Mountain landscapes are often seen at their best when the atmospherics – light, shadow,  cloud and mist – combine to tease the viewer. It’s nature’s version of a striptease. Tantalising. You wait for the full reveal but it never happens.

Somewhat counter to its normal behaviour the Matterhorn, on this morning, stood proudly and largely clear of cloud, but the vast range of peaks forming the north-west side of the Zermatt valley coquettishly danced to a different tune. And I’m so glad they did.IMG_7508_wpIn situations like this I find myself instinctively drawn to a B&W interpretation. In part because that was the medium that shaped my early work, and in part because it was how I viewed the Alps through the superb photography of many great alpine photographers. It also suits the scene so well. Colour frequently adds a ‘cast’ in conditions like these, which can be very difficult to remove entirely. And the use of the B&W medium allows a little additional licence to balance light and shade. Sometimes you just can’t beat B&W – it has that edge.

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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19 Responses to Atmospheric

  1. oneowner says:

    Right. I think black and white tends to bring out the drama in a scene like this. Well done.


  2. Super image Andy – I think I’m enjoying your ski trip (almost!) as much as you.


  3. suej says:

    Agreed re that ‘edge’ with black & white! Isn’t it great that there was no colour film in the earlier days, so those of us above a certain age grew up with black and white!!


  4. shoreacres says:

    Black and white certainly shows off that “edge” in this image. It’s glorious. I think the contrast between the solidity of the mountain and the light, ephemeral clouds is even more dramatic because of your treatment. A wonderful vision!


    • LensScaper says:

      This view was certainly something rather special, Linda. And the effect only really works in winter – when clouds ethereally flirt with the peaks in summer a lot of the drama is lost because there isn’t that same tonal drama. Thanks Linda.


  5. mark says:

    The images you posted yesterday and today are breathtaking Andy.


  6. Chillbrook says:

    Superb tonal range! Wonderful texture! Smashing photo Andy!


  7. Breathtaking photo, Andy. I feel as though I am on the mountain myself. Really nicely done.


  8. E. Brooks says:

    “Promoting” mountain landscape weather conditions as a striptease is certainly one way to awaken interest but this shot needs no additional stimulation — it’s wonderful!


  9. Len says:

    The B&W choice really emphasizes the light and shadows and translate its ruggedness Andy.


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