Provence, Switzerland

The Jura mountains, on the northern Swiss border with France, are well-known for rocky, forested gorges. But the range of mountains also slopes down into the Swiss Seeland (lake district) through meadows and villages, most of which afford spectacular southern-facing views to the distant alpine peaks. The region is a particularly good destination for seeing cloud inversions in autumn, when the…

Provence, Switzerland

Bire, Beatenberg

The Bire is a rock promontory amongst the cliffs above Waldegg, at the eastern end of Beatenberg. The name – local dialect for Birne, meaning “pear” – will give you an idea of its shape. I saw some photos from the hike to the viewpoint on the Instagram stream of a local holiday chalet owner last autumn, and immediately…

Bire, Beatenberg

Älggialp, Switzerland

The geographical centre of Switzerland is at Älggialp: appropriately in a remote and secluded spot in the mountains. Near Sachseln and across a high mountain range from Melchsee Frutt in canton Obwalden, the precise spot is half-way down an inaccessible cliff amongst forest trees. But nearby, the authorities have made a simple barbecue spot so that visitors can spend time here;…

Älggialp, Switzerland

Spiezberg, Switzerland

Locals to Spiez, on the shores of Lake Thun, are familiar with the vineyards on Spiezberg hill. There is a well-used and well-loved path along the upper edge of the vineyards, which leads along the edge of the forest from the huge Katzenstein rock to the council office and library, and on towards Spiezmoos. It’s a great place to visit in…

Spiezberg, Switzerland

Männlichen, Switzerland

The mountain slopes near the world-famous Eiger are a destination for thousands of skiers and snowboarders in winter. On the Männlichen plateau, above Grindelwald and Wengen, the best time of day for photography is shortly before sunset, when the sports people have left for the day and only cable-car staff and a few sunset-hunting visitors are still on the mountain.

Männlichen, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

A classic view of the ancient centre of the federal Swiss capital, Bern, photographed from the city’s Rose Garden terrace. Sadly, the view is often peppered with builders’ machinery, including the scaffolding which has been on various parts of the city minster with only a few short breaks since 1950.

Bern, Switzerland

High ISO performance with the X-T1

I haven’t really been “into” photography for a while, so I haven’t put my new Fujifilm X-T1 through its paces properly. But I have fiddled with it, taken a few photos to see how it deals with certain situations, and begun trials with using the built-in JPG conversion and film simulation modes. One of…

High ISO performance with the X-T1

Google Photo Sphere

Google View is an online community for sharing spherical interactive images, and Google has released an accompanying smartphone app to go with it called “Photo Sphere".

Google Photo Sphere

Capo Miseno

“At the top of the great stone lighthouse, hidden beyond the ridge of the southern headland, the slaves were dousing the fires to greet the dawn. It was supposed to be a sacred place. According to Virgil, this was the spot where Misenus, the herald of the Trojans, slain by the sea god Triton, lay buried with his oars and…

Capo Miseno

Thunersee nature reserves

The Swiss aren’t generally as keen on nature reserves as the British. Despite the stupidly beautiful countryside, there are comparatively few places like RSPB reserves (over 200 in the U.K.) and the National Trust (who is the U.K.’s largest individual land owner). We’re lucky enough to live near two of the small Swiss reserves at Lake Thun: both easy to…

Thunersee nature reserves

Filming from the air

Sitting at my computer this afternoon, I spot, out of the window, a yellow plane droning lazily around above the village. Not a full-sized plane but a metre-long radio-controlled model, with a GoPro camera attached, filming today’s glorious winter day on the lake. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos for the pilot and chatting for a few minutes…

Filming from the air