Tag Archives: alpine

Nicolas Turlais – Backcountry Pinholes

Editor’s Note: All photos in this post are ©Nicolas Turlais.

If you’ve done much backpacking in the backcountry, doubly so for the mountains, you probably know of the aloneness. It’s a sense that washes over you at times during a trip. The times it hits you depends on how remote of an area you’re in and how many people are with you. But, invariably, it comes. It’s stark, almost arresting. It’s neither good nor bad – at least for me it never was – but it has always preceded the euphoria of being deep in the backcountry. It’s an absolute recognition that you’re on your own, and it signals that your body and mind fully recognize that everything that happens from here out is a matter of your own wits.

Today’s featured photographer, Nicolas Turlais, is a Paris-based pinhole photographer that finds himself in the peaks of the French Alps. It’s a place that has always beckoned those who were willing to come find something new. Nicolas tends to venture for 5 or so nights at a time, sometimes alone and other times bringing friends along. Lucky for us, he often brings his pinhole camera.

His reasons for backpacking are not unknown to the initiated: “a taste for the effort”, the challenge, to prove that he can do it. He’s even tried it without a tent, but doesn’t recommend that approach. Nicolas takes his photos when he “feels really small” – his way of describing the aloneness. It’s not the walking that calls Nicolas to the mountains – he’s called by the loneliness, the harsh weather, the immense geological forces that shaped the space, and the gratefulness of feeling alive and comfortable in such a wild place, alone.

Please enjoy the following selection of photos from Nicolas Turlais. For more of Nicolas’s work, including upcoming work from a 15 day trip to Iceland coming this summer, take a visit to his site.


Lac du Glacier d’Arsine
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Lac du Glacier d’Arsine
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Lac du Glacier d’Arsine
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La Grande Ruine
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Lac du Pavé
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Vallée de la Clarée
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Vallée de la Clarée
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