Published on April 18, 2014 | by Francy
Helvetia’s Dream, the magic of the Swiss Alps
Alessandro della Bella is a young 36 year old photographer born in Arosa in the canton of Grisons, who has lived and grown up in one of the most natural and beautiful places in the world, between horizons that seem immense as they run through mountains, forests and lakes.
Alessandro lives and works in Zurich for a photo agency, but as soon as he can, he packs up his 50 kg-equipment and flees to the mountains to spend the night working on lens and tripods. His passion for the mountains is already clear in the two beautiful opening images of this video: the massive Mount Pilatus, high above Lucerne with the circular shelter floodlit by the blue light of the night between the Milky Way and the World. You see it embedded below the summit which seems to protect it, a great example of mutual respect between man and nature. The other image is the one that actually starts off the video and is taken instead from the valley below Üetliberg near Zurich, glowing with this yellow light that makes it look like a vintage postcard. Like a reverse sundial, it draws time as the moon flows behind the aerial antenna and the Steiner-style shelter, leading us from day to night.
“The starry sky above me and the moral law within me…” Perhaps these are the words that inspire Alessandro when he spends his long hours at ten degrees below zero watching between the sky and Earth. Because since 2010, these Helvetia by night and Helvetia’s Dream projects take all his free time, especially at night. We like to introduce Alessandro by the shocking and concise description of the Ticino he’s given, worthy of a true visionary artist “.. the lovely landscape transforms into a mistical scenery and the city of Lugano suddendly looks like Rio De Janeiro“. The love for his land and for the light that enters the lens of his camera is such as to make him a very nice guy. We also like this dreamy and young Switzerland that Alessandro has drawn on the logo, which almost resembles Jessica Rabbit.
But now let’s bundle up and climb the peaks with him, mounting the tripod on the terraces of the shelters, looking at the Milky Way and the stars streaming above us “from Dusk till down” as in Tarantino’s films, and also this is a quote of his.
The sea of clouds you see is the same as the one you often have outside the window when you fly over the Alps and even the stars are always the same, but with this brightness they are seen only above 2000 meters at low temperatures, because the air is completely devoid of humidity. From this point of view, you can actually sense the difference between being above or below this sea of fog. And under the mist there is a lake, one of many in this harsh and romantic land, the first to appear is Neuchatel lake from the Estavayer side, Fribourg, that “looks like Rio de Janeiro… ” as Alessandro says; however, this metropolis effect is even greater when the video comes to lake Geneva, when images span above Vevey and Montreux pulsing with lights just like a real city. Let’s go back to the summit, on the Santis mountain with its view extending over 6 countries: Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany and Lichtenstein. This is one of the most incredible places in Switzerland. But it is coming back closer to home, in the sky over Arosa, that Alessandro shows us the comet he has filmed in a slow-motion effect while releasing its trail of ionized gases burning in the atmosphere.
This passion equally divided between mountains and stars can be seen in all the day and night effects, such as the extraordinary Milky Way flowing over the Pilatus or the night view of the majestic Matterhorn’s peak above Zermatt, and the fascinating Twin Peaks of Mythen above Lake Lucerne.
Alessandro explains that during filming some accidents may even occur, as the shooting stars over Arosa or nocturnal climbers on the left of the Eiger at minute 1.36. The almost mystical view of Fronalpstock, Schwyz canton, is wonderful behind the huge cross. And we couldn’t miss the Queen of the Mountains, as they call it here: the Rigi mountain, 1800 mt high in the central Alps. We also see a curious statue of Russian General Suvoron on his horse, very meager and definitely not as glorious as those found in many European squares. This General was in fact defeated, but is generally remembered on the Gotthard Pass to have fought with valor and courage in 1799 with his Cossack militaries to liberate Switzerland groped by Napoleon’s army, who was at his greatest power at the time and therefore too superior in number and strength.
Finally, we are amazed by these star outlines in the sky, like so many comets in the night of Arosa and in that of Brunnen on Lake Lucerne. They say that this place boasts the most beautiful landscape in Switzerland, and Alessandro shows it off to us up to the horizon. The three peaks that can be seen after Üetliberg’s lit up antenna, belong to the Mürtschenstock, and finally where could the moon ever set in this time lapse video if not in the dark night behind Pilatus, perhaps the mountain that Alessandro loves most?