THE DOLOMITES IN WINTER
8 DAY LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
25 JANUARY - 1 FEBRUARY 2020 3 PLACES LEFT
The Dolomites are among the most beautiful mountains in the world and during winter this beauty only increases as the majestic peaks take on a different life covered in snow.
Our Dolomites In Winter workshop will take you to some of the most stunning places in the region, not only shooting from the valleys but we’ll also spend several sessions on the peaks themselves, shooting sunrise from the top of 3000m Marmalada as the surrounding mountains are painted with orange and pink hues of the day’s first light, or looking out across the snow from the Tre Cime natural park towards the jagged spires of the Cadini Group.
During our week moving around the region we’ll spend a couple of nights in a rifugio at the very top of a mountain to give us magnificent sunrise and sunset views, and other times in 3 or 4 star hotels using snow mobiles or cable cars to access our shooting locations. Having multiple bases allows us to stay right in amongst some of the most breath-taking landscapes in the region, from the snow-blanketed meadow of Alpi di Siusi to the peaks around 2800m Lagazuoi. We’ll visit the jagged peaks of Pelmo and Passo Giau and spend time working on techniques for photographing pristine winter landscapes, from composition to exposure and field technique.
Late January is a fantastic time to visit the Dolomites. Everything from the mountains to the valleys and forests look absolutely magnificent covered in deep white snow, and we’ll use our local knowledge to access lesser known locations where there are opportunities for photography that simply aren’t available at any other time of year. Photographing sunrise from the up amongst the peaks or travelling by snow-mobiles to reach locations is an unforgettable experience.
All our workshops are designed to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else. Airport transfers, ideally located and comfortable accommodation as well as all your meals are all part of the package, and of course the tour is structured to maximize your opportunities to get great images whilst improving your skills as a photographer. Andrea Livieri is local to the area and has been photographing and leading workshops in the Dolomites for many years, while Andy Mumford has visited the area extensively and knows it extremely well. We use all that experience and knowledge to get you to some of the Dolomite's most beautiful locations in the best light, and we limit group size to just six participants to ensure we’re on hand in the field to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want.
€3100 (price includes single occupancy in private room with bathroom for 5 nights and shared occupancy in rifugio for 2 nights)
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.
Mostly easy, but some moderately challenging walking through snow required in two locations.
Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable winter mountain locations
Two professional photographers & guides who know the area
Local transportation to and from the locations
Cable cars and snow-mobiles used to reach lesser known and harder to access locations
1 - to -1 post-processing sessions in Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One
Post-Processing workshop with workshop leaders entire workflow
All meals provided
Airport transfer to/from Venice Marco Polo
We visit the Dolomites by basing ourselves at 4 locations with multiple nights in two of the locations because we understand how tiring it can be to be moving to new accommodation every day. While the dates that we’ll be in the bases are fixed, which locations we shoot while we’re in those bases is flexible and can be altered depending on snow conditions and weather. It’s important to remember that weather in the winter in mountains can be extremely unpredictable so it’s impossible to guarantee that we’ll be able to visit every location in the itinerary, for example the cable car to the top of Marmolada can be closed due to high winds, or sometimes the clouds can be so low that the view from the tops of peaks is obscured. However, we have multiple back up locations in case our first choice is inaccessible.
At this time of year sunrise is a around 7h45 and sunset is around 17h
DAY 1 (JAN 25)
15h We’ll meet you at Venice Marco Polo airport to pick you up and transfer you to our first hotel in Selva do Cadore. Due to the early sunsets we won’t be doing any shooting on this first night, but instead after settling into your rooms we’ll head out to one of our favorite local restaurants for a welcome meal where we can all get to know each other.
DAY 2 (JAN 26)
6h45 Our first sunrise will be spent shooting the peaks of the Passo Falzarego. We’ll see the first rays of the sun making the cliff wall of Tofane glow orange and perhaps take some shots of the tiny chapel Cappella della Visitazione before breakfast in a local cafe.
10h We’ll get back to our hotel, freshen up and then check out to head to our second base next to the frozen Lago Misurina.
14h30 After a lunch in the local pizzeria we’ll head up to the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo. As the roads are closed at this time of year we’ll make the short journey by snow mobile, and after a short hike we’ll find ourselves with the jagged spires of Cadini di Misurina in front and the imposing towers of Tre Cime behind. Both views capture the last light of the day and make for fantastic sunset compositions.
18h After making sure we capture the scene in the blue hour, which is usually wonderful in winter conditions as alpenglow gives the peaks a beautiful indirect light, we’ll head back to our hotel by snow-mobile and have dinner in our hotel.
DAY 3 (JAN 27)
6h45 Sunrise this morning will be at the imposing peaks of Passo Giau. There’s a lot to shoot here from wide angle images of the Ra Gusela, telephoto shots of the surrounding mountains or abstracts of the road as it curves up the hill.
10h We’ll get back to our hotel, freshen up and then check out to head to our third base, the mountain hut, Rifugio Lagazuoi located at 2730 meters at the top of one of the peaks that dominates the surrounding area. We’ll get here by a short cable car ride and settle into the cosy rooms, each of which has views out across the surrounding peaks. It really does feel as though you’re up amongst the clouds here and we have breath-taking panoramic views in various directions to some of the Dolomites tallest peaks like Civetta, Marmolada and Pelmo from the deck right outside the front door.
14h After lunch at the rifugio we’ll relax taking in the view from the rifugio and then at sunset we’ll use telephoto lenses to capture the last light of the day painting the very tops of the neighboring peaks with incredible red light and then the blue hour from the comfort of the rifugio’s deck.
18h We’ll have our first post processing session where both workshop leaders will sit down with each of the participants to look at some of the images captured on the workshop so far and look at different processing techniques to get the best out of the images.
19h30 Dinner in the rifugio, which usually comprises of three courses of really satisfying mountain food.
DAY 4 (JAN 28)
7h We’ll head out onto the deck for a sunrise session. Watching the horizon light up and then illuminate the snow covered mountains that surround us really is a special scene. We’ll then step inside the rifugio for a welcome breakfast. Because this is such a unique location and there’s always the possibility of not being able to shoot for one of the sessions due to low cloud we’ll stay at the rifugio for 2 nights to ensure we have every possibility of capturing the many compositions available from this incredible place. This means we can relax for the rest of the day after the morning session, perhaps heading out for a walk to explore the surrounding area. There’s a plateau behind the rifugio and a short walk across the snow reveals different vistas to the northwest. The day will be relaxing, we can review images and have lunch together and just take it easy.
16h As the light gets lower we’ll set up to capture the sunset. This is an ideal place to shoot stitched panoramas, so we’ll look at techniques for that, as well as mountain abstracts.
18h We’ll have our second post processing session where again, both workshop leaders will sit down with each of the participants to look at some of the images captured on the workshop so far and look at different processing techniques to get the best out of the images.
19h30 Dinner in the rifugio.
DAY 5 (JAN 29)
7h We’ll head back out onto the deck for a last sunrise session at this special place. Afterwards we’ll head inside for breakfast, pack our bags and then get the cable car back down before heading to our next base on the Alpi di Siusi.
12h We’ll arrive a little lunchtime which gives us plenty of time to settle into our rooms before lunch.
15h We’ll head out onto the Alpi di Siusi, a vast snow covered plain dotted with trees and picturesque wooden huts beneath the imposing twin peaks of Sassolungo. We’ll assess the snow and light conditions before decided which of the several different spots from which we’ll shoot this fantastic place.
18h After the last of the alpenglow has faded from the peaks we’ll walk back to our hotel to freshen up and then have dinner together.
DAY 6 (JAN 30)
7h We’ll make the short walk to shoot sunrise, this time from a slightly different location and looking out for ways to capture the peaks as the sun rises behind them. After breakfast, we’ll check out and head back to our final base, the first hotel we stayed in, in the beautiful Val di Cadore.
12h We’ll settle into our hotel. We understand that by now people are often feeling a little tired after all the sunrises and sunsets in cold temperatures, so this afternoon and evening we’ll change the pace a little with an easy shoot of some nearby locations in the local valley. There’s the pretty churches of Selva di Cadore and Col di Santa Lucia, both have commanding views down the valley towards the huge Mount Pelmo, the forests and river further up the valley near Pescul where the snow and black water give us all kinds of possibilities, and the frozen waterfall of Serrai di Sottoguda.
17h This evening we’ll have a special post processing session using a projector where both workshop leaders will take you through their entire post processing workflow from beginning to end. We’ll answer any questions and show you how we use a wide range of software, from Lightroom and Photoshop, to Capture One and Luminar. The session will be recorded and you’ll be given your own copy for future reference.
19h Dinner and then an early night as we have an early start the following morning.
DAY 7 (JAN 31)
6h We’ll head to the cable car for one of the highlights of the trip. We’ll ascend to the top of 3250 meter Marmolada, the “queen of the Dolomites” in a special pre-dawn cable car to watch the blue hour and the sunrise from one of the very highest spots in the Dolomites. From the viewpoint here we actually look out and down on many of the surrounding peaks giving an absolutely stunning view as the sun comes up and paints the tops of the snow capped mountains with incredibly warm light whilst leaving the valleys in shadows. After the sun had risen properly we’ll have a large breakfast at the restaurant on the mountain top, before heading back to our hotel to relax a little.
14h After lunch we’ll head up the valley and take a snow-mobile up to Col Baldi ridge from where we have a panoramic view over Pelmo, one of the most iconic peaks in the Dolomites, which we’ll capture as the sun paints its west-facing cliffs red.
DAY 8 (FEB 1) TRANSFER TO VENICE AIRPORT
7h Our last morning, we’ll have a final breakfast together before taking you back to Marco Polo airport where we’ll say our goodbyes.
WHAT WE DO (AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS)
Our aim is to take you to beautiful locations and give you every opportunity to get great images while improving your technique over the course of the workshop. We believe that having two shooting sessions a day means that participants get into a shooting rhythm and can quickly put into practice new skills as they are learned. Having such small groups allows us to spend a maximum amount of time with each participant and from the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, and attempt to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition in the field.
This adaptability also extends to the post processing sessions. We believe that editing is an integral part of getting the absolute best out of an image but we understand that the range of participant’s skill levels and familiarity with post processing techniques varies greatly. Because of this we make the most of having small groups to provide 1-to-1 editing sessions that are tailored to each participant's skill levels, and which can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom or Capture One to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop. We’ll also have one post processing seminar where both both workshop leaders will take you through all their post processing techniques and complete workflow as they process their images on a large projection screen.
Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible place. We aim to make your experience here in the beautiful landscape of the Dolomites a memorable one and a trip from which, as well as getting some great images from amazing locations, you’ll also go home having had a true adventure with great company in a very special place.
SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP
IN THE FIELD:
Understanding the light and choosing the best exposure
Composition. Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.
Lens choice. From the wide-angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens
Using a telephoto for compressing mountain peaks
Shooting multiple image panoramas
Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
Shooting stars and night photography
Using Lightroom to apply contrast
Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
Local adjustments in Lightroom and Photoshop
Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex, Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers
Using CaptureOne for RAW conversion
Stitching multiple panoramas together
A WORD ABOUT ACCOMMODATION
With this workshop we really wanted to bring people to some truly stunning and unique locations, and in order to do this we’ve chosen accommodation that puts us right in the heart of the mountains. While in the majority of the locations we can use hotels, one of the locations we visit requires staying in a local rifugio, a mountain hut where rooms have to be shared with another person and with bathrooms that are shared between the different rooms of the rifugio. The hut is family run and extremely cosy with a small number of rooms, and four bathrooms that are right across the corridor from the bedrooms. We believe that this is a part of the experience of staying in the mountains - huts like this have long, fascinating histories and are located in some of the most amazing locations in the Dolomites. Food is always hearty and perfect for the cold days, and of course there’s an incredible view from right on the doorstep.
We’ll stay in this type of accommodation for two of the seven nights, with the other nights in 3 or 4 star hotels where you’ll have your own private room, but participants should be aware that part of this workshop does involve sharing a room.
If you have any questions about the accommodation, or about any other aspect of the workshop, don’t hesitate to contact me using the contact form below
WHAT TO BRING
A dSLR or mirrorless camera
The criteria for the kind of work we’ll be doing is a camera that can be operated completely manually to ensure we get the best exposure with interchangeable lenses allowing us to cover a range of focal lengths
A wide angle lens
For some of the locations a wide angle lens really is essential if you want to get those epic landscapes with a foreground that feels you can almost step right into it. 16mm or 17mm on a full frame camera (10mm or 12mm on an APS-C sensor camera) is ideal.
A telephoto lens
We’ll often find ourselves shooting distant peaks or abstracts, which a telephoto is ideal for. A telephoto also compresses the landscape and is great for mountains when shooting from elevation. A range that covers 70-200mm (55-135mm on a crop sensor) is ideal.
A mid-range zoom lens
While these lenses are often the least useful for shooting landscapes, for the kind of locations we’ll be encountering in the Dolomites there are certainly some occasions when the zooms listed above are too wide or too long and a mid-range zoom in the 24-70mm (18-55mm on a crop sensor) is perfect.
We’ll often be shooting in low light so a tripod is an absolutely essential piece of equipment. A lightweight carbon fibre model is ideal for this kind of trip.
A neutral density filter of at least 3 stops will help slow down the exposure to blur clouds and a polarising filter will also be useful to take the glare off the snow.
A cable release
This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, avoiding movement blur during longer exposures.
Comfortable waterproof walking boots and thick warm socks
While we won’t be doing any long hikes we’ll certainly be doing some walking over uneven ground, and we’ll often find ourselves standing in the snow. It’s very easy for cold feet to completely ruin your day, so good boots with thick warm socks are vital.
Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes
We’ll occasionally find ourselves at altitudes of 2000-3000m before sunrise when it gets very cold, and with the strong winds blowing you should be prepared for temperatures down to around -20. Layers are the way to go with a base layer and mid layer and then a fleece on top. An insulated jacket on top of that and also a waterproof and windproof shell as a final layer to keep the worst of the weather out. Insulated long-johns/leggings below windproof hiking trousers to keep your bottom half warmer.
Hat, gloves, chute and gaiters
It’s essential to keep your head and neck warm, so a good wooly hat below your hood really makes a difference, and a chute or neck-gaiter will protect your neck and the lower half of your face. It’s also easy for your hands to get cold so thick gloves with a pair of glove liners underneath for when you have to remove your gloves to operate your camera. If you’ve got them, mittens that open at the top so you don’t need to remove them are excellent. Finally, gaiters for the bottom of your trousers will keep the snow out of your boots if you find yourself in deep snow.
When moving your camera gear for any length of time a backpack can really save your back. A good backpack, one with sturdy hip straps, can safely distribute the weight of your gear and really save you from aches, pains and potential injury. Bear in mind that you’ll often be putting it down in the snow as well so it should be water resistant.
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW and Photoshop
We’ll be shooting RAW, and as part of each day will be dedicated to post processing images a good RAW converter like Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW is essential. Other converters like Capture One are also fine. Adobe Photoshop is great for more advanced processing as it allows us to be much more subtle and creative in it’s use of layers.
A full packing list is provided on enrolling for the workshop. If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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To register for the workshop we require a €900 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information.