was so surreal I wondered if I should pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.
Here is an example of what I saw that morning.

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