Islands in the sky

You know, there is something about Winter in Switzerland. All that snow, the blue sky, crystal clear air, snowboarding in deep powder …

It’s all a lie!!!!!

Well, unless you live in the mountains of course.  But for most city dwellers, Winter is a season of grey bleak days, where life is muffled unter a cloud of grey depressing fog.  And looking out your office window and knowing that there is a beautiful world wating for you, just half an hour drive away… is not really improving the motivation at work.

Now you probably think, I’m exagerating, right? Well, have a look at the picture above, have a look at the city of Zürich, the beautiful lake and the soft hills in the distance.  You can’t see it? But it is there,  the city and all its thousands of people. It’s just hidden under the #ç%&@# (censor beep) clouds!

Oh, sure, the fog sometimes leaves. Usually to make room for rain or a winter storm. Which usually happens on the weekend.


From RAW to final

My sister often wonders how much I tinker with my shots. Well, let’s lift the secret 😉

Here’s the shot as it was captured by the camera. Deliberatly overexposed in order to be able to get as much detail as possible in the fog when processing it.

Islands in the Sky - RAW


I then applied these adjustments in Lightroom:

Crop to 16:9 format
Exposure:     -1.6
Contrast:     +23
Highlights:  – 53
Shadows:     +74 (To get the trees in the foreground back
Whites:         +45 (To get the full tonality in the highlights)
Clarity:          +30

Islands in the Sky - RAW final

The shot is now ready for final processing in Nik Color Efex Pro. I used the “Tonal Contrast” filter, applying it to the hightlights in order to get as much structure as possible back into the fog, and then “Brighten center” filter to add a bit of vignetting and put more emphasis on the tower.

Photo was taken on the Hochwacht Tower at the Albis Pass in Switzerland using the Leica M9 and a 90mm lens


15 thoughts on “Islands in the sky”

  1. Lucky, you live so close to Zurich! Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to take such gorgeous fog pictures. – You know, the weather here in Basel got reeeeeally boring the last couple of weeks. Never-ending sunshine, always the same blue sky… no snow here either ;o)

      1. Very true, the funny thing is we have both of those things you mentioned in abundance here in Australia. The reality is every part of the world is blessed in a specific way, which makes it special. Take great care, and thanks once again for your wonderful post.

  2. Ohhh, I can feel a tiny bit of negativity about the weather here… 😉
    If it is of any comfort, you are not alone.
    But it is anyhow great to know, that the sun actually IS there, and it shines on us, we just don’t know it right now, huh?
    So today, I will go out and feeeeeel the sun!! 😀

    Take care!

  3. I love your tinkerd shots:-) Real life on the bottom of the “fogsee” ist dull inough. And: i’m happy to live in another sunny City, far, far away, in the East of Switzerland 😉

  4. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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