National, State and County frontiers, borders and boundaries often follow geographical features. High above Zermatt in the Valais Canton of Switzerland, the Swiss-Italian frontier follows the high ridge lines of mountain chains and one particular section is known as The Frontier Ridge.
And this is just one small part of the backdrop to skiing in Zermatt. Is there a bigger, better backdrop in the Alps? Chamonix comes close certainly, but the ski terrain in the Chamonix valley is not as well linked and to really appreciate the scenery you need to be an above average skier. The joy of Zermatt is that the scenery is available to all skiers. Today’s image is taken from the edge of an easy rolling piste from Gornergrat down to Riffelberg
It shows a five-mile stretch of the Frontier Ridge. From Left the main peaks are Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn – all of them being 4000M peaks.
Click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.
The ski slopes are opening, the snow has arrived and in early March I will be standing on this spot gazing at this view. Now that’s a powerful cure for the Winter Blues.
Posted in Black & White, MountainScape, Skiing - Zermatt
Tagged Black and White Photography, Breithorn, Castor, Gornergrat, Liskamm, Pollux, Ski, skiing, Zermatt
18 JULY 1918 – 5 DECEMBER 2013
“Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father.”
I’m stating the obvious – this is an image, in black and white, of a seat. But then there’s a little twist: the seat is white and it has an oblique shadow that is black. That is also stating the obvious as shadows are always er…black.
On a slightly more intelligent level it was the lowness of the sun, mid-afternoon 2-3weeks ago, that created the oblique shadow that attracted me to this seat. Taken at Wrest Park on the same day as ‘Hanging There’ and ‘Tree Line’. It was quite a productive day.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: B&W is a much more tolerant medium than colour. It allows us to exaggerate contrast, to distort the tonal range, create mood, and at the extremes produce images that, I recall three decades ago, were referred to as ‘soot and whitewash’. And very powerful those images could be and can still be.
Today’s image is of a portion of the football stadium in Milton Keynes. I liked the geometry of this as I walked round the exterior of the building – the skewed reflections, particularly of the lamp-post. It was always going to be a monochromic image. Here’s the original un-edited RAW image.
Back home, my first task was to re-align the image, correcting vertical and horizontal lines and in particular deal with the slight curve to the horizontal lines of the background building (which is circular) using the Transform tool. Then it was time to convert to B&W, accentuate contrast and adjust levels. I then made a selection of most of the right half of the building – the part that leans and reflects – and solarized that and then inverted the solarization. That process accentuated the tonal range and then reversed it. And that final reversal, I think, makes a substantial difference to the character of the building – although I must admit it is no longer entirely true to the tonality of the original building.
And so, the image loses its right to be a true documentary image of this building. But I think it becomes a more balanced and perhaps a more successful image. Well, that’s my opinion – you may think differently. Do make a comment.
Click on any image to see a higher quality enlargement.
The title of this Post will only make any sense if you saw my last post (click here to view). Today’s image is in response to a request. You see – I do listen to requests. Melinda Green Harvey (do take a look at her blog ‘One Day, One Image’ – it’s a blog I always enjoy viewing), asked if I had any other pictures of the building whose heart was bursting through its skin. The answer is: just the one, and here it is.
Disappointing perhaps – you were hoping for something more out-of-the-ordinary perhaps? Higher up. this building is much like many other buildings. Except it’s not. Not when you note the trees and their reflections, and how the building can be shown to relate to its environment in a rather attractive way.
Any other requests? Sensible ones only! But seriously it’s always good to hear your comments – we grow as photographers through interaction, so keep commenting. And if that assists the flow and output of this Blog, then that can only be a good thing.
If one of the measures of a City’s status is the vitality and diversity of its modern architecture, then London is right up there with the greats.
Walk through London, not just the well-known streets, but the back waters and observe. Regularly I walk from Euston Station (my rail terminus) south to Oxford Circus. I vary my route, but whichever streets I take, I end up skirting the Telecom Tower, and the site of the old Middlesex Hospital (now the scene of massive development into Fitzroy Place). On one single street, just south of the Telecom Tower, you will find the two buildings that illustrate this post – facing each other.
On the North side of the street, is a building that wears its heart on its sleeve – physically. A pulsing, pumping heart that appears to be bursting through its skin as if to say: ‘Love Me’. This is bold, brassy, dramatic architecture that shouts for – demands – attention.
On the South side of the street, directly opposite and nearing completion is this über-cool building (below). The complete opposite. A minimalist, sinuous, sine wave frontage. Pure simple lines that don’t shout, but still manage to make a powerful statement. This is the apotheosis of the fact that you don’t have to be loud to get noticed.
What a contrast. How clever. It’s always good to hear from you – which of these buildings do you prefer?
Click on an image to see a higher quality enlargement
More of an announcement than a Post today. Thanks to the luck of the draw and the considerable generosity of Jim Nix, who very kindly put an unwanted Awesome subscription to 500px up for takers, I am the lucky winner of this gift subscription. Thanks so much Jim. You will find Jim’s high quality travel photography at Nomadic Pursuits. If you are not familiar with his work – do take a look, you won’t be disappointed.
500px will be known to some of you, but not to all. 500px is a photo-sharing website. It has similarities with Flickr but it’s content is more associated with the higher quality end of the spectrum. Well – that’s what I’ve read, and what I observe from a week getting to grips with the interface. First impressions are that the photography is superb and inspiring. On the flipside I would say that 500px could be a little more user-friendly to new-comers. If you can create an impressive website, you can create an idiot’s guide to getting started and explain how it all works. Yes, there’s a support page and a Q&A page but finding the answer, or the explanation to something, can be unnecessarily hard work.
Are you on 500px? If so, do get in touch, so we can link up. For those with 500px accounts you will find me by my real name, for those without – click here. My gallery will slowly grow and a Portfolio will follow.
And so to today’s image. What can I say: it’s four hundred and ten short of five hundred! I couldn’t find one with the right number so this one will have to do. Taken after dark in London on my first after-dark outing with the D7000 Nikon, there’s a story to this image. I’d wound the ISO up a bit as dusk arrived walking down through the back streets to Oxford Circus. But there came a point, with the light fast gone, where the ISO needed to be higher still. The buttons and dials to change the ISO were exactly the same as on my older camera but I couldn’t see the ISO changing in the Control Panel – the light was too low. So, wanting to take this image, I was reduced to wandering up and down the street trying to find a bright enough light to see the settings change! I had completely forgotten that by pressing the Info button on the back of the camera the monitor screen would light up and I could see all the settings and change them visibly. Memo to self: read, and re-read and then re-read the User Manual. I won’t make that same mistake again.