Rafael Rojas Photography

Blog of Rafael Rojas Fine Art Photography

Photo of the Week: Two Ranges


This is a very fresh image from the last week. Taken in the Jura Mountains, looking straight into the Alps. What means this image is compressing the two main ranges of Switzerland, some 35 miles apart, into the same shot. After a heavy snowfall, we decided to wake up early (really early) and brave the cold temperatures. It might sound horrible, but you might be surprised to know how nice that is. A perfect pristine winter wonderland just for you, trudging across the snow and listening only the sound of your own panting. This is one of those images you do not plan, that find you instead of the other way around. In fact, before taking this image i was looking more in the west direction, searching for images with the earth shadow colours over the snow laden trees. However, as sunrise approached some heavy clouds started to cover the East, and with them the likelyhood of getting a spectacular sunrise.

I saw these four trees, which due to their relative different distance seem to appear in a perfectly ordered way according to their size. I decided to set them against the distant mountains and rising sun and waited. As the sun rose, beams of light pierced the cloud cover, outlining the alpine peaks and lighting the base layer of clouds.

In terms of composition, i specially liked the "triangularity" of this image. The peaks, the trees, the two diagonals created by the snow base and the cloud cover, the diagonal which follows the tree tips... all that defines a structure composed of triangles, which give to the image a quite dynamic character. The contrast in complementary colours and the contrast in soft and jagged, warm and cold goes also in the same direction.

No HDR or double exposition here. The snow quite reflected the open sky light coming from the West, and the Nikon D3x did a good job allowing to fill in some light back into the shadows without filling it with horrible noise. The highlights are not blown up, but close to where the sun was they are quite light indeed. In terms of white balance i kept a neutral one to keep some blue in the snow, contrasting with the warm tones of the sunrise. You know anyway, i like the blues. I slightly desaturated the image, but you might still find it too colourful? It was a colourful sunrise indeed...

Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop a comment, I would love to know what you think about!