Fred McKinney has long been recognized as one of the top photographers in "snow biz." His images inspire budding vacationers to see how close they can come. Hey, it's worth a try.

McKinney says he find the Alps "amazingly beautiful, the ruggedness of the mountains, the quaintness of the small remote mountain villages, the architecture of the buildings, especially in Austria's Tirol and Switzerland." He calls the Alps "a photographers dream.  

"Combine these settings into photographs, have a couple skiers breaking through new, fresh powder and it's a hard combination to beat," says McKinney.

He has some tips to get better photographs during your vacation, too.

"Your backdrops seem so natural when you are shooting in the Alps," he says. "But, don't overlook small details such as the mountain villages with aged wooden structures, the mountain huts enhanced with the bright skiers colors as they sit around during the lunch hours or après ski part of the day, and the buildings interiors constructed of massive and often handmade wood trims.  

"Morning sunrise and the late day 'alpenglo' offers warm and beautiful light to photograph the setting in. The village streets are often narrow and stone, covered by the winter snows, the buildings roof tops with their large wooden roof overhangs are usually covered by waist deep snow, and all that combines to make for a beautiful look."

McKinney notes your photos can either be taken as still life, as an art scene, or with people either posed or in active and candid settings making for great lifestyle photographs.  

"Photographers should not lose sight of what their image focus is when concentrating on the incredible European scenery," he suggests. "This means making sure that the people, if that is the focus, are near enough to the camera so that they dominate in a beautiful setting.  Filling the camera is easy today with zoom lens or by cropping carefully on the computer after the shot has been downloaded."

Here's another tip: "My best advice in getting a good photo is to shoot the photo with your legs not your arms. Try moving up or down in height. Move your body from one side to the other to make for a unique or more interesting angle.

"It is easy to overshoot today. Years ago, I looked for one good photo in a whole roll of 36 images.  Don't be afraid to edit and only keep the best image.  This will help you to look at all shots in a different perspective of quality rather than the current digital age quantity."

There seems to be a new photo and scene around every corner or turn on the mountain In the European Alps.

McKinney says bring back lots of photos to remember the new and wonderful memories you have made and captured.

Click here for a small gallery of Fred McKinney images of the European Alps.