Are you planning a visit to the HR giger bar in Gruyères-Switzerland? Are you a fan of HR Giger’s work? Are you interested in taking pictures inside the bar? This article may be interesting to you! Here are some tips & advices to visit and take pictures in this amazing and unique place !
For somebody who has no idea about the Giger bar or even don’t know anything about HR Giger, here’s for you (although I believe that if you are reading this article you might be familiar with it him): The Giger bar was created by Hans Ruedi Giger, a Swiss painter, whose style linked humans and machines together in a cold ‘biomechanical’ relationship and was adapted for many forms of media, including record albums, furniture, tattoos and sculpture. He’s best know for designing the creature of the movie Alien directed by Ridley Scott in 1979. There are two Giger bars, the first, the HR Giger bar in Chur, opened in 1992, and the second, the HR Giger museum bar, located at Château St.Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland, opened in 2003. HR Giger himself supervised the construction of this bar by including the lines of its biomechanical style as shown in the Alien films.
Visiting the HR Giger museum bar
The vast majority of people who come to visit the medieval village of Gruyères do not come expressly to visit the Giger bar, far from it. Besides, most do not even know about it. Instead, they come to visit this very typical Swiss village, its castle and admire the view of this beautiful region. Suffice to say that this is not by any mean the setting of Alien! This is also what makes this bar so unique, it’s monsters & aliens in the middle of the mountains, beautiful houses, flowers, cows and chocolate! In front of the bar it’s the HR Giger museum where his biomechanics artwork – paintings, sculptures and film designs – is on permanent display. Obviously you will not be able to make any picture in the museum as it’s strictly forbidden.
At the entrance of the bar, there is a very disappointing no-photography sign. But here’s the thing: the bar owners do not want you to enter the bar just for the sole sake of taking pictures. So, use common sense and just sit on one of the beautiful chairs highback and have a nice cold beer first! Admire the unique and outstanding work of HR Giger and feel the atmosphere of this unique place before thinking about taking pictures.
HR Giger bar photography
After a few sips of your drink you can finally consider taking some pictures. As it is indoor you will have to work with higher ISOs, after a few tries you can move in the bar to find different points of view, avoid taking customers or bar employees, be as discreet as possible… like a Swiss would do. Do not use a tripod but rather a Gorilla-pod or even a small bag of rice (very useful to have that item with your photo gear) to stabilize your camera on a table. If you can stabilise your camera you can also try to take HDR (high dynamic range) images, which work very well with the bones textures that the bar displays.
Questions ? Comments ? ideas ? or more tips ?
I’m a photographer from Geneva/Switzerland and travel photography is my passion. If you have any question, tips or ideas about this article just feel free to leave a note in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share/like this post. Thanks for reading – AP