NO. 7/8 JULY/AUGUST 2012 CHF 7.50
· Slash · Amy Macdonald · Claude Nobs · Griesbach · Martina Hingis · · Summer festivals · Lakes & picnic spots · Landscape photography ·
SWISS ARMY KNIVES CUTLERY TIMEPIECES TRAVEL GEAR FASHION FRAGRANCES I WWW.VICTORINOX.COM SWISS ARMY KNIVES CUTLERY TIMEPIECES TRAVEL GEAR FASHION FRAGRANCES I WWW.VICTORINOX.COM
© Andy Seddon
You know summer has arrived when the festival season kicks off in Switzerland – but that doesn’t mean you have to Y dig out your wellies and make for a muddy field. Only last year, I escaped from a torrential downpour to watch Jack Johnson perform at Locarno’s Moon & Stars from a cosy on-site restaurant. From the elegant to the wacky, there are festivals for everyone – and to help you navigate the array on offer, we have compiled a guide to this festival summer (page 33). One man who made festivals his business is Swiss visionary Claude Nobs. Prior to the 46th edition of his ‘baby’ – the Montreux International Jazz Festival – he tells us how he attracts the best of the world’s established and up-andcoming musicians (page 16). Joining the ranks at Montreux this year is Scottish songstress Amy Macdonald, who reveals why she wants to be known for her music rather than the shoes she wears (page 20). And continuing the festivals theme, we pose 10 questions to the musician behind the lion hair and top hat – legendary Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash (page 8). Festivals might be integral to the summer months, but July and August wouldn’t be the same without long, lazy weekends. Join us as we explore landmark summit Säntis in our landscape photography class (page 42) or escape the crowds on Swiss National Day (1 August) at a secluded lake or picnic spot around Lake Zurich (page 53). For a stylish holdall to carry all your lakeside essentials, look no further than the Griesbach sisters on page 48. While we relax and indulge, the country’s top athletes are preparing for this summer’s biggest sporting event. We peek behind the scenes of a gruelling Olympic training schedule with Swiss beach volleyball London 2012 hopeful Patrick Heuscher (page 46). Meanwhile, we meet Swiss tennis professional and five-time Grand Slam winner Martina Hingis on page 24. She might have hung up her racket several years ago, but is still an icon of the sports world. Enjoy the sunny summer days ahead!
Carina Scheuringer Editor
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The latest news from Switzerland
10 questions with...
British-American songwriter and musician Slash
Made in Switzerland
UBS – Celebrating 150 years
Claude Nobs – Making the impossible possible
Life insurance in Switzerland
Amy Macdonald – Live and incognito
Martina Hingis – Shining star
Gleis 1 – Something for everyone
Hôtel les Nations – Worldly charm
Swatch – Urban summer fun
2012 festival summer – Selected highlights
Mauritius – Oceans away
Off the beaten track
Landscape photography – Picture that!
Patrick Heuscher – Preparing for the Olympics
Griesbach – Ever yours
After-work packages – Tr Af T eat yourself
Changing room – Vintage is modern
Lakes & picnic spots – Hidden gems
A day in the life of...
July & August – Highlights around the country
English books at Orell Füssli
Goods and services in Switzerland
Images from top: 150 years of UBS, © Courtesy of UBS Martina Hingis, © Women Parking Challenge 2012 2012 festival summer, © swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger Amy Macdonald, © Universal Music Front cover: Slash, © Tr T avis Shinn
impossible possible By Marion Widmer
ÂŠ Lionel Flusin/Montr eux Jazz Festival Fou ndation
Retirement is but a foreign concept for charming 76-year-old visionary Claude Nobs. He is busy organising the 46th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival, will see the opening of the Montreux Jazz Café at Harrods in London this summer, and has just received an award from the Jazz Foundation of America for his humanitarian work. However, he began his professional life as a chef. What, you might ask, is his recipe for success?
The Rolls Royce of jazz festivals Born in 1936 and raised in Montreux, Claude Nobs developed a passion for music before he was able to read. However, as a teenager, he decided to do an apprenticeship as a chef. “When I was 17, I was thrown out of my parents’ house and I had to decide what to do with my life. I asked myself whether I wanted to get up as early as my father, who was a baker. Instead, I decided to become a chef,” Nobs remembers. At the same time as training to become a chef in Basel, he received a second education. “For two and a half years, I regularly listened to the radio programme Pour ceux u qui aim i ent le Jazz z (‘For those who love jazz’), which was directed by Daniel Filipacchi,” he says. With this musical education under his belt, the creative and ambitious mind moved on to become Director of Montreux-Vevey To T urism. In 1967, driven to create a music festival that “fosters the experience of music rather than its simple consumption,” Nobs organised the first Jazz Festival in Montreux. It attracted prominent participants such as Keith Jarrett. Only a few years after this first successful edition of the festival, Deep Purple honoured Nobs in their hit single ‘Smoke on the Water’, which refers to the tragic burning down of the casino in Montreux during a Franz Zappa concert in 1971. The band described Nobs’ heroic attempts to save guests with the words: “Funky Claude was running in and out/Pulling kids out the ground.” ‘Funky Claude’ was appointed director of Warner Switzerland in 1973. It was a move that put him in a position to garner yet more famous musicians’ performances in Montreux. Since then, the crème-de-la-crème of the international music scene, including the likes of Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones, have staged legendary concerts and jam sessions in the picturesque town on the Swiss Riviera. The Montreux Jazz Festival, described by producer Quincy Jones as the “Rolls Royce of Jazz Festivals,” has become one of the most influential music festivals in the world.
A perfect host Due to back problems, the energetic ‘live wire’ Nobs had to pass on the operational management of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2010. He continues to date as strategic manager, bonding with both familiar and up-and-coming musicians alike. “I have always given a chance to newcomers, who need to be trusted and pushed,” he says. Often described as a perfect host with a heart of gold, Nobs delights the musicians regularly with self-cooked meals in his cosy chalet above Montreux – no matter whether his guests are world stars or have just been ‘casted’ by him while on a metropolitan subway. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Jazz Foundation of America has just awarded Nobs with the Dr. r Billy l Ta T yl y or Humanita t rian Awa w rd. “The Jazz Foundation of America is the only national organisation which supports elderly jazz and blues musicians in need, such as a poor but very talented blues singer who I heard in a subway in New Yo Y rk,” Nobs recalls. He was so impressed
© Lionel Fl
usin/Montre ux Jazz Fe stival Foun dation
© 2008 Daniel Balmat
by her that he brought her to Montreux to perform at the festival. He adds, “That’s why this award was very important to me.”
During the award ceremony, described by Nobs as “a very moving moment,” Bono played ‘Angel of Harlem’. And Quincy Jones, good friend of Nobs and co-producer of the Montreux Jazz Festival, named his Swiss confidant as one of the few nonmusicians who are able to speak the “language” of musicians. “I have been on the road with musicians for so many years, especially when I was director of Warner Switzerland. When you spend so much time with them, you almost become a musician yourself,“ Nobs explains. “It is crucial to be completely open and try to listen to their wishes. I have often experienced that if trust is established, the musicians are open to unusual jam sessions – which make the concerts in Montreux unique.” Thanks to Nobs’ warm hospitality and determination, the list of musicians who have performed in Montreux is endless.
Enthusiasm for two lives The festival’s overwhelming success – it attracts more than
- Montreux Jazz Festiva
220,000 spectators annually – motivated Nobs to host partner festivals in New Yo Y rk, To T kyo and São Paulo. Fans can also indulge in the extensive music archive of the Montreux Jazz Festival at Montreux Jazz Cafés, which have been created as meeting points for music fans in the international airports in Geneva, Zurich and Sydney, the Gare de Lyon in Paris and even at Harrods in London (from July this year). The Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne is currently digitalising the music archive, which consists of more than 50,000 music titles and 5,000 hours of concert records from the Montreux Jazz Festival. With so many successful projects, it is understandably difficult for music pioneer Nobs to name the pinnacles of his career. “There are hundreds of highlights, but I would say that performances of female singers like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald were among the most impressive moments. I admire singers, because, to me, the voice is the most difficult ‘instrument’. It is not possible to play with it, yet they create incredibly powerful emotions,” he says. “Basically, my life has been a dream all the way. I have always tried to make the impossible possible. And I would like to carry on with this enthusiasm until I am 150!”
46 th Montreux Jazz Festival
June 29 – July 14 Featuring Bob Dylan, Erykah Badu, Van Morrison, Sergio Mendes, Katie Melua, Quincy Jones, Mark Ronson and Herbert Grönemeyer www.montreuxjazzfestival.com
Lifee insurance By Brien Donnellon
Often referred to as the last taboo, our own death – or that of a loved one – is so painful to contemplate that many of us leave life insurance to accident or fate. However, discussing and planning for it can give you and your relatives peace of mind.
To ensure that your survivors are provided for financially in the event of your death, look at your existing cover. Life insurance can help to pay bills, continue a family business, pay for your children’s education, protect your spouse’s retirement plans or repay a property loan. In Switzerland, obligatory company pension provision complements the state insurance. The level of additio onal insurance cover is often left to the individual, unless a minimum amount is required to cover a loan. Yo Y u may wish to provide enough cover to settle outstanding debts and fund fun neral expenses. Insurance policies also include a beneficia ary clause, specifying the person or organisation named as beneficiaries of your policy in the event of your death or anoth her insured event.
Main types of life insurance policies Prrotectiion policy: Following a specified event (e.g. your death), P this policy provides a benefit, typically a lump sum payment. A commo on form is ‘term life insurance’ (for more details, see below). Investtment policy: This policy facilitates the growth of capital by regular or single premiums. To T compare policies on price, ensure that each policy provides the same benefits for the same amount. Besides the death benefit, factors affecting the policy price include age, gender, profession, state of health and preexisting conditions. Smokers can expect to pay at least 25 per cent more. Participating in a dangerous sport can also increase the insurance premium or result in your application being rejected.
insurance allows tax-free returns, the selection of investment funds and the flexibility to switch between funds. Endowm E w ent insura r nce: This type of agreement combines protection with accumulation of capital. On maturity of the policy, you or the beneficiary receives the guaranteed sum and the accumulated bonus. On your death, beneficiaries are entitled to the same. This is a popular alternative to fixedincome securities or investment funds, because – dependent on your domicile – neither income nor withholding tax is payable on the returns. Endowment policies are often pledged to banks as security for mortgages and loans. Annuity t policies: This type of agreement is suitable for persons who, upon retirement, wish to maintain their standard of living. With a single payment or regular premiums, a policy will guarantee a steady, regular income for life. If you choose an annuity with a refund guarantee, unused capital will be refunded to your beneficiaries, should you die before the policy matures. For Swiss taxpayers, only 40 per cent of the annuity payment is taxed as income.
Annual premium The annual premium is the amount of money you pay to have insurance coverage for one year. In Switzerland, if you choose to have an annual premium, you can invest in either Pillar 3a or Pillar 3b, and include a disability pension and a premium waiver in the event of disability. If you choose a Pillar 3a policy, you benefit from annual premium deductions from your taxable income. Both Pillar 3a and 3b have tax benefits at payout.
Main types of life insurance forms T rm Te r life f in i sura r nce: This type of agreement guarantees a specified lump sum to a named person or entity, should you die before the policy expiry date. The payout is subject to a few exclusions, such as suicide or other self-inflicted conditions. The most common type of term life insurance features a payout that does not change over the period. However, you may pay lower premiums for insurance of which the payout decreases over time. Fund-linked life F f insura r nce: This type of agreement allows you to combine insurance cover with the prospects of an investment in equities. Neither income tax nor withholding tax is payable on the returns under certain conditions, even for flexible pension plans. On maturity of the policy, you or your beneficiary receives the counter-value of your units in the fund. On your death, beneficiaries will immediately receive the guaranteed death benefit or the value of the units – whichever is more. This type of
Advantages of choosing an annual premium include the freedom to designate beneficiaries (flexible 3b insurance plans), exemption from bankruptcy proceedings and advantages under inheritance law. In addition, the redemption value of third-Pillar (3a) life insurance can be cashed in or pledged to secure a mortgage for your main property (not second homes). The redemption value of a 3b life insurance can be cashed or pledged without restriction. We recommend you seek advice from an independent financial advisor to clarify anything you do not fully understand. It is your responsibility to know and understand the terms of your policy. W have endeavo We v ure r d to pro r vi v de yo y u wi w th t accura r te and complete info f rmation, however we cannot be held liable fo f r any mista t kes or inaccura r cies.
Brien Donnellon Brien Donnellon is the owner of KEY INVESTMENT, a financial services company providing unbiased financial advice and solutions for Swissbased expatriates, HR departments and foreign investors. The company, formed in 1997, is authorised and regulated by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission. For further information: 081 257 13 14 email@example.com www.keyinvestment.ch
30 All ph hotos © Carina Scheuringer
Something g for everyone By Carina Scheuringer famous type of Müesli, the The father of Switzerland’s most Bircher-Benner (1867-1939), r Oska n milia Maxi was Birchermüesli, remains a breakfast staple dish The cine. a pioneer of health medi in Switzerland today.
hamischung’ (dry mix) l ha ‘Alp nit* rolled oats un 1u 1 unit cornflakes ¼ unit sultanas rants curra nit cu un ¼u almonds ground al unit gr ¼ un hazelnuts round ha unit ro ¼ un flakes oconut fl unit Coc ¼ un aste t tta ugar to Sug
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dry i a dr store in and st together an hamischung’ to l ha ‘ lp the ‘A o th ingredients of all in i al Mix en h t th , s e l ple a ap e h t th e cor and co eel an mix, pee uit mi f ui the fr For th lace. Fo cool pla and co an id o oi a av t to t r u h g o yog l a natur ith na immediately wit i im grate. Mix roughly gr ro ix m mi t i u ui f fr e n i b m o Com . x i m mi r berry and be slices an banana sl add ba then ad ing, th colourin co r 2-3 o f fo t s e r re t to e v a e Lea . k l i m mi d d a and ad mix an dry mi the dr o th oonfuls of s oo few sp ith a fe wit . e g d i id f the fr i th hours in ho
When Rolf Luchsinger and his wife Gabi took over the Chrottenbach restaurant overlooking Thalwil train station in January 2010, they were no strangers to the Zimmerberg quarter. The gastronomic entrepreneurs had already made a name for themselves with their previous ventures at Adliswil and Rüschlikon. Continuing their trademark concept of providing ‘something for everyone’, Gleis 1 is warm and welcoming. The light and stylish décor is softened by personal touches and a homely atmosphere reflecting the caring personalities of its owners. A friendly and sociable pair, Rolf’s domain is the state-of-the-art kitchen, where he whisks up a varied and exciting menu from fresh ingredients. Meanwhile, Gabi runs the show out front with equal passion and attentiveness. The result is an individual service and offering, ranging from sitdown meals to z’m ’ org r e (breakfast), from afternoon cake to take away, and from catering to events. But this is only the beginning. The Luchsingers have more ideas up their sleeve, including events for English-speakers. To T test the waters, they launched a Swiss cooking class last March. I join one evening to learn how to make a proper ‘Birchermüsli. En guete!
Gotthardstrasse 3, 8800 Thalwil Monday – Friday: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. 044 710 91 91, firstname.lastname@example.org www.gleis-1.ch
© Tim Williams
© Hôtel les Nations
© Tim Williams
© Tim Williams
Hôtel les Nations By Emily Mawson
There is hardly a more fitting name for a hotel located around the corner from the United Nations’ Office in Geneva. Hôtel les Nations hides camouflaged on a street of international companies with granite façades. Behind its mirrored, automatic front door is an unexpected living room complete with sofa, family photographs and an eclectic display of dishes. A kitsch trompe l’oeil (illusionist art) on one wall resembles a library. With tr many business guests staying for weeks at a time, owner Mr Philippe Guénat aspires to create the look and feel of a home. I stay in the Geneva suite – a cosy, floral affair with mustardcoloured art deco curtains and artificial flowers (in a blue vase that, until the mid-1980s, was given to Genevan residents upon reaching their 100th birthday). Other artefacts typical to the region include a collection of 20th century plates. Mattresses with AAA-quality springs and windows soundproofed to 39 decibels make for a comfortable stay. Complimentary toiletries, handmade for the hotel by the Ramburi Spa in Thailand, smell lemony and zesty. My generous balcony has a view over Geneva’s high-rises. From the Mont Blanc suite opposite, the 4,087-metre massif of the same name is visible. The hotel’s rear façade is a treat. Across its 460-square metre surface, Te T tra Pak-shaped cows ascend to alpine pastures in the world’s largest Poya y (traditional painting). It is one of many unusual art pieces in the hotel. Over 80 original paintings – mostly by Swiss artists – decorate the corridors. A sculpture of 1,500 shimmering glassfish by François Marcoville cascades down a window in the breakfast room.
Although it is on a busy road, Hôtel les Nations is close to two leafy parks. After breakfast, manager Caroline Leib recommends a sightseeing walk and I set off to explore.
History Mr Guénat’s family has lived in Geneva since 1357. Their coat of arms is depicted above the lift on the ground floor. After travelling as a hotelier in Asia and the Middle East, Mr Guénat returned to Geneva in 2000 to breathe life into the building Hôtel les Nations now occupies. The last refurbishment took place in 2007/2008. Mr Guénat owns several hotels in the area (www.hotels-et-patrimoine.ch).
Flea market finds There is a feeling of ‘old money’ throughout the hotel. On each floor is a display of eclectic, globally-sourced treasures, including bed warmers, curling tongs and hat moulds. Look out for the lamp on the first floor – it was a steel bottle used in the oil trade in the Persian Gulf. A guide to the artefacts is available at reception.
Practicalities Hôtel les Nations has 67 double rooms and four suites. Each suite is themed to reflect a region that made an impression on Mr Guénat. Prices start from CHF 300 for a single room including breakfast, WIFI, tea and coffee from the minibar, a travel pass and access to the adjacent gym. Some rooms have a kitchenette, which can be opened upon request. There is a bus stop outside the hotel. Line 8 takes you into the city centre in 7 minutes.
Hôtel les Nations Rue du Grand-Pré 62 1202 Geneva www.hotel-les-nations.com
VERBLÜFFEND ANDERS Das Hotel, das lebt. Die bezaubernde Aussicht auf die Stadt, das Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern (KKL), den Vierwaldstättersee und die Bergkulisse machen jeden Besuch im MONTANA zu einem Highlight. Mit seinen 66 Gästezimmern, Suiten und den einzigartigen Penthouse Spa Suiten mit grosszügigem In-Room Spa-Bereich und privatem Panorama Whirlpool auf der Dachterrasse, der stadtbekannten Louis Bar, dem 15 GaultMillau Scala Restaurant mit traumhafter Terrasse und dem attraktiven Day-Spa Angebot, ist das MONTANA eine Oase der Erholung für Ferienwie für Geschäftsreisende. BESTES VIERSTERNE-STADTHOTEL DER SCHWEIZ Fast schon zur Tradition geworden, feiert das ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA bereits zum 11. Mal die Kür zum besten Viersterne-Stadthotel der Schweiz gemäss dem angesehenen Hotel-Rating der SonntagsZeitung. Es gehört 2012 wiederholt zu den HolidayCheck Award Siegern und wurde damit zu den zehn beliebtesten Stadthotels der Welt gewählt. Erleben Sie das aussergewöhnliche und begeisternde Hotel, das lebt – aber eben, verblüffend anders!
AMAZINGLY DIFFERENT The hotel that is alive. Its slightly elevated position offers an unforgettable panoramic view of the city, the culture and convention centre Lucerne (KKL), the Lake Lucerne and the mountains. With its 66 rooms, suites and unique Penthouse Spa Suites with generous SPA facilities and an outdoor Jacuzzi on the private rooftop terrace, its famous Louis Bar, its palm-fringed 15 points GaultMillau Scala Restaurant and its attractive Day-Spa, the MONTANA is a sanctuary that provides relaxation for both holiday-makers and business travellers alike. BEST FOUR STAR CITY HOTEL IN SWITZERLAND In the 2012 hotel rating of the newspaper "SonntagsZeitung", the MONTANA was again selected as best four star city hotel in Switzerland and also in 2012, the MONTANA was presented with the "HolidayCheck Award" which places it among the top ten favourite city hotels in the world. Be part of this extraordinary hotel that is alive and amazingly different. www.hotel-montana.ch | www.facebook.com/artdecohotelmontana
Adrift in the Indian Ocean, it is but a tiny dot off the eastern shores of Madagascar – the island that Mark Tw T ain believed heaven was modelled on. Fringed by coral and patrolled by clownfish, parrotfish and manta rays, Mauritius rises from the turquoise expanse of the ocean as the highest peak in a long volcanic chain of islands, some 170 kilometres northeast of its younger French sister Réunion.
Sculpted by the forces of nature and time from oversized blobs of magma, the bijiou island is an expressionist masterpiece. Its signature sweeping palmed beaches are framed by a broken ring of mountains and plateaux, cloaked in lush topical forest, savannahs and sugarcane fields. Accentuating the scene like pieces of oversized artwork are volcanic crates, sparkling azure lagoons and thousands of scattered lava boulders, some of which have been arranged into pyramid monuments by local farmers. Where the sugarcane plantations grow thicker, streams and rivers speckle the land, navigating the cracks once formed by lava flows past colourful local villages. Boasting one of the richest eco-systems in the world (on land as well as under water), Mauritius is home to a number of endangered animal and plant species, including the pink pigeon, fruit bat and echo parakeet. Many of these have been pulled back from the brink of extinction in protected nature reserves, such as Black River Georges National Park. The colourful diversity of Mauritius’s flora and fauna is echoed by the colourful diversity of its people. An international role model for racial and religious harmony, the island is lent its vibrancy by a flamboyant potpourri of people and cultures.
All photos © Carina Scheuringer
by Carina Scheuringer
Mauritians – with French, English, Indian, Chinese, Arabic and African heritage – are united by a strong sense of national identity, a focus on family life and a shared lingua fr franca, Mauritian Creole. In the local villages, Hindu temples proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with churches and mosques. Communities join in each other’s celebrations, making life on the island a pretty eventful affair all year around – and lending Mauritius its trademark friendly and welcoming air.
Selected Island highlights Nature: Visit the botanical gardens of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Pamplemousses to see giant Vi V ctoria amazonica water lilies and tortoises; dive at Rempart Serpent to marvel at stonefish, scorpion fish and moray eels or follow swirling shoals of big-eye kingfish at La Passe St François; visit Trou aux Cerfs at Curepipe to see an extinct volcano or marvel at the coloured earths of Chamarel. Beaches: Mauritius is known for its finest beaches and seascapes. Examples include Mont Choisy beach, Pereybere cove, Blue Bay, Gris Gris, the beach stretching from Belle Mare to Tr T ou d’Eau Douce, Flic en Flac, Ta T marin and Le Morne. Cultural highlights: In a country as varied as Mauritius, cultural highlights are manifold and include the Red Roof Chapel in Cap Malheureux, Maheshwarnath Te T mple at Triolet Shival, the Victoria 1840 sugar cane factory and the Salt Pans at Ta T marin. Keep an eye out for séga performances – during Mauritius’s national dance, the feet never leave the ground, making for some very interesting body moves.
At a glance
Name: named after Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau Capital: Port Louis Time zone: +4 hours Greenwich Mean Time Total area: 2,040 km2 Climate: tropical; warm and dry winters (May – October, 17°C – 23°C), hot and wet summers (November – April, 23°C – 33°C); cyclones (December – March) Currency: Mauritian Rupee (divided into 100 cents) Population: 1.2 million www.tourism-mauritius.mu
© Mark Tillotson
off the beaten track
© Matthew Anderson
Picture that! © Samuel Reichen
By Carina Scheuringer
“My two most-used photography tools are my left and right feet. If you're not happy with your composition, move around and re-compose until you’re satisfied.” Matthew Anderson © Matthew Anderson
There is an inherent beauty in attaining a pure representation of nature’s most expressive fleeting moments in a photograph. Eager to learn the tricks of the trade from two seasoned professionals, a group of two dozen amateurs and semi-professionals have come together on the Säntis for a workshop entitled ‘light and the mountain landscape’. We are being hosted by photography school ViewFinder Center for Photography – and taught in English by owner Matthew Anderson and guest instructor Christian Heeb.
© Mark Tillotson
© Joao Lecour © Matthew Anderson © Matthew Anderson
© Matthew Anderson
At 2,502 metres above sea level, Säntis towers above the gentle hills of Appenzell like a natural fortress. The highest point of the Alpstein massif, it is said to offer views of six countries on a clear day. From my vantage point outside mountaintop lodge Alter Säntis, I can pinpoint three of them straight ahead: Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
horizon along the top third of my picture and start metering the light. “Try to use the bluest part of the sky as your reference point,” recommends professional photographer Matthew Anderson and quickly takes a shot to illustrate. A series of shutter buttons are pressed, as a number of students follow their teachers’ example to capture this picture perfect moment.
Lit by the late afternoon sun and offset beautifully against a backdrop of deep blue, endless sky, the mountains are bathed in a warm orange glow. The low light defines and contours the landscape, gracefully highlighting differences in topography and texture. As I turn the ring on my 28–300 millimetre lens, two hikers pop into focus on a nearby ridge. Zooming out, I can see the vast expanse of Lake Constance framed by the bustling city of Bregenz in Vorarlberg to the south, and Constance further north. After a spell of storms, we are unbelievably lucky with the weather.
This is the first of many photo shoots to take place on top of this landmark summit over the next two days.
I carefully study the scene of broken mountain ranges, deep valleys and emerald lakes through my viewfinder. Having decided to make the rugged peaks my centrepiece, I align the
Life explored in landscape In order to inspire our muse, Heeb officially opens the workshop by showcasing powerful masterpieces from his collection of outstanding natural perspectives. Ranging from seascapes and moonscapes to cityscapes, each sample makes maximum use of a photographer’s secret weapon – light. “Light is what makes a picture; everything depends on it. Landscape photography is about being in the right place at the right time. If you don’t like to get up early, then landscape
© Matthew Anderson
“It is essential that you learn to look before you shoot. You need to analyse the frame and ask whether it has a WOW-effect.” Christian Heeb © Matthew Anderson
© Katja Valentino
photography is not for you,” laughs the native St. Galler, referring to the ‘magic light’ created by the low sun that adds beauty to just about any scene. Revealing some of the secrets behind his trademark shots, Heeb singles out polarising and graduated neutral density filters as his favourite aids and highlights how photomontage can add an x-factor to a composition – such as his trademark, oversized moons.
Framing natural beauty
swallows but the last ray, offering little but a clear separation of fore- and background in return. While we wait in vain for an ibex to enhance our composition, Anderson takes a group of daredevils on an adventurous hike along the ridge facing the summit. The rest of us make good use of their silhouettes to add interest to our frames. “It is essential that you learn to look, before you shoot,” advises Heeb. You need to analyse the frame and ask whether it has a WOW-effect.”
After a Question & Answer session and a hearty dinner, we are ready to put our newly acquired knowledge to the test and start capturing the fluidity of the surrounding landscape during ‘the golden hour’ (just before sunset). Our tour of the summit takes us past the weather station that made headlines in winter 1922 following the murders of the station keeper and his wife (murders that remain unsolved to this day after the only suspect committed suicide). Behind the simple structure, a futuristiclooking building reaches for the sky like an oversized needle – the transmission tower of the meteorological observatory from where Swiss radio and television channels are broadcast.
Towards the light
A group of us line up alongside Heeb on the viewing platform hoping to catch a glimpse of the setting sun above Schwägalp. However, the weather has turned and the atmospheric haze
While we are banking four hours of much needed sleep, our teachers are busy preparing a surprise for our final showdown the next morning. In a joint effort, Heeb triggers Anderson’s
If a camera is a photographer’s brush, then light is his or her paint. After sunset, we stand shoulder to shoulder to compose masterpieces using the soft, atmospheric light shed by the moon and starry sky. The landscape looks eerie, almost black and white. It is accentuated only by the flaming red glow of distant towns and cities. As a big bank of cloud moves in and obscures the moon, the stars seem to light up just a little brighter, enveloping the transmission tower like a dotted dark blue cloak. Around midnight, we have exhausted all possible variations of settings and viewpoints and are finally ready to call it a night.
45 © Courtesy of Rachel Hendrix
© Lilian Schober
Photographer, teacher and Director of the ViewFinder Center for Photography ViewFinder was founded in 2008 and is Switzerland’s first English-language photography learning centre. Since January 2012, it has been managed and directed by award-winning professional photographer Matthew Anderson who has lived in Switzerland since 2008. Anderson’s photography career began in news photojournalism in his native home of America, where he worked for daily newspapers and freelanced regularly for the Associated Press. Anderson is responsible for developing ViewFinder's photography courses and workshops, and teaches several of its programmes as well. When he's not busy sharing his passion for photography with students, he can be found shooting high-end weddings, commercial assignments and editorial projects around Switzerland and abroad.
© Lilian Schober
www.ViewFinderCenter.com Flickr Group: www.flickr.com/groups/919124@N21 Meet-up gatherings: www.meetup.com/viewfinder www.MatthewAndersonPhoto.com
camera as Anderson races up the stairs to the weather station from the lower viewing platform, drawing looping white lines of light with his torch, before painting the building adjacent to the weather station with light to make it stand out against the dark background. Heeb exposes the shot for two minutes – the result is a perfect example of creative night photography. At 4.45 a.m., we reunite, sleepy and wrapped from head to toe in woollies, for the highlight of the workshop – the sunrise shoot. Looking out of the window into the pitch-black night, there is no telling whether the morning will gift us with a picture book sunrise, but we are ever hopeful. We watch in eager anticipation as the night sky comes alive with strange shapes in the first rays of light. With every minute, the colours become more vivid until finally a glowing red and orange ball breaks through the thick banks of clouds to the east of Bregenz. Everything goes quiet as forty-something eyes watch the spectacle unfold through the viewfinder and dozens of clicks capture the scene. By the time breakfast comes around, we are wide-awake and wired from the morning’s excitement. Bonded by the shared experience, we have plenty to chat about during round-off discussions, the cable car trip back to Schwägalp and the enthusiastic email and flickr exchange in the weeks to come.
© Lilian Schober
Photographer and guest instructor at ViewFinder Center for Photography World-renowned Swiss travel and landscape photographer Christian Heeb is teaching at ViewFinder Center as a guest instructor. Based in Bend, Oregon (USA) but originally from St. Gallen, he has made a name for himself with his “scenic landcapes, lush environments as well as vibrant city scenes.” Travelling the world for 25 years, his photos have appeared in over 130 coffee table books, countless calendars and magazine articles. www.heebphoto.com
a day in the life of
Look out London, here comes Heuscher! By Brien Donnellon
A favourite with the ladies, he is 1,94-metres tall with golden skin, a mop of caramel hair and an enviable bone structure. If his ‘Ken doll on the beach’ appearance was not striking enough, 35-year-old Patrick ‘Paddy’ Heuscher is also one of Switzerland’s best beach volleyball players. He won bronze in Athens in 2004 and will represent Switzerland at the London Olympics this August.
A gruelling schedule I meet Heuscher in the cool air of morning. He has been up since 7.30 a.m. to get ready for the day. He tells me he usually eats bread and jam with coffee and fruit for breakfast. Certainly stamina is a crucial ingredient for another shot at Olympic glory. Looking back, Heuscher remembers that his success in Athens came following the “difficult decision” to turn professional. “I postponed my psychology studies to focus on beach volleyball. Ultimately the sacrifice paid off.” He started with indoor volleyball at the age 15 and was introduced to beach volleyball by the Frauenfeld Juniors Volleyball Club. He opted for the latter because he wanted to play throughout the world, which is not possible with Swiss indoor volleyball. “I began playing with Stefan Kobel [,my partner in Athens,] and was occasionally supported by the renowned volleyball coach Marc Gerson.” Heuscher was just 20 when he played in his first International V lleyball Federation (FIVB) tournament in 1997. He counts Vo several Swiss beach volleyball legends among his partners (Stefan Kobel, Sascha Heyer, Jefferson Bellaguarda) and went on to win a string of metals at the European Championships: gold in 2004 in Germany, silver in 2005 in Russia and bronze in 2006 in Holland. In 2008, he and Heyer qualified for the Beijing Olympics. Since 2011, Heuscher has partnered with Brazilian-born Jefferson Bellaguarda. It is 9.30 a.m. and we are on our way to the sand court in Bern to meet ‘Bella’ as well as the Olympic
duo’s coach and former beach volleyball legend Markus Egger. They will train intensively for two hours this morning – and undertake two sessions in the gym later in the week.
Olympic journey Over lunch (a low-fat fish and pasta dish), Heuscher checks his e-mails, makes some calls and even finds time to relax before afternoon training. I find out how he qualified for London. “It certainly wasn’t easy,” he laughs. “After an outstanding 2011 season with two podium places [bronze and silver] on the FIVB World To T ur, we expected similar success in 2012. Unfortunately
Follow Heuscher (left) and Bellaguarda (right) at www.heuscher-bellaguarda.ch
© Courtesy of Heuscher
the top spots eluded us and the Olympic qualification criterion of a top-10 finish in an FIVB world event was incredibly tough. But we’re a strong partnership. We kept up the faith and, in June, finished fifth in the Swatch World To T ur Grand Slam event in Rome. This meant we qualified for London.”
pleased to hear that Heuscher will relax this evening. Training will finish at around 4 p.m. and – after a few hours attending to his personal matters – he will enjoy dinner at a restaurant with friends. Alcohol is strictly forbidden, though, and he will need to be in bed by 10 p.m. “I need nine hours of sleep,” he says.
It certainly seems as if Heuscher and Bellaguarda train as hard as any Olympian. This afternoon they will undertake two more hours of intensive training, focusing on game play rather than technique. I am exhausted after watching them, so I am
While Heuscher may dream of Olympic success tonight, he reveals that he is already thinking beyond the tournament. “I will be able to take some time away from sport and its gruelling schedule,” he laughs.
art & culture
13 – 21 July Kaserne Basel Basel’s version of the Edinburgh Tattoo is set to delight audiences with bagpipe performances and traditional dance. www.baseltattoo.ch
© Lukas Gysin
24 July – 11 August Kleinbasler Rheinufer/Mittlere Brücke The floating concert stage, Culture Raft, will offer magical, musical performances in Basel this summer. www.imfluss.ch
12 – 15 July Gurten The Swiss Alps make a suitably dramatic backdrop for this hip-hop, alternative and funk music festival that takes place on the mountain closest to downtown Berne this summer. www.gurtenfestival.ch
© Joe Dilworth
9 – 11 August Old Town 30 groups of street musicians, from across the world, sing, play and dance in 30 locations across Berne’s quaint Old Town. www.buskersbern.ch
© swiss-image.ch/ Andy Mettler
July & August Port Noir There is nothing quite so magical as watching films outside on a summer’s evening. This open-air cinema has pride of place beside Lake Geneva. www.cinelac.ch
© swiss-image.ch/Stephan Engler
Fête de Genève
July & August Quays and lakeside A fun fair, concerts, world foods and crafts, and spectacular firework displays are just some of the highlights of this festival season. www.fetes-de-geneve.ch
© swiss-image.ch/ Bern To T urism
© Basel To T urism
© Régis Colombo/www.diapo.ch
Festival de la Cité Lausanne
10 – 15 July Various The 41st edition of this lively festival will feature drama, music, jazz and dance at the heart of Lausanne. http://2012.festivalcite.ch
17 – 19 August Chalet à Gobet Marvel at the different equestrian disciplines as Switzerland’s best riders compete at this national horse riding event. www.equissima.ch
© swiss-image.ch/Elge Kenneweg
Blue Balls Festival
20 – 28 July Various The 12th Blue Balls Festival will bring you 135 shows including music by Paolo Nutini and Regina Spektor, art, photography, films and a variety of presentations. www.blueballs.ch
28 June – 22 July Lugano Across the course of this summer festival, 170 events will enliven the squares, streets and parks of Lugano. www.longlake.ch
© Lugano Tu T rismo
Blues to Bop Festival
24 August – 2 September Various International artists performing in a series of free open-air blues concerts is just one reason to attend this traditional event. www.bluestobop.ch
© swiss-image.ch/ Zug To T urism
28 – 29 July Lakeside Learn from the professionals and experience sports including rowing, sprinting, inline-skating, wakeboarding and more. www.boardstock.ch
© swiss-image.ch/G. Schiffmann
23 – 24 August Zug Old Town Listen to world-class jazz concerts and enjoy food and drink in the ambience of Zug’s Old Town. www.jazznight.ch
11 July – 19 August Lakeside A variety of films, from The Iron Lady to Men in Black 3 and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, will be shown on the lakeside. www.open-air-kino.ch
© Dicastero Giovani ed Eventi
Open Air Cinema
LUCERNE © swiss-image.ch/Elge Kenneweg
Caliente! Festival Tropical
6 – 8 July Helvetiaplatz Salsa the night away in the open air, sip exotic drinks and relax: this is Switzerland’s biggest festival of Latin-American culture. www.caliente.ch
© swiss-image.ch/C. Sonderegger
11 August Lakeside As this house and techno parade snakes along Zurich’s lakeside, all the colours of the rainbow will explode in the streets. www.streetparade.ch
For a more comprehensive list of events, please go to: www.swissnews.ch
Coming up in September
66 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE
© swiss-image/Patrick Jantet
© swiss-image/Andy Mettler
© swiss-image/Marcus Gyger
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Published on Jul 9, 2012