Sokolik, Rudawy Janowickie, Poland by Andrzej Muzaj

Picture Story

Sokolik peak is famous among local photographers. It's impossible to find yourself lonely there, especially when the weather forecast is promising. It protrudes over small villages scattered around it. When the air is clear, it offers a great view of the sunrise all year long. But not only! Blue hour, start trails, or light-beams cutting through the fog in the trees are also quite popular prizes for those willing to get up in the middle of the night.

The air that morning was frosty, cold, and fresh. It was around -15 degrees of Celsius. I packed all my gear, drove for around half an hour to the parking spot. It took me another half an hour to hike up to the peak, through the empty and snowy forest, bathed in the moonlight. With temperatures so low, the snow starts to shine like it's all covered with small diamonds. When I was getting closer to the peak, I wondered how many people would already be there. It was still at least an hour before sunrise, but the top platform is very small and holds up only ten people. Luckily, I was the first one to get there that day.

That day I was hoping for a colorful sunrise, with clouds lit up with reds and oranges. Four other photographers and I were waiting for the magic to happen. Alas, thick low clouds gathered on the horizon and blocked the vivid light from painting clouds. Still, I've managed to capture this peaceful scene: villages below, slowly waking up for the next day, covered with snow. I called this one: An Hour Before Dawn.

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