A windy day on the Piste

I’ve just made the final up-front payment for the ski trip to Zermatt next January, so it seemed apt to post an image from the Zermatt ski slopes today.

This was taken while riding the Chairlift up to Furggsattel on the Matterhorn Paradise glacier ski area on a windy day. It was cold and the chair was getting blown about a bit by the wind that was whipping up the spindrift creating the appearance of swirling mist drifting across the pistes.  There was little colour in the original RAW image so it was logical to convert it to B&W.

Spindrift over the piste - click to enlarge

Taking images from a chairlift provides a different perspective – you’re suspended above the piste, looking down on the skiers – effectively you get an aerial shot. The hard part is hanging on to everything! First, secure the ski poles, then gloves off (I grasp them between my knees or stuff them inside my jacket), lastly get the camera out of my chest pocket. Grab the shots, and then remember to give myself enough time to stow the camera, don the gloves and grab the poles before I reach the top and ski off.  It’s a bit of planned choreography – haven’t fouled up yet – famous last words!

The most important point is always have your camera secured to you at all times if you are in the habit of skiing with a camera. My compact has a lanyard attached to it and the other end is always either around my neck or tied into a zipper on my jacket, so if I do fumble it with gloved hands then it won’t get dropped. It’s a long drop off a Chairlift!

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'.
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11 Responses to A windy day on the Piste

  1. Adam Allegro says:

    Awesome!!! I am planning a trip here with my girlfriend for around the same time. I cannot wait to ski/photograph here! I have adapted to skiing with a backpack, bringing my backup DSLR and (usually) just a zoom lens. This year I have a better padded pack and will try and bring more equipment. Really cool stuff.


  2. Jimi Jones says:

    Great shot, Andy. B&W makes this one for the ages. Nice write-up on the technique used, it’s not as simple as pointing and shooting. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the shots you get from your next trip.


  3. Dave DiCello says:

    Really cool view here Andy and I agree with Jimi, the B&W works great! Love the post as well!


  4. Marc says:

    Cracking shot Andy. I love the way the people are positioned, they give a real sense of scale to the image.


  5. Len Saltiel says:

    Wow this is such a wonderful shot Andy. I can feel the cold and wind from here. I am not a cold person so I admire your determination in getting this shot.


  6. Rick Louie says:

    Love the patterns in the snow! Real nice sense of scale.


  7. Nice shot. You are spot on about shooting from a chairlift. It is not easy.


  8. A.Barlow says:

    Such a cool shot man. They almost look like the same person!


  9. Terrific shot Andy. I can’t believe its that time of the year again.


  10. Andy, Great view and good idea for the conversion. Looks like you will be having a great time!


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