Autumn is made for hikes around lakes before they start freezing over as winter puts layers of ice and snow over the mountainous landscape. I took this as an opportunity to rediscover two of
my favorite lakes in Bavaria after returning from an eventful year working abroad. The Eibsee and Frillensee are located right next to Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, but besides
the impressive view on the mountain range they also have some incredibly clear, turquoise water and several small islands. This makes them an ideal photography playground, a hiker’s
paradise and a popular weekend destination. During my hike around the Eibsee and by the Frillensee I got various opportunities to test out both the Manfrotto camera backpack and the Befree GT Carbon tripod. The backpack provided great comfort and fit my Olympus OMD EM-10, the Carbon Fibre Befree GT and still left room for some snacks! Although I went light on gear this time around, additional lenses/camera bodies should fit inside easily.
I started off in a rather quiet small bay of the Eibsee with a little island connected to the shore by a narrow stone path. The weather report had predicted storm and rain, so the whole area
was pretty much deserted. It stayed dry though and became increasingly sunnier as the morning went by. I wanted to use the tripod for self-timing shots, getting a smoother reflection and
playing with movement during long exposures. If I’m not traveling with someone else I like to put myself in the frame to add a human touch, sense of adventure and connect the viewer with the
image. For that the tripod came in really in handy as I stayed in full control of the composition and then just stepped into the shot after releasing the shutter. I also ended up getting lucky with
the light as it burst onto the other side of the lake in regular intervals.
Afterwards I experimented with long-exposure shots to get a smoother reflection of the lake with its various islands during morning hours. The tripod provided great stability, but also flexibility
thanks to it’s moving ball head. This made composing images easy and due to it’s lightness I also had no problem staying on the go and switching locations rapidly. Later in the morning I
used long exposure to capture the moving morning light along the mountain side. With long exposure I was able to get more of the mountain illuminated at once. I also loved slowing down
the speeding light waves in the water which provided an interesting contrast to the first autumn leaves which were also moved across the lake by the wind. This made the final images pretty
dynamic while at the same time keeping a clean look. Shooting long exposure also forced me to slow down and really take in the different elements around me. The whole process became
about really creating an image, thinking outside the box and having fun. After reaching the Frillensee in the evening I continued shooting there: Using self-timer to add scale to the mountain
range and playing with long exposure by the shore. In the end it all made for some fascinating images!