Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Hallstatt dreams.

Probably the most photographed spot in the whole Austria and I couldn't avoid taking one as well.
It was quite an experience to walk through town and having it all to myself! Highly recommend.

The photo was taken in a small town of Hallstatt, Austria located on the Hallstatt Lake.
I woke up well before sunrise and was excited to go to the overlook point, which I spotted the day before. I packed my camera, lenses, tripod and went for a walk. The sun wasn't about to rise for a while and it was dark, the town was completely deserted, the whole way through the town I didn't see a single person. Having arrived and set up my gear, I started shooting long exposures while absorbing the beauty of the scene, huge snow covered mountains, cold calm lake reflecting the lights of the sleeping town.
The lighting was obviously natural. The sun wouldn't be rising for a while. In order to get the proper exposure without bumping the ISO, I left the camera exposing for 10 seconds.
The camera used was a Nikon D7100, the lens was 18-105 mm at 18 mm, some no name tripod, I also love to use a GPS device to pinpoint the exact location.
I discovered the place by accident by looking at other photographers' works on different social platforms. Everybody had a gorgeous photo of this place. It took me over 6 months to finally get there myself! And I have to say that the place exceeded all my expectations!
I always shoot in raw so I always do post-processing as well. The software I used is Adobe Lightroom 5 which I like. I always try to adjust the exposure value, highlights/shadows, colors to my taste without leaving the natural look of the image, which is very important to me. The last but not least I remove chromatic aberration to get rid of purple/green halos.
In my camera bag
I used to have the D7100, now I switched to Sony. For traveling I always take the wide angle lens (12 mm), which I find great for landscape photography because I can get so much into the frame. I also have couple zooms and a portrait lens. Also a tripod and a cleaning kit, definitely spare batteries and well prepared pair of legs!
I would suggest to wake up and arrive on location early, I give myself at least an hour before sunrise time. Scout the location the day before and pick the best angle. Definitely use a tripod, you don't want to bump the ISO and get grainy images! Avoid the auto mode or the P mode, the sooner you'll learn to use the S, A or M mode, the sooner you'll start taking better photos. Use appropriate aperture, for landscapes I use f/8 and higher. And while shooting don't forget to enjoy the scene and respect the nature and the locals. Good luck and have fun!

Nikon D7100
18 · 10" · ISO 100
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Beautiful portfolio~

Thanks, Andrew! Really means a lot!