I usually spend quite some time figuring out where photograph winter in the Swiss Alps. I look at maps, scout the terrain on Google Earth, figure out where the sun will be when, check whether snow fell recently, see if there will be clouds and how those are likely to develop, etc. The weather part helps a lot. The maps and terrain part is a bit tricky, though. This photograph of winter at the Simplon Pass proved that looks can be deceiving.
Winter in SimplonSnow dune landscape at the Simplon pass with Spitzhorli in the background.
I captured this winter landscape at the Simplon Pass. This pass connects Switzerland with Italy. The location wasn’t high on my list, as I didn’t expect too much from it based on how it looks in summer. We ended up going there a few weeks ago anyway. It was the only place where the sun was expected to break through the clouds. So happy we did! Turns out that it is a place where not a lot of people go.
Additionally, it has impressive wide views, massive snow dunes and beautiful curvy terrain with great details. There was loads of deep virgin snow as well. All in all an excellent place for photography! Our dog Izzi had lots of fun as well. Most of the time, only his head and tail were visible 🙂
Strong winds are quite common at this altitude. As a result, the snow often has an interesting structure as this photograph illustrates. I used a wide-angle lens to include the carved snow. It adds foreground interest and depth to the image. The name of the mountain in the back is Spitzhorli by the way.
Cheers, Johan 🙂