Snow Crossing

Snow Crossing – click to enlarge

It feels good to put a B&W image up on the blog today.

For the first 15 years of my Photographic ‘journey’ I was a B&W developer and printer, initially working in darkrooms in Cambridge and then London, and then in temporarily blacked-out bathrooms or shower rooms in our first two houses before having an under-stairs cupboard all to myself! For a time I experimented using two camera bodies: one to shoot Kodachromes, and the other loaded with B&W film. But I soon discovered that it really was quite difficult to view the world through two different sets of ‘eyes’ simultaneously – one tuned to look for images with bold lines and contrast that appealed to me as a B&W printer; and another ‘eye’ that saw the world in shades of colour: selecting images with an entirely different set of criteria. It would be interesting to know whether some of you reading this have experienced a similar difficulty.

Back to today’s image – there was very little colour in the original (and the colour that was there didn’t improve it). It demanded the simplicity of B&W. It was taken in the Swiss Alps in the early Summer of 2010 above Saas Fee – the principal village in the next valley Eastwards from the Zermatt valley. If you take a look at my first post ‘In the beginning’ then Saas Fee is the other side of the silhouetted peaks.

In 2010, late Spring snow was slow to melt and some of the high trails were still snow covered in July. You can’t see a trail, but the walkers are on a trail that crosses a substantial snowfield leading from the Felskinn top lift station to the Britannia Hut. It’s a straightforward 45min fairly level walk, and therefore popular because it doesn’t require much effort and the views from the Hut are well worth the walk. We were having a beer on the terrace at the lift station and watching walkers on the trail – some looked more at home on the snow than others!  It took 25mins of watching and waiting to get this image through a long lens (450mm film equiv). But I think it was worth it.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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12 Responses to Snow Crossing

  1. andybeel says:

    Nice composition the figures are well separated, and good printing – not something I say very often on the web – thanks

    http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

  2. I do love B&W images Andy and this one is wonderful. Great shot.

  3. Adam Allegro says:

    Wow, this is fantastic in B&W. Neat to hear your history with film, being a relatively new photographer and haveing only shot in digital myself. Well done sir!

  4. This shot looks excellent in B&W. The silhouettes of the hikers creates a nice sense of scale.

  5. Jimi Jones says:

    Nice read, Andy. You have quite a background in film and photography.

    There has always been something special about B&W images and this one is surely no different. It looks great. Nice comp and processing.

  6. Marc says:

    This image definitely suits the B&W treatment. You have quite a history with a camera. As a relative newcomer, it gives me hope that I’ll still be doing this for years to come!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Marc, Jimi and Adam. You all make a similar point. True – Photography has been nearly a life-long pleasure of mine – well from late teens onwards! I was very fortunate to meet some experienced photographers early on who were really helpful and from whom I learnt a lot, including Bob Moore who later became President of the Royal Photographic Society here in the UK. Those skills last. But….in the digital era I class myself as a relative newcomer – there is a lot to learn with respect to Processing, and one of the pleasures I am quickly finding, and admiring, from contacts (like you) in the Photoblogging community is the depth of skills that you guys have and which over time I hope to acquire and use.

  7. Beautiful minimalist b/w composition, nicely done.

  8. Dave DiCello says:

    Wow, this is outstanding Andy. I love the abstract look to it, the minimalistic feel you’ve achieved is outstanding.

  9. James Howe says:

    Very cool! (no pun intended). I definitely like the minimalist look, monochrome is certainly the right choice.

  10. Ken Bello says:

    I can identify with quite a bit of your photographic history. I developed and printed B&W from the ’70s up to just 3 years ago. Gave it up for digital full time and the expense of printing went through the roof. I also printed slides on Cibachrome for a long time. DIY is the only affordable way to get high quality prints and I rather enjoyed the challenge.
    This is my first visit and I’m very impressed with the photos and the writing style. Nice work!

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