As regular readers will know I have spent the winter in the French Alps and Tignes (Tignes Les Brévières more specifically). This winter has been a different one to those I spent in Fernie, British Columbia. My workmates regularly tease me about how much I bang on about Canada and how I wish to return. That is not to say I haven’t enjoyed my time out here, it has just been a different season. 

What I have enjoyed immensely from my time in the French Alps are the photographic opportunities. Shooting in the mountains is not as straightforward as you might image. I wrote previously about how I struggled to photograph Tignes when I first moved here. What I really needed was a photographer’s guide to help me find the best spots in the region, hopefully this post can serve this purpose somewhat. Yet as time moved on and I explored more of this beautiful part of France, I’ve felt happier with my photography. As my time in the French Alps draws to a close, I wanted to share some of my favourite photographs. This photo essay is the result of four and a bit months living, working, playing and drinking in Tignes and nearby Val d’Isere

Where possible I have included information about the photograph, location and metadata. 

Tignes Le Lac

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Tignes Le Lac, French Alps Landscape Photography: Tignes Le Lac is situated at the heart of the Espace Killy ski area, with Tignes Val Claret to the right and Tignes Les Brevieres found six kilometres down the valley. Photograph details: 1/320 sec, F14.0, ISO100, 19mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here. 

Tignes Les Brévières

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Tignes Les Brévières Landscape Photography: This photograph was one of the first I took when I moved to the small village of Tignes Brévières, I was impatiently waiting the start of winter, yet to receive my ski pass and anxious to explore. This photograph was included in a photo essay I wrote called Waterfalls of Tignes Les Brévières. Photograph details: 0.6 sec, F11.0, ISO100, 45mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Tignes Les Boisses, French Alps Landscape Photography: The weather in the French Alps, like many mountainous environments, is constantly changing. This makes photography difficult but equally rewarding. This photograph was taken from Tignes Les Brevieres looking up towards Tignes Les Boisses. It’s a composition I’ve been thinking about for a while, the iconic church spiral with the huge mountain as the backdrop. Photograph details: 1/80 sec, F11.0, ISO100, 135mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Tignes Les Brévières Landscape Photography: The turquoise water is in stark contrast to the slopes and trees in this photograph. As winter closed in these waterfalls froze and snow covered the slopes above Tignes Les Brévières, now as spring is rapidly approaching these waterfalls are slowly coming back to life. Photograph details: 1.3 sec, F9.0, ISO, 45mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.  

Winter in Tignes

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Tignes Landscape Photography: I’ve always been drawn to the mountains, the fresh air, the laid-back lifestyle and the abundance of beautiful scenery. Yet it has only been when I’ve had my camera that I have been able to appreciate the subtle details that reveal themselves in winter. This photograph was taken after a storm left Tignes Les Brévières covered in about a foot of snow. I was walking down the hill after work when I noticed these trees on the opposite of side the village. The snow was untouched, glistening white and inviting. The composition was relatively simple, I used a nearby tree and its branches to frame the tree in the distance. Photograph details: 1/800 sec, F5.6, ISO100, 150mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Tignes, French Alps Landscape Photography: This photograph is one of my favourite from Tignes. Taken from the top of the Grand Prix. This is a spectacular part of the Espace Killy ski area, looking out into the Tignes backcountry. This photograph was taken on a bitterly cold morning as these three skiers made their way out to a backcountry hut. Photograph details: 1/250 sec, F11.0, ISO100, 123mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here. 

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Tignes, French Alps Landscape Photography: This photograph was taken from near the top of the Chaudannes chair, looking down towards Tignes Val Claret. The weather was incredible for photography, the clouds kept shifting, creating new streams of light and shadows. This panoramic photograph is a stitch of five photographs, allowing me to really capture the sheer scale of the mountains. I particularly like how the clouds are sitting over Val Claret, much like a hat. Photograph details: 1/125 sec, F14.0, ISO100, 40mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Aiguille Percee, Tignes, French Alps Landscape Photography: As I was recovering from my latest injury I caught wind that the French authorities were going to be undertaking some avalanche control work on the slopes above Tignes Les Brévières. They had earmarked the road would be closed from 11 am while they sent up a helicopter to inspect the slopes and drop some charges to bring down the unstable snow. I jumped on the bubble from Tignes Les Brévières and went up to see if I could record the avalanches. Unfortunately the cloud you see at the foot of this panoramic photograph lifted and hugged the peaks as the bombs were being deployed. Fortunately, I was able to get this, and a few other panoramic photographs of the peaks before the cloud socked us in. Photograph details: 1/125 sec, F11.0, ISO100, 40mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Tignes Le Lac, French Alps Landscape Photography: This photograph was taken one evening from a small turn off on the road to Val d’Isere. I drive this road almost every day and in the evenings I had noticed the ski hill lights up the Lavachet wall. Looking towards Tignes Le Lac I was instantly drawn to this composition. Photograph details: 60 sec, ISO100, 12mm shot using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here. 

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Val d’Isere. French Alps Landscape Photography: This photograph was taken one Sunday afternoon as I finished up a photography project for a client. I was out on the balcony of a new development, looking out towards the mountains when I saw this fantastic streak of light hitting the peaks. Without much time to compose a shot, my camera and got to work. Photograph details: 1/15 sec, F11.0, ISO100, 37mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

Exploring further afield

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Moûtiers, French Alps Landscape Photography: This winter hasn’t all been about epic landscapes. I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to explore further afield. This photograph was taken in the small town of Moûtiers on a balmy afternoon in February. Photograph details: 1/30 sec, F5.0, ISO400, 53mm using an Olympus OM-D EM5. This photograph is available to buy here.

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Moûtiers, French Alps Landscape Photography: I wrote a post called Snapshots of Moutiers, it wasn’t a piece I thought would do that well. I mean, it’s a photo essay consisting of doors, windows and a hotel mural. Yet it seems to be a piece that resonated with some. Photograph details: 1/30 sec, F5.0, ISO400, 62mm. This photograph is available to buy here. 


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