35mm Film Images of The Snowy Mountains

As the winter snow season gets closer I have been posting on Facebook my old 35mm film images from the last 20 years or so with short stories on the capture of each image. I thought it might make an interesting blog post with them all together in one place. Enjoy.

April Snowfall, Seaman’s Hut

Camera/Lens – Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-70 f2.8

Film: Kodak EBX Slide Film

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Every year as the ski season nears we await with eager anticipation the first snowfall. On this occasion we checked out the forecast a few days out and it looked like a big front was going to dump plenty of white goodness. Snowfalls do occur early in the year but this one, at the end of April, looked like it might be pretty substantial.

We arrived at Charlotte Pass lookout after dark on a Friday night with a few centremetres of snow on the road. As we headed off up to Seaman’s Hut the snow got deeper and deeper, with some big snow drifts of over a metre tall. It was great being out in the snow again. We were like kids who were seeing snow for the first time – full of wonder and excitement. When we arrived we dumped our packs and carved telemark turns in the snow drifts outside the hut.

We awoke the next morning to see around 30 cms of snow on the ground. With the sun trying to break up the low cloud the colours were amazing. I rushed outside and captured this image.

 

Snowgum, Thredbo

Nikon F70, Tamron 28-200 f3.5-5.6

Film – Fuji Provia 100

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On my many trips to Thredbo over the years I had noticed this snowgum at the top of one of the runs and had always thought that would make a great image in fresh snow. I waited for a morning with new snowfall and took my SLR camera with me. I was lucky with the light as the low cloud opened a small window for the sun to momentarily bathe the tree at an oblique angle. With a ground blizzard blowing spindrift around the tree it made for an interesting image.

 

Early light on Mt Kosciusko from the summit of North Ramshead

Fuji Provia Slide Film

Camera/Lens: Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-70 f2.8

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A favourite campsite in winter is the summit of North Ramshead. You really get a sense of being on the top of Australia on the 6th highest peak in the country at 2177 metres. The large tors on the summit provide calm sanctuary from the prevailing south westerly winter winds. The views west to Mt Kosciusko, particularly at sunrise and sunset are spectacular.

In this image I asked my friend Grant to stand on the summit to offer some foreground perspective and pressed the shutter as the days first light hit Mt Kosciuszko in the distance.

 

Ice Crystals, Thredbo Diggings

Camera/Lens: Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-70 f2.8

Film: Fuji Sensia

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I awoke one particularly frosty morning at Thredbo Diggings before my friends had stirred and wandered down through the ice encrusted alpine grass to the Thredbo River. Shallow pools on the edge of the river had frozen overnight creating these amazing blue colours and patterns. Having come away without a tripod there was barely enough light to hand hold the camera and still get a reasonably sharp image.

 

Seaman’s Gold

Camera/Lens: Ricoh AF 60, Rikenon 35mm f3.5

Film: Kodachrome 64

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Many Easter’s ago I ventured out into the Snowy Mountains with three friends to hike around the Kosciuszko Main Range. We left Thredbo resort from the top of the chairlift and went via the summit of Kosciuszko, camping near Club Lake, one of the stunning glacial lakes of the area.

To cut down on weight I left my Olympus SLR at home and borrowed my Mothers point and shoot Ricoh AF 60 with a fixed 35mm lens. I brought a few rolls of Kodachrome 64 slide film with me.

The first days beautiful weather gave way on the second day to high winds and low cloud forcing us to spend the entire day in our tents. On the third morning, in light rain and poor visibility we decided to hike to Seaman’s Hut in order to dry off and spend our last night in comfort. That afternoon and night a ferocious storm raged outside with gale force winds and torrential rain.

The storm cleared just after dawn and with the sun trying to break up the heavy cloud I managed to capture this image as it lit up Etheridge Ridge. I have been back here dozens of times since, at all times of year, but never been able to capture light as beautiful as this.

 

Telemark Delight

Camera/Lens: Nikon F100, Nikkor 28-70 f2.8

Film: Fuji Sensia

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After setting up camp on the summit of North Ramshead in Kosciuszko on a June long weekend, we ventured out to the north slopes of the Ramshead to play around on all the great windblown snow. As I climbed the slope, the late afternoon light looked fantastic, silhouetting my friends as they skied past me. I found a spot so the sun was hitting the ridge but not directly into my lens. Amazing light bathed the surface of the snow and lit up small ridges of sastrugi. I shot off a number of frames as they carved telemark turns past me and this one turned out to be a winner.

 

Etheridge Glow

Camera/Lens: Nikon F70, Tamron 28-200 F 3.5-5.6

Film: Fuji Provia 100

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The end of Etheridge Ridge looms over Seaman’s Hut some 2 hours ski from Thredbo top station. An unnamed peak, the 5th highest in Australia at 2180 metres, lies a few hundred metres on the ridge to the south (left of this image). After spending the night nearby I rose early to try and capture the magenta colours of the Alpen glow. Asthe sun began to bathe the ridge in early morning light the full moon was setting fast. I was hoping I would be able to capture both the light and the moon but from my position it was going to be touch and go. Just as the end of the ridge received direct sunlight I pressed the shutter and just managed to capture the moon above the horizon.

Bogong Creek

Bogong Creek

Camera/Lens: Linhof Technorama 617S III, Schneider 90mm Super Angulon
Film: Fuji Acros 100

I spend a lot of time backcountry skiing in this area with friends so don’t usually have the time to photograph. This is a great place close to Thredbo resort where you can ski untracked snow while the resort is all chopped up. As it faces south, is protected from the south west winds by big peaks and is in a hollow the temperatures here stay cold which keeps the snow light, dry and deep. We usually have all this great snow to ourselves.

I’ve always thought the dead snowgums with their shadows on the snow and the snow contours in the creek would make for a great black and white image. On this occasion I found a nice campsite amongst the snowgums and skied down to the creek to shoot in the early morning.