If I fall you jump

When going for mountaineering on a ridge, you're linked to your rope mate more than ever. If one falls, the other has to jump on the opposite precipice....
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When going for mountaineering on a ridge, you're linked to your rope mate more than ever. If one falls, the other has to jump on the opposite precipice.
Read less





Contest Finalist in Standing On The Edge Photo Contest
Peer Award
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sebastianmuglia PRO
sebastianmuglia April 20, 2015

Behind The Lens

I took this picture from the "Aiguille du Midi", a 3842 m high peak in the Mont Blanc massif, french Alps. This peak is situated above Chamonix, a town that once welcomed the Olympic Games. Linked to the valley by a cable-car, it is a famous starting point for high-altitude mountaineers (ski during winter, mountaineering during summer).
This picture was taken in the morning, at 8:57am exactly! While I've been up there several times in my life and mostly on mountaineering purposes, this time I was there with other geologists from everywhere in the World, as part of a scientific congress taking place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. It was the first step of the day excursion and I think that, despite the fact that I had already witnessed these amazing landscapes before, I was one of the most amazed people again.
Run away from midday! In my opinion, best lights in landscape photography are the morning and evening ones. And cloudy ones (I dislike big blue skies so much sometimes, and then realize my "photographer brain" is taking control on my mind...!). One of the things I love the most in photograpy is playing with lights and shadows. On this picture, I loved how the ridge parted the snow in 2 areas of different colors, thanks to the light. I also liked the infinite way the people's shades were drawn.
I used my Nikon D90 camera, along with my Nikkor 70-300mm lens, at 70mm. Iso 200, 1/4000s and f/5,6.
I've been walking on mountains since I was born, and mountaineering on rocks and glaciers since I was a teenager. My dad gave me his passion of mountains world, and I've fallen in love with these huge, wild, human-free landscapes. My heart can only beat in awe in front of this Nature, and that is why I love it so much. In summer 2008 I was 16 and I walked dor the first time on this ridge, with my older sister and our mountain guide. I was really impressed because the only thing I could see on my left was this thousands-of-meters-deep void. More than ever I was paying attention to not let my crampons get caught together... I was remembering these words our guide once told me when I asked him what would happen if I fell: "We are linked by the rope. If someone falls on one side of the ridge, the other one has to jump on the other side so it can balance the weight. Else.. we're both dead ;)." Seing these 2 mountaineers on the same ridge last September during the congress trip remembered me of this 2008 day when I was them.
All I do on my pictures is setting the contrasts (both general and local) and lights. I shoot in .raw so I have to go through Lightroom to get the actual picture. Also, I'm only sharing small sized photos on the internet, adding sharpness on them because the initial file is huge.
In my camera bag
I have to say that the photographer-me always wins over the lazy-me (yet this one is such a leader!). When I'm going in mountains, I have with me my Nikkon D90, and my three Nikkor lenses (16-85mm, 50mm, 70-300mm). If I'm going for sunset or sunrise (or even to shoot long-exposure waterfalls), I also bring my tripod, and my grey filters.
The composition is a key point when you shoot a picture with very few elements. I took others similar to this one on the same day, but in my opinion this one has the best balance. Also, again, morning and evening lights are the best if you want to play with shades and contrasts. I would advice you to shoot in .raw, because it allows you to get the "white" of the snow back in post-production without ruining the dark parts of your image! No over- or under-exposed picture at the end.

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