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Rolf Maeder Mystical moments in the Swiss Alps

Many of Rolf Maeder's photos conjure up a magical or even slightly intimidating atmosphere in the Swiss mountains.

Dark clouds hang above mountain tops, clouds shroud massive white peaks like lace curtains, while others like cotton balls touch the face of rocky walls – the scenery is often stunning but can also send a slight chill down your spine.

“It’s a slow process and there is always an element of chance,” explains Maeder as he describes his visual work.

“It often happens in perfectly unspectacular places. At moments when the light, clouds, shapes and colours combine to create something that strikes a chord with me. I hope my photos can convey this fascination to others.”

His work is not about reproducing the natural setting. Editing the captured moments is a process of visualising a deep feeling that is hidden within the photo, he notes.

In some cases, the photos – notably when printed in large format and framed – achieve the quality of a painting.

But it’s not only the intensity of Maeder’s photosexternal link that may surprise. He is not actually a professional photographer; he only discovered his passion later in life, in the United States. 

The trained French horn player and choir director spent 15 years in Arizona, known for its untamed landscapes and valleys. A series of his stunning photos of lightning in the Grand Canyonexternal link won international acclaim, and were printed in publications and broadcast by television channels and online sites around the world.

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SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

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