Cradle Mountain is one of those locations I've visited many times, but something always seems to go wrong. It's roughly a five hour drive from Hobart where I live/lived, so I don't really get that many chances to shoot it. As chance had it, some friends were going away for a long weekend and were staying at a town called Tullah - approximately an hour's drive from Cradle Mountain/Dove Lake. It sounded like a great opportunity to hang out, unwind, and get some photography done - so I tagged along!
We ended up staying up pretty late, having some drinks and playing Uno, but I maintained I'd be up in the morning to shoot the sunrise, and somehow I managed to live up to my promises. The forecast for Cradle Mountain was completely clear skies in the morning, and since I'd never actually seen the peak on previous cloudy visits, I couldn't pass it up.
I dragged myself out of bed at something like 5:00am and hit the road in an attempt to beat the sunrise and get some astrophotography shots before it got too light. On the way the roads became pretty foggy and I was worried the cloud might have set in. I arrived at Dove Lake to a pristine view of the mountain, but sadly only a view stars still visible.
I snapped quick test shot as I rushed to get closer to the lake, and as usual it ended up being one of my favourite shots from the whole morning. I considered trying a view different locations but in the end I decided to go with the dead-on shot from straight in front of the mountain, across Dove Lake. At the time I figured I'd be back to Cradle Mountain fairly regularly, and could experiment with new compositions another time. I haven't been back since, despite many plans to, but I'm still looking forward to trying something new!
I'd never been much of a fan of the famous boat shed angle on the mountain, so I just kept to the waterline right in front of the main view - trying to get that perfect reflection and experiment with various settings. Ultimately a lot of shots ended up the same, and there wasn't much progression in the sunrise over the course of the shoot. Although it was cool to finally see the mountain with clear skies, it would have been nice to have some kind of cloud action - but there's always next time.
Ultimately I've probably learned from this shoot to know when you've got the shots you want, and to move location regularly if nothing in the environment is changing - unless you've got some kind of specific blend in mind.