Les Contamines Facebook Photo Contest - Please Vote Now!

Posted: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 by Mark Kinnon in Labels:

Vote for the skibiker!

I have visited Les Contamines a few times this year, it is one of my favourite places to skibike, it is also the place where I took one of my favourite photos of all time.
I found myself drawn back to the image repeatedly and eventually made a version to have as my desktop background. Recently an acquaintance at work complemented me on it and the same day I found out that Les Contamines were having a photo competition, this spurred me on to enter. If you are on Facebook and want to vote for it, please do by "liking" it, to see the other images in the contest go here voting ends on the 18th March.

Here's how the image came to be...
The short ride up the Aig. Croche chairlift takes you to the highest point in the Les Contamines Hauteluce domain at 2487m. There are two pisted routes down, the steep Aiguille red run or the treacherous Croche mogulled black run.
As is customary, I stopped and snapped a dozen or so overlapping images with my Sony Ericsson phone with a view to merging them together to make a panorama that evening, the sun was blinding and I couldn't see what I had taken and hoped that the images would be usable. A lot of people rushed past me, eager to start their descent and uninterested in the surroundings. A man and boy, stayed the while, surveying their options, perhaps apprehensive of the knee breaking icy mogul field below them.

Later, in the calm of the flat, I downloaded the images from the phone, they were well exposed but with nothing immediately special about them.
I opened Autostitch an excellent freeware panoramic image maker and loaded the selection, the computer worked away for a couple of minutes merging together elements.
The final result was startling, all the people who had rushed past me became a vague blur, the man and boy quietly surveying the slope became more sharpley defined, yet with a little motion blur, but the mountains remained starkly defined by their indomitable nature.

I love this juxtaposition between the dynamic and static elements of the picture, it says much about humanity:
The rush of humans missing the awe inspiring nature of the place. The Mont Blanc in the center of the image, highest peak in Europe, our own Everest.
The shed, this structured man made object, dropped into this place of otherwise pure unspoiled natural beauty, with it appears a discarded 19" server rack behind it!
The permanence of landscape and yet the mercurial temporary nature of seasons and weather.

The man and boy waiting, perhaps father and son; will the boy become the man who leads his own son down the same route in years to come? or perhaps the strong father will become the weak old man who's son will guide him in his infirmity....

I cropped the edges to square it up, and made some smaller versions for use in the blog.