Problem solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera

What to do when Lightroom does not support RAW format of your new camera

If you buy a new camera and shoot in raw format, you’ll sometimes be surprised: Lightroom doesn’t recognize the new raw files! Big question mark, we’ll show you the 4 best solutions.

Short answer: There is a solution for your problem. I show you 4 ways how you can easily solve your RAW file format problem with Adobe Lightroom.

Problem solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera
Problem -> solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera

The 4 solutions here apply to all camera models and raw formats. Whether Nikons .NEF, Canon .CR2 Sony AWF or Pentax .PEF as well as all other camera manufacturers and also for other software providers for image processing – Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop or Skylum Luminar…

The problem and its background: There are almost countless camera models and the camera manufacturers are also constantly turning the format. Of course, your image processing software has to keep up with this from time to time – this is possible with a software update as long as your version is up to date.

For information: The .DNG format is a camera manufacturer independent, standardized and open, lossless format. You can always convert to this format and make your edits lossless as you would with every other file format.

1.solution: Use the DNG format already in your camera

The easiest solution is to convert your camera directly to the universal .DNG format.

Check your manual to see if your camera model already supports this feature in the camera. This will save you the trouble of converting.

You can then easily work on your amazing pictures as you like.

2. Solution: Convert your RAW files to DNG

Solution 2 is the safe number – but in the long run it’s a bit cumbersome if you have to use it more often and want to save time.

This solution works with any image editing software and any digital camera model.

The following workflow:

  1. You save your RAW files on your computer as usual,
  2. then you convert these files or your folder completely into the .DNG format.
  3. Eh, Voila, you can edit the images in lossless DNG format as usual.

For this you need a DNG converter. There are various paid and unpaid programs. The DNG Converter from Adobe is free, constantly updated, works reliably and is therefore our best tip. You can download it directly from Adobe.

3.solution: For tinkerers (does not always work, but if it does, then a reliable solution)

If you know more about computers, you can try this trick. You overwrite the internal camera data (Exif data) with another, older camera model, which may itself provide the otherwise identical data. The trick is described in GWegner‘s blog (written in german). Since it is not quite easy and may not work either, we recommend one of the first two solutions.

4. Solution: Update software

If you want to save time, or want to update your software anyway, now would be a good time.

Each software vendor publishes an up-to-date list of supported camera models and raw formats. An online search will guide you for your specific camera model pretty unerringly to the information.

That’s about it. One of these 4 solutions will help you with your problem that Lightroom did not recognize your raw format support.

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Practical Photo Tip: How to Import XMP Files into Lightroom

You have XMP files for your image files and want to import them into Lightroom to continue working with your edited images? In this article, you’ll learn how to quickly and easily import XMP files into Lightroom.

No matter how professional you work as a landscape photographer or outdoor photographer as a hobby photographer, sooner or later it will happen that your raw data no longer matches the XMP files, your Lightroom catalog is crashed again, the XMP data is lost, or you need old raw data from a backup, etc. Been there, done that.

To avoid doing all the editing again, hopefully you’ve saved your edits in Lightroom in external XMP files – if you don’t know what XMP files are and why you need them, read our article “XMP files: The most important basic setting in Lightroom“.

There are three ways to import your XMP files into Lightroom. We will introduce you to these here – don’t worry, it’s much easier than you think.

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Your folder structure should look like thi (Win PC)s: All XMP files in the same folder as the raw data. From here, importing XMP files to Lightroom is a breeze.

We also use them regularly, especially when we need to show fast results, back up data externally and want to save time in this process – especially with different backups and only one location where you are actively editing, copying from pure XMP files can save you a lot of data copy time.

Import XMP files into Lightroom – in 2 (really easy) steps

  1. Step “Folder Structure”: All solutions start by putting the XMP files into the same folder as the matching raw images.
    Important: Not in subfolders but simply in the storage folder, where you also have the raw data for the XMP files.
  2. Step “Import XMP files”: Three variants are available here:

Variant A: Import the raw files into Lightroom the way you always do. Lightroom now automatically recognizes the XMP files and assigns them directly to the corresponding images. If this doesn’t work immediately, try restarting Lightroom and/or recall the Import dialog, just as you would otherwise.

Variant B: If the raw data is already cataloged, go to library mode, select “all” and then select “Metadata” -> “Read metadata from files”.

Variant C: If the raw files are already cataloged, go to library mode, right-click the folder in the folder area of Lightroom’s left pane. Select “Synchronize folders”. Enable “Check for metadata updates”.

Eh, voila. You have successfully imported your XMP files into Lightroom.

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How to Save XMP files in Lightroom – Why you need this important Lightroom trick

Photo workflow Tip: Lightroom default setting XMP – Saving files: Many photographers, including us at Mountain Moments, use Lightroom.

An important basic setting, perhaps the most important setting in Lightroom is only used by a few photographers. For years this is no problem, but then when suddenly the software refuses the service, a PC change is pending, something at the hardware is defective, an operating system makes problems or whatever.

At the latest then you will find out that the following basic setting in Lightroom can ensure the survival of your photos: Swap XMP files and save them externally.

If you have not yet dealt with how all your image edits are saved, the name XMP file probably doesn’t mean anything to you.

XMP files store all your changes to an image in a small external file that only needs a few kilobytes of disk space. Sure, Lightroom itself does that in the catalogue, but the data is only readable for Lightroom and only in your catalogue as a whole.

An XMP file, on the other hand, is saved as a separate file for each image and is therefore easier to retrieve and use. XMP files can also be read and used by many other programs.

In this article you will learn what an XMP file is and why it makes sense for you as a photographer.

Update #4: XMP files in Lightroom Classsic CC and Lightroom CC – info near the end of the text.

Instructions Lightroom Basic Setting: How to Save XMP Files

Why the XMP files are not automatically saved by Lightroom is a mystery to us and can only be explained by the increased usability of the relatively slow program, and of course the fact that Adobe wants to retain its users. Which is ok for Adobe, but we need do adjust this four our convenience.

The most important Lightroom setting: Learn how to save XMP files in Lightroom – Edit – Catalog Settings – Auto write changes into XMP – OK

Storing the XMP files externally is very easy, and only needs to be done once per installation of Lightroom and takes less than 10 seconds:

  • In the menu bar, go to “Edit” and click on “Catalog settings”.
  • Select the third tab “Metadata” in the appearing control panel.
  • Point: Select “Save changes automatically in XMP”.
  • Click on “OK

Eh Voila, it’s done. All your image data and settings for images in the Lightroom catalog are now also stored externally in your respective image folder as XMP files. Probably the most important Lightroom default setting to save XMP files, you have successfully mastered.

This won’t bring you any advantages yet, but the next software or hardware change and a computer problem will come as sure as the Amen in the Church. When the time comes, you’ll be eternally grateful and won’t have to spend days importing non-functioning Lightroom catalogues.

Double mated also holds better here and expands your safe and meaningful workflow. Your Mountain Moments Team wishes you happy photography.

Would you like to learn more about basic knowledge and best practices of simple image processing? Take a look at our current outdoor photography workshops, and learn with fun and in nature.

UPDATE #3: Save XMP File in Lightroom Classic CC

As almost already integrated in the product name, the current Lightroom Classic CC also offers the option of storing XMP files and thus the edits of a raw file externally.

Where you can find the setting: Also in Lightroom Classic CC you will find the magic tick under “Edit – Catalog Settings – Metadata”.

UPDATE #4: XMP File in Lightroom CC

As of November 2018, we are not aware of any possibility to externally manage XMP files in Lightroom CC. If you know a solution to backup XMP files externally, please share your knowledge with us and all other photographers dealing with this problem. Thank you.

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How to prevent Lightroom from opening automatically when using an external hard drive or USB stick

Lightroom opens when you any external drive? How to fix this

A slightly annoying feature of Lightroom is that the program opens automatically as soon as an external data carrier is plugged into the computer.

When you use Lightroom and connect an external hard drive or USB stick to you computer or laptop, lightroom opens every time. As almost noone on the planet uses Lightroom every single time when connecting a usb stick, it’s less annoying to change this setting.

Personally i prefer this not-opning-automaticcally-setting much more than the standard setting.

Quick Lightroom setup: “Uncheck open if memory card detected”

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Lightroom problem: Prevent Lightroom dialogue box to open when you use a USB stick or external hard drive. Do it manually instead.

This feature can be turned off quickly by selecting “Preferences” in the menu item “Edit”.

In the dialog box, uncheck “Show import dialog box if memory card detected” and click “OK”.

That’s it.

When you connect an external hard drive or a USB stick Lightroom will not open automatically.



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The 10 most beautiful and instagramable places in Germany for photographers

Germany is often wrongly portrayed as a boring country. From Husum to Berchtesgaden it is not only more than 1000km distance, but there are also many unique, even more breathtakingly beautiful and diverse cultural landscapes in between. Landscape photographers and photographers in general tend to forget this in “boring Germany”. In this article we would like to introduce you to the most beautiful photo locations for photographers in Germany.

Like every selection, this selection of photo locations in Germany is deeply subjective. We at Mountain Moments naturally love the mountains and mountain landscapes, so they may be a little overrepresented.

We would like to inspire you not only to graze the known photo spots but also to actively encourage you to find your own favourite places and explore them photographically.

The most beautiful places in Germany attract photographers like magic. Germany’s interesting places for photographers are also usually the most beautiful landscapes. It is therefore not surprising that the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Heidelberg Old Town or the Zugspitze are crowded. If you go to this list of the most beautiful photo spots, you must expect not to be the only photographer.

It is important to us that you observe the following basic rules when searching for a photo location:

  • Don’t leave no garbage! In case of doubt, leave the photo spot cleaner than you found it in.
  • Follow the special rules on site: Some of the photo spots mentioned are located on private property, treat it as if it were your own property and treat the owners with respect and gratitude. Some specific rules apply to the publication of these locations, you should follow them as well.
  • Respects other photographers, people, animals and nature. We only have one life and one planet, it would be a pity if we could not enjoy the beauty of nature together and not preserve it for posterity.

If you follow these basic rules, you will not only ensure yourself a beautiful photo experience, but you will also be able to enjoy and enjoy the most beautiful photo locations for landscape photographers in Germany together with others. It is well known that joy increases when you share it.

The 10 most beautiful photo spots in Germany

Moselle valley – Moselle loop (moselschleife)

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The Mosel is a true romantic valley. From Trier to Koblenz you find dozends of picturesque castles and small villages with hunderends of wineyards.

The Moselle cycle path meanders through the picturesque Moselle valley along the river that gives it its name. Especially between Cochem and Trier there are many castles, fortresses, even more bridges and quaint little winegrowing villages.

Those who have not yet indulged Bacchus, the god of wine, will do so here at the latest. To the left and right of the Moselle, the world-famous hillsides are steep and often still handcrafted, the often small winegrowers produce excellent wines on barren steep slopes.

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The most famous photo location near Mosel is a loop near the village of Bremm. A scenique hike leads you to the viewpoint.

The best time to photograph the landscape here is in late summer and autumn, when the vines gleam yellowish and sometimes a photographically exciting fog forms over the Moselle.

The best-known photo spot is located at or above the Moselle loop near Bremm, but Cochem and especially the vineyards and small winegrowing villages are also top landscapes. The main difficulty for pleasure-oriented landscape photographers is probably not geting distracted from drinking too much wine ;).

To get to the view point just follow the local directions from Bremm up the hill through wineards.

Alternative: Saar loop

Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany’s Dream Castle

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Germany is the land of castles and palaces. The fairytale castle par excellence lies in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and has been rebuilt several times worldwide.

If you are on a holiday in the Alps over the Fernpass, you might want to take the short detour at the Austrian border, as Germany’s dream castle is only 10 minutes away by car.

Sure, it is teeming with tourists and it’s photographically no uncharted territory. Nevertheless, the view of the castle from almost all sides is a cultural treat that is unique in the world. Especially in autumn, and when the first snow is already in the higher regions of the Alps, or after a fresh snowfall, Neuschwanstein Castle unfolds its dreamlike character on your landscape photographs.

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A hike around Neuschwanstein castle is easy and there are lots of photo opportunies along the way.

You can just stroll around and enjoy the views. Walk up the mountain after the castle. But generally speaken, there are several really excellent photo spots, you will not have a problem finding some of them.

Alternative: Fürst-Pückler-Park in Bad Muskau, Saxony

Nearby we hold one of our popular photo workshops with hiking and overnight in a traditional hut. The Bavarian foothills of the Alps are probably our favourite region in Germany – not without reason.

Heidelberg – Germany’s most beautiful Old Town

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One love: Heidelberg in autumn.

Heidelberg is not a secret photographic tip. The city in the southwest of Germany is also known beyond its borders for its idyllic location, its renowned university and its mild climate. As original Heidelberg citizen there is a tiny bit homeland pride involved when i state: Heidelberg must have been seen and photographed.

Our favorite photo spots: The Old Town with its enthroned castle, the Philosophenweg (“philosophers way”), and the Neckar Valley with the “Old Bridge” offer spectacular photographic opportunities.

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Heidelberg castle after sunset

If you go off these three photo spots, you’ll be busy for 3-4 hours. The many small, hidden photo spots in the old town and at the Philosophenweg you better discover on your own.

Burg Eltz – Germany’s model castle

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Castle Eltz is dream come true fairytale.

Eltz Castle has been a magical photo location ever since its growing fame on Instagram. The hidden castle is the only one in the region to have been spared raids and destruction and to have an almost magical energy due to its location. It’s hidden in a small picturesque tributary of the Moselle.

Probably the most famous and popular perspective is directly on the main access bridge – even before sunrise you will rarely be the only photographer here. Please note the flight ban on drones and the fact that you are not allowed to sell pictures commercially – the castle and grounds are privately owned.

Elbe Sandstone Mountains

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The damous sandstone hills near Elbe. Foto: K. Koehn

The Elb Sandstone Mountains are not located somewhere in New Zealand, Africa or anywhere else in the furthest tip of the earth, but in the middle of Saxony. The bizarre rock formations, deep gorges and gates form a unique natural beauty that attracts photographers from all over the world, especially in autumn.

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Elbe Canyon, Bastei Sandstone Bridge, Photo: P. Schopflin

When morning fog wafts sweep across the Bastei and the bridge of the same name, and underneath the forests shimmer in autumn colours, every camera sensor literally melts away. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains is situated between Germany and the Czech Republic, stretches along the upper reaches of the Elbe River, the German part is also known as Saxon Switzerland.

Herzogstand – Kochelsee (Bavaria)

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Herzogstand Viewpoint

It is not without reason that we offer a unique photo workshop here. Although Bavaria’s Alps are only a small part of the entire Alpine arc, they are enormously suitable for photography. Many easy access routes, a gondola and easy access from Munich captivate tens of thousands of mountain lovers, especially on weekends.

The region around Lake Kochelsee and Lake Walchensee is been particularly hard hit. Already Kaiser Wilhelm discovered this alpine jewel and let one reach an alpine accommodation with shelter at the summit at exquisite location. Nowadays the Herzogstand can be reached with a cable car ride and a 30-minute hike.

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Herzogstand with adorable Walchen Lake and Kochel lake

The view from Herzogstand ist just stunning and doesn’t fall short in an internaional comparison to the most beautiful viewpoints worldwide.

Alternative mountain hiking tour in the region with no less impressive views: Benediktenwand

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Mountain hike near Herzogstand after sunset.
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Lake Kochel near Herzogstand

Zugspitze

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Be it hiking or difficult mountainbiking an steep singletrails: The Zugspitz area is the most well known mountain range and most visited in Germany.

Germany’s highest mountain attracts thousands of tourists every day. You hover about 3,000 meters above things here. Those who cannot manage the difficult and not quite easy ascent on foot can take the cable car from Ehrwald (Austria) or Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the summit.

On beautiful weekend days the summit is heavily overcrowded. The view is nevertheless breathtaking. Experienced mountain hikers won’t let one of the well-known climbs to Zugspitze be taken, of course, the easiest one goes over the “Gatterl“.

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At the Austrian German boarder hike-a-bike in direction Zugspitze

Alternative: Oberstdorf, Allgäu

Rakotz bridge (Devils Bridge)

Devils bridge

Without some famous landscape and sports photographers, the “Azaleas and Rhododendron Park Kromlau” would have a hard time in the ballet of sights. The Rakotzbrücke (“devils bridge”), popularly known as the devil’s bridge, has achieved extraordinary fame in recent photographic history thanks to its fairytale-like shape and location in a small artificial lake.

Important: The bridge is not an actual bridge to walk on, but a work of art as an artefact made of basalt columns brought into shape. Entering the work of art is forbidden – even if photographer Lorenz Holder has won a well-known photo competition with such a photo: Please don’t copy.

Berchtesgaden region – Ramsau, Königssee, Obersee, Hinteresee

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Hintersee near Berchtesgaden, photo: K. Würth

In Berchtesgaden, visitors encounter a wonderful combination of mountain culture and nature. The market town lies in the southeastern corner of Upper Bavaria, at the foot of the 2713 metre high Watzmann.

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Saint Bartolomae Church below the infamous Watzmann East wall at Königsssee (“Kings lake”) near Berchtesgaden. Photo: F.Mittermeier

The Königssee, the Obersee with an old fishermen’s hut and the dividing mountain walls behind it are fascinating landscapes. From the boat you can take great photos of the pilgrimage church St. Bartholomä with Watzmann east wall in the background, as well as the church in Ramsau and the Hinteresse popular photo motives.

Germany’s Skylines: Cologne and Dresden

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View towards Kölner Dome and Museum Ludwig at Hohenzollern Bridge, Foto: Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
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Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne – a photo location you shouldn’t miss.

At the end of the Second World War, Germany’s cities were in a difficult position. During the area bombardments, many picturesque inner cities fell victim to the impacts and fires. The intactness of Cologne Cathedral is probably more to be blamed on the pragmatic attitude of the pilots searching for orientation than on the often described miracle. Landscape photographers often target the cathedral together with the Hohenzollern Bridge (and leave it where it is).

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Photo location in Dresden: The “Elbphilharmonie” (Elb philharmonica”). Photo: Malte F. (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

Dresden was not much better than Cologne. It is therefore all the more astonishing that the Dresden skyline and so-called “Dresden Florence on the Elbe” today reappear in their eternal glory. Especially at dusk, landscape photographers will find many grateful photo motifs here on the banks of the Elbe – probably the most rewarding is the skyline in its full splendour photographed from the opposite bank side.

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Dresden and its beautiful old city center, seen from Elbe

Gerold Lake

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Gerold Lake in the Bavarian Alps – one of the best photo spots for landscape photographers in Germany.

Our favourite place among the Bavarian and Alpine lakes: the Geroldsee (“Gerold Lake”). A classic postcard motif with alpine huts, a perfectly formed lake and a view of the impressive Karwendel massif.

Our tips for beautiful places in Germany are ideal for a weekend full of landscape photography. Please also consider the environmental aspect: Try to save energy when travelling to the airport, travel in carpools or, as far as possible, by public transport. Those who travel particularly far should also consider staying on site for several days rather than just a weekend. In our experience, time is one of the most important design tools in photography anyway.

Important: When photographing please pay attention to environment and property, the photo spot is on private ground.

Tip: Would you like to photograph the most beautiful places in Germany? Take a look at our current photo course dates. Didn’t find anything? Contact us directly for your exclusive photo course.

Don’t miss any more photo locations, photo tips and sign up now for our newsletter! Or better get our E-Book with the 5 best Photo loactions in den Alps – including the full trip-kit with gps tracks, directions and hiking map!

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My 7 most beautiful photo locations in the Dolomites beyond Instagram

The most beautiful mountains in the world – this is how the Dolomites are often called. Nowhere in the Alpine region are the peaks more rugged, nowhere is access to these regions so comparatively easy. In this article we would like to introduce you to what we think are the most beautiful photo spots in the Dolomites. Many of these photo locations are easy for everyone to reach, but some are only accessible on foot.

The 7 most beautiful photo spots in the Dolomites

Church St. Magdalena in front of the Geisler group

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The famous church with the towering Puez Geislker Mountain Range in the backdrop. This is just a stunning place.

The small church of St. Magdalena is probably the most famous photo location in the Dolomites among landscape photographers.

Juicy green grass, the romantic chapel and in the background the threateningly steep peaks of the Geisler group are a combination that landscape photographers obviously cannot resist.

Close by in the village is another beautifully located church. It’s an easy walk a bit up the hill. I leave this spot to your imagination and to discover the area for yourself on an easy 1h hike.

Karer Lake (Lago di Carezza) and Latemar

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Lago di Carezza with Latemar refelction. Do not jump over the fence, this is a national park!

The Karer Lake or Lago di Carezza is located directly on a main road with a large parking lot and is a must-see photo location in the Dolomites.

The water of the lake is thanks to the barriers still and mostly crystal clear, the steep rock crags of the Latemar are reflected in it when there is no wind.

Mountain Moments Tip: A unique photo location, especially in non-sunshine weather. Please hold to the perimeter! The local nature conservation authorities have not established these without good reason.

Braies Wild Lake – Lago di Braies

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The infamous Instagram Hot Spot Lago di Braies. Even if it’s crowded, still a view you should not miss.

Pragser Wildsee is probably the most photographed lake in the Alps. Direct access from the parking lot and a location that seems to inspire millions of Instagram users to selfie pose.

The lake itself is impressively flanked by steep dolomite cliffs. The rowing boat hut in the foreground has already been repeated millions of times, especially for selfie photography.

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An unedited photograph from Lago di Braies. This is how this photo spot looks in real life. In this year the water level was quite low due to a dry winter.

You find the best photo location at Lago di Braies basically just next to the parking lot, you can’t miss it.

Mountain Moments Tip: Please do not climb onto the jetty or over the hut or over the boats like everyone else.

Tre Cime (the Three Peaks)

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On a biking trip i just passed by accidentially the Tre Cime. Even in mid-day light (didn’t have time to stay) they just look stunning!

The Three Peaks Hike is probably one of the most famous photo hikes in the Alps. Who has paid the quite hefty toll to the Rifugio Auronzo (approx. 30 Euro per car, it’s cheaper to take a public bus), can do this simple hike however also in Flipflops – in fact I have seen ladies in High Heels here trying to walk on the gravel roads.

Landscape photographers often choose the sunset from the hiking trail east of the Three Peaks from the starting point, or spend the night in the Tre Cime hut and include it in your composition.

Cinque Torri

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One of the most famous landmarks in the Dolomites are the Cinque Torri (5 peaks). Easy to reach with a short walk and a great insta location.

The landmark of the Dolomites is a very small but beautiful rock formation: The 5 Torri.

With a short lift ride or a hike of about one hour you reach this world-famous photo spot from the Passo Falzarego or the car park a little further east on the main road (bus stop “Cinque Torri”).

Photo spot Seiser Alm and Langkofel/Plattkofel

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The biggest and maybe also the most beautiful alpine meadows: Alpe di Suisi in autumn light. In the distance Langkofel and Plattkofel. This photo location is really easy to reach by lift and a 20min walk.

One of the most popular photo spots for photo workshops and landscape photography courses in the Alps is the Seiser Alm.

The largest alpine pasture in the Alps offers a uniquely cultivated alpine landscape, rustic huts, easy hiking trails and breathtaking views of Sassolungo and Plattkofel. You will find one of the most popular photo spots in the northeastern area not far from the top station of the gondola from Ortisei.

Photo hiking and Dolomite panorama

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One of the many photo opportunies that arise on one of the many beautiful hikes in the Dolomites. Marmolata Mountain in the background.

Our last photo spot is not a classic location in itself. Rather, we would like to motivate you to look for your own favourite photo location. We have been hiking countless times in the Dolomites and again and again we discover new top photo locations. The especially nice thing about it is the surprise effect.

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This photo spot is not that far from Lago di Braies. I urge you to discover more than just the most liked spots on instagram.

The photo locations mentioned above are all documented hundreds of thousands of times. If you are there, you already know in advance what to expect (in the best case). The photo locations you find yourself are therefore often more worth remembering. You’ll remember her for the rest of your life. So, go out and discover your own top photo spots.

So, you made it this far! Congratulations, you just read my peronal list of favourite locations and photo spots in the Dolomites. What are your favourite spots? Which one do you find the most beautiful?

Do you want more photo spots and need help getting there? Book a guided private photo tour with me. We can go on an easy hike, i can teach you photography basics on location, we work on your portfolio or i assist you on a demanding multipleda trek or steep backcountry tour.

Discover these 6 beautiful hikes with fantastic photo spots in Innsbruck and surroundings

Best hikes in Innsbruck

Innsbruck is the secret capital of the Alps – nestled in the mountains close to the city, wonderful hikes are waiting to be discovered.

Here are the 6 most beautiful hikes in and around Innsbruck – 3 hikes for beginners and families and 3 wonderful day hikes for passionate mountain hikers.

In and around Innsbruck, the classic city trip programme with sightseeing, culture and culinary delights can easily be combined with an intensive nature experience.

The capital of the Alps offers a multitude of wonderful hikes: In the morning in the museum or on the Golden Roof and half an hour later already enjoying mountain hiking and alpine idyll is what makes Innsbruck unique worldwide.

About the Autor

Hey! I am Marius, founder of Mountain Moments, photographer and mountain lover! Get to know the Mountain Moments team and read our tips, tricks and photo adventure stories in the blog.

After many years in Innsbruck, where the author has done hundreds of tours and photographed even more photo spots at different times of the day, these hand-picked hikes are the most beautiful nature to be found in and around Innsbruck.

Innsbruck Hiking Guide Hints

It is important to us that you observe the following basic rules when hiking and photographing: leave no rubbish behind! Leave the nature cleaner than you have found it.

  • Follow the rules on the spot: Some of the photo spots mentioned are on private property. Respect the property and treat the owners with respect and gratitude. There are some specific rules for publishing these locations, please follow them.
  • Respect others! Hikers, photographers, people, animals and nature. We have only one life and one planet. It would be a pity if we could not enjoy the beauty of nature together and not preserve it for posterity.
  • Nature = Sustainability! We experience and photograph the natural spectacles of this earth, please do your part to keep it as beautiful as it is. In particular your journey and your consumption harm the environment, try to keep this pollution as low as possible: Use public transport, car sharing, avoid disposable products etc. and share this attitude with your friends.

Those who follow these basic rules not only secure a beautiful nature experience for himself but can also enjoy and enjoy the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps together with others.

3 Easy hikes in Innsbruck (suitable for families)

1. The Nordkette hut route (Arzler Hut – Hungerburg)

A city-based hut experience with typical Tyrolean delicacies – ideal for families

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Morning awakening at Hungerburg Station at Nordkette Mountain

Not far above the city and at the foot of the Nordkette, the Innsbrucker Alpine Huts are a popular excursion destination for the whole family and can often be reached on foot in winter.

This easy hike offers easy hiking trails, local and original Tyrolean cuisine at the Arzler Alm and a modern hut architecture of the rebuilt Umbrüggler Hut. For a short, enjoyable walk it is recommended to hike only one of the two alpine pastures.

Tip: The German translation for “Alpine hut” is “Alm”

Directions

From the Hungerburg (valley station Nordkettenbahn) uphill to the Arzler Alm. Here along the road to the Umbrüggler Alm. Tip for families: If you want to hike with a pram, follow the driveway after the car park and do not turn into the hiking trail – the driveway is also signposted to the Arzler Alm.

Difficulty: easy

Duration: approx. 2 hours, 5.4 km

2. Innsbrucks Canyon and Bergisel Ski Jumping

Simple hike through Innsbruck’s canyon with a visit to Innsbruck’s landmark

ski jumping Innsbruck, sightseeing innsbruck

This easy hike combines sightseeing with a nature-oriented walk through a genuine alpine gorge. Only a few meters behind the city limits you hike through an alpine canyon – a tributary to the Inn – flows (beware of high water!).

After a relaxing walk you can enjoy the view of the gorge from above, visit the historic Tyrolean panorama and finally have the ultimate view of Innsbruck from the Bergisel ski jump!

You can have a picnic in the Sill canyon, have a coffee at one of the vantage points in the Bergisel Ski Jumping  (photo tip!) or at the Tirolpanorama or reward yourself after the round in the only real beer garden in Innsbruck, the Bierstindl.

Directions

From the Bergisel/Tirol Panorama stop through the Sill Canyon. At the second bridge up towards Bergisel. Visit the Tirol Panorama and the Bergisel ski jump and finally return to the starting point.

Difficulty: easy

Duration: approx. 1.5 hours, 4 km

3. Innsbruck city tour

A walk through Innsbruck’s sights and a short alpine excursion

Sightseeing and mountain flair in one tour? In Innsbruck this is easily possible.

On this city tour with mountain flair you will discover the most important highlights in Innsbruck and experience the real Innsbruck mountain flair. From the main station you stroll comfortably through the city and 30 minutes later at the very top of the Nordkette you discover the alpine landscape that makes Innsbruck so famous.

Directions

From the main station to the country house square and right next door to the triumphal arch. Continue along Maria-Theresienstraße to the Golden Roof.  From here along the Hofburg to the Hofgarten and up to the Nordkette with the Hungerburg cable car.

From the station Congress along the Inn to the marketplace (larger square with yellow house). Directly here or 100m further at the stop Maria-Theresienstraße by bus/train back to the main station.

Difficulty: easy

Duration: approx. 3 hours, 5 km

The 3 most beautiful hikes around Innsbruck (day tours)

4. Goethe Path – Pfeis Hut

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This is Innsbruck! You find this view at Goetheweg high up at Nordkette

The Goethe Path (German= Goetheweg) is undoubtedly the most beautiful and panoramic trail with direct access to Innsbruck’s city centre. In 30 minutes you will be beamed from shopping into an alpine adventure!

Suddenly you are in the calm nature, the wind whistles around your ears – on one side you hold on to the rock, on the other the deep abyss yawns 1600 metres down to the Inn.

Directions

From the mountain station of the Nordkettenbahn – Hafelekar turn right directly into the Goetheweg and always follow the signs to the Pfeishütte.

Tip: Stay overnight in the Pfeishut (German= Pfeishütte) and follow another mountain tour in the Karwendel.

Difficulty: medium (risk of falling)

Duration: approx. 4 hours, 11 km

5. Summit happiness between Patscherkofel and Glungezer

The highest mountain hut around Innsbruck with an outstanding Tyrolean panorama.

hiking innsbruck, hiking tirol, best hike tirol
Hiking from Patscherkofel to Glungezer – an amazing alpine hike with easy access from Innsbruck.

The probably most beautiful Tyrolean panorama can be found on the Glungezer. This beautiful summit hike combines easy access to Innsbruck’s local mountain Patscherkofel with alpine nature and one of Tyrol’s most beautiful vantage points.

This classic mountain hike offers everything that makes mountain hiking so relaxing: enjoyable, medium-difficulty mountain trails, rustic huts and contrasting views from the striking Karwendel to the bustling provincial capital of Innsbruck and the lonely side arms of the Wipptal valley.

Tip: Accommodation at the Glungezer with breathtaking sunset and sunrise.

Directions

From the Patscherkofel mountain railway to the Patscherkofel summit, the Zirbenweg and the Glungezer. The Zirbenweg ticket limits the ascent and descent to around 900 metres.

Difficulty: medium

Duration: approx. 6 hours, 16 km

6. Dolomites of Tyrol – Salfeins Lake

Enchanting hike with breathtaking views of the Dolomites of North Tyrol

hiking innsbruck, salfeins, beautiful hike innsbruck, hiking tirol, best hike tirol,
One of the best fotospots in Tirol – and a beautiful hike close to Innsbruck. Salfeins Lake with Kalkkögel in the distance.

Magnificent hike to the famous Austria photo spot with constant views of the Dolomites of North Tyrol: The Kalkkögel.

Four small peaks are climbed on simple but wonderful and quiet mountain hiking trails and the picturesquely situated and famous photo spot Salfeins Lake is visited.

Directions

From the car park in Senders valley to Salfeins hut, on to Salfeins Lake. From here on over four small peaks and down into the valley to the Kemater Hut. On the road back to the car park.

Difficulty: medium

Duration: approx. 6 hours, 16 km

Travel tips: Hiking in Innsbruck

Best travel period

The best time for mountain hiking is June to October. However, snow can fall in the mountains at any time. Typical in the summer months are thunderstorms, which usually take place in the afternoon. The easy tours on the Nordkette can usually be done all year round, if there is not too much snow. In snowy winters follow the safety instructions on site.

Weather

Usually it’s t-shirt weather in the summer in Innsbruck. Sometimes a light jacket is necessary. The weather can change quickly in summer also during a day, definitely observe the weather and check before a tour. Best local weather service: www.zamg.ac.at

nockspitze, saile, camping, zelt, wandern

How to get there

Innsbruck is easily accessible by train and bus. The airport also offers good connections. Buy your train and bus tickets in advance online (bus, train) or at the train station (train): Munich, Memmingen, Zurich, Milan, Milan-Bergamo.

Connections from the airports to Innsbruck by train: www.bahn.de, www.oebb.at and by bus e.g. www.flixbus.de

Local Transportation

Do you need a car to get around? Definitely not. All these hiking routes are perfectly doable with public transportation. It’s even usually cheaper and less of a hassle. But please keep in mind most older locals do not speak english!

If you need to ask something it’s better to ask young people – they usually are students, speak quite good english and know where to go with busses and trams. In Innsbruck a car actually is not helpfull. Everything is in walking distance, you can also rent city bikes and scooters.

hiking innsbruck
The Innsbruck Via Ferrata – straight above the city, for experienced hikers and adrelanie junkies. Access from Nordkette.

Equipment

In general, we recommend sportswear that is adapted to the weather (in the mountains it can easily be 15° colder and felt 25° colder than in the valley!

Shoes with a good profile (hiking shoes or running shoes with a good and thick profile), a hiking map and enough drinking are also important.

Food and Water

There is usually excellent and traditional local food on the way in the huts, but a snack on the way is still useful. For vegetarians and vegans it’s a bit more complicated, most meals are with meat and/or cheese/milk but you will find something.

For some of the huts and bus tickets on these hikes cash (Euro) is necessary.

Depending on the year and season usually there are natural springs somewhere along the way (not so on Goetheweg). It’s usually ok to drink this water when there is no lake above and not too many cows in the meadows above you. Best is to take 1l water with you on any of these tours.

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