Weekly Image #9 – Fun in the snow

Exploring the Cairngorms in winter.

Last January I took a course with the local outdoor centre to learn about skills necessary for mountaineering and hill walking in winter. We drove into the Cairngorms and scaled a Munro in deep snow, learnt how to predict and avoid avalanches, got introduced to walking on crampons, various styles of self arrest with ice axes and much more. On the way I snapped this picture of our instructor dashing up a slope to test whether it was steep enough to practice self arrests (it wasn’t).

There is something special to shooting winter scenes in the mountains. On a sunny day you usually only have at most three dominant colours in any picture – the deep blue of the sky (easily highlighted by a CPL), the bright white of the snow and clouds, and the grey or black of the rocks. The simplicity of this colour combination makes any humans in the picture really stand out, provided they wear something bright and colourful. In this case unfortunately our instructor was only wearing a dark blue hardshell (I would’ve preferred bright green, orange or yellow), but with the simple composition and colour scheme I still think it worked out well.

Shot with the Pentax K3 and Pentax DA L 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 WR kit lens at f/6, 1/125th sec. and ISO 200 at 18 mm, plus a Hoya CPL.

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