High Resolution Panorama from Hong Kong Skyline for the New Year

cropped-tumblr_inline_o0itj3wdcp1qcd3or_540.jpg

Happy New Year !

A few years ago this would have been a high budget almost impossible shooting producing a photo which can be printed with all details visible even on a size of 10m wide.

The base is a Nikon D810e the resolution of 36 megapixel and a great dynamic range capturing bright and dark areas in never seen quality for DSLR cameras. 10 perfectly captured photos stitched together give this panorama image resulting in a photo with 264 megapixel.

Detail view….

image

Not that we want to see what’s happeing inside the appartments of Hong Kongs citizens but we could if we keep zooming.

Link to the original photo: http://bit.ly/hong_kong_skyline

Enjoy the view

Jürg

Back on the lake St. Moritz

image

It has been a while since the last shooting on the lake up in St. Moritz. The mountains up there are so impressive and yes would love to go hiking there. The transition from summer to winter is a incredible period but with my broken feet this isn’t possible right now.
The regatta was sailed on the Blu26, same boad used for the St. Moritz Match Race.
What I really enjoed having my own rib and able to drive in the spot witout expalnining the driver what I had in mind.
As expected the temperature dropped for the wekend, this gave a good look to the scenery with the fresh snow on top of the mountains.

Enjoy the selection of photos

image

Swiss Mountian Film Festival

 

Big News!!!
In 2012 I had the pleasure to produce the official video for the toughest alpine race in world, the La Patrouille des Glaciers .

Today I’m very happy to announce that our video has been slected as on
of the 15 mountain videos out of 150 to be part of the 2015 Swiss Mountain Film Festival .

The festival takes place in Pontresina from the 10th – 16th August and
our video will be shown on the 16th before the prize giving.

Would great to share this momnet with you all.

Back home from the PDG

image

PDG stands for Patrouille des Glacier, probably the hardest mountain race around….no I didn’t participate, I was just taking photos of the race.

What’s so special then… simply do 3000 – 4000 meters in climbing up with camera gear to shoot what you have in mind or client needs then it get’s special, even for the photographer.

Shooting at the Olympic games is a very special occasion and it’s always unforgettable. Shooting the PDG is somehow very similar. This year is the 4th time I had got the job as official photographer of the PDG.

It’s a job that starts months before, back from the Sydney Hobart race I had 4 months to get ready and prepare my body and gear for this project. This year I got the help of Fabian from the Swiss Olympic Medical Center at the Schulthess Clink here in Zurich. The training was hard but the difference to the last edition was the constancy, keep training every day at least 1h or 2h at a not too high heart rate, during that time I not only got fit but also lost almost 7 Kg….less to carry up.

How to handle the gear in high altitude isn’t anymore a problem, had plenty of storms in the last 3 editions to learn that, however, there are 2 points which are crucial:

– Think well what you really need, carry as less as you can. It takes me weeks to think about the images I have in mind to finally reduce the camera gear weight to the limit.

– Keep the cameras in the cold. Leave the cameras outside when you go back in to the tent to sleep or to relax, the humidity isn’t any good for them. You can even dig your bag under the snow and mark it with an avalanche sonde to find it again the next morning when you come out of the tent.

About lenses, it may sound weird and I get criticized from time to time but my favourite lens is the Nikon 28 – 300 mm. I know it’s not a prime lense but it’s light and very versatile with the zoom range up to 300mm.

I was thinking for long about my backpack. There are all this new backpacks appearing in the market made for outdoor photographers but after looking at a few of them I decided to go with my Mammut 35 litter. He is not the lightest but gets everything properly stored and still feels comfortable on my back with all the weight. Not to forget that we carry a full high mountain safety equipment all the time. Shovel, sonde, safety cover, first-aid kit, ice axe, ice screws etc., all what you normally carry climbing, hiking in high altitude.
A big help are this neoprene covers, they protect the camera and lenses from shocks, and they are light….very important.

Another think to consider is the chopper, beside walking a lot we also fly a lot, just short flights lasting a few minutes , getting in and out of the chopper is key, and nothing has to be attached outside of the back to prevent get hocked on somewhere. The loadmasters would not like it at all.

image

This year thanks to Dynafit I also changed my ski and ski boots… love the new TLT6 from Dynafit, flexible when needed for long walking and hard the way I like it on the way down. The skis are the Dynafit Broadpeak length 174cm, very light but they are great in the powder but also on the ice.

The first few days were the hardest, just to start we begun with a 1’000m climb over a glacier, thank’s to the hard training I had no problem, the backpack felt well with my limited gear selection. But I had a big lesson. My water bottle was on the left side, so does the ice ax and the tripod…after 1h walking, climbing my left shoulder felt in serious pain, a bit of changes and then it was ok.

After a few days my body got used to the high altitude and I felt good, could keep up the speed with all the mountain specialists of the Swiss Army, but I got my big lesson about speed when I was around with the 3 Pro’s from Dynafit.

We planned a shooting before the race in high altitude, the first night on the Schönbiel hut and then up to Tete Blanche…..I was giving everything on the way up but for them It was still a easy walk…(during the race they got second…..why should they feel challenged by a photographer)

Unfortunately the next day it was snowing hard, very little visibility and avalanches kept coming down every 10 minutes around us so we had to go down without doing the expected photos. It was a hard decision but safety is more important.

Beside shooting in the mountains we started 2 years ago with a series of portraits, this year we completed the series with the mountain guides and on top we also did a series with the pilots from the Swiss Air Force. Working so close with so many strong personalities is an incredible experience. Click here to see the complete gallery of portraits.

image

The first race was in low altitude we planned to shoot the part from Zermatt to Schönbiel…the hardest part was walking up to the Staffel checkpoint with the ski boots, but my Dynafit TLT6 were simply great. No blisters at all…Thank you Dynafit. In the forest after Staffel I had my lucky moment check out the photo:

image

Early morning I finally got my photo – flight over the race. Amazing photos.

image

The second race was again a weather challenge, clouds covered the mountains and we supposed to fly up to Tete Blanche but at 18.30 the pilots gave up and a few hours later the race started. Too late to start to walk up… Again I had to make changes due to the weather…Stay flexible and make the best out of it…..

Around midnight the sky cleared up and early morning I got a great photo of the Mont Collon.
image

With the sun rising I got lucky…. received and SMS saying “go to the heliport asap” and 1 h later I was on Rosablanche shooting the teams climbing up.

image

The way home was with the ski…up and down to Verbier….not bad at all.

Hope you enjoy this short/long story. Now I’m off for another jogging session, want to keep my body fit as long as I can.

Juerg

More & More

image

Fitness test at the Swiss Olympic Medical Center / Schuthess Clinic in Zurich.  In about one month the high altitude photo-shooting projects start and It’s time to check the fitness level.
It’s never enough, at least that’s what it feels. The outcome of the test was motivating but cruel too. I’m fit..ok I feel that myself, but how much and do I train the right way.
The heart range during the training was too high, this happens very easily, you skip a training session and the next one you push a bit harder to compensate and that’s a way to loose efficiency, that’s what I learned today.
From now on every second day 30 – 60 min jogging at a lower heart rate (125 – 135) and then once per week a ski tour to prepare the  body for the long and hard ascents in case we can’t use the chopper.

Summary:
Reduce the heart race but increase the training volume, let’s see if it works. Mid April onwards I will feel it. At least I lost 4 Kg since January, this is less weight to carry up on the mountains.

And you, how is your training going?

Patrouille des Glacier Museum in Chable

image

Last week opend the musem of the Patrouille des Glacier. Part of the  special events planned for the 30 anniversary of the PDG.

It’s a very special experience visiting an museum and finding may of my photos done in the last 3 editions and for sure also the video we produced last during the last edition.

Beside spectacular images the museum gives you a inside view in the history and many details who played a major role of this event.

Link to the museum: www.museedebagnes.ch 

What is the PDG:
The Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG) is a ski mountaineering race organized every two years by the Swiss Army, in which military and civilian teams compete. It takes place at the end of April, in the south part of the canton of Valais below the summits of the Pennine Alps.