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Lavertezzo panoramico

open wide

in Photography in Ticino , Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And some more Lavertezzo.  XPan this time, (very) early one day in August.  It isn’t an obvious location for the panoramic format, in fact this session is the first that I’ve managed to get some halfway satisfying shots from. Usually, outside of winter it is more or less impossible due to the amount of people swarming around.  In fact, in this case, a couple had actually camped out on the rocks. Fortunately they were still asleep. Or at least lying down.

Anyway, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking…

Xpan verzasca1108 05 01
Xpan verzasca1108 01 02
Xpan verzasca1108 03 08
Xpan verzasca1108 01 08
Xpan verzasca1108 04 03
Posted in Photography in Ticino on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 10:51 PM • PermalinkComments (1)

Lavertezzo Summer 2011

Shut up & take some photos

in Photography in Ticino , Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is one place I can’t keep away from. Fortunately, unlike several of my other fetish locations, it is pretty close by and easy to get to. So I go often.  Usually not in summer though, but this year for one reason or another I’ve been 4 or 5 times, including some painfully early dedicated photo-trips.  Let’s just say 9am is well past packing up time.  Here are a few shots which made staggering out of bed at 5am worthwhile, at least for me.

Drm 2011 08 11 8114558

Drm 2011 08 18 8184893

Drm 2011 08 15 8154699

Drm 2011 08 11 8114582

Drm 2011 08 15 8154723

Drm 2011 08 11 8114609

Drm 2011 08 18 8184907

And of course ... I’ll be back.


Posted in Photography in Ticino on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 09:22 PM • PermalinkComments (0)


La perfezione nella forma

in Photography , Friday, April 02, 2010

I’m really not sure what I think of Robert Mapplethorpe (as a photographer). I suppose he’s been copied so much that it is difficult to understand the original impact he made.


Mapplethorpe exhibition poster, just outside the office

But now I’ve got the chance to find out ... not often photography of this calibre comes here to us down here in the Sargasso Sea.

Posted in Photography | Photography in Ticino on Friday, April 02, 2010 at 08:35 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Ticino Gallery: landscapes

A bit closer to home this time

in Photography , Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I have at last added a gallery of landscape photos from Ticino to the photography pages.

The selection of 16 photos was taken from a period spanning the last 6 years. They’re mostly digital: it will be interesting to see if anyone can spot those which aren’t, not that it matters in the slightest as far as I’m concerned.

dusk over Cristallina

The locations are pretty spread about, although Ritom-Piora / Lucomagno and Verzasca / Vallemaggia areas take the majority share. There’s only one winter shot that made the cut. It seems that winter photography isn’t my strongest point!

I’ve left out one of my favourite locations, Lavertezzo and the surrounding area in Val Verzasca, because that is going to be the subject of a future gallery.

Thanks, as ever, for visiting!

Posted in Photography | Photography in Ticino on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 11:15 AM • PermalinkComments (0)

Photography in Ticino: Lavertezzo

Some notes for photographers

in essay , Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of articles on recommended photographic locations in my adopted home, the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino (sometimes referred to in English by it’s German & French name, Tessin).

I’m going to start with a sitting target: a location which is very easy to get to, and has enough photographic potential to fill a book (which it already has). Lavertezzo is a village in the Verzasca valley, and a popular tourist spot. It is known for the double arched 17th century stone bridge (Ponte dei Salti) which spans the river. But it is mainly what lies under the bridge which interests photographers.


The river has carved and polished a fantastic landscape of complex, wildly patterned and multicoloured stone sculptures, and the river’s startlingly green glacial water alternately pools and rushes through clefts and over falls. It is an ever-changing scene, which rewards return visits and never fails to deliver something new to the observant eye.


But it is tricky to photograph. First of all, at least in summer, other people are a major problem. You need to arrive by about 7am, and you can pretty much forget photography after 9am - although you can wander up and down the 25km or so of the valley’s length and find plenty of more secluded spots. The next problem is the light. The rocks tend to be highly reflective, and contrast is a major problem. The harsh overhead sunlight of a Ticino summer makes photography at any other than snapshot level pretty complicated during most of the day… unless, of course, you turn a problem into an advantage and shoot infrared. Unfortunately you’ll probably also need to shoot the tourists.  Out of season, it isn’t so tricky. In autumn or spring you can arrive at around 10am, and have the place pretty much to yourself.  In winter, you can arrive pretty much any time you want - snow permitting - and be guaranteed to be on your own, although the bridge may be roped off.


What to take

A polariser is a must, to bring out the deep emerald green of the water, and a couple of neutral density filters would be useful. You can find subjects pretty much at all focal ranges, although my personal preference tends to be to focus on details using medium to long focal lengths. A tripod is strongly recommended as you will usually want to take fairly long exposures.

Clothing and footwear

It is extremely important to wear good shoes with plenty of grip. Watch out for wet patches on the rocks - they can be very slippery, and you do NOT want to fall into this river. In winter be very cautious and look out for ice. Otherwise, summer temperatures tend towards to low to mid 20s (Centigrade, obviously) and in winter are usually close to or up to 10 degrees below freezing.


How to get there

It’s easy: the Versazca river flows into the northern end of Lake Maggiore, near Tenero, a few km north of Locarno. The valley road starts in the centre of the village of Gordola, easily reached from the main Locarno - Bellinzona road. The valley road is clearly signposted “Valle Verzasca”. The road climbs quickly with many twists and turns, until it reaches the foot of the Versazca dam (of James Bond fame), then goes through a series of twisty tunnels until it straightens up (relatively speaking) above the dam. Just carry on for about 10km until you reach Lavertezzo. There is a bus service from Locarno which serves the whole valley. The first bus may just arrive early enough for you to get some photography done, but it is better in this case to drive.

Lavertezzo on Google Maps

Read more about Lavertezzo at

Posted in essay | Photography in Ticino on Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 06:33 PM • PermalinkComments (1)
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