Photo Essay

Swiss Solitude

No Fake, No Fame: Phil Bucher on The Fly

Something like Egypt’s pyramids, the Swiss Alps seem too picturesque. Legions of smitten photographers have passed through the pastoral valleys and glaciated peaks, taking all the standard shots along their way. But Switzerland stands for more than clichéd tourist vistas and fondue. It’s a land of hardworking shepherds, of deeply rooted and determinedly independent people, of silence and solitude.

Enter 42-year-old Phil Bucher, a photographer from Brig, located in the canton of Valais. He knows his homeland backyard well enough to turn it inside out in search of Switzerland’s soul. Phil offers alternative perspectives. Exploring his photographs is like following a friend as guide instead of hopping on the sightseeing bus and viewing nothing new. Think zine, not postcards. Phil’s lens sees what the locals really see and do.

 The photos in this collection come from within 20 miles of Phil’s home. In them he uses snowboarding as a pretense, allowing him to portray the relationship between the land and its inhabitants, be they human or animal. “I’m really about shooting the photos as honestly as I can,” Phil says. “No fake, no fame, but as much character and new and surprising perspectives as possible.”…

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