There is nothing quite as exhilarating and rewarding as getting back to nature and photographing mountain scenery. Mountains are dramatic, inspiring and provide great photography potential. Whilst you will need to be careful, mountains can be much more accessible and rewarding for the landscape photographer than you realise. Here are some top tips to get you started and hopefully capture those stunning scenes.
Find Accessible locations
This iconic mountain is the Matterhorn in Switzerland and probably recognised all over the world for its distinctive shape. I would love to have claimed great hardship in capturing this image but I was sat sipping a Cappuccino outside a restaurant at the time. This area like many in European mountain regions is peppered with cable cars making them very accessible to photographers.
Use a Telephoto Lens
As with the previous example of the Matterhorn, this image was shot using a telephoto lens. In the Matterhorn example it helped bring the mountain closer to me so requiring less effort on my part. This image from the Torres del Paine area of Patagonia was shot using a 300mm lens to crop in close and make the mountain loom large in the viewfinder. Using a telephoto lens helps emphasise the size of the mountain and make it appear more dramatic. Fill the frame for maximum impact.
Weather Adds Drama
Mountains are a great place to experience extremes of weather and whilst this means taking extra care, it can also mean great photo opportunities. I like showery weather best (especially in winter) as this means plenty of changing conditions with dramatic light. Showers that might only last for a few minutes give you many chances to catch that wonderful clearing storm light. In this shot from one of the many ridges in the English Lake District a passing snow shower allows the sun to break through. A few minutes earlier the sky was black and the snow swirling everywhere. Sit it out but be prepared and you will be handsomely rewarded.