A Day of Two Halves

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the photographic possibilities of a distant place. This, I think, is particularly true of holidays in the mountains.

There are the ever-changing vistas and panoramas encountered when out walking that change as you walk through them. In particular, on long walks it is not usually possible to hang about waiting for the light to change or for the clouds to move. There is an objective to be reached.

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The Frontier Ridge from Rotenboden: Monte Rosa, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and The Breithorn

And then there is the close-at-hand, micro world of flowers and trees and rocks. Textures and patterns. These are the little things that require time. You dither around searching for that one flower specimen that you choose to photograph because it is better than the dozen or so you have already looked at and dismissed. Or you walk through the forest and your eyes are examining the trees.

Two distinctly different approaches to photography. The first is very much about rapid decision-making: shooting from the hip. Capturing the moment. The second is a loitering, unhurried pursuit of those things that reward patience and an alert eye.

Yesterday morning we took the Gornergrat cog railway up to Rotenboden to catch the panoramas before the cumulus clouds claimed the summits. That involved some fairly rapid moving around to get the vantage points I wanted and the compositions I knew from experience. The image above is one of my favourite views – through the wide-angle lens it is physically diminished. The ridge of the Breithorn (on the Rt of the image) is fully 2kms, and the whole panorama stretches over several miles.

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The Matterhorn from Rotenboden, partially reflected in the Riffelsee

There are also beautiful views of the Matterhorn from here, with the mountain reflected in the Riffelsee. There was a breeze that ruckled the lake and the Matterhorn stubbornly wore a cloud hat. I was just leaving the scene when I spotted the red-coated walker. Shot grabbed.

I had ten minutes to spare before the next train down so I started the search for Gentians. Five minutes of looking, and numerous specimens dismissed, I found this clutch of tiny flowers.

_DS70337_edited-1We caught the train down one stop for Lunch – Part 1, and then down another stop for Lunch  – Part 2. And then I spent an hour on a gentle stroll through the old gnarled woods towards Grunsee and back. Tree after tree attracted my attention including the one below.

_DS70355_edited-1It’s so easy to rush through places like this and fail to see the intimate beauty. Sometimes we do well to pause and linger and take our time.

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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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10 Responses to A Day of Two Halves

  1. All wonderful images Andy, but your mountain shots always do it for me!

  2. oneowner says:

    I think you really have to look carefully for the little things when you’re surrounded by such grandeur. Nice work, Andy.

  3. seekraz says:

    My hikes in the Wasatch were always so much longer than the simple hike would have taken…had I not stopped along the way to take what was typically more than 200 images on each outing. No, they weren’t all masterfully crafted or composed, but they usually did document the amazing beauty and detail of what I found out there.

    I love the second image, Andy…the mass of the cloud-topped and snow-spotted mountain reflected in the shimmering lake…and the red-clad hiker…all very nice…and all making me long for my former “home” in the mountains.

  4. Len says:

    Your images from there want me to hop on a plane and see it in person Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      You really should do that sometime Len. But forget this summer – the weather is stuck in a rut of poor weather, and this place really needs a few really clear days to be appreciated. It’s a long way down to come for a dud trip.

  5. jenn says:

    Stunning photos!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for your visit and kind comment, Jenn. I see you’ve been photographing Books about Town. I just completed the sweep through Southbank’s collection last monday and now have only those in the City left to photograph. What a wonderful idea.

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