Workshop Olivo Barbieri

Dolomit Project 2010

Olivo Barbieri

HIGH ALTITUDE was delighted to welcome Olivo Barbieri

August 8-12, 2011

for a challenging and inspiring workshop. Five intense days of doing, feeling and talking about photography.

HIGH ALTITUDE, the festival of contemporary photography in Rossinière, Switzerland, organized a workshop with the highly-acclaimed Italian photographer Olivo Barbieri. During the week of August 8th to 12th, both professional and amateur photographers were invited to share and explore their visions of photography in the beautiful landscape of the Swiss Alps.

About us
The village of Rossinière, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, is reputed for its 17th- and 18th-Century architecture, as well as its verdant setting. During the summer of 2011, HIGH ALTITUDE contrasts this vernacular village identity with the questioning, inquisitive and provocative viewpoints of contemporary imagemakers. Mountains have been instrumental in defining identities in Switzerland, as elsewhere in the world. Ten exhibitions – of a kind far removed from the image on touristic postcards – treat the mountain in its multiple guises: spectacular, sublime, domesticated, abandoned, alarming and even magical.


About Olivo Barbieri
Hovering in a helicopter some 300 to 500 feet above major cities, shooting with a large-format camera that allows him to focus on the structures of his choice, Olivo Barbieri (b. 1954), is one of today’s most important contemporary Italian photographers. His skill in manipulating scale and focus allows him to achieve a surreal atmosphere – real and mysterious at the same time.


While photographing the Dolomites (mountains being a particular passion of this photographer), Barbieri realized that the hand of man is such that “entertainment has virtually replaced the sublime”. Nature cannot be contemplated without taking into account peoples impact on it. Barbieri work encourages reflection on the environment and the eco-sustainability of these extraordinary natural structures.


About the workshop
The HIGH ALTITUDE workshop takes place in the charming village of Rossinière. The workshop is an intense experience lasting five days. It welcome a maximum of 10 participants, ensuring personal attention for each person.


We are looking for a diverse range of professional or amateur participants who are interested in traditional or experimental landscape photography. Taking into account individual level and needs, Olivo Barbieri will encourage everyone to look, critique and develop their ideas and approaches to image making. The workshop will encourage creativity and benefit from the great experience of a master photographer. During the day, participants will discover and photograph in the Rossinière area. In the evening, everybody will gather for diner, where they will share their experiences.


The cost of the workshop is 2000 Swiss francs for the week. Once participants get their confirmation, they are expected to pay a deposit of 500 Swiss francs within two weeks. Participants can then pay the rest of the fee according to deadlines shown below. The price includes tuition from photographer Olivo Barbieri and his assistant, accommodation and full board.

Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements. However, we can offer advice on finding the journey that will best suit you. For those who live nearby and don’t wish to stay in Rossinière, we propose a rate without accommodation. If you wish to bring another person along for the trip (not a participant), they will be required to pay only for room and board.


Please note that we are only able to offer such a reasonable price due to the generosity of our festival friends and supporters!

As it won’t be possible to develop film, we recommend shooting digitally.  Photographers are expected to bring all necessary equipment (camera, lenses, tripod, memory card, etc.). Participants should also bring a laptop if they have one. The HIGH ALTITUDE team provides laptops, but it would be easier and more efficient to work if the participants have their own. HIGH ALTTUDE also provides a scanner, printer and beamer.


Practical information
August 8th – 12th
Participants are encouraged to arrive the day before the workshop begins for a welcome dinner.


Where: Rossinière (Switzerland)

Rates: The cost of the workshop is 2000 Swiss francs for 5 days (6 nights)

Workshop fee: 1200 Swiss francs
Accommodation (single room) and full board: 800 Swiss francs
Meals only: 330 Swiss francs

If you decide to cancel for any reason, we will reimburse all fees less 300 Swiss francs for administrative expenses. You have to notify us your cancellation at least 30 days before the starting date of the workshop. After that time you will lose your deposit. There will be no refund of any fee for withdrawing after the workshop has begun.

Please respect the fact that any cancellation may prevent someone else from finding a place!

Mountainous environments require prudence at all times. The organizers are not liable for personal injuries or equipment damage during the workshop duration. The signing of the enrolment form releases HIGH ALTITUDE from any liability.

HIGH ALTITUDE is not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case of cancellation. We recommend that you buy refundable air tickets and/or travel insurance. Please check with your travel agent.


How to submit
Please contact Nathalie Herschdorfer, director :
at registration: deposit due (500 Swiss francs)
before August 1st: rest of the total fee due (1500 Swiss francs)

Weekly Schedule
August 7th:
-       Afternoon: arrival and registration at the hotel
-       6 pm: meeting with students and Olivo Barbieri
-       7 pm: introduction of the weekly programme
-       8 pm: inaugural drink and diner

-       8:30 to 9:30 am: Breakfast at the hôtel
-       Shooting
-       1 to 2 pm: lunch
-       Shooting
-       8 pm: diner and discussions and teacher briefing

August 12th:
-       8pm: final diner, slideshow and teacher briefing

August 13th:
-       Morning, until 11 am: breakfast and check out

All participants will stay at the Hôtel de Ville in the center of Rossinière. Renovated in 2009, the hotel provides comfortable and typical wood-decorated rooms. Each room has a private bathroom. The hotel also provides Wi-Fi connection. A conference room is available.


The Hôtel de Ville provides full board to the participants. Breakfast and diner will be served at the restaurant of the hotel. Lunch will be also served at the restaurant or in picnic form when the photographers areoutside Rossinière. A special meal rate can be proposed to those who are not staying at the hotel (see above).

Special Dietary Needs
Please advise us of these when you apply.

Trip information
Arriving by plane

Geneva Cointrin airport is the closest airport to Rossinière. You can easily reach Rossinière from the airport by train (approximately 2h10). See the train itinerary bellow.

Zurich airport is a little bit further away from Rossinière. You can reach Rossinière by train (approximately 3 ½ hours – 4 hours). See the train itinerary bellow.

Basel-Mulhouse Airport is also approximately 4 hours from Rossinière by train. You can reach Basel railstation easily by bus (Bus 50), where you will find different trains for Rossinière. See the train itinerary bellow.

Arriving by train
The railstation in Rossinière is easy to reach from Montreux (56 min, one train/hour) and is a spectacular ride! You can arrive in Montreux directly from Geneva Airport (1h15). Those coming from Zurich Airport (2h51) would need to take the train from Zurich Airport to Lausanne and take the connecting train from Lausanne to Montreux. Those coming from Basel-Mulhouse Airport (3h02) would need to take the bus 50 to Basel railstation. Then you can take a train from Basel to Lausanne and take the connecting train to Montreux.

For train schedules, please consult the website sbb


Arriving by car
You can reach Rossinière from Bulle/Gruyère (Fribourg), Saanen (Bern) or Aigle (Valais).

You can see the location of Rossinière on Google Map

In the Swiss style, a mix of English, French, Italian!

For any additional information, please fell free to contact us.

Alt. + 1000  Festival de photographie de montagne*
Le village
CH-1658 Rossinière

Phone : +41 21 311 17 47

*The director of the festival is Nathalie Herschdorfer, photography curator and writer. For many years Ms Herschdorfer was a curator at the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, one of the world’s finest photography museums. She now curates exhibition for the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography and other international organizations.