Winter in Luxembourg

Winters past

I have been living in Luxembourg for almost 6 years now. During these years, winter has hardly ever been spectacular in my adopted country. Coming from a region in Belgium where there is generally snow (sometimes just a bit, sometimes a lot), I am used to and enjoy snow and the cold. I have been shooting the city for the better part of 3 years now. During this time, there has probably been 1 or 2 snow days. And unfortunately those snow days never lasted very long.

Winter changes the landscape like no other season; trees have no more leafs and the sky stays mostly grey. Shooting landscapes and finding interesting subjects gets a lot more difficult. Except when there is snow, because snow changes everything. Suddenly, the landscape has been transformed into this white miracle and makes everything look amazing. And if you are really really lucky, you even get a somewhat blue sky as a bonus. For a landscape photographer, snow is a true blessing.

Winter present

I missed the few snow days during the past few years. So my hopes were high to capture snow during 2014. And the snow came... the very same day I was taking a plane to leave for Quebec to shoot snow landscapes, ironic, right? I decided that I would not miss the opportunity, no matter what. My train for Paris was leaving at 10 am, so I decided that I had plenty of time to capture the white beauty that had covered the whole of Luxembourg during the night. I got up at 5 am and got to the city in time for sunrise to photograph winter in Luxembourg as I had never seen it before. Snow covered roofs, snow covered trees, even a tiny little bit of blue sky, the conditions were perfect and I was ecstatic. During the short time I had, I walked from one spot to the next, to get as many different views as possible. From the Grund, over the Bock, to the Petrusse and the BCEE tower. I tried to cover as much ground as possible. Luxembourg's Christmas market was already closed and being dismantled; the snow arrived too late again this season, maybe next year I will be able to capture snow during Christmas.

So without further ado, here is the result of my morning expedition into the snow.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
— John Steinbeck

To my big surprise, winter wasn't quite done yet with Luxembourg... After getting back from Quebec, the snow was gone again, but the end of the month brought a few new snow days and Winter made its big comeback in Luxembourg.

Snow started falling early morning on that Saturday and covered the whole country under a white blanket once more. The snow was however less abundant and did not manage to cover trees and rooftops as thoroughly as last time around. Although the big difference this time was the weather right after the snow. Once it stopped snowing, the sky opened up completely, bringing out the Sun and lots of colours.

I headed out almost immediately after it stopped snowing to shoot various other spots than those that I covered on my latest winter hike around the city.

I walked around the Grund neighbourhood, shooting various angles until the Sun finally came out and lit up the church of Saint Michel and the European Institutions of the Kirchberg. I quickly changed locations to shoot the Grund from above and capture the light, the colours, the snow and the sky. The result is my picture The Fabled City.

With my picture Winter Fortress, I wanted to recreate another picture I took during the summer of 2013 and which I called Gibraltar of the North (look it up in my Luxembourg City Gallery). To get this ultra wide view of the city, even my wide angle lens does not suffice. To get this type of view, several picture have to be taken into all directions, like you would with a panoramic, and combined later in post-processing. Although the view is extremely wide and you can pretty much see a 180° angle of the Grund neighbourhood in this shot, I always marvel at all the tiny little details that are captured in these pictures. There are for example people throwing snow balls at each other near the bridge, and there is train passing on the Passerelle... I love these little things that often get lost when sharing these pictures online, but come out when you print those same pictures in a large format.

Before sunset, I tried a few new spots I had only shot during bad weather conditions. I discovered this spot back in 2013. I still have older pictures from this place on my hard drive, but never processed them because I just was not happy with the those pictures, mostly because of all the leafless and snowless trees. This time around although, the trees were still wearing their white cover and the sky opened up just enough to let some blue peek through the clouds as a couple walked by on top of the Passerelle and looked down into the Petrusse valley.

Winters yet to come

Hopefully this year's winter isn't over yet. If I'm lucky I will get more chances to create some more amazing landscapes and cityscapes in Luxembourg. Right now, I have concentrated most of my efforts on the city of Luxembourg. If there should be new snowfalls I will probably try to capture some other well known places outside the capital, like some of Luxembourg's famous castles for example... Right now however I will take a break from winter and get ready for a whole new adventure... more on that very soon.

To see more pictures made in Luxembourg visit my Gallery.

All of the above pictures are available as limited edition fine art prints. The images are also available for web and print licensing.

Thank you for reading.