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Chur by Night Photography by Marcel Cavelti

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

"At night, many places appear completely different compared to during the day. Thanks to artificial lighting, seemingly unimportant objects or details that are barely visible during the day gain importance."

For some, night can be a mysterious and disturbing time. But for Marcel Cavelti, Chur based photographer, the night is the time when he captures some of his most interesting work. "I like to move about at night," he says, "I enjoy the calm and relaxed atmosphere."

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

Born and raised in Chur, Cavelti's 52 week series entitled "Chur by Night" examines the city through a fresh and intriguing perspective. Each week, Calveti leaves his home after dusk to explore various neighborhoods and sceneries in and around Chur.

“At the beginning of the project in January, I would venture out as early as 5:30 PM. But during summer, I cannot start shooting before 10 PM," Cavelti explains. "I have realized that this project allows me to experience the four seasons much more intensely."

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

In addition, Cavelti finds that he interacts with interesting people who are out in the middle of the night. His photos do not showcase many pedestrians, but those who do make the final cut are more open to enlightening conversation.

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

Many of the images appear as if they could be anywhere in Switzerland. Even Europe, in some instances.


So why Chur?

The city of Chur offers many vivid contrasts that make it ripe for studies in juxtaposition and incongruity. "There are modern buildings and new neighborhood with high-rises. [In contrast], the city is surrounded by majestic mountains, which present the city in a completely new light - such as the Calanda at 2800 meters.

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti
Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

Photography began as a hobby for Calveti when he began experimenting with a compact camera. Disappointed with the quality of the images, he switched to an SLR in his late teens and started teaching himself the basics of photography.

He made the switch to digital with a Canon 330D, but now shoots with a Cannon 5D Mark II and a Fuji X-Pro1 for his larger photo tours.

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

While Cavelti’s images are thoughtfully and beautifully composed, he often leaves the shot up to chance with little forethought involved. He believes that random moments are often more inspiring than anything we can plan.

"These places are exciting just by their deviation from the known concepts of space. They have a peculiar aesthetic," he says.

It is a lesson in patience and awareness in photography, but also in our everyday lives. Cavelti has spent the better part of the year actively pursuing the interesting and engaging in some of the most arbitrary settings.

After looking through Cavelti's images and interviewing the photographer, I am inspired to turn a fresh eye toward Bern and its medieval charm and character...

Chur by Night -Marcel Cavelti

As of now, there are no plans for an exhibition featuring these images, but Calveti does anticipate collecting all the photos into a book. View all of the images from the Chur by Night series, or explore additional compelling photographs.

Which image is your favorite?

(All photographs copyright by Marcel Cavelti)


Kristina is a freelance writer living in Bern with her husband and houseplants. She enjoys contemporary fiction, yoga, cooking (but not baking!), and international travel.

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