For me, photography is a pathway that suits my temperament, and my involvement with it is like a journey through which my horizon is constantly expanding. My work with the camera in these remarkable landscapes—especially at night and during long exposure times—is conducted with a feeling of agreeable and hushed concentration. My sense of serene composure is such that I hardly seem to be breathing, and I feel at ease and excited at the same time. My experience of these locations is often a deeply satisfying intensity.

Langkofel I 2010. from the Series Stille Berge © Michael Schnabel

Photographing the Alps in my own vision was a creative process that developed over a number of years. One day—or night, rather—it clicked. Under the dark skies I found the tranquility that the Alps lack during the day. The night and its silence gives the mountains a sublimity, feeling of raw creation and aloofness that I strived to capture in my work.

Lichenbretter I 2003. from the Series Stille Berge © Michael Schnabel

Exposure times were about an hour; a sharp contrast to the city images which required only a few minutes. Focusing and even framing the image through the ground glass was another issue, as there was precious little to see under the low light conditions. This contributed to the fact that many of the exposures didn’t make the final selection.

—Michael Schnabel


Editor’s Note: Michael Schnabel’s series was selected as a Finalist for the LensCulture Art Photography Awards 2019. Take time to browse the work of the other Finalists, Winners and Jurors’ Picks here.