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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

On a Blue Hour Mission

Let me take you on an adventure in the Swiss Alps while I bring the “PILOT WATCH CHRONOGRAPH 41” with me. Me – that’s Joni Hedinger, a photographer and filmmaker from a beautiful little city in Switzerland called Rapperswil. Like many of my adventures, also this one is about leaving the comfort zone, changing plans on the fly and bringing home wonderful memories. 

 

 

02:45 am Early bird vs night owl

You’re either an early bird or a night owl, they say. I have never considered myself as the first one (but also not as the latter...). But in order to get what you want, you sometimes have to leave your comfort zone – or in my case the warm bed. They also say you’re either a mountain or a beach person. In this case I’m sure: mountains all the way! Already as a child I went on long hikes with my parents. You’d have to ask them if I was as happy about it as I’m nowadays. Hiking is not the only thing that draws me to the mountains. It’s rather a combination of being creative and active, experiencing an adventure and enjoying our beautiful nature.

 

Today our goal is being on the ridge near “Druesberg” before the blue hour starts. If everything goes smoothly a spectacular scenery is awaiting us. 

Even though you sometimes also need luck to be at the right place in the right time, in photography good planning is essential to even get the chance to meet your luck.

03:15 am Preparation is key

We – my friends Michi and Jonas are joining me – are driving off. We precisely planned our trip. There’s a lot of preparation behind my pictures. Even though you sometimes also need luck to be at the right place in the right time, in photography good planning is essential to even get the chance to meet your luck. With different apps I’m able to see in advance where the sun will rise and where I’ll have to be so the light hits from the right angle. I take a lot of my pictures during sunrise or sunset and for that I’m willing to take on the hardships of getting up early or sleeping in the mountains.

Joni on a ridge near Druesberg in the Schwyzer Alps
— Joni on a ridge near Druesberg in the Schwyzer Alps

3:58 am Finding creativity in flexibility

We’re arriving at the trailhead on time and as soon as we get out of the car we can feel that it’s going to be a breathtaking morning. The night is clear and the beautiful night sky strikes me every time. The strong wind of the last days is promising beautiful drifts on the ridge. Going to the mountains in the winter involves dangers, that’s why an avalanche transceiver “LVS” is inevitable. Furthermore, I’m glad that Jonas is with us, as he is a professional mountain guide with a lot of experience. On the way up we realize that we cannot go to the desired ridge as Jonas cannot fully assess the avalanche danger on one part of the ascent because of the darkness. Safety first, plans and desires for certain shots second. We decide to walk up to another ridge northern. Because of the change in plans we have to take up speed on the last altitude meters to still reach our new destination on time. Changing plans and being flexible is part of being a photographer. Especially as a landscape photographer you’re very reliant on the weather and have to be flexible if not everything goes as you wished for. Sometimes that’s frustrating but I’d rather see it as a challenge for my creativity.

The snow surfaces facing the sunrise light bright white but the shadows are still dark and blue. A wonderful contrast. Looking at this dreamy scenery, the hardships of the ascent are already forgotten.

7:09 AM Time to deliver

Fortunately, we’ve reached our destination on time and soon the blue hour will begin. The blue hour starts around half an hour before sunrise and it’s one of my favorite times to take pictures, especially in winter. The snow surfaces facing the sunrise light bright white but the shadows are still dark and blue. A wonderful contrast. Looking at this dreamy scenery, the hardships of the ascent are already forgotten. But now it’s time to deliver! I often have to miss out on some of the enjoyment in these situations as the time slots in which the conditions are perfect, are very short and I want to use them to the best of my abilities. Today I brought the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Ref. IW388101 with me which I find suits this scenery perfectly with its blue watch face. Do you agree?

8:18 am See you soon

The sun is up and the soft morning light is already over which means it is time for us to leave this place. We suddenly realize that the cold starts to creep into our bones nevertheless and the stomach begins to growl. You sometimes even forget about that in the midst of filming or taking photos. After getting ready for the descent we happily drive off with unforgettable memories and pictures. What a start into the day!

 

Goodbye beautiful mountains. Goodbye blue hour. Once again you were a blast and I can’t wait to come back and let you take my breath away once more.

 

All images by @jonihedinger 


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