The weather near Fox Glacier is unpredictable and there are often clouds hanging over Mt.Cook and the surrounding peaks. The best chance of seeing the snow-capped mountains from Lake Matheson is early morning. I headed out to Lake Matheson while it was still dark out. We were only in the area for the day and needed to catch our flight to the North Island the next day. I needed luck on my side as this day was my only opportunity to get this image. The trail around the lake is an hour and a half loop and about 35 minutes to this viewpoint. As I was hiking around the lake the weather did not look promising and at one point there was a brief drizzle. I was getting nervous that the light and weather were not going to cooperate. Once I arrived at the viewpoint the clouds over the mountain started to part and the rain had subsided. I used my 70-200 telephoto lens rather than my wide-angle in order to compress the scene so that the mountains appeared as large guardians over the lake. Once I got the shot above, I experimented with my other lens and compositions, but this image was still my favorite of the set. I had about 30 minutes before the clouds started creeping back over the mountains and the rain started to drizzle again. That was my queue to leave. I headed back around the lake and drove back to the hotel to pick up my wife to start the drive back to Queenstown to catch our flight.
Taken with: NIKON D800, 70-200MM @ 70mm with Gitzo Tripod and RRS BH-55 Ballhead
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