The Nikon D850 at the race track.

The Nikon D850 at the race track.

Composing with light.

Composing with light.

Astro Photography.

Astro Photography.




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Our hotel was based in Prägraten, a sweet little village in the Virgental (Virgen valley). Many hiking trails can be reached quickly from there, even without a car. And already on the first day it went already into the fullness: a hike with over 20 kilometer distance and a difference in height with over 700 m. We started in the morning and came back in the evening.

east tyrol 02Blooming alpine roses in front of the mountains.

The Virgental starts in a height of over 900 meter and our Prägraten is at an altitude of 1312 meters. These heights are negligible in relation to respiration and oxygen density. What is remarkable is the absolutely clean air when you are on the mountains the air is so pure and clean that a city dweller immediately notices it. Due to the warm weather the smells of the coniferous forests were dreamlike and the wonderful blooming flowers and wild herbs were every photograph worth.

east tyrol 18Our village: Prägraten.

east tyrol 06A view from one of the hiking trails.

I got very strong sunburn on arms, legs and neck which subsequently developed into a blister. So don’t forget your sun cream when you're over 2,000 meters. In addition, I have suffered some horse brake bites to which I am a bit allergic. That's why you shouldn't forget your insect repellent. The next days were a little exhausting because of that conditions, but the views and beautiful nature definitely compensated.

east tyrol 07The sun in the late afternoon delivers wonderful light.

What is also to mention: you need to be fit to hike these trails. There is a lot of gradient and with a backpack which contains all your camera equipment plus two liter water you have to be very fit, because that’s a great workout. Of course there are a lot of possibilities to rest especially in the huts, where you can energize with food and drinks. These huts are well placed along the trails or they are a destination on your tour.

East Tyrol 04On of the highest waterfalls in Europe.

A special moment for me was the approach to the Umbalgletscher (Umbal Glacier). We had to separate at the Klara hut which was 2 km before the glacier, because of condition problems. So I had to go alone there and it was amazing! There was absolutely no one! Pure solitude! Ok, there were some flocks of sheep and has rained the whole time and the trail was very exciting and wet. Once I saw the glacier it was just surreal for me. I have never seen that before. But not only that, the whole valley was astounding, but take a look at the photo and you can imagine what I’m writing about. On one hand it was spooky and on the other blissful (even with that bad weather). I wanted to get closer to the glacier but I thought that I’m close enough for this time. There was no longer any visible path and the weather could have gotten even worse. My hiking boots were already completely soaked because I stepped into the water a few times so I returned.

east tyrol 09The Umbal Glacier.

east tyrol 10The Umbal valley with the beginning of the Isel river.

The flight conditions for the drone were amazingly good. Almost no wind at every flight and no unpredictable rain. The perfect contrast to Iceland and very drone friendly flight conditions. But the downer was the max altitude of the drone: 500 meters. Not more. That is the settable maximum for the Phantom 4 Pro. So I couldn’t got to the peaks from the valley. I know there are tweaks and settings in order to bypass this but I thought the 500 meters would be enough. Never the less, I could shot a lot of photos, videos and also one huge panorama. This function was added with one major updates.

east tyrol 15The sun sets between the mountains.

east tyrol 16The last light of the sun.

And then of course my favorite moment was accompanied with much luck. Finally I got my shot of the milky way belt and that with such appropriate foreground. I always wanted these kind of photograph, but I never thought I get it there. Of course the conditions in the mountains are far better then in the plain let alone close to town. But you already know it: Read my article about my milky way panorama shot here.

east tyrol 08The milky way.

I loved this visit very much and thank you to our guide and co worker Norbert Schmidt for guiding us safely in the mountains and sharing his knowledge with us. My next holiday destination is set: East Tyrol and Dolomites in mid of September.

east tyrol 20Panorama with the Phantom 4 Pro.

east tyrol 12A romantic panorama view close to the Großglockner.


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