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As the sun sets, it unleashes these beautiful formations, as sprawling dragonflame across northwestern sky; complimenting the glorious mountainous formations: The Elephant at centre-left and The Lion at centre-right.

Note the subtle reflection of the blazing clouds in the snow towards the peak of Mount Pembroke.

Made in the middle of winter at magical Milford Sound.

A version on a black background is available here for shadow detail.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
8s f/16.0 at 50.0mm iso100

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A lenticular cloud adorns the sky with Mount Cook and the Southern Alps in the background, as witnessed from the eastern shores of Lake Pukaki, on a mid-spring afternoon.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
1/250s f/8 at 98.0mm iso100
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Tyven. Serene.

I made this image from the mouth of the Tasman River where the glacial Tasman Lake ends. It was a balmy -7 degrees Celsius.

The pink in the clouds is from the sun which was to rise just two minutes later.

Mount Cook towards the left.

Titled inspired by the opening track to Moonsorrow's Voimasta Ja Kunniasta.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
2s f/16 at 24.0mm iso100
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A stunning blaze of colors above the highest mountain of the Alps rising 4810 m above sea level. The panorama shows the reflection of the Mont Blanc Massif in a small mountain lake not far from the ‘Aiguillette du Brevent’.

For Prints and more Work please visit my Website: www.richterphotographie.de

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Mount Cook in post sunset glow approximately 30 km to the North.

I waited to capture this scene for 2 days and while the light lived up to my expectations, the clouds, however, had other ideas. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Typically, in my captures, I blur the movement of water with longer exposures, but, to try and compensate for the lack of brilliant colour in the clouds, I thought I would freeze the movement in the water with a relatively short exposure and try for some dynamism.

Moments after capturing this image, the orange blaze disappeared and the bank of cloud from the west rolled in to blanket the scene and dropped a fresh dusting of snow.

I made this image while standing in the Tasman River on a freezing cold evening. When I started driving back to camp, the thermometer in the car read -7 degrees.

The 5D Mark II is still a formidable imaging machine. I look forward to going back this winter (only a couple of months away) with the 5D Mark III and my RZ67.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1/4s f/5.0 at 50.0mm iso200
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Once again, deviantART's horrible colour scheme will stop you from seeing detail in the shadows. You can go here to see a version on a black background.

The first rays of dawn begin to ignite Mount Tasman and Mount Cook, approximately 20 km in the distance, whilst the crystal clear steely mirror image is reflected on the calm and tranquil waters of Lake Matheson.

I almost thought that this morning would be a write off as there was an enormous amount of mist and low-lying cloud blocking the view. Just as I thought it was all over, the clouds seemed to disperse right before first light.

This image was made on an incredibly cold morning.

The image could do with a little more work, I feel, but, I'm happy enough to post it as is. I'll replace it with a reprocess in due course.

Note the first rays on all the tallest peaks and the waterfall in the distance.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
2.5s f/11.0 at 40.0mm iso100
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A few weeks before leaving for my photographic trip, I was housesitting for a close friend of mine. My friend happens to look after one of my cats, Starex Bellatrix Carina (due to a no pet policy where I live). Recently, my friend started looking after her parents' 15 year old cat, Kosmo, as he had not been well. Kosmo developed a limp in his front left paw and had lost his appetite. The vet said that Kosmo may have had a stroke, and, X-rays revealed that his heart had enlarged to three times its normal size.

The vet prescribed some pills as well as a quarter aspirin every three days. He didn't like taking his pills, and, would cleverly pretend to have taken them. When I'd come back to his room, I'd see two little white tablets sitting there on the carpet where he had spat them out after I left the room! I got wise to it and started squirting some water into his mouth to make him swallow. He didn't like me for that, but, would still allow me to scratch his chin and cheeks right afterwards.

When I started housesitting, I became quite close to Kosmo (I'm a cat person). Kosmo slowly started showing signs of improvement by walking on his front paw where previously, it was buckling under his weight. He started scoffing down his chicken liver pate meals and didn't mind his cat biscuits, either.

Bella and Kosmo tolerated each other, but, if they happened to get close, there'd be hissing, grumbling and on a few occasions, Kosmo took a swipe or two at her with his good paw.

Kosmo lost his voice a few years ago, but, if he wanted to, he could still make soft meowing sounds. It was quite unique, though, as he would aspirate some air first and then meow; it was like a cackle then meow. I got used to it and thought it was very cute. Kosmo started visiting me in the middle of the night; he would jump off his bed in the spare room, walk over to where I was sleeping, to say hello and steal a pat. Or, sometimes, to meow for some food. He would also come and sit at my feet when I was eating food and would often prop himself up to let me know that he was also interested in my meal. I would gladly share.

I was at Fox Glacier on the night of the 15th of September, when my friend rang to tell me that Kosmo had taken a turn for the worse in the preceding few days; he hadn't been eating and just lay on his bed all day. She took him to the vet to find out what was wrong. X-rays revealed an inoperable tumour on his heart. It was only found now as it had gotten a lot bigger. The vet said that he didn't have too long to live and my friend was left with the decision to either come home and find him lying motionless, or, worse, make the rotten, gut-wrenching decision to have him put to sleep. After much discussion and thought, she chose the latter. I bawled my eyes out when she told me that his time had come. I'm wiping tears away as I write this now, too. How silly -- he wasn't even my cat!

I dedicate this stream of first light painting Walter Peak, moments after the sun had risen, to Kosmo. I will miss your quiet voice and your midnight visits.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
1s f/16 at 150.0mm iso100
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View of the giants of the Alps from near Chésérys Lake in the red needles mountain with the Aiguille verte and the Mer de Glace...

French Alps

©Emmanuel Dautriche

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Horizons Naturels - My team of photographer
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The final rays of warmth fade away to a chilly evening on one of many red tussock covered mountains. Note the fresh dusting of snow in the distant mountain ranges.

I made this photograph on the enchanting Lindis Pass, where there are countless photographic opportunities.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
0.60s f/16.0 at 17.0mm iso100

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Hooker Valley
New Zealand

On a freezing clear dawn, I made my way up to Hooker Valley in the dark- The trail itself was very good, yet in the pitch black, somehow I managed to lose the trail a couple of times ! Despite the lack of clouds, it was still a magical place to be - perhaps influenced by the hypothermia I induced by wading across the base of the lake !

The 'reel' of every single shot we took is compiled here in 12 minutes!
New Zealand Photoreel

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