From an extremely fun trip to Hokkaido for some skiing at Niseko and a little exploring in Sapporo, this being on top of Grand Hirafu resort after a small hike from their highest chairlift, classy little single seater.
It was a cold March night in Sapporo and the foggy storm told me it would be interesting to get out and take some shots despite it being late in the middle of the night, so I rolled out of bed with my camera and ended up with a few shots like this.
I was a little tipsy one night after eating out and ended up with a bunch of crooked, off kilter shots, but this decent one was found in that series.
This iconic mountain looks like a mini Fuji. I had always seen Yōtei-san in the background of ski movies and in ski magazine pictures. I thought there were actual ski resorts on the mountain itself, but it is actually free from any of that. I cannot imagine how nice it must be at the top admiring the surrounding mountains before dropping in to the valley below!
I usually do not mess around with using filters in my post processing, it seems to take a long time for me to get them right. I attempted it in this shot since the sky was ugly as can be reflecting all of the city light in the frozen moisture particles. I think it is an improvement, but it is hard to make the look subtle. I am also thinking about purchasing a Cokin Z-Filter system in the future and switching the 14-24 for the new 24/1.4, mostly so I can use filters in my landscape shots. I’ll test it out on the 70-200 before making the switch; I have never used filters before and 14mm is a lot to lose!
And last, but not least.. I leave you with more snow monkeys. I just cannot get enough these little guys!
We spent one of our ski days over at the larger of the Niseko area ski resorts, Grand Hirafu. It was by far my favorite as it was relatively uncrowded during the weekday we were there and had some epic back country easily accessible by a 10 minute hike from an old single seater lift that was just to the side of me when I was taking this shot.
Now, why did I not compose this shot to include the view of the amazing stratovolcano Mt. Yōtei? I did in another shot, but I inadvertently cut off part of the bull wheel and it didn’t take on the center role of this view since Yōtei is so damned cool looking and I was really interested in this really old lift for some reason and besides, I took tons of shots of Yōtei by then! How could you not?