We made a 16 km tour to the Unteraar-Glacier and back, in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The Unteraar-Glacier is the bigger one of the two glaciers, where the Aare-River has its source. Imagine, there’s a very long glacier lake, where you walk along the shore, on the mountain slope, on a small path. After the lake you reach the creek; the glacier is at its source.
It was a very warm November in 2015, so the route was still without snow and easy to hike. When we had the lake behind us, we saw that the valley with the river was full of sand. I wasn’t sure if the ground was hard and safe enough to walk on, but it was. When I arrived down next to the creek, I thought that I arrived on an other planet: just sand, rocks and a small river in the little valley between big mountains. The ground under my feet told me the story of water that played with sand some weeks before, so very special structures were visible.
I took my camera out of my backpack and started to take photos while I rushed with my eight-year-old son along the shore of the little river to the glacier. After sunset, I saw the lines from my image “Lines” on our way, and I had to stop for a few minutes to make a matrix-panorama (multi-line-panorama) to show much more than my 16mm can do in one shot. It wasn’t completely dark at the time when I took the landscape. A short time later, it was very dark, so I took the Milky Way shots. The sky was full of stars and clouds because in the mountains you don’t have light pollution. I forgot my headlamp in the car, but luckily a colleague had a flashlight, which he gave me. The glacier is very impressive, with several caves. We took some images, but I didn’t go in the caves because we heard some noise from the ice. When we arrived back to the cars, we cooked some food with our camping stove. Our two dogs were tired, too. Now, the pass road is blocked during winter, but I look forward to next spring to make the tour again and stay overnight.
I developed the single images in Lightroom and combined them in Photoshop to a panorama. I duplicated the layers multiple times with different processing to give the image more dynamic.
Equipment & Settings: Canon EOS 5D Mark 3, Canon 16-35mm, ƒ/4, tripod, remote control. Milky Way: ƒ/4, ISO 6400, 28 sec., 16mm; Landscape: ƒ/14, ISO 50, 10 sec., 16mm.