NEWSLETTER - 10 December 2012
Dear All

It is a well-known fact that weather is one of our conversations’ favourite subjects, and I’m not just talking about those of landscape photographers!! In a way, it is no surprise as it does affect our everyday lives so much, as well as dictates our moods. Over here in our European countries where rain is very often present, it is therefore not surprising to hear people complaining so often about the “bad” weather…except… landscape photographers!

"Morning Show"
(Matterhorn, Riffelsee Lake, Valais, Switzerland)
Indeed, being the crazy bunch that we are, we do not know any « bad weather ». We enjoy a very unique chance for the fact that whatever the weather, we are happy, and all too often, the worse it is, the better. Masochists we might be, I let you be the judge, but the fact is that the best landscape images are most often taken under weather conditions far from blue skies and hot mid-day sun.

Rain…what a marvel, not only does it naturally saturate the landscapes, but thanks to it, our lawns and forests are green! Snow…it magically manages to beautify any landscape. Wind brings dynamism to images. Cold crystallises the morning dew into delicate and beautiful lace. The list goes on.

To the four of you who participated to this year’s Matterhorn workshop, this fact has been perfectly demonstrated! After two days under a snow storm, despite being at the beginning of September, our perseverance was rewarded by a succession of amazing spectacles, of which only nature has the recipe.

It is in fact during the second morning of those three unforgettable days that the above Matterhorn picture was captured. How proud is he our “Mister” under this spot of light??! The Mischabel massif wasn’t far behind when the first break in the weather finally arrived at the end of the second day, right during the “happy hours” of sunset (bottom left picture).

Those three days spent at 3000m of altitude were the perfect preparation for what was waiting for me just after this workshop: 6 weeks on the Bolivian altiplano!

A few years back my good friend Daniel Chappuis had had the great idea of entertaining me one evening with a slide show of his Bolvian adventures. That evening, I was on for a great show: breath taking landscapes, wild, unknown and rough lands, the perfect recipe to fuel my thirst of adventure and photography.

And just as exciting was the idea of being able to put those future images to good use.

"Wild Treasure"
(Ciudad de Roma, Sud Lipez, Bolivia)

"Soleil Lagunaire"
(Laguna Blanca, Rio Chilenas, Sud Lipez, Bolivia)

"Rainbow Mountain"
(Tunupa Volcan, Uyuni Salt Flat, Sud Lipez, Bolivia)

"Little Brice"
(Rio Seco, Sud Lipez, Bolivia)

My friend Daniel is what I consider a « Great Man ». He shares values which are important to me, he has a big heart, lives a life with nothing superfluous and filled with countless travels and adventures in some of the world’s most remote places. And lately, he has set himself a great challenge which has kept him busy for the past few years, and it is far from finished as the task is immense. But let him explain all this in his own words:
“An incredible adventure of trek and exchange in 2001 had allowed me to discover a totally unknown area of Bolivia (detailed texts on demands). During 8 trips cumulating a total of 2 years on location, I explored, prospected, and discovered with great interest some of the most amazing landscapes, prehistoric remains still unrecorded and some of the most pleasant aboriginals. Contrary to other regions more developed for tourism, the few inhabitants of these areas are starting to build up the idea of welcoming tourists. Feverishly, sometimes awkwardly, they are preparing themselves with the help of some rare NGOs. Unfortunately what is still missing, among other things, is to make these wonders known to the world. I continue my inventory of archaeological sites (600 granaries, ruins, petroglyphs, rock paintings), trails’ exploration, and encourage the villagers as I go along.”

Therefore, the idea was just too tempting to use my photographic work to contribute to his project. Daniel and I, together with Johnny, a precious local friend, have explored this region for more than a month, in view of bringing back some exclusive images. Backed up by the locals’ agreement, my intention is to publish these images and reinvest all the profits into this project.

Daniel explains that “the ultimate goal is to discourage emigration towards urban areas and Occident  by allowing the locals to live more decently. Everything is done in a win-win atmosphere, as far as possible from principles of charities or assistantship. Inventory of accesses, roads (tracks), main attractions; health, radio and telephone communication; visibility, contact, marketing; ecological aspects, sustainable model, modest, simple; self-development; internal awareness towards the value of the local landscapes and history.  It is also paramount that the majority of the future tourism’s revenues  remain  in
the hands of the local communities. Everything takes place above 3800m of altitude, countless treasures are deserved on foot... it's pretty athletic, rustic, isolated, but so unbelievable and mind-blowing. Must be seen to be believed! And up until now, there is still nothing on the internet about these places!”

It is therefore with immense pleasure that I reveal to you today, exclusively, a few of the many images captured of these unknown lands (above). I will inform you about the publication of all the other images in another Newsletter!

Back home, once again, autumn didn’t disappoint with all its great colours. And just as the image beside illustrates, no need to go all the way to Bolivia to make great images. It is most often right on our doorstep that the best images are to be captured, like here only a minute away from my home while the setting sun was lighting the layers of mist leaking the Swiss plateau.

"Autumnal Softness"
(Châtel-St-Denis, Fribourg, Switzerland)
I know that many of you had been waiting for a long time for the dates of my workshop 2013 to be released. Well I’m happy to inform you that the wait is over and the dates are finally available on my website. You can register right now on my website by clicking here.

And for those of you who are still short of ideas for Christmas presents (I’m one of them!), well I still have a few 2013 Swiss Alps wall calendars available. Like the previous editions, you can enjoy a series of my most recent images of the beautiful Swiss mountains.

My latest photographic news in brief :

Photo Workshops
The dates for the 2013 photo workshops are now available. For further information please refer to the Workshops page on my website.
2013 Wall Calendar
My 2013 Swiss Alps wall calendar is still available and you are still on time to get it before Xmas (while stocks last). You can order from my website's shop page.

All the information about its content and technical details are available on the Calendars page on my website.

Winter couldn’t have started better with snow falling generously in many places. I therefore leave you for now, put on the down jacket, my skis, and get out there to face the cold and capture yet again more images!

So here comes the time for me to wish you the most beautiful end-of-year celebrations, and may 2013 see all your dreams come true, greeted with the best possible heath, love and of course light.

"Dom Of Atmosphere"
(Dom and Täschhorn, Mischabel, Valais, Switzerland)

"Snows' Star"
(Fallenflue, Schwyz, Switzerland)

All the best to you all.