A few weeks ago I visited Berchtesgaden. Since this is quite a large area with a lot to explore and photograph, I focussed my photographic efforts on the Hintersee and the surrounding valleys.
The Hintersee is one of the most famous photography spots in Germany. There's one viewpoint, which is visited year by year by hundreds of photographers. The view is impressive with the mighty Hochkalter mountain rising behind the lake. In the morning, if you are lucky, you can get some fog in the background while the Alpenglow touches the peaks.
But as beautiful as this view is, as a photographer it's hard to get creative at this location. When I arrived an hour before sunrise the first morning, there were already three other photographers completely set up. So the best spots were taken. But even if I had been free to choose my camera position, to come away with a photo that stood out would have required some very unique conditions - which I didn't get.
But that's totally fine, because I wasn't expecting to. To be honest, this first morning shoot's main purpose was to get into the photographic routine and do some scouting, nothing more. The real photography started afterwards in the adjacent Zauberwald.
There I found some beautiful spots, of which I hand't seen any photos yet. Those gems you find, if you look beyond the iconic locations, allow you to create unique photos; to get creative and free your mind from the previsualized photos that are the result of seeing the photos of photographers that have been there before you.
That's why I usually try to get the iconic photos right at the start of a trip to put them out of the way. Then I can focus on finding my own photos. Even when travelling I make sure to visit areas that still allow me to do this, areas that are not popular on Instagram yet.
During my travels around the world, for example, only a handful of times did I have to share a spot with other photographers. In a time where places like Iceland, the Lofoten or the Faroe Islands are overrun by photographers it's very refreshing to find places that you can explore on your own.
And you don't have to travel the world to find those places. The photo above was taken just a 40 minutes hike away from the Hintersee. And, while you find thousands of photos of the Hintersee, this photo is one of the very few you will find from this spot - at least for now.