Photographer Kilian Schönberger stays up all night, often driving 3-4 hours in the dark to hike up mountains in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and France, to shoot these foggy landscapes just before sunrise. Only at heights of 500 to 1,500 meters can he achieve a clear view of rolling mountains and treetops as they pierce through the fog for a few brief minutes.
Kilian tries to be at his desired locations an hour before sunrise. His car rides and hikes can take anywhere from an hour to four hours. Sometimes, in order to catch the fog, the photographer does not sleep at all. As he explains, “It doesn’t make sense to go to bed before starting the photo expeditions. In those cases, I’m staying awake the whole night and then I try to catch some sleep afterwards. But you can’t do this for too many days in a row.”
“Since I’m ascending the mountains during the early morning hours, mostly alone, it’s a very special experience,” he said. “When it’s still dark during the walk everything is calm except some night animals like the owls. The anticipation grows when the eastern sky starts to gently glow. Around 30 minutes before sunrise, the best stage of the morning starts. The intensity of colors reaches its peak and, due to the indirect light, everything appears smooth. Those are the moments that touch one’s soul in a very meditative way. I really prefer this time instead of the actual sunrise.”
Gorgeous Foggy Scenes at Sunrise by Photographer Kilian Schönberger: