It's not alway easy!

As a landscape photographer and nature lover, I love to be in the mountains! The clean air, the incredible views, the rugged landscape and the tranquility make this one of the best places to be. That is why this blog is about a long hike we did in the amazing Swiss Alps.

I love sunset at the mountains! The haze that often occurs, separates the mountains and forms beautiful layers within the landscape!

Surrounded by silence
Our hike starts at the top of the mountain, so we take the cablecar up. It’s hot, very hot! Even when we get off at 2333 meters above sea level, it is still hot. As soon as we arrive, we walk away from the (relative) crowds. We want to enjoy the spectacular view across the glacier in peace. Luckily, almost everyone stays at the viewpoint and soon we are alone; surrounded by silence. The view is truly breathtaking and it is difficult to comprehend how big this glacier really is.

Just a few hundred meters from the viewpoint, we are alone and surrounded by silence. The view is breathtaking!

Boring and flat
It quickly becomes clear that taking a nice photo will be a challenge. There is not a cloud in the sky and though impressive as the glacier is, in a picture it becomes dull and flat. Therefore, I don’t take any trouble with getting my camera out of the bag. It’s early and we’re here all day. Our hike follows the glacier to a higher mountain top. A very beautiful route with small lakes, gigantic rocks and a fantastic view across the glacier.

The landscape we hike in, is simple breathtaking!

Without inspiration
Despite the fact that the landscape is really beautiful and we enjoy it to the fullest, I have no inspiration to photograph. It may sound odd, but I have to experience the picture. I have to feel it. Only then am I able to take a photo with complete dedication. That feeling is not here now. But this doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying myself. On the contrary, the hike is fantastic and we are having a great time! When we have reached the highest point of the hike, we order a beer at the hut, and have a nice rest overlooking the insane landscape.

The nice thing about these scopes is that the name of the mountaintop and the height are projected onto the image you see.

A feeling of stress
The first part of the route back to the middle station (the top lift goes until 6:00 PM), is the same route as up. The light is slowly getting better. This is because the sun is getting lower in the sky, and we are approaching golden hour. I start to feel time pressure and the urge to take a photo. I want a nice shot of the glacier, but still haven’t found anything that inspires me. During our descend, we encounter a flock of sheep on their way for a place to sleep. It looks great with the low sunlight. In retrospect this would have been a nice shot, but I was more focused on a photo of the glacier itself.

Complementary colors
In order to take a nice picture of the glacier, I need an element that contrasts with the (boring) blue sky. A complementary colour. Fortunately, autumn colours are starting to emerge and many plants are taking on a deep red colour. Despite the dull blue sky, I expect these plants to create enough interest in the image. So now it is important to find the right amount, a nice line and position. After I wile I am satisfied and it doesn’t take long before the image is taken.

As the last light falls on the mountain range in the background, I shoot this image; The Aletsch Glacier 22 km long, 1.8 km wide, 900 meters thick and 11 billion tons of ice!

Best image of the day
Stoked that it worked out eventually, I pack my bag. The sun is close to setting and we still have to walk quite a bit to get to the middle station. On the way down, my eye falls on the beautiful Monta Rosa massif right in front. The soft pink tones and all the layers of hills and mountains form an incredible scene.

When the golden light hits a mountain village, I see a beautiful panorama enfolding! I quickly setup my gear. I know I need my 70-200 for this shot because I need to zoom in as far as possible. I am super excited and love what is happening!! This shot makes up for everything. After taking this picture I have to run quite a bit to catch up with my girlfriend. But in the end, this is all worth it!

In front of me, I see a beautiful layered landscape with the majestic Monta Rosa massif as the icing on the cake.

Thanks for reading
I really hope you've enjoyed this article! I really hope my stories inspire you to pick up the camera, and head out for adventure! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

If you like my photography, please follow me on https://instagram.com/harmenpiekema, https://www.twitter.com/harmenpiekema and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/harmenpiekemaphotography.

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For not feeling it... you sure did get some incredible shots. Hope y'all had fun.

Thanks very much mate! Yes I was really happy when the light got better. I did enjoy the hike a lot though. It is such a breathtaking place!

It looked like a lot of fun and beauty to behold. Cheers bro

Yes it was breathtaking!! More about this location soon!

Looks like you had an excellent day out. The last shot is gorgeous! Worth waiting for the right light...

Yes it was incredible! Such a beautiful landscape, but indeed you need good light! Otherwise it just is a boring image of a beautiful landscape!

So true! In late summer my husband and I had our first holiday since it all kicked off 2 years ago. We went to stay in the Lake District, which is a gorgeous National Park in England. The weather was sooooooo boring. I didn't come away with any good shots! 😆

Exactly! And that happens so often! We had some amazing fall colours but the light was horrible, boring and flat. It becomes hard to make a nice image under these circumstances!

Landscape is such a challenge. You're at the mercy of the elements, and months of planning and prep can be ruined by the whims of the weather. Couple great shots in here though, Monta Rossa at sunset is fantastic, and so is the shot of the glacier. I like how you used the vibrant plant life in the foreground to add depth and colour. Handy when the sky isn't playing nice.

You are absolutely right! You never know for sure what you get, until you are actually there. Even the most amazing landscapes can look boring on a photo without the right light. I was so excited when I saw all those beautiful layers unfold! The Monta Rossa massif is incredible! A nice trick to do, is to look for complementary colours when the sky is boring and blue :-)

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I will look into it! Greetings Harmen

Thank you. Looking forward to getting your vote 🙂⏳

I'm surprised to find out you weren't feeling inspired - you came away with some beautiful images!

I was inspired by the landscape, but not in an artistic way. A landscape can be so beautiful, but without the right light (it was harsh and boring) you will never get an interesting image. I did, however enjoy the hike a lot! When the light improved towards sunset, I started to see images and got inspired. Especially with the layers image!

Really love that first image! Amazing shots and scenery!

Thanks so much!! That is my favorite as well!

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Thanks very much!!

Wow. . . that first image is the kinda view I want to stare at on my computer/phone background! Mountainscapes are some of my favorite images to look at, and this one doesn't disappoint!

Great job!

Thanks very much!! That is a really nice compliment!!