Tag Archives: Wengen

Switzerland Through a Tilt-Shift Lens

Swiss flag flying off the back of a steam ship on Lake Lucerne

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OK. So it’s been three months since we went to Switzerland, but I’m not done posting images. I’m just catastrophically slow at updating my blog now that I have my own business (by the way, check out our killer website, designed by HeyDay Creative).

On top of that, our little family has decided to move to a bigger house. Where this house will be, we don’t know yet, but getting our current place ready has been pretty consuming. The plus? Eventually, there will be new wall space in a new home to decorate with enlargements of Switzerland.

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The Semi-Complete Shooters Guide to: Berner Oberland (Part 2)

The North Face of the Eiger, Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

Photographing the Eiger…

Every story needs a bad guy. In the Book of the Berner Oberland, its the Eiger. Its history of mountain climbing is layered with one tragedy after another. From its Wikipedia page:

Since 1935, at least sixty-four climbers have died attempting the North Face, earning it the German nickname, Mordwand, or “murderous wall”, a play on the face’s German name Nordwand.

The mystique of this mountain is palpable the moment you lay eyes on it. From Männlichen, it appears like a blunt arrowhead piercing the clouds. From Kleine Scheidegg (above left), it resembles a lurking sharks fin. Both places are ideal spots for the classic Eiger photograph, but to capture images with a little more nuance, you really have to hike underneath the mountain’s legendary North Face.

We tooled around in the pastures underneath it at the Alpiglen train station (above right), located halfway between Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald, and it turned into one of the most transformative travel moments of my life. I’ll devote a whole blog post to it at some point, but in short, the Eiger began to shed loose ice chunks and snow plumbs in a display that was at once intimidating and exhilarating to witness. Our neighbor at the hotel hiked the North Face trail — which skirts beneath the entire length of the mountain — and he reported that at one point he discovered a single climbing glove beneath the rocks. Who knows how it got there, but it clearly captivated and slightly haunted him just seeing it there.

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The Semi-Complete Shooters Guide to: Berner Oberland (Part 1)

The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as seen from Männlichen, Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

Here’s my dilemma: I have too many good photos from the Berner Oberland for one post.

This has little to do with me and my photography skills. It has everything to do with the extreme beauty of the area. Never before have I been anywhere as dramatic and scenic as this alpine region smack in the middle of Switzerland. We spent almost an entire week here, and it still wasn’t enough. Every day was different, and we kept moving, but even then, I can’t pretend that I am a fountain of definitive photography knowledge on the area.

But what I did learn, I’m putting here, so hopefully there are a few kernels of insight.

In full disclosure, I ran out of time (and money) in the valley to shoot the following areas: Interlaken, Brienzsee, Thunersee, Jungfraujoch, Shilthorn/Piz Gloria, Schynige Platte, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, First/Bachalpsee and — tops on my Unfinished Business List — Hinteres Lauterbrunnental.

That’s a ton. In fact, if you are reading this because you are researching a vacation in the area, it may sound like I didn’t see any of the big sights. Not true. There’s just simply that much to see and shoot in the Berner Oberland.

This post covers the following subjects:

  • The Lauterbrunnen Valley
  • The Jungfrau
  • The Jungfraubahn

Part 2 will cover:

  • The Eiger
  • The Mönch
  • Staubbach Falls
  • Mürren
  • Swiss life
  • Cows, cows, and more cows.

I’ve included a Google Map of these places — and where I took these images — at the bottom of this post.

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Alpenporn: Hardcore Swiss Mountain Vistas

A lone hut beneath the Jungfrau, Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

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Go ahead. Ogle all you want.

The Jungfrau emerging from the mist, Berner Oberland, Switzerland.

Words often fail me. They fail me the most when it comes to mountains. Grandeur. Majesty. Magnificence. Please: those words are chumps when you are beneath the Jungfrau (above two images), a hulking mountain that towers over the Lauterbrunnen Valley like a glacier clad bully. It’s name (roughly translated as Young Girl in German) is hardly worth dissecting. It makes little sense. This peak is a beast.

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Switzerland: Desaturated, and in Black and White

A banner cloud drapes around the summit of the Matterhorn near Zermatt, Switzerland.

(Click on images for a larger view)

I recently spent two weeks touring around Switzerland with my wife and our one-year-old daughter. It was a magnificent trip — one of those get-it-out-of-my-system-now kinds of trips while Varenna is young and portable. Ha! That’s at least what we thought when we booked the trip in January. She’s a bit more … mobile, shall we say.

But we had a very good time, and ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised with the images I returned home with. In the moment, we both were a bit distracted trying to keep our daughter entertained, engaged, and safe. We worked hard every hour of the trip, just not on photography. Or so it seemed.

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