How it is with photographic landscape projects …

alternative title – or coming to terms with Austrian gorge project

I thought it was funny when I read a tweet that a landscape photographer had bought time management software. Believe me I was under the impressive the weather pretty much dictated how time should be spent when photographing  in the realms of nature and landscape.  But yes, management of a project is necessary especially when the scope seems to be endless.  I regard working in a project/portfolio manner, where images relate to each other  produces the strongest type of work and relays how serious the artist is about the subject. Only in this way can consistency in terms of treatment and expression can the photographer’s message be brought forward. Personally I find it difficult to appreciate a photographer, singer or painter solely on one piece of work, unfortunately the world attaches one or two images to an individual to define them. I think it was Bill Jay who said  “it’s was ok to be consistency in your mediocrity, as along as you’re consistent”, as the work will be taken more seriously as a statement of art whether it be good or poor.

Working out the timescale

I spent most of yesterday evening and today writing up a plan to cover the rest of the gorges in Austria. During the exhibition I was asked about other significant places to include. I must admit the scale of the project is quite gigantic which when you include the amount of traveling involved. Bare in mind that from the end of May till the beginning of October is when the majority of these wonders are open. That’s a mere 4 months or 122 days in a year, now this can be dramatically reduced when the necessary conditions are required for photography. Therefore it’s a matter of years and not months to achieve the overall vision.

The blessed canvas we paint upon – the weather.

One of the good fortunates I have to my advantage is the weather forecast, it’s fairly reliable in Austria. As the requirements to capture the detail, curves and shapes of these narrow inlets are an overcast, grey and drizzly day. This is just part of the ingredients to produce the material or the raw image that maybe used to create the artwork.

Click to enlarge the image below, to see how this demonstrates the need for a particular weather condition.

The whole scale of things …

So I’ve figure out my timescale and conditions, now to examine the project.  There are over 270 official canyons that have walking possibilities in Austria. But that’s not all of them, this number excludes the ones which are hidden away, unnamed or only accessible by canyoning. As you see you can learn to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the ‘Austrian Gorge’ project. It’s quite overwhelming whether there is an end to it.

Naming Convention of all things …

While the word ‘Klamm’ usually translates to canyon or gorge. I prefer the latter as canyon gives the impression of something larger and wider. While gorges tend to be narrow and short relative to canyons. So hence the name of photographic project – ‘Austrian Gorge’. Then are ‘Schlucht’ these usually feature a waterfall, chasm or gully. Both accessible ‘Klamm’ and ‘Schlucht’ have walkways either made of wood, steel or a guided path secured by steel rope or chain within Austria.

Now here’s where it gets tricky, many of the places named with ‘Klamm’ at the end are ‘Schlucht’ and vice verse when ‘Schlucht’ is found at the end of its name. Just something to be aware of, if you are being specific nonetheless both of these types are interesting to photograph, certainly it won’t disappoint, with close to 300 of them!

Some Statistics

A list of by federal countries within Austria.

Niederösterreich 38
Oberösterreich 33
Tirol 43
Kärnten 29
Steiermark 40
Salzburg 43
Vorarlberg 16
Wien 0
Burgenland 0
Grand Total of Gorges :

So far I covered the most interesting ones in Salzburg and Styria (Steiermark) with room for more. However I wish to cover more ground at least in each federal land.  This year I began with Tirol and hope to make another visit but closer to Innsbruck. The plan would be to capture gorges in Vorarlberg, Oberland (the western part of Innsbruck) and around Innsbruck.


In Austria there are 9 federal countries as they’re called. Starting from Vorarlberg in the very west it contains sixteen gorges featuring the Rappenlochschlucht and Alplochschlucht both of these are next to each other. Together you’ll walk close to 10Km taking about 4 hours, now add in the time needed to photograph too.  A little further away is the Üble-Schlucht which is 300m long and wont take more than half hour to walk back and forth.


Tirol spans quite an area cover especially when you include East Tirol which isn’t linked to Tirol due to South Tirol belonging to Italy but that’s another story. Breaking it down into 5 areas.

  • Unterland – east of Innsbruck
  • Oberland – west of Innsbruck
  • Around Innsbruck
  • East Tirol

The ‘Schluchten’ around Innsbruck may not offer the most photographic opportunities however they’re short and require little time to check out. These include Ehnbachklamm 200m, Kranebitterschlucht probably the most interesting of all and finally the Sillschlucht.

Niederösterreich, Oberösterrecih and Kärnten what of them …

My goodness NÖ I must begin as and when the opportunity arises while ÖO is at hand along with Kärnten.  This weekend I’m off to a wedding in Linz only an hour away from 4 gorges!

Other kingdoms out of the Öster

In Switzerland there are 99 officially marked ‘Schluchten’ which are listed here – .

Actually only today I came across this place in northern Czech, Soutesky  in Hrensko – where you float through the gorge’s still waters in a boat.

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