It is almost exactly two years since we visited beautiful Swiss Alps around the village of Zermatt in the south of Switzerland. We had just a couple of days to see the area but that was enough to win us over with some stunning mountain scenery. This was the kind of landscape that I wanted to see and photograph for a very long time - mountains and wonderful autumn colours. I held off on processing the photos, as I am slowly going through my collection and I have to say, other than Faroe Islands, these were the photos that I most wanted to get into.
This day was especially glorious with fantastic partly cloudy conditions that changed slowly to more overcast but with lovely soft sunlight seeping through the clouds. We took the rail to the highest station at Gornergrat and hiked around to Riffelsee and then onto Grindjisee before hiking all the way down back to Zermatt. It was a brilliant, if very tiring day. I could not believe the autumn colours in front of my eyes. Wonderful golden larch trees were scattered all around and they mixed superbly with the surrounding landscape. The soft light imparted an amazing glow on the bright leaves and I think I found landscape heaven that day. I love mountains at any time of the year but this, in my mind, tops everything.
There is nothing too technical about this photo. It is a single frame shot with not too much editing. The light was quite uniform and I used a soft graduated neutral density filter to control the highlights in the sky and in the snow. I had my polarising filter on, as I usually do for most of my landscape photos. In post processing I did a little bit of work on the global and local contrast, adjusted the colours and white balance slightly. I also used dodging and burning to enhance the depth in the scene. This was one of those moments when I thought the photos really just could take themselves, it was just so beautiful.
The main challenge for me was choosing a good composition. I would have loved to have more time to explore different and more intimate compositions, however, on that day I was happy to look for wider perspectives and grander views. My main aim was to find compositions that had good layers and that were not too cluttered. It was really easy to get so immersed with colour and detail and take photos in every direction possible. With this image I wanted to show the autumn trees in context and harmony with the mountains and I hope I was able to achieve that.
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