Intimate landscape photography is a term I can’t translate literally, although intuitively I think I immediately understand what it’s about. Historically, Eliot Porter (1901-1990) is considered the founder of this style of photography. I came across this style through an article by Charlotte Gibb, whom I had the pleasure of meeting personally in Yosemite Valley in February 2020.
The photographer’s gaze does not seek to capture the whole scenery of a landscape, but is concerned with a closer look at parts of the landscape. The sky is usually not part of the picture in this style and the light dynamics, which are often dramatic due to the sky, are greatly reduced. The tension in the picture is created by the arrangement and relationship of the objects. Reduction and simplicity become important components.
The church of Lavertezzo has become known from many photographs, especially its reflections in the Verzasca between the peculiar rocks. Unfortunately, the main building was completely scaffolded for renovation in November 2022 and not photogenic. I planned the following shot because of the beautiful, sometimes almost flowing rock formations that make the Verzasca appear as if it were lying in a fountain basin. The church tower is somewhat blurred by the movement of the water surface. While processing the shot, the colour selector showed me what a bath of colour had been created by mixing the colours of vertical rocks and horizontal water.
Not very far from the last picture, I had been walking around on the rocks and found this shot. Climbing can be very arduous on the rocks of the Verzasca. The rocks are of course slippery when wet, but even the dry rock does not always give the grip you want or expect. Everywhere you can read the warnings about this problem: 10:21h selfie, 10:38h search action begins. Expressed in typically Swiss terseness. It pays to take your steps carefully.
A large part of the spectrum is present in the photograph. The green of the Verzasca was not as emerald here as it usually is. The rocks in evening blue. A rock in stronger red. Golden shimmers a reflection down from the ridge. I only noticed the sea serpent when I was post-processing.
At a certain point, there was no more water for a composition. The stones there speak to me through their colour and their shape and their relationships to each other.
I could not express it in words. Even weeks later, I can’t express it in a sentence. It is beautiful in any case.
My hotel 1900 (Novecento) in Muralto was rebuilt by the new owners 20 years ago. Breakfast organic and with vegan spreads, a lightness of being. The house has a nice garden, where tea is served with freshly harvested sage. The only thing they didn’t consider was the Internet. Therefore, my blog or video communication was hardly to think about.
On the last day I wanted to photograph the birch forests near Brione. The parking lot the day before was so crowded that I had no chance to park the car safely. Arriving at half past ten o’clock there were no problems. Even a tree was allowed to provide shade.
You only have to search a bit to find an exit to the banks of the river Verzasca. You’re not the first to try. If you make it, you will be rewarded by the photographic options with magnificent water between diverse and colourful boulders.
The selfie has many variations. A variant shows the pride of the photographer on location. Or a shadow selfie.
The rocks in the water change their color with the daylight and the water color they reflect. This makes these objects interesting and varied photo motifs. Once you find a hungry shark, who has already taken one or the other photographers. Or in the shadow, a white stone that looks almost metallic.
I couldn’t reproduce the delicate colorfulness of an autumn birch forest, the distance over the river was too great for that. The sun was still too high, it vanished far too soon behind a ridge, and the valley lay in the shade. Maybe you can still guess early autumn.
In the morning it is very cold in the Verzasca valley. Two hours earlier on site than the day before saved me the search for a parking lot. Two photographers were just at their last pictures. Again, I was relatively late.
First the rocks of Lavertezzo with the church, then the many puddles in the rocks with their reflections.
After many photographic attempts to gain momentum from the waterfall, I took one last picture in which I look at it flowing down into the valley. Note the sun’s rays in the tree on the left, as the clouds slowly move away.
The bright house near Motta had already noticed me the day before. As good as it is preserved and as beautiful as it stands, it might be a holiday home.
Waterfalls can be seen everywhere, in some places several waterfalls from different directions converge into a large one.
The valley of the Verzasca is famous for its clear water, which makes its way through rocks and takes on a characteristic green colour. Correspondingly, many people are attracted to it. Actually, you’re here for hiking. The Postbus stops at manyplaces and spits out large groups of hikers.
The first day I wanted to try out different locations to see what to expect.
The bridge, named Ponte dei salti, with the two arches is from Roman times and is good for many selfies. With a long-term exposure one can see the arcuate construction with its reflection in the water. And the many visitors who flock on the bridge are miraculously invisible.
Swirling water can be found everywhere, in a natural way picturesque photographs are created.
To my surprise, the sun was seen and felt in the valley for along time. It got really hot. Only in the evening, when the rocks gave off their heat, did it become less agitated.