This VAST image pretty much sums up the weather I had on my hike the day this photo was taken. It was a challenging, yet invigorating, hike on a beautiful forest trail in the Pyrénées National Park up to Lake Gaube. This lake, located in an area of outstanding natural beauty and surrounded by Pyrenean peaks over 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) above sea level, has inspired over the centuries renowned poets like Victor Hugo and Georges Sand with its beautiful shades of blue and green.

While the day was a constant drizzle, it was a perfect opportunity to capture a dramatic atmosphere and the somber mood that rain brings. When I finally arrived at the lake, the clouds started getting darker and darker as a thunderstorm was quickly approaching. I quickly set up my camera and started doing a vertical panorama encompassing 9 frames of focus-stacking for each panel. As I felt cold air begin to quickly move down across the lake, a sign of an imminent thunderstorm, I began to pack up my gear. A moment later a large squall, accompanied by torrential rain, came barreling down over Lake Gaube, and I had to take refuge inside the Hôtellerie as umbrellas and picnic tables were being inverted and blown away.

This image won an Honorable Mention in the Nature Category of the 14th Annual (2020) International Color Awards.