We are very pleased to share with you the results of our Q1/2019 competition in which we asked our photographers to bring snow to the mountains .
The competition attracted 8 photographers who submitted 14 shots featuring winter season in the mountains. Even though the motive was similar the photos were quite diversified.
There were 5 front runners in the race (all featured below). The most votes went to a shot that that presented a light reception in terms of light and beautifully arranges retained sky. Ladies and Gentlemen – the winning picture is Sunny Dolomites by Georg Dresel.
The winner receives a a voucher of 25 CHF that can be used as payment for any future workshop organized by PICZ or studio rent.
“The picture was taken in October 2018 in the famous Tre Cime area in Italy (Südtirol). When we arrived, it was about 25 degrees C (at about 2300m) and sunny. We stayed at the Auronzohütte for a couple of nights expecting to photograph obviously the Tre Cime but also to explore the vicinity. While the first day started out quite nicely weather-wise in the morning allowing for some spectacular sunrise shots, a cold front moved in dropping the temperatures towards zero in the late afternoon. And it started to snow heavily. Actually it snowed so heavily that they closed the road down (luckily we stayed in the hut anyways) trapping a few people in the hotel for the night. It continued snowing all night long – and it got colder and colder covering everything with 15 cm of new snow and a few centimeters of ice (probably due to the strong cold winds). What a difference to the day before! The next morning we found ourselves in winter wonderland. Nonetheless, we headed out towards our intended shooting spots. Well, what to say about weather in the mountains – during the day it cleared off, the sun came out again and the snow started to melt so quickly that by early afternoon a lot of it was gone again! By the time we walked back towards the hut most of the snow was gone. We stopped on one of the saddles (shoulders or whatever you want to call it) at the east-end of the Tre Cime with probably a hundred other hikers (the entire area is easily accessible really as one can drive up to the hut (but not down sometimes :)) and park there – end then just hit the hiking trails which leads to literally hundreds of hikers every day being up there). As the wind was still going strong it had cleared all the clouds and we were back to blue skies. Everybody started to set up their tripods and started to shoot in all directions, trying to keep the hikers out of the pictures (as always when showing up with heavy gear we stuck out amongst all those selfi-sticks).
I am very much into B&W photography – although the sunrise shots are quite spectacular in color (obviously…) – and hence I was looking for lines, contrast, and texture. And that was to be found on the southern flank of the mountains opposite the Tre Cime (whose famous „side” actually faces to the north making it necessary to walk all the way around them if one stays at the Auronzohütte – about a 2h walk in the dark if you want to catch them during sunrise which lights them somewhat from the eastern side). I set up my 280mm on the camera and tripod (which actually always looks quite, well, big) and skimmed the flank for different shots trying to keep in mind the B&W elements. The light was good and luckily enough there was still some snow left. Working very much by the histogram (which I always do in order to avoid burned highlights) I took a few shots composing around that ridge in the front (I liked the snow-covered top) which leads up to the mountain on the left and is somewhat mirrored a bit by an almost parallel line on the mountains in the back. The picture was taken at 244 mm, f 8, 1/400, ISO 50. The mountains are approx 2km away. The day ended with a nice evening in the hut and everybody went to bed early as we had to get up at 3.30am to do this 2h hike the next morning to be there about 45 min before sunrise.
Processing is a „big thing“ for me – I enjoy it very much and don´t believe in „getting the shot perfect in the camera“ (in JPG) as I actually like the creative process in the development stage. Hence, I only shoot RAW and start to develop the pictures the way I imagine them to look best both in LR and PS. LR helps to get pictures organized and is only the basic step before I move to PS where I convert into B&W using different techniques and try to optimize the gray tones to get all tonal values. Apart from that I worked on sharpening the image with using the high pass filer in PS. Overall it was a very enjoyable 4 days in the area and I can only recommend staying at the hut for a few days in the late fall or early winter time possibly getting some snow as well.”