I have moved to the French Alps for the winter and more specifically, Tignes Les Brevieres. Tignes is home to some of the best skiing in the French Alps, relatively snow-sure and also home to the Grande Motte glacier. It is a beautiful part of the world but why am I struggling to photograph Tignes?
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly I am new to the area, I had no prior knowledge of the region, save for a few searches on Instagram. I have also struggled to find the time to explore, for the first month I was working every day, up before sunrise and often working after sunset.
Secondly, this has been a strange start to winter, Tignes Les Brevieres sits at 1550m and has yet to receive any significant snowfall since the middle of November. This means the mountains are bare, apart from some man-made snow. The trees are now in winter mode, dull and shredding their pine needles; we just need the rest of winter to arrive.
Finally, the last reason why I am struggling to photograph Tignes. Blue skies. The last month has seen a bluebird day, almost every day. Blue skies are fantastic for skiing and great for visibility. Yet they suck for photography. The sunlight is incredibly harsh in the middle of the day, couple this with white mountains and I am truly struggling to find get any photographs that are worth keeping.
Saying all this I am finding some potential compositions. Tignes is home to the eye of the needle (made famous by James Bond). The mountains are grand and definitely photogenic, Val-d’Isère is nearby and there is a cracking shot to be had looking down the valley towards Tignes 1800. There are some really interesting compositions to had with the church at Tignes 1800 and with the view down the valley to Bourg St Maurice, with La Rosaire in the background. Mont Blanc is also visible from the top of Tignes, I just need to find the right conditions, i.e when she has her hat on.
Here are just a few of the photographs I’ve taken in Tignes since the end of November 2016.