These are not meant to be photographs of a mountain, but rather photos of its shadow projected into the surrounding landscape.
I took this pictures during various sunsets and sunrises in the occasion of my many visits to the summit of Mount Rocciamelone (3,538 meters/11,603 feet), the highest and most stylish peak of Susa Valley, Italy.
The slideshow follows the chronological order of release, from year 2010 to 2015.
I've seen around the Alps many shadows, any kind of reflection, endless play of light... but such a neat geometric form so far I've found only on the Rocciamelone, thanks to its perfect conical shape.
The first time I saw it I was setting things to spend the night at high altitude, going on the north side of the summit to get some clean snow to melt for water, looking east I saw this area, like a huge mantle, conical and dark... I thought "wow, the mountain is projecting itself into the valleys below!" ... and I got my first shot, at sunset, thanks to the low rays of the setting sun in the west, exactly behind me and my camera.
At dawn occurs the same effect of shadow projection, obviously with the cone pointing west due to the sun rising east.
This natural phenomenon, observed on such a large scale, made me think: no one would be surprised or enchanted to see his own shadow on the sidewalk, walking in the city :-) ... shadows are just part of our daily lives. Here the physical process is exactly the same, just applied to the immensity of a mountain. I think this parallel between the ordinary (we don't even notice anymore) and the immensity, leads to a sort of needed "rediscovery" concerning the laws that all the time are governing our ordinary life.
Usually I travel my expeditions in solitary, this is valid for the Rocciamelone as well as for any other mountain in the Alps (also the 4.000 meters summits).
With the weight of my professional photographic equipment (camera, 2 lenses, tripod), food and gear to spend the night at high altitude, it generally takes me 3 hours and half to reach the top, but everything is relative in mountain climbing.
Temperature can vary greatly, even suddenly. The presence of strong wind at high altitude usually does its part to drastically change the climate.
You can go from a comfortable sunny afternoon with even 10 degrees, to -20C, even a lot less, at night.
Technically these are sunset and sunrise pictures. I'm used to night photography, which tends to be more complicated, so I can honestly say that the act of shooting has never been complex in itself.
But... if we consider the act of climbing a mountain above 11,000 feet, the overnight stay, the temperature (by the way all things I see as absolute integral part in landscape photography!)... well, this, all considered, converts these photos into something very difficult to get... but definitely worth any single effort!
After all the experiences lived on the Alps I could not even remotely consider the classic afternoon hike, so losing what matters most: these mysterious play between light and shadows, the warm colors of sunsets and sunrises, the otherworldly mysticism of the night...
Mountains must be lived at all hours, without haste, otherwise what a waste!