End of Summer – Val Grande

For older generations, mountains were threatening and dangerous places. Then the first peaks were climbed, followed by tourists making an industry, with all its consequences. Today, many regions are nothing more than alpine Disneylands.

In my work, I try to create a contrast to all those good-weather images that tourist organizations try to lodge in our heads, from skiing in fresh powder snow to base jumping in t-shirt weather. That’s far from what mountains are. I am fascinated by gloomy views, by dark and heavy clouds, by a huge north-wall with snow in its corridors.

My images are created on the edge of daylight. I prefer to work during soft light because there are no locked shadows or harsh highlights. The time at the border of daylight, under a cloudy sky, has less contrast, so I prefer diffused light, rain and falling snow. Such conditions open the chance to reduce an image to gray tones and strong contrasts, reminiscent of a way that people must have felt about mountains centuries back.

I look around for silent locations that are accessible only by foot. There are still places far from the hustle and bustle, even in overcrowded regions such as the Alps in the heart of Europe. To locate such places is one thing; to be there at the right time is another. In all cases, my way of photographing reduces life to what fits in my backpack.

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