Golden opportunity

Room with a view
The best time for taking photographs, outdoors at least, is known as the golden hour.  It’s the first hour of sunlight and the last.  And though it’s fairly easy to be in the right place at sunset, sunrise can be a bit more problematic.

The journey here involved a dash across Europe, a missed flight and a late night fondue. And we decided not to risk it all on one sunset and a sunrise the next day, but we spent a couple of days up here. The first morning we put our heads out of the window before dawn and seeing the clouds, retired back to bed.  And there was no sunset to speak of, so it all hung on the last morning.

But luck was on our side and we were up at 5:30 stumbling from the hotel in sub zero temperatures. It was pitch dark, and we could barely find our way up to the spot above the hotel where we’d get our view of the Matterhorn, hopefully catching fire with the first rays of sun.  It was so dark it was hard to be sure if there was anyone else around, but we set up our tripods and waited.

When the sun came up, lighting a patch on the tip of the Matterhorn I began to wonder if it was really worth the effort.  Wouldn’t it have been better to stay in bed where it was warm and cosy? But I’d seen enough sunrises to know that patience is the key.

If it’s your first mountain sunrise you can be forgiven for thinking it’s a disappointment – but as long as you stick it out, it’s worth the wait. Just at the moment when you think it’s all over, the sky puts on one last show. And if you’re really lucky, it turns pink and purple just like this.



  1. Thanks Carolyn. It was one of the few shots on the Blad that worked.

    How true, Kip. I’m not a patient person by nature but I’ve noticed that if you hang on most things work out in the end.

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