I spent a couple of days in the Alps, in the valleys of Mélezet and Cristillan near Ceillac, focusing almost exclusively on flowers, to try a new piece of hardware. But this didn't exclude some occasional landscape shot. The sky was almost always void of clouds, so I paid attention to details seen through a tele lens. In particular, at a close distance from the blossoming meadow where I spent most of the time, a line of trees caught my attention. But, even though I tried a number of different approaches, none satisfied me.
Le soir descend sur la mystérieuse forêt.
Sony NEX-6 + Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm ƒ/2.8, 1/1000 sec @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, hand-held.
At the end of the first day I kept on shooting at flowers until the sunlight was gone behind a mountain crest. That meadow is at the upper end of the valley, immediately below the cirque, separated by a wood. In late Spring / early Summer the sun lightens the place until late, then the shadow starts filling the valley from the cirque and proceeds towards the bottom. As a person who grew up in a town, an alpine valley is a mixture of feelings to me. Its radiance during the day, filled with the bright colours of flowers, brings a deep feeling of pulsating life and happiness. But, as the shadow arrives, the mood changes all of a sudden: woods get a mysterious look, sometimes even disquieting; looking at the sunlight that seems to run away towards the bottom of the valley I felt a kind of urgency to leave, as I didn't want to be swallowed by darkness. So I got into the car and left, but just after the first bend I saw the perfect frame for that line of trees. Quite surprisingly, I felt the irresistible impulse of removing the sharp Zeiss lens that I always use at ƒ/8 for landscapes and used the Trioplan at maximum aperture instead. In this way, the photo acquired a somewhat eerie aspect that reflected my mood. I only regret that I didn't take a sharp shot with the Zeiss, just for a comparison.