Best of 2011
Choosing the Mountainwatch 10 best photos from season 2011 is an exercise in winter nostalgia, a chance to reminisce on colder days. This year the reflection was a mixed bag; memories of some astounding powder days but also recollections of much frustration as one of the warmest Augusts in recent history put paid to many plans. But while powder is certainly a key ingredient in snow photography, it's not a necessity, especially in Australia where the landscape can sometimes speak for itself.
These are our choices, what do you think? Tell us which of these 10 shots gets your vote for Mountainwatch's photo of the season - leave a comment below!
Drew Jolowicz, close up, Hotham. Image:: Mark Tsukasov. A good photographer knows his or her place. You can see the planning behind this image, the positioning and the angle that has created the ever-popular dynamic close up.
Sam Leitch, wind lip, Hotham. Image:: Mark Tsukasov. Doesn't this look like fun? While the winter didn't offer up too many powder-photo ops, the ones it did provide were spectacular. The longer you look at this image, taken on 9 August, the more you discover; how pristine and deep the snow is, how animated that arc of spay, how clear the light...
Jyothi Jaffray, slash, Hotham. Image:: Mark Tsukasov. Snow spray is one of those elements almost essential to an inspiring snow photo - it brings animation to a still image. The snow spray in this photo, taken 9 August, is so white and crisp it looks almost edible.
Laif Moegel, white ghosts, Falls Creek. Image:: Chris Hocking. Australia's alpine landscape is so completely unique. This image from 14 July has captured the fire-ravaged snowgums dressed up in white coats against the almost impossibly blue sky. You can see where Laif is going to turn next, an untouched white space between the trees, and you know it's going to feel good.
Buried cars, Perisher. Image:: Dominic Kieler. It may be hard to remember now, but there was a time this season looked set to be breaking all kinds of records. Back on 11 July when this photo was taken, the mountains had just seen over a metre of snow in under a week.
Big Mountain, Hotham. Image:: Mark Tsukasov. Any Australian image doing a good imitation of somewhere like Alaska is going to impress. This shot from early July showcases the best of Hotham's big mountain-style terrain.
Nathan Chilcott, Cliff Drop, Mt Wellington, Tasmania. Sometimes it's the story the image tells; this photo of snowboarder Nathan Chilcott riding Hobart's Mt Wellington, with a glimpse of the harbour side city in the distance, was taken in July. It originally appeared on Mountainwatch in a story about the freak snowstorms that made it possible for Nathan and his mates to enjoy a four hour session hiking Mt Wellington - which is just 20 minutes drive from downtown Hobart. The idea of snow in sight of the sea is exciting enough for us Australians, let alone almost urban snow slopes!
Alex Cameron, pow turn, Thredbo. Image:: Ben Hansen. You know that feeling, the bluebird powder day feeling, riding with your mates and just having a good time. This shot, from 7 July, just sums that up.
Snowcats, Buller. Image:: Tony Harrington. Good snow photos aren't just action, vignettes of the snow landscape and all that lies within it can be just as interesting. This shot, from the day before the season began on 9 June, seemed to bode so well for an excellent season.
Snowguns, Perisher. Image:: Ben Hansen. Snowguns are such an integral part of the Australian snow, anyone who's stayed on hill at Perisher will recognise this early morning scene; Front Valley with all guns blazing. Taken on 8 June in the days before the opening of the season this shot speaks of the work that goes into creating our season - snowguns doing their best to cover those grass tussocks.