As I waited, the mist lifted, the ice on the lake thawed, and the mountains slowly came into view behind the Chata.
What is it that makes us want to take that particular photograph, there, at that time, in those conditions?
I enjoy going on photo trips with other photographers now and then, but sometimes it’s like trying to photograph while on a hillwalking trip with others: sometimes our priorities don’t coincide.
I don’t mind not having stunning dawns, spectacular dusk scenes, dramatic mountain cloud formations. Not just because not having these things is “real”, or even because it presents a challenge to “find something to shoot”, but because it allows for a more contemplative, thought-out approach to the mood or atmosphere potentially there.
This scene appeared to me early one afternoon on a cold October day near the Chata pri Zelenom plese.
I liked the cold feel (the air was freeing cold) and the harsh look (it hadn’t been easy to get there). Life is like that sometimes. I also remember enjoying the fact that I was alone, wandering around the lake, while my photographer companions warmed themselves up with some local (Tatra) tea. There was nothing there other than an undefined inner voice to distract me: no voices, no-one’s tripod in my viewfinder, no crunching of stones underfoot as companions moved on to greener pastures, complaining that there was nothing there to photograph, the light poor, the reflections weak, the majestic mountains around the Chata invisible in the mist…
This image may not be as popular or “liked” as the stunning dawns I’ve had the good fortune to photograph, but “nothing there” does not exist.
We left the Chata (pri Zelonom Plese) in the early hours, hiking in the dark to reach Biele Pleso in time for sunrise.
Track to the Chata pri Zelonom Plese
Autumn colours and crisp air are energising, an unbeatable antidote to city living.
When we arrived, the place was enveloped in fast-moving mist.
The lake itself was frozen over – not so good for photographing reflections.
But there’s always something that catches the eye…
The Chata residents were friendly, and the local herbal tea a soothing relief from the cold.
By the time we had returned from our early morning hike the next day, the ice had melted enough in one spot for this reflection.