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Thread: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

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    Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    I will be visiting Switzerland for a family trip around 3rd week of July, this year. I will have 6 days to spend.

    Would appreciate if you have any suggestion for landscape photography locations, how to get there, where to stay and best time of the day to photograph that location.

    FYI... I never been to Switzerland before. Time permits, I will be also interested in some unique architecture.

    Thanks in advance.

    Subrata

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    I know most of Switzerland quite well.

    Some more details, please; where are you flying to?

    What sort of landscapes -- mountains, middle land, lakes?

    Architecture -- old towns, modernism, anthrosposphical (search for Dornach)?

    Don't even think of hiring a car. Get a travel pass for the railways/busses/ferries etc. All services run a tightly integrated service, easy to get almost anywhere (including mountain tops).

    You'll only get a taste of Switzerland in 6 days -- no way that you can see it all. Narrow your choices.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    I know most of Switzerland quite well.

    Some more details, please; where are you flying to?

    What sort of landscapes -- mountains, middle land, lakes?

    Architecture -- old towns, modernism, anthrosposphical (search for Dornach)?

    Don't even think of hiring a car. Get a travel pass for the railways/busses/ferries etc. All services run a tightly integrated service, easy to get almost anywhere (including mountain tops).

    You'll only get a taste of Switzerland in 6 days -- no way that you can see it all. Narrow your choices.
    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your reply. We are travelling to Zurich from San Franciscio.

    I'm not sure whether we are going in right time of the year or not. From the reading on Internet, it appears that there could be haze over the lakes in summer.

    So my choices are mountains, and lakes surrounded by Swiss Alps, or lush green country side with backdrop of Swiss Alps.

    We have 6.5 to 7 days to explore. We will depart Switzerland on the 8th day around noon. Based on my limited reading on Internet so far, I have shortlisted following places:

    1) Wengen / Murren / Lauterbrunnen area which could be base for Jungfrau, Schilthorn, Trummelbach Falls, Staubbach Falls etc.

    2) Lake Lucerne area

    3) Zermatt valley / Valgis area to cover Matterhorne

    4) Bettmerhorn --> Aletsch Glacier

    5) Rhine fallsin Schaffhausen

    Q1: Is it good to photograph in the morning or in the afternoon? I guess by the time train reaches to the top of the mountain, the best light will be gone by then. How late we can stay there, if weather is good?

    Q2: Is there going to be enough water on the Staubbach Watrerfalls in mid July? What time of the day this waterfalls gets best light?

    Q3: What's the best location to photograph reflection of Matterhorn on the lake?

    Thanks,

    Subrata
    Last edited by subrata1965; 5th June 2013 at 11:29.

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Hi!

    The area around the Jungfrau is one of my favourites in Switzerland. The two valleys are quite different. The Lauterbrunnen valley is a glacial U-shaped valley, so it can be quite dark unless the sun is overhead. Grindelwald is much more open, though the route up is narrow. There are lots of good walks around both valleys. If you go for the walk along the "base" of the Eiger, the sun is only there in the late afternoon. There are lots of cablecars and railways; its very enjoyable to ride up, and gently walk down. You'll generally find a restaurant for refreshments along the route.The waterfalls generally are at maximum volume when the snow melts, so from around May for a month or two. The train up to the Jungfraujoch is expensive, and it's only worth going when the sky is completely clear -- there's a webcam there, worth checking before you go. (And it's cold up there! And the sun is very strong.) Grindelwald is rather over developed; Mürren and Wengen less so.

    Lake Lucerne is a beautiful area; the old town is pleasant, but the bridge over the river is a replacement -- the original burnt down about 10 years ago. You can take a boat trip down the lake and back again, but this does take most of the day; relaxing if you have the time. The Burgenstock is pleasant, and has an amazing outdoor elevator. There's a rack railway to the top of Pilatus, if you have the time.

    Zermatt is at the top of the valley; it's "car free", but be careful, as the electric vehicles and taxis are almost silent and are ubiquitous. A classical trip is the railway to the Gornergrat, and then walk down; there are views to the Matterhorn. But as to the best location for the reflected Matterhorn, sorry, I don't know.

    Bettermeralp is a pleasant area -- but there are so many pleasant areas. The glaciers are retreating everywhere; if you go to the Marmorbruch in Grindelwald, you can get a very good idea of how things used to be. (The food there is great, and you can (could) stay overnight, though it's a little basic.)

    I have been disappointed by the Rhine Falls; you can get to a viewing platform, but somehow, although the falls -- really a rapid -- are impressive, I've never been able to make a decent photo of them. But if you're in the area, and like architecture, go to Stein am Rhine for the oriels and the decoration. (Wangen an der Aare is a similar old world town.)

    Q1> It can get hazy in the afternoons; check the time tables on sbb.ch for train details. You can't stay on e.g. the Jungfraujoch overnight any more. I've only ever gone up early in the day.

    Q2> There will still be water in the Staubachfälle in July, though probably not the maximum: the Lauterbrunnental is roughly north/south, so light should be best around mid-day (remember that Switzerland in GMT +1; and they have summertime there -- which is GMT +2)

    Q3> Sorry, I don't know, but as above, the walk down from the Gornergrat is the "classical" one. (Sadly, there aren't that many walks around Zermatt -- it's more for the skiiers.)

    There's almost nowhere in Switzerland which is ugly -- the outskirts of Zurich and Basel are industrial -- so no matter where you go, you will find natural (and artificial) delights. Although it's a small country, there are delights in every valley. You need far more than a week to take it all in; I'd suggest a limited itinerary, say, Jungfrau area, then over the Brunig to Lucerne and environs, rather than attempting it all. Zermatt is pleasant, but the journey there does take some time -- as do all trips into the valleys -- it might be something for next time. If you do go to the Jungfrau area (not that I'm at all biased!), have a look around the old town of Bern; a jewel, a world heritage site, and take a climb to the top of the Munster, and ask the ticket collecter where he lives. Further along, Thun also has a very pleasant old town...you could spend quite some time in both these places...

    Enjoy your trip!
    Sláinte

    Robert.
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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    If you want to have some ideas of different times of day etc, see the excellent Roundshot time-lapse 360 panos for Switzerland

    I vote for Wengen personally, car free and near to the Jungfrau. Trains are excellent. Beautiful place.

    One taken from Wengen at dawn (HDR) with my Sony A100 back in 2007

    Last edited by Braeside; 6th June 2013 at 11:38. Reason: Added photo
    David Anderson
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    Hi!

    The area around the Jungfrau is one of my favourites in Switzerland.
    ....
    Further along, Thun also has a very pleasant old town...you could spend quite some time in both these places...

    Enjoy your trip!
    Thank you Robert so much for detail overview.

    I will definitely focus on Jungfrau area.

    I'm interested in Lauterbrunnen Valley as I find it very similar to Yosemite Valley in California. If light is there in mid day only, then will see what I can pull with HDR or Pol. Will give it a try. :-)

    "If you go for the walk along the "base" of the Eiger,..." where from this trai starts? R u referring to Eiger Trail btw. Alpiglen & Eigergletscher?

    I will definitely visit Lake Lucerne. Will it better to drive around that area up to Thun?

    Thanks for the tips for Burgenstock. I didn't know until you mentioned it.

    Btw. Gornergrat & Jungfraujoch, which offers better view? What I have realized is w/o snow, Matterhorn alone may not be that interesting in mid July.

    Thanks again,

    Subrata
    Last edited by subrata1965; 7th June 2013 at 23:04. Reason: spelling correction

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    If you want to have some ideas of different times of day etc, see the excellent Roundshot time-lapse 360 panos for Switzerland

    I vote for Wengen personally, car free and near to the Jungfrau. Trains are excellent. Beautiful place.

    One taken from Wengen at dawn (HDR) with my Sony A100 back in 2007

    Thank you David for sharing your image. Is it with a telephoto to isolate the mountain?

    I will definitely make Wengen as my base, so I can do sunrise / sunset w/o depending on public transit.

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Yes it was taken with a 100mm Macro lens on the Sony A100.

    This was taken in May/June and we had an unusual heavy fall of snow which was delightful as I had only been in Wengen once before in the mid 60's when I was a youngster and that was at Christmas/New Year when I recall lots of snow and being able to sledge down a track from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen and taking the train back up again.

    My parents went to Wengen every year for about 30 years, they loved it. The Alpenrose Hotel was always their place. The photo was taken from a balcony on the Alpenrose.

    We took the train through the Eiger to Jungfraujoch summit twice, the first time the cloud came down and it snowed (in May) and we couldn't see anything up there. The second time we went up the Schilthorn to the James Bond rotating restaurant which is the other side of the valley, and noticed Jungfrau was clear so we quickly went back and got the train up there again, this time we had perfect views from the summit. It was a tiring day, especially as it involved going up and down to high altitudes. Wengen is already at over 4000 ft.

    Get a railpass as you can get to most places of interest from Wengen by train. Kleine Scheidegg can be reached by train and then you can walk back down to Wengen. We did that the first day, I had not realised how long a walk it would be as I was only remembering it from my 60's trip when I skied down which is much easier.

    The thing that always amazes me about that part of the world is how clear the atmosphere is up in the mountains, so telephoto shots do work well.

    I hope to return there someday as it is so full of nostalgia for me.

    Do hope you enjoy your trip to that wonderful place.
    David Anderson
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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    Thank you Robert so much for detail overview.

    I will definitely focus on Jungfrau area.

    I'm interested in Lauterbrunnen Valley as I find it very similar to Yosemite Valley in California. If light is there in mid day only, then will see what I can pull with HDR or Pol. Will give it a try. :-)

    "If you go for the walk along the "base" of the Eiger,..." where from this trai starts? R u referring to Eiger Trail btw. Alpiglen & Eigergletscher?

    I will definitely visit Lake Lucerne. Will it better to drive around that area up to Thun?

    Thanks for the tips for Burgenstock. I didn't know until you mentioned it.

    Btw. Gornergrat & Jungfraujoch, which offers better view? What I have realized is w/o snow, Matterhorn alone may not be that interesting in mid July.

    Thanks again,

    Subrata
    Yes, the Eiger trail starts at the train station Eigergletcher. There are good views of the north face of the Eiger — with luck you'll see mountaineers on the "White Spider".

    You can drive around Lake Lucerne, but there are some long tunnels. Some bits aren't accessible by car — the Rütli meadow, for instance, where traditionally "Switzerland" began with the perpetual oath on 1 August 1291.

    You get to Thun etc from Lucerne by going over the Brünig Pass; it's not difficult, though a bit narrow in places. Good views on both sides. (The road up to Grindelwald is narrow in places, and there is one rather difficult, steep hairpin-bend that you come on rather unexpectedly.)

    The view from Gornergrat is really of the Matterhorn; from Jungfraujoch you can see as far north as the Black Forest on a very clear day; and there views over Aletsch glacier to the south. But then I'm biased!

    Have a good trip!
    Sláinte

    Robert.
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Thank you so much David & Robert. Will let you know how the trip goes once I come back.

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    @Subrata1965

    I'm sure you will have a great trip, and I look forward to the pix and your opinions on Switzerland once you return!
    Sláinte

    Robert.
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Robert, I would like to keep my option open for Bettermeralp after 3 nights in Wengen. I liked the view I might get from Bettmerhorn.

    Do you know strategically where should I stay to get early morning / late afternoon view of "S" curves of Aletsch Glacier? I guess during normal tourist hours, light will be harsh and as well as crowded during summer months.

    Thanks,

    Subrata

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Sorry, but I don't know this area well; I can't offer any suggestions. I have an idea that Bettermeralp is favoured by the Swiss more than tourists, but I might be wrong.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    I will be visiting Switzerland for a family trip around 3rd week of July, this year. I will have 6 days to spend.

    Would appreciate if you have any suggestion for landscape photography locations, how to get there, where to stay and best time of the day to photograph that location.

    FYI... I never been to Switzerland before. Time permits, I will be also interested in some unique architecture.

    Thanks in advance.

    Subrata
    I was in Switzerland about that same time a few years back at the Sinar/Foba/Broncolor factory. Jacques Bron, President of Broncolor was so helpful in getting me all the details for my excursion. He said the summertime in Zermatt was just beautiful for landscape and the flowers were in bloom. The descriptions I kept hearing from him and Michael Hejtmanek were it was straight out of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and it was certainly that.

    Got some amazing images, wish I had my MF system but only had the Lecia M9 which worked well. You take a beautiful train ride up into the Swiss Alps from Zurik. The Swiss chalets that many stay at during ski season were filled with blooming flowers, great rustic areas to shoot. I got a glimpse of the Matterhorn, enjoyed some great food and wine. I am so glad to did that trip, it was worth it and really great hotel rates. It;s a very small town and when you get off the train, their is a tourist office that was very helpful with Maps , they even plotted all the great spots to hike to to shoot and different angles. I would never go back to Swizerland with that side trip ever. The hotel I stayed at was very nice and the owners son who worked the desk told me he was an hobbyist photographer too, so he then gave me some even better times of the days to shoot from areas. Do you have the APP Suntracker? get it so you can plot the sun and get that right. The cable cars were still running and the small train that goes to the top is worth the trip too.

    I will dig around I have some great books that I got there that shows my areas I hiked too to shoot and I dig up the hotel for you too. And I even send you some of the rustic images of the town in the summer I shot. Give me a few days but I love to show you some of the areas so you can get a real sense of how it looks during the summer.

    Chris Snipes
    Business Development Manager
    Calumet Photographic Fort Lauderdale, FL
    [email protected]
    813-335-2473 Cell
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalcameraman View Post
    I was in Switzerland about that same time a few years back at the Sinar/Foba/Broncolor factory. Jacques Bron, President of Broncolor was so helpful in getting me all the details for my excursion. He said the summertime in Zermatt was just beautiful for landscape and the flowers were in bloom. The descriptions I kept hearing from him and Michael Hejtmanek were it was straight out of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and it was certainly that.

    Got some amazing images, wish I had my MF system but only had the Lecia M9 which worked well. You take a beautiful train ride up into the Swiss Alps from Zurik. The Swiss chalets that many stay at during ski season were filled with blooming flowers, great rustic areas to shoot. I got a glimpse of the Matterhorn, enjoyed some great food and wine. I am so glad to did that trip, it was worth it and really great hotel rates. It;s a very small town and when you get off the train, their is a tourist office that was very helpful with Maps , they even plotted all the great spots to hike to to shoot and different angles. I would never go back to Swizerland with that side trip ever. The hotel I stayed at was very nice and the owners son who worked the desk told me he was an hobbyist photographer too, so he then gave me some even better times of the days to shoot from areas. Do you have the APP Suntracker? get it so you can plot the sun and get that right. The cable cars were still running and the small train that goes to the top is worth the trip too.

    I will dig around I have some great books that I got there that shows my areas I hiked too to shoot and I dig up the hotel for you too. And I even send you some of the rustic images of the town in the summer I shot. Give me a few days but I love to show you some of the areas so you can get a real sense of how it looks during the summer.
    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the info.

    I'm leaving US on 14th July. Would appreciate if you can please get some info earlier than that, provided your time permits.

    It appears this year Summer is late.

    Subrata

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Hi Subrata,

    i would really skip the "Rheinfall in Schaffhausen", its very touristic and
    not much to see IMO (the best pictures are taken at night when the fall is illuminated and the ugly surrounding in the dark)

    Instead, i would visit the Tessin area in Switzerland. With Matterhorn and Eigner you have sufficient coverage of mountains. Tessin is close to the Italian border and the climate (and food) is Mediterranean, this can be really relaxing.

    Might want to check the "Valle Maggia" and "Ponte Brolla", great rock formations and water streams. Another one is the "Val Verzasca" with its
    waterfalls and streams.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents, have a safe trip and post some pictures when you're back.

    Regards,
    Ralf
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    The great thing about Tessin/Ticino is the Italian flavour of things, but with added Swiss cleanliness and efficiency!
    Sláinte

    Robert.
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Thanks for the advice. I won't be able make it to Tessin/Ticino this time, but next time.

    This time being first time, it will be sort of scouting trip and next time I will make it more focused trip.

    Subrata

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Dying to know how your Swiss trip went.
    David Anderson
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    If you still on the trip you may visit "Airolo" and the "Gotthart-Pass". It is the transit between the northern and southern part of Switzerland.



    Best Regards
    Pascal

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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Dying to know how your Swiss trip went.
    Had a wonderful family vacation to Switzerland followed by a trip to India. Came back to US on last Friday (8/16). Will post the images soon.

    Subrata

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Any landscape photography suggestion for Switzerland?

    Looking forward to seeing them, you will have a lot to do now you are back no doubt!

    Cheers
    David Anderson
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