Issue 21 - October 2013
Peter Sumner: In December 2011 I flew from Kathmandu to Lukla, then, taking 9 days, I trekked to Gorak Shep 5,140m. From here you have a lung-bursting climb of Kala Pattar 5,550m for incredibly stupendous views of the Khumbu Glacier and, In this photograph, from Left – Right, Changtse 7,553m, Everest 8,850m and the very beautiful Lhotse 8,516m. I stayed on Kala Pattar until shadows raced across the Khumbu Glacier and the sun had turned these peaks gold, and finally Everest a shimmering orange. A wonderful way to spend Christmas Day!
DN: Well that's one way to get all our attentions Peter; submitting a picture of the highest mountain in the world shot on Christmas Day. What I want to know is what did you have for your Christmas dinner; Dhal Bhat? Your lung bursting efforts were well rewarded; the clarity and definition of this majestic Himalayan scene is superb. I can imagine mountaineers using this image to study and illustrate suggested routes up the peaks, the definition is excellent. Technically its a textbook shot executed with precision; I'm amazed you lugged a panoramic head all the way up there. Aesthetically I'm wondering if, as you were photographing Everest you decided deliberately to place its summit centrally in the frame. I can certainly see the logic of that decision, but I think pictorially the composition may be more pleasing with it offset slightly. That is a subjective call though that you may well disagree with, and I would respect that. I do think though the the peak is just a bit too near the top of the frame; just a bit more space would give the composition room to breathe. But lets not quibble, this an excellent and very dramatic shot. You've gone to extreme lengths to make this picture; I'm sure the experience will stay with you a lifetime. Well done Peter.
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