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.
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.
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.
We 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.