This Week in Photo Interview

This Week in Photo Interview

Listen to the interview on Frederick Van’s Blog. We talk about all sorts of things:

  • The business versus the art of Stuck In Customs
  • Licensing photos and how Getty is a dinosaur
  • and self-publishing eBooks versus traditional publishing
  • The crowded market of camera apps

Coming to Switzerland – Any Suggestions?

I’m 85% sure that I’m coming to Switzerland this summer. I’ve been to Zurich and Lugano, but only for a short time. This time, where do you suggest I go? I’m looking for a picturesque, relaxing, and awesome place.

Daily Photo- The Teleporters

I’m not even sure which hotel in Beijing this is! (edit: comments indicate it is the Grand Millennium Hotel in Beijing) I was randomly walking around an urban area and peered inside some windows to see this. It looked so amazing inside — I had no choice but to go right into the lobby to set up! I was able to squeeze off a few rounds before security stopped me.

Security came up to me and asked, in perfect English, “Please, sir, you cannot take pictures!”

I responded by saying, “But sir, you don’t understand! I don’t even speak English!”

This left him confused for long enough for me to take another bracketed set. Then I left.

High Dynamic Range Photo

  • Susan

    One word for this shot Trey – awesome!!What a beautiful hotel – those columns – are they filled with water? And of course the floor and reflections are amazing – I am sure some of your friends on here will identify the hotel – so we can all go there!

  • Zermatt, no doubt about it

  • Wow. Love the columns, Bioshock style! 🙂
    There are so many great places to relax and take photos in Switzerland, for example Interlaken(google Schilthorn, there’s a great view from there + a bond movie was recorded there), Lausanne is nice too but I think you would love Zermatt! I know you like adventures, so I also recommend checking this ( )

  • Wow, this lobby is filled with amazing finishes. Excellent composition.
    Trey, looks like you raised quite a bit with your Bamboo Forest auction, congrats!

  • Hahah, that story gave me a laugh or two! I’ve been dying to use this line against security, but have never found myself in a position where I needed to resort to being a smart-ass to avoid getting in trouble… There was this one time that security told me to move away from the runway at Queenstown Airport… But only after I had gotten what I came for:
    Great shot by the way Trey!

  • Patrick Ahles

    Wow, I wish we had hotels like that over here! This lobby is huge!
    No idea aobout Switzerland, I’ve never been there myself. I’m sure someone in here can give you a good tip or two!

  • That is a great story /strategy. Those column looks amazing. Nicely composed Trey

  • That is the most awesome verbal reposte – another victory against repression!

    Maybe those things are actually teleporters and you were threatening their National security. Whatever they are they are pretty awesome-looking and well worth hanging around to get some shots of!

  • Hi Trey,

    I live not far away from Lugano (Canton Ticino). If you are interested in the southern part of Switzerland or Zurich (the place where I work) please let me know! Zurich, Bern, Lucern are small cities with a peculiar and strong medivel character and can be covered in 2-3 days. If you are looking to the classical mountains views, you may be interested in a rail trip along the swiss alps with a mountain train, the Bernina Express (

    This is a shot I took from “Monte Brè” above Lugano.

    Greetings from Switzerland!

  • Simon Morris

    Woah, talk about glitzy… veeeeery nice! 🙂
    Switzerland is gorgeous, there’s just so many great places to visit! Whilst living in the Vosges (France), we regularly popped over the border to enjoy family holidays. My recommendations would be – The Berner Alpen mountain range in the Bernese Oberland region, home to Jungfrau and Eiger mountains… The Pennine Alps, home to Zermatt and Matterhorn… Berne, with it’s impressive cathedral and stunning Bundeshhaus (Switzerland’s parliament building), impressive fountains representing the 26 cantons (states) of Switzerland, great shops and many fine restaurants… Zurich, with a good mix of old/new plus it’s fine museums… Lucerne, with it’s gorgeous lake and again it’s fine museums… Interlaken, typically Swiss and ideal base for touring… and The Glacier Express, simply breathtaking throughout it’s 7.5 hour journey!
    Trey – this is only scratching at the surface, there’s just so many gorgeous places to visit and enjoy! We only lived ‘next door’ to Switzerland for just over a year, but to be honest if there’s one place on this planet I could choose to live, then it would have to be Switzerland… mind you, our adopted country of New Zealand comes a close second 😉

  • Para un amante a la fotogafia y para un maestro en el HDR como tu Suiza es un paraiso pero sin lugar a dudas Zernat es un lugar imprescinible y tambien La Jumfrau, Lucerna, San Gottardo ect, etc, pasate por estas paginas y hechale un vistazo: no son HDR pero sirven para hacerse una idea.

    For a lover to fotogafia and a master of the HDR as your Switzerland is a paradise but certainly is a place Zernat indispen and also the Jumfrau, Lucerne, St. Gotthard ect, etc, please read these pages and Take a look : not HDR but they serve to get an idea.

  • haveacupoftea

    Try Le Salève, overlooking Geneva and Lake.
    From Geneva you can go very easily to that spectacular vantage point over the Lake and city (and the airport and tiny planes in the background) :ève
    There’s usually some paragliding activity which can provide interesting foreground and colors.
    30 mins bus, freely cross the Swiss-French border by foot, then cable car or hike your way up.
    It gives a similar feeling to that mountain overlooking Palm Springs, only it’s half the height but with a closer lake 🙂
    You might like Geneva in general actually. The old cathedral has worthy towers (and stairs), and quite a view too.

  • Reto

    Hey Trey,,,,this is another perfect picture in you portfolio,,,just amazing. So you’re planning heading over to Switzerland,,,this is perfect as well. I would love to see some of your HDR masterpieces from my homecountry. As some already recommended the Lucerne area with for example the Rigi mountain area as well as the lake lucerne and surroundings are a perfect place to spend some days.

  • Cool capture, Trey.

    I’ve visited both Zurich and Lausanne but I have a feeling the Alps would be of major interest to you! I might be mistaken but there hasn’t been many posts of snow-capped mountains apart from your fantastic NZ-series lately… Congrats with the auction too! I finally managed to process an image taken last year of Shibuya, Tokyo which I hope to visit again once things settle down. Please check it out when you get a chance –

    Ganbatte, Japan!

  • No one has mentioned Geneva yet – so I will. I’d have mentioned all the other places as well 🙂

    Geneva has an awesome castle nearby, on the lake, if I remember correctly it’s called Chateau Chillon. I haven’t been there since I was 16 in 1989 (exchange student for the summer) but it was amazing, you could walk through it everywhere, with no ‘tour’ or guide and no one was off limits. Not sure if that’s changed now but it’s seriously medieval and completely amazing.

    Here is a quick link, it’s not to be missed.

  • Bill Dauphinais

    Davos, Switzerland is heaven and many special images await you there!

  • Great story and cool shot! Looks like it could be in Las Vegas.

  • If you’re there on the first weekend of August (or thereabouts) head over to the Brunig Schwinget in Brunig, about 45 minutes from Interlaken. It’s a huge outdoors Swiss wrestling festival and is a ridiculous amount of fun and photographic opportunities. I photographed it a few years ago.

  • @ Jack, great pictures! You captured the spirit of the event!

  • I recommend Interlaken. Beautiful scenery, great people, and tons of amazing photograph opportunities. Keep up the great work, you have inspired me to start shooting HDR!!

  • Gail in Montana

    Wow, lots of comments, Trey. You will have a bounty of places to choose from when you go to Switzerland!!! I love the story of how you got this photo and outsmarted the guard, lol. But it was worth the trickery!! Does look like teleporters or something from Star Trek. Great job, thanks for sharing, have a great day!! 🙂

  • Thanks!

    Amazing suggestions for Switzerland… so many! I’m going to keep watching and looking at all these, of course… I’ll see which ones bubble to the top as getting the most mentions. Currently, it looks like Zermatt and Lucerne get a lot of votes.

    And two trains to choose from… hmmmm… but which one?

  • Tom


    I used to travel with my family in Switzerland all the time. If you want to relax, eat good food, go to Ascona in the Italian part of Swizerland. It is on Lake Maggiore and surrounded by Mountains. The weather is warm and there are Palm Trees in town. Very Picturesque….

  • Trey,

    maybe the following two sites could help you:

    Swiss tourist office:

    Ticino (southern canton)tourist office:

    Lucern Tourism:




  • Z

    Your response was hilarious… and the columns are gorgeous.

  • Frank

    Warning! Take the cog railway to Zermatt but beware, you will fall in love with the place and may never want to leave!

  • Zermatt for sure, and the Lauterbrunnen valley take in the most famous Swiss mountains, and both have awesome scenery.

  • Cris

    Jungfrau, impressive from the train to the glacier. Enjoy.

  • I second (third?, fourth?) the suggestions above for the Bernese Oberland area. I spent a week there in 2009, and it was some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen. Soaring, snow covered mountains, deep green valleys filled with waterfalls, and lots of friendly people and interesting, weather beaten buildings. I stayed in Murren, which is a great base for exploring, but either Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen would work as well.

  • Hey trey… Then just call me for a meet and great ! I’m at Winterthur near Zürich. When you want shot the “Matterhorn” you know the Mountain on the swiss chocolat … My really home town is 20 min. before Zermatt. Text me a email if you want…the best time to come will be a half week !

  • Martin

    Hey Trey,

    not many suggestions about Ticino, but I would definitely give it a shot 🙂

  • Great shot Trey and loved the story behind it. Hilarious!

  • If you’re coming to Switzerland, you really should visit the quaint and cosy village Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais. It is actually quite close to Zermatt, the village that a few other people here recommended.

  • Dan

    Just listened to the interview Trey, Loved it :). Thanks.

  • David Ingram

    Zermatt and Geneva.

  • tom

    Hey Trey,

    I hope you will come to Switzerland and maybe you got some time for a photowalk around Zurich 😉
    Would be really cool!
    And there are some many interesting spots around here, even though I havent seen them myself as I am quite new to the Swiss.
    The nice italian part in the south, Tessin.
    Area around Davos…
    or going west to Bern, Geneva…
    so much to see here!!!

    take care and greetings from Zurich

  • “And two trains to choose … hmmm … but what?”
    Undoubtedly the Glacier Express.
    But in the mountain railways of Junfrau is the most spectacular, not to miss it.
    In the Gornergrag Zermatt is the most impressive but there is the Glacier Paradise cable car.
    For a photographer the Glacier Express is more beautiful from the outside than inside, I mean it’s very interesting road trip amazing places through which they are spectacular, I have done so and so is a marvel because it can give pleasure to pleasure to photograph, so you can stop at the Furka pass in the Oberalpass in viaduzto of Filisur: and a little later in the Passo del Albula and so until you reach Saint Morizt.

  • Harmon Jones

    Hi Trey,

    take a look in Wallis great “canton” beautiful views.

    have wonderful time.

    best regards.

  • Haha you’re brave. Totally worth it though, for the awesome shot!

  • RogerC

    If you can go in April, try to get to the Boogie-Woogie festival in Lugano; landscapes & music!

  • tom

    Regarding Switzerland. Depending upon which month you are coming, there are several beautiful places to visit. There are also folklore events etc.

    Feel free to contact me and I’ll answer in more depth.

  • Anna

    Hey, that’s the Grand Millenium Hotel in Beijing. Great picture!

  • Great photo, I really like the reflection in the floor.

    I’m starting to plan a trip for a few days in Switzerland, too, coming from Italy then moving on to France. Rick Steves has a lot of good travel information for traveling all of Europe on his website which I’ve been looking into. He also does a couple podcasts about traveling in Europe which are fairly good. I’ve found the same problem you found in your reply, so many good suggestions, it’s almost overwhelming.

  • Ernie Dinkel

    Trey, as you can see there are so many exciting places in Switzerland.
    The good part is that everything is so close.
    I grew up there till I was 25. My base would be Luzern, a beautiful
    place to start and a good oportunity to do some night shots.
    I can’t wait to see the picture count in the Switzerland category
    go from the present 1 to 50+. You’ll love the country and the people.

  • So many posts.
    Can’t resist jumping in.
    Really awesome picture!
    Everything you touch is gold.
    What can’t you capture?

    There is one question I have though.
    Hwho do you use to print your work?
    Especially the metal backed pictures?

    Since I have seen the metal stuff I
    Won’t print on anything else.
    I Think it adds so much to the final product.
    So hopefully you don’t mind telling me who you use
    Since I would love to use them as well.

    cryptically yours,

    Thelonios Gonzo

  • Simon Morris

    Gonzo – Bay Photo are good… one of SmugMug’s pro print labs!

  • Seems that you spend a lot of time in China. I’d suggest Geneva and environs in Swiss-land!

  • haveacupoftea

    @Thelonious Gonzo
    I’m not Swiss but your pseudo-cryptic entry reveals a very low shot… uncalled for.

  • mstracke

    For sure you need to spend some time in Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. There is an awesome cogwheel train that travels the valleys there and stops in both. Grindelwald has awesome views of the Switz alps and the rock cliff right in Lauterbrunnen creates some outstanding am and pm shots – and if there has been some rain then the water falling over the cliff is a great photo op. There is a walking path along most of the cogwheel train path (or there used to be) and many people will be hiking in the area – so you can capture some great views. And of course you will be already planning to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfrau/Eiger/Monch area and pass. There is a terrible crowd at J/E/M most of the time except for very early in the am. Forget late pm/sunset shots there – I always encountered teaming crowds of people. The train down from Grindelwald to Lugano has some nice villages along the way, so if you can hop off the train and spend hours getting set up you can get some good shots of mountain side vineyards, great old rock walls, valleys. Then the valleys and lakes of the Lugano all offer views that are too romantic to see alone – and only photo ability such as yours will be able to come close to capturing them – same for the Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen area.

  • Thomas


    I’m living in Zurich – feel free to contact me. There are lots of great places in Switzerland!
    – cities: Lucerne, Bern, Geneva, Interlaken, Lugano, Ascona
    – smaller towns in the mountains: Zermatt, St. Moritz, Wengen
    – other areas / sights / lakes / mountains: Aletschgletscher (a stunning glacier – a must go), Säntis (mountain), Rigi (mountain), Pilatus (mountain), Eiger / Mönch / Jungfrau (three famous mountains), Matterhorn (world famous mountain), Engadin, Vierwaldstättersee (a beautiful lake), Walensee (another smaller lake), Alpsteingebiet, Versaca (mountain river & valley), some spectacular trains and bridges (Glacier Express), Nationalpark close to Zernez

  • Cassie

    You’re COMING to SWITZERLAND!? I live in Davos and love it! But Klosters (the village next door) is much prettier and more Swiss-looking. Your camera would like it better. It’s 2 hours 30 minutes by train from Zurich, in the canton of Graubunden. Davos/Klosters is a ski resort that completely shuts down after the season is over, for the majority of May and June. But if you’re coming here, visit Luzern and definitely Zermatt – you can’t go to Switzerland and not see the Matterhorn (something I haven’t done yet, but am planning to this summer). My friends lived in Zermatt last winter and told me to go later in the summer so the walking and hiking trails are clear of snow. When are you planning on being here?

  • Amazing feedback — I’m planning on the end of July or so !

    I’m reading through everything and really thinking about where to go… you all are an amazing and insightful resource!

  • Shannon

    the picture you taken is in the Grand Millennium hotel in Beijing

  • Trey, this shot is one of my favs – I think the bright blue vs the warmth of the walls contrasts nicely – well done as always –


  • Nonac,



  • Love the story with the security Trey… I’m definitely going to try to use that one, I guess ignorance can buy a few precious seconds 🙂 Thanks for sharing the stories behind the shot, I find to be the most interesting part of the write up… but thats just me.

  • Ahmed

    “You cannot take pictures!” ?
    “Surely officer, you must be joking. Have you seen my website?”

  • Hi Trey

    End of July will be perfect. Just call or text me, should be not a problem for me.
    I can give you the chance to visit Zermatt and Saas-Fee which are in this comments. The “pass” Furka or Grimsel will be specially as well.
    But that your choice – just give me 2-3 weeks before a feedback then I will take maybe some days of work.. to bring you to this places 😉

  • Henry

    In regards to Switzerland, I recommend Bern and Interlaken.

    Bern is the capital of Switzerland but it feels quaint like a town.
    The river Aar runs through the heart of the town and it has stunning color.
    Summer time is very good because one can jump into it from one of the bridges.
    There is also a camp next to the river where you can rent a cabin if one is with a family.
    The food is excellent.
    Visit the bear (Bern) pit, take a walk, jump into the river.
    I believe Einstein worked there while working as a patent clerk.

    Interlaken is a typical tourist destination but one that should not be missed.
    It is Switzerland when one thinks of Switzerland with the massive Eiger looming, the swiss grass and the swiss cows, and etc.
    Take the earliest train up to the top and observe deep blue of the sky.
    No picture does justice to being there.

  • Luzern is a neat place! Just write the names of the cities, and put them in a hat. Pick one. With Switzerland, pretty much every place is really cool looking and interesting.

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