Appenzell, Switzerland

This article was written at the beginning of this week, but due to the release of my book, I shelved it until just now. We're just finishing up in Zermatt today and I'm flying home to the UK. ---

I'm in Switzerland this week. Right now, I'm sitting in a chalet below the Matterhorn, while we wait for some good weather. We will be heading up to some view points tomorrow evening to shoot sunset and then sunrise towards the mountain.

But I'm really here, because of connections I've made through my workshops. In 2009, I met my friend Peter, a Swiss, through the Eigg workshop I held in Scotland. He came back a month or two later to join me on my Harris workshop, and it was there, that he showed me some photos of the area of Switzerland that he lives in - Appenzell. My friend Sonja, came to my Torridon workshop in December 2009. Then there is Jurg and Dorin, who came on later trips. It seems the Swiss really love Scotland. So I am here with four friends and they have been showing me around Switzerland this past few days.

The images contained within this post are of Appenzell. I first found out about it when Peter showed me some photos on his iPhone while we were on the Harris workshop. I was immediately taken by the appearance of a simplistic landscape and, dare I say it, a 'toy town' look that I've never seen anywhere else.

For me, I have to feel a real connection with a place, before I go and shoot it. In fact, I have to be drawn to it. And I feel that Appenzell has some strange, overly 'unreal' feel to it, which makes it very attractive to me.

Due to the bad weather predicted for the north west of the country, we had to abort our plan to shoot around Appenzell. I was sad about this because I'm really drawn to the minimalist landscape that lies there. Peter did show me around the area for a few hours and I made some very quick 'sketches' with my little Lumix GF1. I'm now hoping to return in 2012 (time permitting) to make a more detailed study of the area, and to shoot it in much more ideal light. But I think you will see, that there is something very unusual and 'minimalist' about this landscape.