As a hobby photographer I cannot choose to go out when the conditions are perfect. I have to squeeze my photo adventures to couple of weekends a year. When I am not outside making pictures I do think about what kind pf photographs I would like to make next time, and I usually set high expectations for the next trip. But as I cannot choose the perfect moment I am heavily relaying on given weather conditions on one specific weekend.
Last summer was especially hard on me, high pressure dominated weather was very well set up for most the time here in the Alps. As you know me these are not weather conditions for me. I really like when it rains, when it is foggy, windy and the clouds moving over the sky. I really mentally struggle with blue sky conditions, and I was probably the only hiker who was not happy, under the sunshine and blue sky☺
I was heading towards Chamonix one late summer Saturday morning, and I wanted to try new hike route close to Aiguille du Midi. I parked the car and started ascent when it was still dark. Sky was full of starts and I knew that I will not be able to make any of earlier previsualized photographs I was hoping for. So I was going through the forest when the light was slowly becoming stronger and I started to discover some interesting details, and as I was not in hurry I started to photograph them.
It took me some time to get above the tree line. My mind was finely in peace and I was enjoying the quiet mountain landscape. Suddenly my lazy rhythm had changed dramatically as I noticed appearing rays of light over the Mont Blanc massive. Promptly I was in rush to find some nice view point, set up the camera correctly, measure the exposure, decide whether to use ND filter and capture the amazing light show. It was bit tight, but I did manage at the end, despite the fact I had not much room for error as the sun was moving quickly.
Here is the final photograph I made that day. Totally unexpected, and I would say it is one of my favorite from last year. What I have learned from that experience? It is good to have some ideas and expectations what and how to photograph, but I should never limit my mind to one specific vision. I should have my eyes and mind always open for new things. I should be able to improvise and change plans, take another route, and most importantly expect something unexpected to happen. At the end, it is great to be just out there and it is not mandatory to bring home some new photographs from every single trip. Sometimes it is good to just observe end enjoy the nature without the pressure of beeing creativ.
At the end I did not use any filters, just measured the exposure from the dark rock massive, put it into zone 3, measured the light and put it to zone 7, and I did some bracketing to make sure i will have at least one good frame. At the end I did take in total 6 photographs, as the light was moving. I used Kodak T-Max 100 negative, developed in Kodak D-76, 1+1 dilution for 12 minutes at 20 degrees Celsius. I only managed to make some contact prints yet, but I am looking forward to take this negative to darkroom in coming weeks and make 40x50 cm photograph for our living room.
Let me know what you think, and what experience you guys have.