In this series of images, photographer Christian Helmle captures the majestic mountain scenery around Lake Thun. The many towns and villages, roads, and railway lines dotting its shores are reduced to the role of extras.
The photographer has been acquainted with the region – about half an hour’s drive from the Swiss capital, Bern – since his youth. His understanding of light and shadow, and his ability to see the iconic lakeside peaks as more than mountains, carries on the tradition of Swiss artists like Ferdinand Hodler and Paul Klee, who were also inspired by the setting.
In only two of the photos, which were taken after dark, can the viewer see how built-up the area clearly is, with a chain of towns and villages lining Lake Thun's shores and valleys.
The lake itself has been violated by man. Up until the 1960s, the Swiss army dumped thousands of tonnes of munitions here, as well as in other large alpine bodies of water.
Pictures: Christian Helmle, Text: Dale Bechtel