High Tatras: the frozen Morskie Oko lake
In many of my mountain photos I can see one issue: distant landscapes are having a blue tint. And although in some of the recent Tatra mountain posts I subjected the photos to greater post-processing so that the mountains in the distance are having more natural colors, I was irritated by the need to carry out extra editing. I do not like carrying heavy photographic equipment and getting the photos that look unnatural.
It is said that the frequent cause of false mountain photos coloring, especially blue tint, is a high level of UV radiation. The remedy for the color cast issue shall be UV filters that you screw on the lenses. I do not have a UV filter, but I remembered that somewhere in the closet I should have a circular polarizing filter (CPL) that has not been used for several years. And one of the features of such filters is the absorption of UV radiation. Before the next trip I decided to search the closet and ... to my great joy I found a CPL filter with a diameter matching the diameter of my primary hiking lens! The opportunity to check if my filter would help was a trip to Morskie Oko lake, a winter trip in snow and harsh sun, thus with very high levels of UV. Moving on to the results: if I am not mistaken, the effects of using the filter are amazing! The snow-covered mountains in the photo are finally white, and the rocks are the color that my mind remembered. What's more, even my favorite "facing the sun" photos are more evenly exposed and have more natural colors. On the occasion of the next walk, I will verify once again whether the filter is really helping: I will take a few same shots with and without the filter. For now, however, I am delighted that the filter seemed to have such a positive effect on the photos. No more sunny mountain hikes without the filter! And you know what? In fact, travel is the best form of education, even when it comes to UV radiation and photography filters ;)
As for the trip itself and the Morskie Oko lake, the walk was so special for me because it was February, which is the period when I am avoiding the mountains. I do not like when it's freezing. I do not like lugging large backpack with clothes on in case it would get very cold, or the opposite, hiding jackets or sweatshirts in my backpack in case it would get too hot. I don't like wading in high snow. But I just picked up a brand new backpack, and the temperatures last week were setting new records. These were ideal conditions for testing both the backpack and the filter. During the hike, in places I just had to be careful about the icy surface. Some slipped and fell not once and not twice, but fortunately my ass survived the trip unscathed. And the snow-covered and frozen lake, with dozens of hikers on its surface, was a unique sight. But why didn't I take my sunglasses?
Finally, the traditional set of information: here is a route map with an altitude profile. The walk took me 6 h 20 min, the distance was 16.5 km and the step count was 24,000+. The photos are tagged with GPS coordinates.