The old-fashioned way

Small cascades in the forest above Beatenberg

I find that photography is as much about the process of taking the picture than getting the end result. Tramping around the landscape looking for views, finding one, and then setting up in the right spot is something I really enjoy. This preference almost certainly comes from learning how to shoot the landscape with a heavy medium-format Mamiya C330 camera, which was all but unusable without a tripod.

Waiting around for the right light, or the right combination of clouds and mist, was a side-effect of having to pay for film and its development. It’s a habit which I’ve carried with me for over twenty years.

Tramping around the Swiss landscape can be a more vigorous experience because of the ups-and-downs of most picturesque ares and because of the altitude. If you’re not used to it, then lugging heavy gear around can quickly take it out of you.

After searching for a long time and putting it off due to cost, I found an ideal new tripod this week, to replace my aged, battered and overweight Manfrotto. The new toy is a Rollei C50i, which was half the price of the nearest competitor but which features bi-directional levelling bubbles and a panorama-friendly ball head, to add to the benefit of being super-light weight, as its legs are made primarily of carbon fibre.

The occasion naturally meant a trip out and the weather played ball: remaining cold, overcast and damp, so that I could get to the forests with the intention of gaining two tripod-mounted shots: one of a waterfall (shot using an ND filter to blur the water) and one of the clouds swirling amongst the trees. As it turned out, I got another shot of some rain-drenched wood anenomes in the rain on the way back to civilization, too.

Yellow wood anenome, Beatenberg

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