As we watched in awe from the roof of our six storey apartment building, the ground beneath our feet was shaking a little too regularly. But this was no earthquake, just the unbelievable force of the cherry bomb fireworks exploding over Lake Geneva.
Once a year the skies above our Swiss town are filled with colour in a spectacular display celebrating the end of the summer’s Fêtes de Genève. And at a cost of 700,000CHF (almost $800,000) you’d surely expect it to be one of the best in the world!
I stayed on the roof of our building to shoot this year. The thought of battling my way around the half a million people who come to watch, while carrying a tripod and camera bag, was not particularly appealing! With the ground shaking every so often I came away with a lot of blurry shots. Even so I did get a few sharp ones, and this was one of the best.
What’s the best fireworks display you’ve seen? Maybe you have some tips for shooting fireworks? I’d love to hear from you!
Watching day turn to night around Lake Geneva is such a wonderful experience. Soon after the sun has set behind the Jura mountain range the buildings spring to life and the town shows its true colours. I don’t think there’s a much better spot to observe the beautiful transition than this one looking out towards the Jet d’Eau.
I really wanted to capture a sense of the night enveloping the town, so I spent about 2 hours with my tripod just watching the light change. Too early and the reflection would be too weak, too late and the day’s light would have passed. Of the many shots I took this was the most balanced.
Over the course of the evening I experimented with a variety of settings in Manual mode so that I could control both the aperture and shutter speed. Getting an exposure that was both long enough to blur the water and not too long to blow out the highlights of the buildings was an interesting challenge!
This was another great sunset we had here in Geneva recently. We’re experiencing a run of dull weather at the moment, but every now and then the clouds start to break up toward the end of the day and there is some great light scattered about the sky.
After I discovered it a couple of months ago this has become one of my go-to locations around the lake. Unfortunately a new boat has arrived since I took this shot, occupying the water on the left of the image. It doesn’t make for such a nice composition! So I’m going to look for an alternative next time I’m out.
What you can’t see in this published version are the cigarettes in the foreground, which I cloned out in Lightroom. It always baffles me that people think it’s ok to drop cigarette butts on the floor. I’m not sure how it’s different to any other kind of littering, which most people would find completely unacceptable!
On Friday evening I went out to shoot the sunset over Lake Geneva, which in the end wasn’t all that spectacular. However it was the first time I’ve seen the Jet d’Eau light up at dusk this year, a sure sign that spring is upon us. I have to say I was pretty excited!
I’d been out shooting for a few hours, running back and forward between different points to capture the light as best I could. When I saw the jet light up I knew I wanted to find a spot where I could get a good reflection of it in some calmer waters.
What I was not prepared for were the bats that came out of hiding, flittering about just in front of the camera lens! I was slightly concerned I might get jumpy and knock my tripod over into the water by accident, so I took a few steps back and let the long exposure work its magic.
We had another great sunset in Geneva this evening, and I finally managed to get my tripod down to the lake. This meant I could take some longer exposures and really capture the reflections in the water. Fortunately the lake was calm so the moored boats were not bobbing around too much. Otherwise I would have had some pretty blurry boats in this shot!
I think I made it just in time for the best of the light, and decided to experiment with some new angles. I wanted to get up higher so I could capture more of the water below. Climbing up onto the rocky ridge beside the path gave me the prefect vantage point, allowing me to include more of the lovely reflections and Lake Geneva’s incredibly clear water in a single shot.
This is definitely my new favourite composition from this spot around the lake. Sooner or later I will have to move on and try to find somewhere better, but for now I just can’t get enough of this location!
Do you have a favourite spot you go back to time and time again? What makes it your favourite?
We had a great sunset in Geneva yesterday, which unfortunately coincided with my journey home from the office. I was kicking myself that I didn’t have a camera. The clouds were fantastic, lighting up pink and orange in every direction. I knew exactly the spot for some good shots, I just had to hustle a bit!
After some light jogging and questionable jaywalking I made it home and out again to my favourite spot just in time. This is definitely one of the best locations I’ve found for shooting around Lake Geneva, with plenty of great opportunities for interesting compositions that include the famous Jet d’Eau.
In the mad rush I didn’t have time for my tripod, which is a shame because this shot is plagued a bit by the high ISO I had to shoot at in order to get a practical shutter speed for a handheld shot. I think the best of the light had passed by this point, but I still managed to capture the moment. And I’ll be sure to take my tripod next time!
Have you ever rushed to capture a shot before the moment passed? Maybe you’ve seen a great sunset recently? I’d love to hear from you!
A couple of weeks ago we had some fantastic weather at the weekend in Geneva, so I set out in search of a shot that’s been eluding me for quite some time. I’ve always been disappointed with my shots of Lake Geneva in the past, and have found it difficult to find an interesting way of shooting such a large body of water. I’ve never really captured how it feels to walk along its shores in Geneva. So when I came across this shot I was extremely happy, it felt great!