As part of an ongoing series, this autumn we’ll introduce you to the talented photographers who’ve made our valley home. They’ve all donated images to our 2021 Morzine, Les Gets & Avoriaz Charity Calendar project, which you can buy right now in the Source Shop for local collection or UK delivery.
This week, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to Reuben Shaul of Blue Hour Art.
How long have you been living in the local area and what brought you here?
I have been living in Morzine full time for three years but I came here for the first time 10 years ago, for a full summer season. I grew up and lived in big cities all my life and I always felt like something was missing. Yes, they (the cities) seemed to offer all I needed: convenience and endless opportunities… but when I spent my first summer season in Morzine, I felt completely at home.
I found here the perfect balance… A calm life with nature right at your doorstep, but at the same time, there’s the minimum amount of ‘urban’ life during the busy seasons (restaurants, coffee shops, crowds and noise) to break the “zen routine” (that can also drive you mad).
Tell us about the photo you’ve included in the calendar – set the scene!
This photo perfectly captures the wonder of winter, evoking memories of cosy evenings, days on the slopes and good times spent with loved ones.
This image is also the embodiment of contrast and balance. The bright lights and warmth of the town in the foreground contrast with the vast snow-covered mountain and still, clear sky. Meanwhile the angular, high rise buildings echo the awe-inspiring mountain backdrop.
This harmony between light and dark, movement and stillness, nature and man, brings an intense sense of calm to this image.
You’ve recently launched The Blue Hour – tell us more about that.
The Blue Hour is a project I began last winter. It’s a series of landscape photography (and some illustrations), inspired by the mountains of the Alps and architecture. I seek to capture that fleeting, precious moment between day and night, light and dark, warm and cold. This is a moment of calm and balance we call the ‘blue hour’.
The blue hour time of the day (after sunset -just before total darkness), in winter, in the alps, is the ideal time for this project.
When you’re not photographing the Alps, what else do you do?
When I don’t photograph the Alps, I create visual content (both photo & video) for the businesses operating in the Alps. And when I don’t create that visual content, I develop websites. I find it healthy and fulfilling to use both sides of the brain. I couldn’t go on with my life only creating art. Neither only coding all day in front of the computer.
There’s never a shortage of work.. and because I’m lucky to mostly enjoy it, I can find myself working hard plenty of hours.
So on my days off, I try to take it easy. Wake up without an alarm, drink a good coffee with a nice fresh croissant, go for a short hike with my wife clearing my mind and not touching the camera 🙂
What are you most looking forward to this winter?
I can’t wait to continue shooting the blue hour project this winter. I’m also looking forward to strolling around the ski towns with my camera in the evenings, capturing, and inspiring people to take a little pause, look at the blue skies during the blue hour, reflect a bit and hopefully find some peace 🙂