Photograph the alpenglow

Learn how to photograph the alpenglow. Plan your photo spot, choose the right mountain and consider the season + sun position.

That's how you photograph the alpenglow

To photograph the alpenglow, you need a suitable photo spot. The requirement is mainly for the mountain where you can photograph the alpenglow. You need the following camera settings to be able to photograph the alpenglow:

  • Wide-angle lens
  • Manual mode
  • Aperture f/8
  • ISO100
  • Remote shutter release
  • Tripod
  • Possibly graduated filter
photograph the alpenglow with viewfindr

Choose the right mountain

The alpenglow only ever occurs on certain mountains. Only if the mountain is higher than all the mountains in the direction of the sun can the sunlight reach the top of the mountain. Accordingly, in each mountain range, only certain mountains come into question where you can photograph an alpenglow.

The time of year plays an enormous role, because the sun rises or sets in different directions throughout the year. Depending on the time of year, you may or may not be able to photograph alpenglow on a mountain. To find this out, you need a topographic map where you can see the contour lines of the mountains and mountain peaks. In VIEWFINDR you can simply use the background map “Outdoor”.

Now you need the current position of the sun. To do this, insert the corresponding tool on the map. Following the logic, you now have to check whether there are no other peaks in the direction of the sunrise or sunset at the current time of year, so that the light can fall on the peak you have selected.

The alpenglow always occurs on the side of the mountain opposite the current position of the sun below the horizon line. If you are on the wrong side of the mountain, you cannot photograph the alpenglow because you would only see the shadow side!

alpenglow with a topographic map

Find the right photo spot

It’s easy to find the right photo spot to photograph an alpenglow in VIEWFINDR. If you search for views on the map, you will get a large number of photo spots suggested. If you are looking for photo spots in a mountainous region, such as the Alps, you can look for a prominent mountain in the photos.

If so, you can go to the view details. There you will find a small map showing the direction in which the view was taken. This will help you to assess whether the compass direction matches the current position of the sun and whether the photo spot is suitable for photographing an alpenglow.

Because the position of the sun changes throughout the year, you may not be able to photograph alpenglow on a mountain at the moment. However, when the sun moves in a different direction, it may be possible to photograph the alpenglow.

Blickrichtung für ALpenglühen