A Break from Breaking


I've been working on a renovation project recently, which has been taking a lot of time. A little bit too much time, so I decided to take a break today. So instead of ripping up floors and breaking down walls I went to Hohneck in the Vosges to watch the sunrise and the Chamois.

It was really nice to be able to take the time to do what I love doing, although it does involve an early start for this location. The sunrise this morning was at 0621h; which meant that I had to leave home at 0400. I like the pre-dawn light, so when I'm going to a location for a sunrise shoot, I try to be there an hour before sunrise.

The drive there starts on a motorway, and then through a few small towns, which isn't that interesting, but you soon enter the forest which is more interesting.

Today I saw two foxes, one strolling along the top of a wall next to the road, and the other curled up on the white line in the centre of the road pretending to be, what looked from a distance to be a brown paper bag! Two toads, not doing anything particularly exciting, finally eight deer. There is rarely anyone else on the road at that time in the morning, which is wonderful. The road is windy, so I slow down and see what I can spot around each corner.

Towards the top there were patches of fog so thick that I couldn't go any faster than 20kph. I started to get a little concerned that it was going to be solid low clouds at the top.

I arrived at Hohneck at about 0530, and surprisingly there were already a few people around starting there hike. Although there was a fair bit of low cloud surrounding the top of Hohneck, it had dissipated by 0600h.

Still a little dark, but the cloud formations look very promising.

The sun is just coming up through the clouds, but the further up it comes the fewer clouds that there are.

There was still a little time to get a few shots in before they disappeared completely. At this point they started to light up the dew on the grass.

All of a sudden I was aware that I was surrounded by other people with cameras. While I was watching the sun rise, a chamois had wandered over followed by a fan club! After taking this shot I had to move on to another location, there were too many people getting in shot. With this image a wanted to bring grass into focus, but try to keep the chamois as the centre point.

Away from the crowds and quiet again. The sun is a little higher in the sky, but the light and the clouds were still fantastic. I carried on from here further down the hill in search of chamois.

It didn't take long until I found some more, but before I did, I came across this composition.


There were two birds that kept hoping back and forth between some rocks. This one rock glistened in the sun and reminded me of snow or frost. Together with the pale background, it gives a wintry feel to the image.

And they're back. A touch further away and partially hidden in the shrubs, but it has a natural feel to it.

Not wanting to bother them too much I wandered off in another direction to see what else I could find. This next shot is the looking over Lac Du Schiessrothried.

With the sun high up in the sky and more hikers arriving by the minute, it was time for me to either go further into the forest, or head home. Unfortunately this time I had to head home.



On the way back I managed one more stop though. I was driving past Lac de la Lauch, and the clouds were back, so I took the opportunity to see what I could get.