Water is truly a source of happiness for me. When I see the sea, a waterfall, or a beautiful lake, I feel comfortable, calm, and satisfied in an instant. But water does not only provide a feel-good experience, but it is also a guarantor for great photos that are capable of reflecting different moods and stories.

The Schiederweiher is a pond in Upper Austria voted the winner of the TV show “9 places – 9 treasures” in 2018. The show presents the most beautiful places from all 9 Austrian provinces every year and one will be voted as the winner.

The Schiederweiher is located in the Pyhrn-Priel region, more precisely in Hinterstoder in the Traunviertel. And it certainly deserves the award. It lies in an idyllic setting in the middle of the forest, untouched and so crystal clear. And it is so quiet – a perfect place to come down, relax, clear your head. And: to take photographs.

The Schiederweiher pond lies in the Kalkalpen National Park region. The weather can sometimes change quite quickly. And that’s good for us photographers because it allows us to capture fantastic light conditions and above all different moods. Blue skies may be beautiful, but for great photos, it is more than welcome to have some more drama. 

Therefore my first tip: Take more time for the Schiederweiher and visit it at least twice. 

Afternoon sunshine setting

In summer the sun sets late. So there is enough time for you to be at the lake at 5 pm to capture the afternoon mood at the lake. 

The unique thing about the Schiederweiher is the natural beauty of the lake. You can see the bottom of the lake and also capture the reflections wonderfully. On the other hand, everything is green – this may be beautiful, but it might quickly look boring on photos. So try to include the blue of the sky with the clouds in the image. Look for an eye-catcher like this tree.

This photo will give the viewer an overall picture of the lake. He can imagine how it looks over there. I took the photo with a wide-angle lens to include as much of the area as possible.

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/7.1 | 1/30 sec | ISO 100 | 16 mm – with tripod 

This photo shows a sunken float. It expresses the clarity of the lake more strongly.
f/7.1 | 1/50 Sek | ISO 100 | 23 mm – with tripod 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

With photos, we not only want to show places in all their beauty but also convey moods. You can do this with image details, with colors, with light.

What could this image express? Strength, clarity, calm perhaps? 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/6.3 | 1/50 sec | ISO 500 | 105 mm – with tripod 

Evening atmosphere at the Schiederweiher pond

The evening when the light is soft and gentle is the favorite time for us photographers. 

With a little luck, the mountains, (the Spitzmauer and the Großer Priel) will glow in the beautiful sunset. In front of the weir, you have a very nice view of the mountains in the background. In addition, the small waterfall of the weir is the perfect foreground to show depth. 

I was not very lucky with the sunset, but the clouds became dramatic.
Thanks to a long exposure time the water becomes very milky and soft. 

The sky was white and grey and the foreground, in contrast, was rather dark. In such situations, I like to use the NiSi graduated filter to darken the upper part. 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/7.1 | 25 sec | ISO 200 | 24 mm – with a tripod, polarizing filter, graduated filter (NiSi) 

Morning at the Schiederweiher

I have already mentioned that you should visit the Schiederweiher at least twice with your camera. The early morning atmosphere is very appealing – even if it is a real challenge for night owls like me. With early morning I mean the sunrise…

So I got out of bed (and it was a pain), went to the Schiederweiher, and hoped for a beautiful sunrise. Instead, the fog was waiting for me. Nice thick fog. Got up for nothing? Not at all! A foggy mood at the lake is very impressive and that morning the sun fought its way through the wafts of mist. 

Here I wanted to capture the fog and the reflection of the mountains in the lake. On the left side of the photo, you can still see the fog creeping over the lake. 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/7.1 | 10 sec | ISO 100 | 24 mm – with a tripod, polarizing filter, ND filter, graduated filter (NiSi) 

The light was great for taking photos. Again and again, the sun came through stronger, then again the fog tried to come out with more power than the sun – perfect to capture different situations. 

The focus of the following photos was on the reflection and the light. Can you feel the atmosphere? 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/7.1 | 1/80 sec | ISO 320 | 58 mm – with polarizing filter and graduated filter (NiSi) 

Schiederweiher Fotospots

f/7.1 | 15 sec | ISO 100 | 55 mm – with a tripod, polarizing filter, ND filter, graduated filter (NiSi)

Then the clouds became thicker and pushed the sun back. 

At the front of the weir, another interesting moment was offered to me, when a man arrived to remove the leaves. The fact that he was wearing a red T-shirt was a lucky strike – red and green are complementary contrasts and are highly attention-grabbing. I had to be fast because the man knew his craft and was very fast.

Schiederweiher Fotospots

I took a long exposure shot with a shutter speed of 5 seconds first to get the water soft. Then I quickly switched to 1/60 second and could only release when the man finished with his work. I merged the two photos in Adobe Photoshop. 

The Schiederweiher - how to get there

Directions & Parking
The car park Schiederweiher is directly at the main road in Hinterstoder. You cannot miss it, just follow the signs. The parking fee is 4 Euro – don’t forget to bring some change!

Walking time
The walking time from the car park to the Schiederweiher pond is about 15 – 20 minutes. If you are going to take pictures of the sunset or sunrise, take a headlamp with you. 

Hiking tour
From the Schiederweiher you can walk the so-called Polsterlücken-Runde. A hiking trail leads along the Schiederweiher pond further along the Krumme Steyr and meadows to the Polsterstüberl. The hiking time for the round loop is (without taking pictures) about 2 hours.

Hotel tip

The Explorer Hotel* at the entrance to Hinterstoder is a modern, young hotel that I can highly recommend for your stay in Hinterstoder. 

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