The Matterhorn with clouds swirling about it's snow-covered flanks
The Matterhorn with clouds swirling about its snow-covered flanks

Over the holiday break, I had a chance to reflect on the work I produced in 2017. Here is my favourite photograph of the last 12 months: a picture of the Matterhorn.

Interestingly, this is an image I made almost exactly a year ago. I was in Italy overseeing the second printing of my second book, Atlantic Light. I'd never been to the Alps before, so I took a few extra days to do some exploration. I quickly found myself overwhelmed by the landscape and was suffering paralysis of choice. So I decided to dedicate my time to photographing one subject only for the days I had left. I'd always wanted to see and photograph the Matterhorn, so that became my goal.

I headed to the very swish village of Zermatt in Switzerland and prepared for my expedition. I spent days fine-tuning my mountaineering gear and psyching myself up for the gruelling task ahead. I finally set out and, after a day and a night of slogging through the mountains, I camped out and prepared to stalk my prey.

I kid. I took the train up the Gornergrat, a nearby mountain that has a hotel perched on the summit at 3,100 metres altitude (10,170 feet), and paid a ridiculous nightly rate for a room with a view of the Matterhorn. And a balcony. So in other words, I cheated the hell out of this image.

Landscape photography made easy

I set the camera up on a tripod just inside the door to the balcony and photographed the mountain over the next 24 hours in all its moods. Temperatures outside were a brisk –25 degrees centigrade, so a warm blanket was a must.

Despite the relative ease with which I made this photograph, I really enjoy it and look forward to exploring the Alps without cheating quite so much in the future.

If you'd like a print, you can find it on the website. It'll help pay down the second mortgage I took out for the hotel room.

Love photography? Want to learn how to produce images like this yourself? Check out my sister site, Elevation, where I list the photography tours and workshops that I organize.

I run trips within Ireland and abroad. Past destinations include Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands.

Post your comment

Peter Cox Photography Ltd