Cold Mountain

Arizona Desert Snow Photography

(please click on me, I look better a bit bigger with a nice, dark frame around me – sincerely, the image above)

Sometimes the movies I pick for Movie Title Wednesdays are ones that I absolutely love and would watch a hundred times over. However, on some occasions, I love them mainly because the title fits perfectly with the photo I want to use.

At the same time…you can always be sure I’ve at least SEEN the movie. That is my one rule.

So this week we have Cold Mountain, a film starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman (pre-plastic) and Renee Zellweger.  The main plot revolves around Law’s character as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War and his trip back home to Cold Mountain. I don’t remember hardly a thing about the plot, but I almost always remember when I liked a movie and this one was pretty good.

You can forget the movie at this point (although I’d love to hear how many of you have seen it and liked it) because the title is really all that matters. This image is one I shot back in late December when we had some crazy snow storms blow through Arizona. Around noon that day I saw some pretty good storms building up the Beeline Highway so I dragged my wife and daughter out there and basically we roamed that area until sunset.

The light was incredible after every wave of storm went by. Such clear, crisp air allowed these amazing views. This was just a shot in the late afternoon after a big storm cell moved through dumping even more snow. I just love the hilltop coated with the white stuff in contrast with the desert below and the dark, menacing clouds in the background.

This kind of black and white processing is something I’ve worked on since the beginning of the year and cannot wait to use during stormchasing season this summer. There is something beautiful about the relationship between stormy weather and black & white. I just love it.

(exif: canon rebel xsi, canon 50mm 1.4, f/20, iso 100)


  • Brian Matiash

    Gorgeous light, man. This is definitely up there with some of my favorite shots by you.

  • Jan Winther

    Excellent shot of the mountains – the snow really makes the image pop.

  • Heather

    Awesome shot, horrid movie lol!

  • Chris Frailey

    Nice job on the processing.

  • Jesse

    That light is magic.

  • Jason Hines

    Love the B&W landscapes.

  • Kristi Hines

    It’s nice that the whiteness of the clouds don’t blend into the snow. This is a great shot that makes me feel a bit chilly! 🙂

  • A.Barlow

    This is a really awesome shots. I love those puffy clouds.

  • Scott Ackerman

    Love the stark contrast between the mountains and the sky! Great shot.

  • Chris Nitz

    This is so fantastic. I love how the white mountain top is so prominent amongst the dark clouds in the sky. Just fantastic man!

  • Heath O’Fee

    Great shot, Mike. Love that the snow capped mountain is surrounded by dark clouds and a dark foreground…really makes the subject pop.

  • Brian Furbush

    Absolutely beautiful image Mike – not much else to say, really well done.

  • Ness

    What a beautiful landscape. Great work.

  • Chris Kenison

    Great shot, Mike! Good movie too!

  • Bob Lussier

    Great shot, great light! Man, the Arizona landscape seems to be relentlessly gorgeous, or you are a damned fine photographer. Actually, I’m sure both of those are true.

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Love the bright white mountain against the dark sky. Great capture Mike!

  • Jim Nix

    I never saw that movie, but man this image just sparkles. Great shot. Jim

  • Toad Hollow Photography

    INCREDIBLE photo Mike! I love the sunlight that drapes the mountains in the distance there, and the level of clarity and sharpness of the overall landscape is… well, it’s top drawer my friend!!

  • Rick Young

    Great shot Mike. Love the B/W

  • Mike

    Thanks so much guys…even those of you who hated the movie 🙂

  • Dave Wilson

    Another lovely monochrome, Mike. Regarding the movie, it was very disappointing. I would, however, encourage you to read the book since it was phenomenal – one of the best I’ve read in the last decade.