Here is another of the images from Switzerland. This time the venue is Lake Silvaplana, located just south of Saint Moritz, a vacation spot known to be … a popular destination of the upper class and international jet set, as well as one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world. Apparently St. Moritz is a must see and so it was that we drove from Bivio, and along the Julier Pass. Suffice it to say that Joanna and I felt very much out-of-place as we walked the cobbled streets of this upper-crust destination. In anticipation of our trip Joanna made sure that I packed appropriate cold-weather garb. Because most of my outerwear has been worked at the farm, much of it is stained, torn, or otherwise disreputable. And so I brought along my freshly laundered good coat and new hat, gloves, and hiking boots. I thought I looked quite presentable. Walking the streets of St. Moritz however I quickly concluded that I didn’t fit in. And, this wasn’t just a feeling, for I could see my reflection in the store windows and I could, literally, see that I looked different. I felt better when my companions and I made for some of the older parts of the city which have been preserved and which are less frequented by those who flock to this playground for the well-heeled and well-to-do. The sun was setting as we made our way back to Bivio and so we stopped at the lake. I liked this view especially well for the way in which is suggests a sense of peace and tranquility. I know that there are many folks who welcome travel, anywhere and everywhere. I marvel at bloggers like Gin, who you may visit at Darwin on the rocks and around the world, who seems to thrive on travel and adventure. Although I have nothing against meeting new people and visiting new and interesting places, I wish I could experience them from right here … from just outside my backdoor. I enjoyed the time I spent looking out across the still waters of Lake Silvaplana. It calmed me just a bit, for it reminded me of home.


23 thoughts on “Silvaplana

    • Yes. The composition breaks two cardinal rules (never shoot into the sun, and never place your subject in the center of the field of view) but, I agree with you, that the result seems to have worked out nicely. Thanks Charlie.

  1. This place sounds very peculiar (I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never been to Switzerland) and I understand the weird feeling. Maybe it can be similar to Lake Tahoe? Is it considered by Americans as a “posh” place? When I visited two years ago, I had a very weird feeling as well, backpackers didn’t seem to fit in 😀 This picture is gorgeous. I love the tree blocking the sun, it’s glowing. I think it’s pretty awesome to feel that comfortable at home. Like you said, there are different ways of enjoying the world, and you can do it on your front door, through books, by talking to people or even blogging. You don’t have to physically experience the world to enjoy the richness of it.

  2. Images of solitary trees always impress me much, especially if they are presented in such a grand scenery. I wonder why that is? The perseverance of that single living plant in harsh surroundings? Anyway – awesome image!

    • Thanks Elke. Hey Elke … I wanted to ask. When I look at my WPStats, my usual number of visits per day is <100. A few days ago I had ~600 and then ~300 on the next day. Now things have calmed down to <100 again. Is this perhaps evidence of a hack of the sort you mentioned the other day? How can I tell? And, should I care?

      • To be absolutely sure, I would contact WordPress support. But if you had been hacked, many other users of the platform would have, too; so I think this is really unlikely.

        When you had those many views – did you also see a rise in the number of unique visitors? Or did the traffic appear to some from a few visitors? Which pages did they click?

        I had seen weird traffic from a single user a few months ago, and I had contacted WP support. In addition to an unexpected increase in views I found the pattern of hits unnaturally regular, like 5 clicks per hour, 24 hours a day. All traffic was targeted to ‘Home page / archives’ and from the US. I was not concerned about a hack but I figured it was a bot, and I just wanted non-human traffic to be removed from stats (as WP seems to do fine otherwise. If I check my other server’s raw log files, I see so much traffic from Google bot, Bing bot, Yahoo etc. – and in reasonable statistics this has to be hidden). Unfortunately support could not tell me if this was bot-like traffic – but they confirmed that everything was ‘normal’.

        • OK .. since everything is back to normal (<100 hits per day) I won't worry about it. I'll look at those statistics though and see what I can find. I do recall seeing that most of the referring pages belonged to Facebook … which makes sense I suppose.

          • Wow – congratulations! Your Facebook experiment is a huge success then! It seems once of your posts has gone viral 🙂 I have never seen more than 10 clicks on the blog in a day, from Facebook. You could also check the statistics of your Facebook Page to double-check – called ‘Insights’ in Facebook. Here you should see how many users have clicked which recent post.

  3. Well, my attitude is a little bit rebellious and a little familiarity. Through my work I end up in many of those folks homes … maybe not the same but similar … and I definitely know my place. And that place is wherever I am. As both a farmer and a teacher, I think you and Joanna are contributing to society at a much higher level than the majority of those fancy folks and belong wherever you are too. 🙂 This is a pretty interesting image. It’s certainly breaking a rule or two, but I think it has a surreal quality that is quite thought provoking. Pretty creative.

    • Because I’m not one to follow ‘rules’ (in both a photographic and in a more general sense) I’m not sure what rules I’ve broken here. Ok, so I shot into the sun and I put the subject smack in the middle of the frame … are those the rules I’ve broken? Although I may choose to break rules, I still appreciate knowing what they are. Perhaps I exaggerate, for I do like the list of photographic-pointers (rules?) that Steve S. has posted on his site. So maybe what I’m saying is that I’d like to think of myself as one of those folks who doesn’t follow rules … but, in reality, I’m a closet-rule-follower! Where did I go astray here? On another subject … what those folks in St. Moritz were thinking … I can not begin to know. But, as I always say, it takes all sorts to make a world and we should admire and appreciate diversity … of all sorts.

      • You hit upon just what I was seeing. Mostly the tree in the center would be a rule breaker … but like I said, it works. It is good to know the rules before breaking them, but sometimes you just know when something feels right and go with it. I like that you shot into the sun and used the tree to limit its strength allowing all the shadows to open …. sans tree, of course. It strikes me as a strong piece of artwork.
        I’m kind of the same regarding being a closet rule follower. As I said above, I’ll go wherever dressed however. (Obviously, a formal affair requires formal dress.) That said, I drive the speed limit, clean up my trash and that of others, hold my fork in an upright position, put the toilet seat down in a restroom (and raise it when needed), and so on. I think the best way to follow the rules is just try to be the best person possible. There are a few other rules that I think are unfortunate … cleanliness is next to godliness … clothes make the man, etc. People are too quick to judge others without giving much thought to circumstances of what a first impression may be hiding. Of course, all that is easy for us, the great unwashed, to say. I’m not much for religion, but I kind of like the Seven Heavenly Virtues and my favorite is humility which goes hand in hand with my other favorite … patience.

        • Agreed … and, all well said. Perhaps there’s a subject for a Gingold post hiding somewhere in that thoughtful response? Thanks for expanding. We’re on much the same wavelength. Took to the creek today, dressed in a holiday gift from Joanna … chest waders! It’s an understatement to say that they made all the difference. Made it home totally DRY.

      • I’ll have to say I’m not much for following photographic rules. I’d been working with photography for several decades before I ever heard of the Rule of Thirds. The approaches in “About My Techniques” are things that have sometimes or often worked for me and that might work for other people at certain times, but I don’t think of them as rules. In fact the process was the opposite: as I kept posting pictures, I gradually noticed things I’d done that seemed to work well and I added them to the list (which could still expand).

        • Let’s all stop calling them rules then, for that sounds too prescriptive. You are correct … your ‘pointers’ are techniques that work … period. And, they do … you know!

  4. This beautiful ‘tree of life’ set against the setting sun, snow capped mountains, and pristine lake was clearly restorative. It is a breathtaking scene. It is a magnificent piece of work and was well worth the trip. What we do for our art, I mean really, having to suffer through St. Moritz. It’s almost more than one can bear.

  5. I love the composition of the photograph. Your story reminds me of my husband, who judges a lot of one’s appearance on practicality and function (after all, anything else would obviously be stupid!). He probably would have been amused by some of the costumes you folks encountered.

  6. This lone tree looks out-of-place with the mountains on either side. Just like you in St. Moritz. Had to chuckle at the thought of you in a place where the rich and famous flock. Nice to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there! Beautiful light at this time of day. Glad you captured it.

    • Yeah, it was quite the place. You name the brand and it had a storefront … too many to remember … and wall-to-wall. An amazing place to be sure … but not for us.

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