A Gathering Storm

Posted by Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 2 April 2008 in Sport & Recreation and Portfolio.

Decision time for a lone skier on a ridge on one of the black runs 10,000ft up in the French Alps.

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Links to the websites of other photographer friends (and the world famous Michael Kenna!) whose work I admire:
Michael Kenna
Hugo Poon
John Leech
Ian Smith
Mike Spriggs

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

You have reached the top of the world...leave it to you ;) it's too special for mere words

2 Apr 2008 6:08am

@Lorraine: Thanks Lorraine....That's one of the things that I love about skiing - that feeling of being on top of the world!

alun lambert from elton, United Kingdom

love this shot , makes me want to get my boots on.

2 Apr 2008 8:11am

@alun lambert: Thanks very much Alun!

chris chisu from Seattle, United States

really cool.

2 Apr 2008 11:42am

@chris chisu: Cheers Chris!

omid from tehran, Iran

Nice perspective.

2 Apr 2008 1:57pm

@omid: Thanks Omid!

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

Oh, my! I wouldn't want to be in his skis! And...generally.....I wouldn't want to be where he is and where you were,too! Prefer to watch the image and imagine the drama!

2 Apr 2008 2:43pm

@Japanalia: Thanks Japanalia.....it was even more dramatic in person and I only wish I could have done this scene real justice with my camera. That black run was truly scary.

hugo poon from Hong Kong

Beauty, mystery, drama, tension, and a story... it's not too difficult to capture one or two of these elements in one photo, but only masters could probably compose them all in one single picture. Congrats my dear friend!

One more thing Ian, I owe you an apology for adding a link to your photoblog in mine without asking.:-)

Best regards,
Hugo

2 Apr 2008 2:53pm

@hugo poon: Thanks for the lovely compliments Hugo!

I felt very flattered indeed when I saw that you'd added a link to this site from your own....you know how highly I regard your photography and there's certainly no need for an apology :-)

Nataly from Santa Monica, United States

Impressive! Looks like a gate to Hell. Well handled, Ian

2 Apr 2008 3:42pm

@Nataly: Thanks Nataly.....it really was a dramatic sight but a little frustrating for me as I don't really feel that I've fully conveyed the excitement and danger that I felt as I stood there looking at this scene!

Mike from Chester, United Kingdom

An amazing shot, I pity the guy up there with the approaching storm...!

2 Apr 2008 4:18pm

@Mike: Hi Mike there's only one way down from that point which is to follow the narrow ridge and then ski off down an extremely steep and narrow gulley to the right into the bad weather......That's why he was hesitating. A black run like that is one thing on a clear sunny morning with good light and quite another in poor visibility and flat light. Half an hour later that same morning visibility was down to about 10 yards.

danthro from Suburbia, United States

wow. beautiful capture. majestic. but like the added effect of the skier in the shot, adds to the composition but also i think sort of a feeling of danger -- hope the guy doesn't fall off the mountain. is this near where you took this shot?

2 Apr 2008 5:24pm

@danthro: Thanks very much Danthro....this photo was taken at the top of La Saulire mountain range near Courchevel in France whereas the shot you linked was taken in a place near Les Saisies which is a couple of valleys away.

tom from Frankfurt, Germany

Stunning shot. Light and sky are fantastic.

2 Apr 2008 8:01pm

@tom: Thanks very much Tom....I was really pleased with the light!

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

Quite a dramatic shot, it tells a whole story with an open end. Excellent!

2 Apr 2008 9:30pm

@MadScientist: Thanks very much.......it was that moment of decision that I found really interesting and which I was trying to convey as well as a sense of how small man is comapared to the power of nature.

Michael Rawluk from Prince George, Canada

The skier is thinking "Should I ski or should I take the lift back down?"
Very nice shot.

3 Apr 2008 1:37am

@Michael Rawluk: Hi Michael.....yes I could see he was in two minds with the weather closing in. Also further down that ridge he needed to turn to the the right and ski down a steep narrow gulley into the fast approaching bad weather.

amy from Rocky Mountain House, Canada

Incredible light! Excellent choice for the b/w. Spectacular image!

3 Apr 2008 3:11am

@amy: Thanks very much amy!

Melissa W. from Warsaw, Indiana, United States

Absolutely stunning.

3 Apr 2008 4:59am

@Melissa W.: Thanks very much Melissa!

Daroru from Amagasaki, Japan

That is so powerful... love the detail, the sharpness... awesome clouds behind, just breathtaking.

3 Apr 2008 3:27pm

@Daroru: Thanks Daroru.....it was fantastic to have that scene in front of me with a camera at hand!

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

As everyone has already said, this is outstanding. The best feature, for me, is the lone figure. Without it the photo would be much less interesting. Very well seen and beautifully handled tones.

3 Apr 2008 10:33pm

@GJC: Thanks GJC......sometimes a figure in a landscape can really help to give it scale and drama can't it!

Stu from Kyoto, Japan

Magnificent capture. The b&w is perfect. It's serene yet ominous, and the skiier's predicament really draws you in. Bravo.

8 Apr 2008 2:18pm

KimberlyC from United States

Stunning!! The photo masters of yore are all looking down upon this one with smiles I do believe.

12 Apr 2008 2:56am

Nikon D40
1/1000 second
F/11.0
ISO 200
25 mm (35mm equiv.)

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