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Alpine village in the Austrian province of Tyrol at dawn. Snowy mountains of the Alps, local church and houses among evergreen forest.

Alpine Village, Austria 2 sec, f/9, ISO 100

After a few trips to various parts of the Alps over the years, we've learned that the weather at the airport of arrival is no indication of what awaits us up in the mountains. The atmosphere along the highway drive at sea-level can be drastically different than the workings of nature at high altitude. It has been common for a calm light drizzle to turn into a violent snowstorm, with pleasant spring temperatures dropping to a crisp sub-zero.

This year, we lucked out. As we climbed the serpentine road up to 1,500 metres (4,900 feet), the temperature stayed just above freezing, and the last snowfall was evidently days ago. The only obstacle was the alarmingly narrow and steep road on the last bit of the climb. Other than this, the drive was quite unadventurous (in a good way). We arrived in the late evening, long after sunset, so it was hard to discern our surroundings at the time. I set my alarm to about 30 minutes before sunrise to get a first look at the village at dawn.

It was 7:05am. I set up my tripod on the chalet balcony and snapped a couple shots, at an exposure just long enough to accommodate my minimum ISO setting and small aperture.

The view on this first morning was everything I could have hoped for. The photo came out just as I had envisioned it, and a clear day awaited us up on the ski slopes.


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