Friday, 16 March 2012

Lucerne, Switzerland

I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to visit London, Paris, Barcelona and Italy.

So when my wife, Cheryl, invited me to join her for a few days in Lucerne, after her business trip there,  I was a bit hesitant at first. I always had this picture in my mind of mountains and orderly little towns and cities. 




























We have an abundance of varied and dramatic landscapes here in South Africa, so I wasn't all that keen to do the 'nature' thing in Switzerland, which left the towns... I love photographing the Italian cities.. there is an aesthetic 'grandness' to them touched with centuries of decay, which I have not seen in any of the other European cities I have been to, so I was a little bit reluctant to go to Switzerland as my impression had always been of orderliness and pretty freshly painted structures....

In the end we decided to go...

We stayed for four days in Lucerne and it almost never stopped raining. It was mostly a fine drizzle so we could still walk around in the streets but we had to buy an umbrella each! We also decided not to go up Mount Pilatus as it was always covered in clouds and it seemed a bit pointless to go up the mountain and not see the views....


click on images to enlarge...






















As I feared Lucerne was very difficult for me to photograph. Maybe the rain had something to do with it. The extremely ornate old buildings with detailed painted facades just didn't attract me and the modern buildings were stark, dark and uninteresting. The contrast between the old and new was quite a surprise and I wondered why anyone would want to build grey and black buildings when the weather was also grey and black, at least during the four days we were there. At least the 'burgers' of old tried to brighten up their structures with ornate painted details, figures and lettering but I was mystified why so many of the modern structures, including the world famous KKL, was so angular and plain and dark....the Swiss also have a tendency to decorate the streets with lots of flags, which might be nice for the tourists but ruined it somewhat for me. The people, although not unfriendly, are very reserved. South Africans are loud, friendly and easily talk to strangers...so it took us a while to get used to the Swiss....

Technical..

For this trip I used a Canon 5D2 with the image stabilised 24-105L lens. This combination makes for a superb and relatively compact travel package. I think I left the lens set at f11 most of the time and just adjusted the iso as the light grew darker....high iso is not a problem with this camera...and with so many tourists touting dslr's it blended in fairly well...I like everything to be in focus in my images so I have very little use for fast lenses and of course the fast af meant that I could just pick up the camera and shoot...

regards, Ivan...


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