Photographing Austria’s Arlberg

There’s more to Austria's Arlberg than sensational skiing – it’s also a fairytale-like wonderland for budding photographers

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours

The Arlberg has many claims to fame – it is one of the world’s most amazing places for snow sports, has a legendary après-ski scene and boasts dining and accommodation befitting an A-lister playground. It is also breathtakingly beautiful. In addition to carving the slopes across hundreds of kilometres of immaculate runs, I recently had the chance to capture some of my favourite parts of this alpine enclave.

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours

Action hero shots
Engaging in snow sports and photography simultaneously is as challenging as it sounds. But for those wanting to push beyond the boundaries of today’s smartphones, this means backpacking a hefty camera around and taking extra care during the inevitable tumble down the slopes.

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours

Cabin photography fever
On the mountain, I packed a single lens and camera combination to keep the load as light as possible and used a sling bag for quick access to the camera, so I could take a shot and ski off in a matter of seconds. Although, it does mean some extra luggage, I recommend taking a sturdy tripod so when walking around the fairytale towns at night, or swapping skis for snowshoes, the quality of images in low light will be vastly improved.

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours

Beautiful by day, enchanting by night
On a perfect blue-sky day, almost any camera can capture a wonderful image. Shooting at night is far more challenging and this is where the good gear and a little know-how pays dividends. Of the five stunning towns that make up the Arlberg – Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zürs and Stuben – the style-capital of Lech is my favourite.

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours

All white on the night
Even when blue skies turned white, producing heavy snow flurries, these beautiful towns and landscapes delivered the goods. Photographing this region is less adrenaline-pumping than hurtling around the legendary White Ring ski circuit or donning the avalanche kit for some of the best hardcore, deep powder skiing anywhere, but it is no less rewarding.

The Arlberg, Lech, St Anton am Arlberg, St Christoph, Zurs, Stuben, photography, Dan Avila, Fujifilm, snow photography, night photography, photography tours
Dan Avila shot these images on the Fujifilm GFX50S Medium Format Camera, with the GF120mm f/4 macro, GF32-64mm f/4 and GF23mm f/4 lenses.

GETTING THERE
Emirates flies from Sydney and Melbourne to Zürich via Dubai and then it’s a 2.5 hour drive. emirates.com

WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Kristiania: kristiania.at 
Hotel Schwarzer Adler: schwarzeradler.com/en
Alkira Apartments: alkira.at/en

FURTHER INFORMATION
Austrian National Tourist Office: austria.info/skiing

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