Recently I got back from a short skiing trip. Of course I had to bring my camera along! I did loads of research in advance to come up with shots I was going to take and what perspective I wanted to have. The preparation was almost as much fun as the trip itself! I created a Pinterest board specially for this purpose alone. I find that it helps me a lot to kind-of think ahead and know what kind of shots to expect.
The chosen destination became Austria, the former Olympian ski resort of Axamer Lizum to be exact. It was very accessible; we booked a flight to Innsbruck and from there it was about a 20 minutes ride. I decided to travel light because most of the luggage-space was being consumed by thick warm clothes and the five of us only had two suitcases… The flight was amazing! The view we had from the plane sometimes took my breath away. I shot a lot of images but none of them did any justice to the light and clouds. In the post-processing I tried my best to recreate my memories from the flight and after spending several hours ended up creating a ‘timeblend’ rather than a single shot edit. This ended up being much closer to my memory of the trip because it is a blend of three images that I took in one and a half hour time.
The first day had cloudy, snowy and foggy conditions… Perfect! I had already anticipated what I kind of shots would work well in these conditions! Close-ups, long lens shots and moody atmospheric shots were my friends that day.
The view from our apartment that morning was awesome so I grabbed my camera and just before breakfast I stepped out on the balcony to shoot some distant mountains. There was snow on the trees and clouds of fog were rolling in and out of frame. The layering that happens when there is fog just works very well when using a longer (telephoto) lens.
I also wanted to take some photographs incorporating people. I warned my friend in advance that they might end up in the shot and asked if they would mind. The snowy conditions and the ski-goggles of my friend worked perfectly in the shot that I had envisioned in advance. It was just a simple click and later in the post processing I edited myself out of the reflection and enhanced the falling snow some more. I must admit that I had a lot more shots in mind but hey, I came there to ski right?
The next day I woke up and looked outside in awe, I grabbed my camera and walked barefoot out on the balcony. The sun was already up and just started to light up the top of the mountain in the distance and there were clouds!!! Inspired I put on a polarizer on and shot a couple of ‘mountain’ shots without my usual ‘foreground elements’. The contrast of the warm and cold colors and the partially clouded sky made for an awesome spectacle! Shooting like this handheld was not ideal and I wished I had brought my tripod with me. By keeping the shutter speed high enough I still managed to get some keepers although I was pushing it. My feet were freezing but I didn’t mind this was already a great day!
Next priority was to shoot the ‘talent’. We had discussed that I would take some ‘action shots’ of my friends in action. I positioned myself on the side of the piste and signaled that they could come as they pleased. Turning the AF to continuous I was quite surprised to find out that my lens could keep up! This was the shot I was most proud of, kudos to those that do this for a living, shooting fast-moving skiers is hard!
Standing there waiting for my friends I also managed to shoot a panorama with my iPhone, I was amazed by the result!
Because I live in the Netherlands I am always in awe when the countryside is different from its usual flatness. Mountains and hills just make me wonder and I just cannot seem to get enough of them. Mix that with an amazing scenery of snow and clouds and this is what you get… If you have the chance make sure you go to Axamer Lizum, it is a beautiful area with awesome sceneries and excellent ski-pistes!!!
Byebye Austria it was a pleasure!!
Please let me know which image is your favorite and why. Would love to hear from you!
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