Instagram of the Month: Lauterbrunnen Valley

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Douglas Croft (on Instagram @douglascroftimages) roams the globe with a camera in hand and shares his travels with the world through Instagram.

He brought himself—and his great photographic eye—to our attention by tagging his photo with #NatGeoTravelPic on Instagram.

Here’s a peek at the person behind this month’s featured shot of Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley:

Tyler Metcalfe: This image captures the grand scale of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. What brought you to Switzerland? 

We love the mountains. In 2012, we flew over the Jungfrau Region on our way to Venice. Looking down on the Alps from 30,000 feet, we knew we had to come back and see them up close. So glad we did. 

Tell us about the experience. 

The Lauterbrunnen Valley is one place on Earth—at least that I’ve seen—that rivals Yosemite Valley in sheer grandeur.

Hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. High cliffs, waterfalls, the famous mountains—Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau—and quaint villages of Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Wengen, and Gimmelwald make this a pretty amazing place.

Do you have any tips for travelers looking to visit the area?  

If you go, [make sure to get up] early. Clouds can obscure the mountains in the afternoons. For dinner, try the rösti at the Oberland Hotel in Lauterbrunnen. 

Where are you from? 

I live in San Jose, California, which is close to everything. Day trips to Monterey Bay (the “Serengeti of the Sea”), Big Sur, San Francisco, even Yosemite National Park, are definitely doable.

What first got you hooked on photography?

My dad loved photography and would always make time to shoot on our family vacations. I never understood the draw it held for him until I bought a DSLR for a trip to Alaska in 2010. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. 

You’ve got a great body of work. I’ve noticed many of your photographs on National Geographic’s online photo community, Your Shot. How did you first get involved with that?

Thank you! I’ve always thought of Nat Geo as the pinnacle of nature and travel photography.

Sharing what I’m blessed to see is (almost) as fun as being there for the shot in the first place. Your Shot puts those two things together.

I love participating in the assignments and interacting with [fellow] members. I am constantly amazed by the way others capture our world.

If any of my photos inspires someone to get out and experience these things for themselves or just to live them vicariously, it’s a win-win.  

Based on your Instagram feed you seem to be very well traveled! How does travel fit in to your life?   

My wife and I love to travel and we’ve been fortunate to see some truly amazing places in the past few years.

In fact, we just returned from a wonderful photo safari in South Africa. Our problem is that we want to return to pretty much every place that we’ve been, but want to experience new places as well. There’s not enough time (or money) to do it all!

What’s next on the horizon for you?

We have some friends planning a trip to the Greek Islands. That is definitely on the list. Closer to home, we’d [also] love to do a road trip through the American Southwest.

Tyler Metcalfe (on Instagram @TylerMetcalfe) is an associate photo producer on Nat Geo Travel’s digital team and manages the @NatGeoTravel Instagram account. 

Want to see one of your photos featured on Intelligent Travel? Tag your Instagram photos with #NatGeoTravelPic.

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