The Alps, Bubbles & Philosophical Questions

Happy Friday morning! So, from what I have understood, my blogs tend to be a little depressing and upsetting, especially when reading them at 9 a.m. on your Friday morning – I get it. Sorry! On the same note, though, I just want to stress why I feel that sharing certain situations is extremely important. It is very easy to get consumed with our own lives, and it is very easy to get accustomed to our ‘Penn State bubble’. The purpose of my blogs is to pop the bubble, even if it’s for 2 minutes. This stuff isn’t supposed to make you feel comfortable and happy – it’s supposed to make you upset and worried and uncomfortable – and that’s normal, your bubble is popped. You’re out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’re even guilty for complaining about things that are so seemingly insignificant compared to situations that other people go through. I know that’s how I feel when I read, see and hear about this stuff. As a firm believer of being open minded, I feel that photography is a key to helping outsiders have a peek ‘inside’ and put themselves in the shoes of others. Larger than that, though, I feel that photography is a window to understand suffering, love, happiness, curiosity, you name it. The photography I have posted about recently has been a window to places outside of our comfort and knowledge zone, but this post is going to be about things inside our comfort zone – ‘close to home’, if you like. So this blog is going to be a little more personal – this is the first time I’ve done a personal post, so if it’s a little choppy or awkward, you know why.

Now I want to share the work of Andreas Wienand.






It is five images shot in the Austrian Alps. The work is beautiful. I’m not sure if it is beautiful because of its subjects (how can a chalet, with snow-capped mountains and green grass and cows not be beautiful?) – or if it is beautiful because of composition, of color and all the other technical details – or, if it is beautiful because it resonates so personally with my love for the Alps.

I am a Swiss citizen. I was born and raised in America, but spent parts of every year in the Vaudoise Alps. As a little girl, I fell in love with those mountains – the old wooden chalets, the green grass and the “fleurs des montagnes” (mountain flowers), the view of all the glaciers and mountains in the distance, the silence, the fresh air, and simple life – it’s a kind of therapy I would love to spend my entire life soaking up.

Switzerland is my own little ‘bubble’. Up in the mountains, it’s an escape. It is peace, serenity and happiness. In times of such troubled and heartbreaking things – terrorism, slavery, civil wars, refugee crises, global warming, corruption, sex trafficking, drug abuse, and the list goes on – we are all faced with a pretty difficult decision (or at least, it is my opinion that we are). Do we sit in our ignorance, in our peace, in our solitude, in our serenity? Or do we try to help – do we advocate, take risks, be there for others suffering? Is there a way to balance spending time for ourselves and spending time for others? This question, I believe, is relative to each individual and there is really no answer. To tie this back into photography, Wienand’s work focuses on a little bubble of absolute peace. Thousands of meters high in the sky, it’s easy to forget about what’s happening down below. He captures the innocence, the peace and solitude of his subject’s lives. It is important to discuss all these horrible issues, but it is equally important to discuss ourselves, to think about our place here, our purpose; our happiness and serenity is important, too.

Sorry. I tried to write something light and it turned heavy. Let me know if this made any sense.

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