Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm ready for my close-up now...

...from a photographer's notebook

Isn’t he a sweet looking little fella? Referring to the guy on the right, of course…

The Village of Juf, in the Avers region of Switzerland’s Canton Graubünden, sits at an altitude of 6,975 feet, and is the highest village in Europe with a year-round population.

It was a photo-perfect autumn day in 2011, part of a sojoun in Switzerland marked by nearly 100% superb Alpine weather, and my Bündnerfreunde Beatrice and Ruedi were introducing me to parts of Graubünden I would never have discovered on my own.

On this particular afternoon, we’d driven up the steep road leading to Juf. This region is well above the tree-line, and has a “look” all its own, with its verdant, yet treeless topography and the distinctive Walser style of its buildings (the village was originally settled by Walser immigrants in the 13th century). 

Walser buildings with their distinctive tiled roofs, village of Juf, Avers-Region, Canton Graubünden.

After lunch in the high Alpine sunshine, and, of course, some photography in the village, we headed back down the road, making several stops at points along the way.

As I recall, the first stop was a steep high Alpine pasture, leading the eye up toward some jagged peaks at Avers am Bach.  But what caught my eye, prompting me to ask Ruedi to pull over, was this donkey, contentedly enjoying his status as minority-of-one amidst all the cattle grazing on the hilly contours of the pasture.

 He was such a cute little fella, with such a sweet expression, I just had to get up close and personal with the cameras. Fellow photog Beatrice was similarly inspired.

Beatrice mit Herr Esel                                                                                                                                         ©2011 Steve Ember
Our new friend Herr Esel seemed to be very much a people-donkey and showed no reticence in approaching. Nor did he shy away as I raised a formidable looking Canon EOS-1 with motor drive booster attached, and approached him for some close-ups.

Thank you, Beatrice, for catching that special moment!

©2014 Steve Ember

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