Pascal Gertschen

Focus on the Matterhorn

Claude Hervé-Bazin
Pascal Gertschen
Winter 2022-2023

True Valais locals are incapable of lying. Living between Brig and Bern, photographer Pascal Gertschen loves the mountains that surround him, and that passion is clearly reflected in his work.

It was in Valais, in a cable car, where Pascal Gertschen took his first photo on his father’s camera, when he was just a boy. At that time, he didn’t know what he wanted to be. A policeman, a firefighter… why not a photographer? In time he forgot those first urges, but they began to resurface. Pascal travelled around Australia and found himself being drawn to lighting, moving objects, and refining his technique. It didn’t take long for him to succumb, like many before him, to G.A.S. – Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

His hobby became all encompassing. The rest was swept aside as he focused solely on his passion. This Bern native moved to Valais at the age of 20, and finally opened his own studio in Brig in 2014. Valais was now home, and Pascal was now a fulltime photographer.

At his doorstep lies the world’s most beautiful mountains. “I love taking pictures of nature and I like to play with the light. Sometimes I use artificial lighting. I like to capture people who are challenging themselves, no matter the weather conditions. Perhaps most of all, I like to recreate moments that sometimes feel surreal, like that strong emotion you feel when looking at the mountains or a beautiful lake. On the banks of the Grindjisee, for example,” says Pascal. Here the Matterhorn and its spruce trees reflect vividly in the water. “It’s a memorable spot, especially in the fall or at sunset,” he adds.

Pascal explores multiple other corners of Valais – Belalp, the Aletsch region, and of course, Zermatt (Gornergrat, Fluhalp, Schwarzsee…). The memories made here are strong and rekindled by these photographs, which picture the Matterhorn in all its captivating glory. More than a caricature, these images are simply beautiful, especially when taken from above.

No neurotic quests for Pascal Gertschen. This photographer masters his art, doing everything it takes to perfectly capture his shots for commercial projects, while adapting to the circumstances when trying to capture nature. “You’re better off with a poetic approach when shooting exteriors,” says Pascal. “The light is your real art director.”