In this showcase series we feature the alpine photography of Jakub Polomski.
Jakub told us about his photographic background:
I live in Cieszyn, a small town in the South of Poland. I am 28 years old. 8 years ago I saw some pictures in an issue of National Geographic Magazine. They inspired me. I borrowed a camera from my friend and I have started my own adventure with this field of art (never before had I had my own camera, because I hadn’t been interested in photography).
I have never had any “formal” training. I also didn’t learn photography in any school. I was uploading my photos onto many photo portals and I was reading feedback to them. These constructive critiques helped me to improve my skills.
Can you tell us more about this Top of France series?
Aiguille du Midi cable car is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Chamonix. The cable car runs onto 3,842 m (12,605 ft). It was built in 1955 and for about two decades it was claimed the highest cable car in the world. Nowadays, the top station is also starting point for alpinists who want to climb Mont Blanc. It provides a great opportunity to be very close to real alpinism.
That’s why Aiguille du Midi is a great “training camp” for photographers who want to shoot alpinist photographs. You can learn there what parameters would you need to use in order to get best results. Photographic conditions are quite hard there because of high dynamic range between lights and shadows, sun shining directly into the lens, and snow reflecting light of sun.
Weather conditions are also specific because of high altitude, strong winds, and great difference between temperature on the top of the mountain and the temperature in the Chamonix valley. However, on Aiguille du Midi you are in safe place, and all you need to think about, are photo parameters. You don’t have to worry about ropes, and any other climbing stuff. You can focus just on taking pictures.
That is why this mountain is perfect place for training alpine photography. Everyone who ever would be in Chamonix should take advantage of the trip to the summit of Aiguille du Midi. It is important to use there ND graduated filters or take photographs using HDR technique, especially in the morning.
It is because the most spectacular scenes are in that time with sun shining directly into the lens, and dynamic range between light of sun and shadows of rocks is very high then. Personally I prefer using ND graduated filters because, especially in places like this, it is hard to set tripod in order to get multiple exposures of one scene as it is needed when using HDR technique.
What equipment did you use for this series?
My equipment is: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40mm Lens, Canon 70-200 F/4 IS, Canon 85 F/1.8, Canon Speedlite 580EX II, Hitech ND graduated filters (Cokin system), Induro Carbon CT214 tripod, Induro PHQ3 ballhead. However, I focus on my workshop rather than on camera’s producers technology. In other words, I am interested in photography, not in the equipment.
I use Lightroom in post-processing in which I mainly adjust white balance and curves. Before I export RAW into JPEG file I have to view and change values several times because only after this I get some kind of distant and fresh approach to a photograph.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Jakub Polomski retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.