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  • Frozen Seealpsee, Appenzell

    Snow covered valleys with lakes surrounded by mountains is a staple of Swiss winter landscapes. Seealpsee lake is one of the most well known mountain lakes in the Appenzell region. It is located at 1.143 meters and (most of it) freezes in winter.

    Frozen Seealpsee Lake in Appenzell, Switzerland

    Landscapes can change a lot depending on the season and it’s worth re-visiting the same place in different conditions. I visited this lake after a lot of new snow in -10C temperature. In winter, this valley is in shadow and the weak sunlight illuminates the surrounding peaks for a short period of time.


    This scene is quite simple, with soft even light there was no need for bracketing or any exposure blending and all the dynamic range could be captured in a single frame. The only problem was that even at f11 the focus wasn’t sharp across all of the image. I wanted to show the foreground snow, but also keep the background sharp. The usual technique to achieve this is “focus stacking”.

    It is simpler than what it sounds like. You take a few frames each one focused on different points in the scene. The number of frames you need will depend on each scene, the f-stop and how close and far you are from the subject. Here, I only needed three frames, focused on the closest point to the camera, the middle and one focused on the house in the background.

    There is no way of combining these frames in Lightroom, but Photoshop can handle this task very well. It is possible to do it automatically but I prefer to do it manually with a simple gradient mask.

    Raw image
    • Camera: Fuji X-T3
    • Lens: Fuji 10-24 f4 @24 f11
    • Three frames to focus stack @ 1/125s