AUBRA FRANKLIN @JeffMitchumGalleries


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The Kulmhotel Gornergrat has stood on Gornergrat in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 12,500 feet, for almost a century. The hotel has a breathtaking panorama in the midst of 29 13,000 foot peaks and pure mountain air. On this day, I arose well before dawn to begin my descent to Fissel lake, in search of a specific composition of one of worlds most iconic and beautiful mountains. The conditions for something magical seemed bleak - quite breezy and nothing but stars in the early dawn skies. I felt compelled to keep going. As I approached the lake I noticed the absence of stars at the horizon; the stars were blocked by some high cirrus clouds and appeared to be perfectly placed to catch the morning sun. Unfortunately, a stiff breeze was eliminating the reflection on the lake. I quickly found the composition I had envisioned - one that would highlight the symmetry of the Matterhorn balanced with the asymmetry of the place. One that would emphasize the power of the positive and negative space of the scene. Then, as if on cue, the wind stopped, a perfect reflection appeared in the lake and the sun breached the horizon and kissed the mountain masking the tip of the Matterhorn in beautiful copper alpenglow. The air was crisp and cold, the silence was profound, and it was incredibly serene as I witnessed this marvelous sight. I left feeling very fortunate to have had the opportunity to record it forever! ~ Aubra Franklin