Reflections on Austria’s Perfect Mountain Lake

For many years now I have been fortunate enough to live for part of each year on the shore of Lake Hallstatt in Upper Austria.

This video is not about the town—but about the Lake itself.

Hallstatt, the town, is famous for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times. It is a very popular summer tourist destination—so popular with the Chinese that they have actually built a replica of the town in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

The whole area has UNESCO World Heritage status.

Lake Hallstatt has been referred to as the “melancholic lake,” the “still fjord” and the “vision of a perfect mountain lake.” It is a classic relic of the Ice Age and it has a total area of 858 square meters, lying between the steep Obertraun and Hallstatt mountains and Bad Goisern. It is the fifth largest of the Salzkammergut lakes.

Although this lake is one of the darker, colder, less-inviting lakes of the region, as a photographer I decided to use this darkness and stillness as a device to reveal the true beauty of the lake through its mirror-like surface.

This is my reflective homage to The Lake.

I was fortunate to collaborate on the music for The Lake with the French composer Vincent Jacq. For more information on his work, visit his site, Facebook and Vimeo.

Follow the Round the World in Timelapse project on Facebook.


Geoff Tompkinson has traveled the world as a photographer for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Avenue, Ca M'interesse, Smithsonian, Life, Discover, National Geographic, Bunte, Stern and GEO. His timelapse and realtime footage regularly appears on television all over the world as well as in major Hollywood movies. When not traveling and shooting he lives with his wife, Liz, either in Essex, England or on the shores of Lake Hallstatt in Upper Austria. Follow him on his site, Facebook, Vimeo and Twitter.


  1. Wow, those reflections really are out of this world! Although those colors during the day are spectacular, I like the parts with starry sky even more.
    Since there are seasons changing within the video I guess this was a serious and long project. Great work indeed! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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