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Catching Memories Through The Lens

Incredible mountain adventure images win International Mountain Photo Contest 2022 – DIYphotography

The winners of the 2022 International Mountain Photo Contest have been announced. Now in its 8th year, the contest is organised by the Club Vasco de Camping Elkartea, a mountaineering club, based in San Sebastian, North Spain. After sifting through thousands of entries from more than 60 different countries the jury chose the 20 finalist photos.

The First Prize winning entry was taken by Yhabril Moro, from Biscay, with “Young Gun”, a spectacular photograph of a ski jump under the sunset lights, at Baqueira, a Catalan ski resort.

1st Prize

Yhabril Moro – “Young Gun”, Baqueira

This year I went to photograph the Freeride World Tour in Baqueira. I took thousands of photos and after the competition, I run into my young friend Urko Yarza completely by chance. He is the future! In just a moment we improvised a plan at sunset, and he gave me the best photo of the day, better than all the ones I had taken from the pros. For the composition, I took into account the position of the rider, the sun and the snow trail, and I shot with an off-camera flash to rise a little bit the shadows and blacks of the rider who was dressed very dark. As for the editing, I mainly worked on the focusing and white balance and raised it to warmer tones to be truthful to the light of the sunset.

2nd Prize

Paul Zizka – “Fenêtre Hivernale”, Stutfield Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Sasha Galitzki skis past hoar frost from the inside of an ice cave in the Canadian Rockies. “Fenêtre Hivernale” is a product of curiosity. Our group was moving past the toe of the Stutfield Glacier in Jasper National Park, and we noticed a small hole in the snow that covered the ice. Because the main goal for the day was to locate and photograph ice caves, we poked our heads inside every hole that we saw, just in case it would open up onto a large chamber. That particular one did not – it was a space just roomy enough for one or two people. Nevertheless, the view out of a small, hoar-frost-rimmed window made for great framing possibilities. I waited for my friend Sasha to ski through the frame and liked the result. I felt it conveyed the magic of winter in the Canadian Rockies.

3rd Prize

Jose Allende – “Burning Desert”, Merlín route, Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

While my friends were climbing the route, I was looking for frames with a different point of view. I was on a dune where there were some small plants and I took some photos that I really liked. I saw that the effect of the branches was very similar to a flame, showing just what I felt at that moment in the middle of the desert. The problem was that from there I could only photograph the climbers on the first pitch, so I decided to climb a mountain that was right in front of me. I was surprised to find more of those plants up there, so I repeated the same frame again and this time I managed to photograph the climbers and give that feeling of desert heat to the image.

Mendifilm Poster Prize

Sandi Bertoncelj – “Ski is Life”, Zauchensee, Austria

One of those perfect powder days you dream about. Super light powder and perfectly spaced trees. What more could you ask for?

FIFAD Poster Prize

Yhabril Moro – “Moondreamers”, Villanúa, Huesca, Spain

I had been after a photo like this for a long time, but I knew that it would be difficult for me to find the appropriate location. The place where we live, Villanúa, is a small Pyrenean village surrounded by mountains where you have to climb very high to see the moon in time. I spent a month or so searching until I decided to choose this place at a height of about 2500m. I also tried to ensure that it happened during the blue hour so that I could capture the contrast between the sky, the earth and the moon with that special light. On the day of the photo, the weather was cold and windy. It took us several attempts. I also had to move to correct my position as the moon kept rising, whilst they had to push the bike back up to ride again until I got the composition I was looking for.

Here are some of my favourites from the other finalists:

David Nogales – “Aniol sin miedo en una postal”, Aldeyjarfoss, Iceland

Whilst working on a documentary project about extreme kayaking, we travelled all over Iceland until we reached Aldeyjarfoss. It’s one of the most scenic waterfalls I have ever seen due to the energy of the water and the strange basalt rock formations on its sides. It was late afternoon and the sun wasn’t quite as strong, so we had this epic dim light.

Felix Urrutia Uriarte – “Bikote”, Urkiola Natural Park, Bizkaia, Spain

Snow had been forecasted at high altitudes, so I went to Urkiola Natural Park with the intention of taking some photographs in the beech forest. I usually go alone because I focus more on what I like to capture in my photographs. There were times when it was snowing and thus, I decided to immerse myself in the forest without a tripod. Shortly after, I saw that there were more people walking in the area, and after noticing those trees, still, with the autumn-coloured leaves, I took advantage of the moment when that couple passed through the hole, to take the photo. The truth is that I had a fruitful morning in that winter environment.

Julia Roger-Veyer – “Escape”, Mer de Glace, Chamonix, France

This photo was taken during the fall of 2021, during a 2 days exploration over the Mer de Glace, in Chamonix, with a friend and athlete Jeff Mercier, one of the best ice climbers in the world. Through this photo, I wanted to transmit both the beauty of this fragile element, the ice, as well as managing to capture the action of the climber and his precarious. Most of the time I have 2 lenses with me, the EF 24-105 f/4 and EF 16-35 f/8, but I don’t take a lot of gear with me, since I already have enough to carry with all the mountain and climbing gear! I find that when you don’t have a lot of lenses and the conditions don’t allow you to bring gear, it forces you to think more about the framing. It boosts creativity.

Christoph Jorda – “Fragile”, Pitztal Glacier, Tyrol, Austria

Every year a dedicated team of snowboarders and skiers travel to one of the last remaining glaciers in Tyrol. Mostly we go to the Pitztal Glacier. There are two reasons for this: first, by going there every year, we see how fast this beautiful and very old glacier world is disappearing due to climate change. After the photo is taken, usually about 4-6 weeks later, this unique location of thousand of years old ice is gone forever. We want to document this fast disappearing world for the generations to come. My children won’t be able to see this anymore. Second, we use this beautiful glacier world as an outstanding location for extraordinary ski/snowboard photography. In this photo, rider Jochen Mesle skis over a very fragile ice cave.

Florencia Corrado – “Oporrak Hondartzan”, Onton, Cantabria, Spain

Kevin climbs self-belayed on a day of great waves. He feels the wall vibrate due to the violence of the Cantabrian sea and smiles.

Nicolai Brugger – “Star Hotel”, Stellisee in Zermatt

I took this picture near a new moon phase. I was up there with some friends and spent the night at the lake to shoot the Milkyway.

The 20-awarded photos will be exposed in large format in the San Sebastian Boulevard gardens from May 26 2022. Alternatively, you can see them on the competition website.