After a long and cold winter in the heart of the Italian Apennines, finally in April the ice was starting to melt and so I decide to return in one of my favorite places of those mountains, The Baccio Lake. This lake is not really big, but the spectacular mountains which surround it makes this location really a paradise for photography.
I imagined and studied this scene a lot before to actually go there, everything had to be perfect! The sky had to be crystal clear to observe The Milky Way, the lake had to be only partially frozen to catch the reflection of the stars in the water.
Finally, after some webcams observations of the area and some weather forecast checks, I decided to go up there; it was completely dark when I arrived on the location, because in April the milky way rise in the hours just before dawn. After a short hike, I am on the lake shores, and everything was just the way it had to be, incredible! There was only one problem: the time! I was running out of time before the night sky disappeared and the first lights of the day came up, so I had to make my stuff rapidly.
I was make positioned my tripod with my astro tracker and I took some quick test shots to calibrate the exposure; shortly after that, I made some good shots of the night sky around ISO 800, f/2.8 and two minutes of exposure, the astro tracker allowed me to make a longer exposure and reduce the high ISO, which are not an highlight of my Nikon D800 for sure.
Now that the sky shot was right in my memory card, I was really glad to see the first lights of the day (I was freezing to death!), so that I could reduced both the ISOs and the exposure times of my shots for the foreground. After a good twenty minutes wait, even with the naked eye I could start to clearly see some details of the landscape that was surrounding me, and last but not least check out all those strange noises that I was hearing since I was arrived! So, as I was saying, the shot for the foreground has been done at ISO 400, f/5.6, 30 seconds.
Now that the shot I had in mind for months was finally taken, I sat down for a bit and enjoyed the amazing show of a new sunrise, while eating my own breakfast, I suggest to all of you to make this kind experiences, in my opinion they are the ones that will remain in your memories for all of your lives. At least, you will have some good stories to tell to your friends!
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