A crocus opening up against a dazzling cloud of colours: this is 'Caleidocrocus' by Massimo Arcaro, the winner of 'Colours 4 Moutain', the photo contest organised by Fondation Grand Paradis for the best shots capturing the palette of the mountain environment. The second place goes to Stefano Graziani, with an impressionistic shot of Lake Lexert of Bionaz, featuring the clouds, lake and forest reflections on the water. The third place goes to Enrico Romanzi, who portrayed the golden tips of the broad-leaved forest in the winter. Showcasing the best of the Alpine environment (and beyond), the seventh contest organised by Fondation Grand Paradis received more than 200 applications coming from all regions of Italy.

The variety of subjects is impressive. The selection made by the Jury - formed by photographers Enzo Massa Micon, Paolo Rey, Moreno Vignolini and by Luisa Vuillermoz, Director of Fondation Grand Paradis - includes a shot of the multicoloured prayer flags pointing towards the Himalayas; a lake in Alaska; the sprawling forests of the Rocky Mountains; the Peruvian Andres, Yosemite National Park and Mustang. The best pics are included in a temporary exhibition, which can be viewed at the Gran Paradiso National Park Visitor Centre of Valsavarenche. A series of retroilluminated panels allows visitors to enjoy the images from the outside, and thus metaphorically travel across the mountain ecosystems of the world.

The photo gallery, also available online, is a showcase for 'artless photography'. The rules of the contests promoted by the Foundation do not allow participants but for minor corrections, excluding photomontage or any other kind of artificial effects. The incredible palette of colours of the static subjects - such as Cervinia's Grandes Murailles - or the dynamic ones - such as a flowing river - are indeed true-to-life. The challenge for the artists was to capture those fleeting impressions of almost surreal beauty which nature can reveal.

According to Diane Arbus 'there are things nobody would see if [someone] didn't photograph them.' Here the search is both intimate, born out of the experience of the artist behind the camera, and universal, when it is finally shared with the audience.