St. Moritz Glow

About the uniqueness of Engadine light and how it shapes a distinctive look.
byTed Gushue

When I first moved to Los Angeles I was overwhelmed with an incredible sensation. My whole life I had been a fan of the cinema and had grown up watching movies situated in L.A. Each one had a certain magic glow to it, Michael Mann’s Heat for example, the lighting was so distinct and beautiful that when I finally moved there in person and found it to be identical I was shocked - how could it be so true to life? Few places on earth have such a visual identity tied to their light, and as my life and career progressed and I spent more and more time behind the lens I grew to appreciate this quality in a destination.

St. Moritz for me is one of the only other places on earth that has captured that sense of wonder in me as a photographer where the light is so distinct, so pure, that it leaves a lasting impression on the memory, an aura like glow. The sun doesn’t stay out for long in the winter months, creeping up over the Piz Palü in the morning and down towards the Julier Pass in the evening, but for the hours it is with us it is a photographer’s paradise. Something about the pristine air quality cuts the particulate matter down from the levels of a city, creating an impossibly sharp effect. This crystal clear light paired with the low angle of the sun in winter months is rather unique, and it makes your images shine that much brighter when captured.

I challenge anyone to pick up a book on the photography of Alfred Eisenstadt or Slim Aarons and find that they too did not enjoy the same wealth of light that photographers in the Engadin benefit from today. For a photographer when they first arrive is akin to discovering a sunken treasure, a lost civilization filled with golden glow, a unique place to live and to work behind the lens.

Ted Gushue is an American photographer, writer and media consultant who moved to Europe in 2018. He lives in St. Moritz and Milan.

00.00.0000 00:00

The newest issue of St. Moritz – Views from the Top is available at the Tourist Office and online!Spring in St. Moritz – warm sunshine, birds chirping and slushy snow.Inspiration for Spring?