Photographing the French Alps

I have been longing to get to the French Alps during the Winter for years now. Its been so long and too long since I’ve been there. I loved my times Skiing down the Mountains when I was younger & that’s where I think my love of Mountains originated from. I will endeavour to get there this coming Winter.

Took this really poor quality photo many years ago with point & shoot camera.

I took this really poor quality photo many years ago near the town of La Clusaz with a point & shoot camera.

As you can see from the photo above, the last time I was there I was not a professional photographer. So I have a lot of pent-up ideas and photographic revenge to do. A lot of my ideas have to do with lighting, and specifically coloured lighting. I want to use some vibrant coloured gels, lot’s of Red, Green & Blue’s. I’m thinking of lighting up trees in a forest during the night or evening. Should get a magical photo out of it. I have seen this sort of work from American photographers like Troy Paiva, although he uses these techniques to light up abandoned towns and aircraft graveyards in the states. Very impressive stuff though.

Tripod Fees

My only concern about photography in the Alps is tripod fees. If there are any fees it could add a hefty price tag to an expedition. I have encountered many tripod fees while carrying out assignments in England, especially in the lake district. Tripod fees are destroying professional photography. They exist as an easy money spinner for land owners, worse than speed cameras in my opinion. Means I will have to do a lot of research to make sure I avoid them. If I do come across an excellent location and there are fees in place they can be got around in some circumstances. Using a higher shutter speed and ISO level is an option, but not great in some low level lighting situations, like the evening or night time.


Another issue is copyright. Some legal idiot somewhere thought it would be fun to invent building copyright. One of the most famous structures in the World the Eiffel Tower is protected by legal copyright (Well it’s lights at night anyway). That’s right, if you take a photo of it and try and sell that photo without their permission they will sue you because you don’t own it… They do! Or so they tell us. Many buildings in picturesque towns are being blighted with copyright, just like the culturally rich parts of city’s. The main concern though is land owners claiming copyright over any photography taken on their land. I am also worried that another idiot will invent Mountain copyright, or have they already?

Well if you would like to comment on any points I have raised, feel free to do so. Until next time then…

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