Fribourg Switzerland / by Michael Ryan

It's not often I get to fly somewhere as picturesque as Fribourg in Switzerland. I went there to shoot for a client , Contrinex, that I had shot a few locations of their offices in China. They liked the images so flew me to their headquarters to shoot a few days there. I had a bit of free time and with late sunsets I was able to get a few shots. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, to be in a small town in the mountains. I had a great time shooting for the client. And I was able to drink the tap water, straight from the Alps. You've no idea what an incredible freedom that is until you lose it. Every time I visit a scene like this in a historic European city I feel like I'm in a Miyazaki anime. It was a breath of fresh air both figuratively and literally.

This was my favorite spot in Fribourg but it took 4 attempts to photograph it to get it just the way I wanted it. I snapped it first in the daytime but the photo wasn't great. The next morning I was on my way to a bridge to shoot it and passed it and saw the lights in in the dawn and it looked fantastic. I set the tripod up. Put the camera settings right. Framed. And just as I was about to press the shutter. Right at that second 6.37 to be precise. The lights went out. I missed it. So I went back the evening for a dusk shot thinking I could get it but the lights didn't come in until quite late when it was quite dark ant the atmosphere was not right. So insert back again the next morning and snapped this about 6.35 when it was just the way I wanted. However it was the morning if my flight back to Shanghai so I had to leg it back to the hotel. Shower. Check out and leg it back to the train station. I made it any finally got the shot I wanted

I love the steampunk style and efficiency of the funicular railway. It reminds me of the Myst series of games I played. The weight of the top trip is used to pull the lower train up. They share the main track and there is only two tracks in the middle where they must pass each other.  I think they use water to weight the top train as I head a large flushing amount of water when it reached the bottom. It doesn't seem like it goes very far but it really is when you miss the last train and have to walk up the steps in the dark by yourself. That's one hell of a hike. But I did manage to catch the creepy nighttime grinding to a halt.