Wintry Reflections

Building design has changed dramatically since the invention of the float glass process by Sir Alastair Pilkington in the 1950s.

We have moved a long way from the idea that windows are merely fenestrations in the external walls of a building allowing light in, and keeping the rain, cold and wind out. Window glass is no longer purely functional but decorative and more importantly an integral part of architectural design. Modern glass can also be produced with varying degrees of reflectivity, and many modern buildings are clad largely in glass and exploit that property.

The degree of window glass reflectivity now plays a significant role in the way that a building interacts with its environment.

Four images today featuring buildings, and specifically their glass reflections, from the Zermatt area in winter. Remember you can click on any image to see a higher quality enlargement – it really is worth it!

Linda Grashoff (Photoblog: Romancing Reality – do take a look at her blog) commented on my recent post of Zermatt buildings in ‘Ancient and Modern’ saying “I’m particularly taken by the bottom fourth of the second one, where the reflected triangular peaks of the mountains echo the triangles of the window frames and the stairs…. I don’t suppose you took another shot of just that area?” And the answer is: Yes Linda, and thanks very much for your comment, I did take another image of the lower part of the staircase and here it is:


Reflectivity is very often about the angle of view and whereas the image of the upper floors of this staircase shown in Ancient and Modern is primarily about transparency, allowing that superb staircase to be shown to maximum advantage, when you see the bottom section then there is a controlled overlay of the reflected peaks.

The next image is I think of another section of this large building. With curtains drawn, the windows are better able to reflect the wintry scene outside.


For the last two images we move uphill firstly to one of the highest lift stations – Hohtalli – where the lift housing is cloaked partially in reflective bronzed glass. The mountain reflected and slightly distorted is the Rimpfischhorn.


Finally some of the old Stadels in the Findeln valley have been expensively and beautifully modernised in the last few years and are now available to rent. Sailing uphill on a chairlift my eye alighted on this chalet with a huge corner window reflecting the property’s decking.


Winter makes this shot – in summer I suspect it will lose a lot of its atmosphere, but the chairlift doesn’t run in summer so I will not be able to make the comparison

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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21 Responses to Wintry Reflections

  1. ChrisdMRF says:

    awesome set of Images Andy. I especially liked the first and last


  2. Wonderful post Andy. I love the way you’ve captured these mountains as reflections.


  3. These are all fantastic. I must admit, I’m partial to the wonderful bronze-toned reflection–it’s simply spectacular.


  4. Len says:

    I love reflections as you do Andy. Every time I am in a city, I invariably shoot a ton of reflection shots. Great images but that third one wins for me.


  5. Great images Andy – I had to do a double take on the last one, and the Rimpfischhorn shot is excellent.


  6. What a great post, Andy! (And not just because you mentioned my blog—honest!) I love what you teach us about window glass, and your examples are right on. It’s especially nice to see that first image—glad you caught it.


  7. Phillip says:

    Amazing shots Andy. I really like the second one.


  8. oneowner says:

    Great series, Andy, especially the first shot. i love the diagonal and zig-zag lines. It’s a great composition.


  9. They are very good, Andy!


  10. Mike says:

    You have a very keen eye. My guess is you are a deliberate guy, in no particular hurry, and that kind of pace allows you to see these kinds of images.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for your perceptive comment, Mike. Quite an accurate assessment! Over the last few years I have very deliberately taken a much keener interest in what is around me, developing what I like to call ‘The Seeing Eye’: the more you look, the more you see. I’m not a good person to go on a walk with – I am very easily side-tracked!


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