7 DAY / 6 NIGHT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 3 2018
Of all the different facets of landscape photography, mountains offer perhaps the most magnificent scenery to capture and the breath-taking towers and peaks of the Dolomites are among the most beautiful mountains in the world. Rising almost vertically from dense forests and reflected in mirror-like alpine lakes it's impossible not to be both awed and inspired by the stunning vistas everywhere you look.
Our workshop has two bases which allows us to cover the huge variety of landscapes to shoot here in the Dolomites. We start off next to Lago Misurina near Cortina d’Ampezzo in the eastern part of the region from where we can capture the iconic peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo at both sunrise and sunset from the stunning natural park and trails around the peaks, as well as reflected in the still waters of Lago Antorno below. We’ll also get an alpine taxi to the picturesque Lago Federa on the Croda da Lago trail where the sunrise illuminates the golden forests and surrounding lake and visit the turquoise waters of Lago di Braies with it’s backdrop of mountains.
Our second base takes us west to St. Ulrich in the beautiful Val Gardena from where we can head up to the high alpine meadows of Alpi di Siusi and Seceda with their incredible views of the rocky peaks of Sassalungo and Odle/Geisler respectively. We’ll also drive over to the neighbouring Val di Funes and see the lovely churches of San Giovanni and Santa Maddalena beneath the same Odle/Geisler massif.
Late September and early October is the best time to visit the Dolomites as many of the trees have started to turn a golden yellow, and although the weather is generally some of the highest peaks may have a light dusting of snow. There's often great autumnal light and the main tourist season has passed leaving many of the locations much quieter and more peaceful. We may also be lucky enough to witness cloud inversions from up on the peaks as we look down from above at the cloud filled valleys below us.
All our workshops are organised 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 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. We use all our experience and knowledge to get you to some of the Dolomites most beautiful locations in the best light, and in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want. Having three professional photography guides helps us to ensure that each participant gets plenty of one-to-one tuition and allows us to better tailor each session to your needs, as well as being able to optionally split the group, for example if participants are interested in visiting different parts of a location. It also means we can accept range of experience levels from beginners to professionals and comfortably cater to each.
€2600 (price based on single person sharing)
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers. Some walking and hills that should be well within the capability of anyone with average fitness.
Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable mountain locations
Three professional photographers & guides who know the area
Local transportation to and from the locations
Alpine taxis to reach lesser known and harder to access locations
Post-processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop
All accommodation in local hotels
All meals provided
We visit the Dolomites by basing ourselves at two locations, one in the eastern part of the region and one in the west. While the dates that we’ll be in the bases are fixed, our time within those dates is flexible so we can decide which locations to visit while we’re there depending on the local weather and conditions. We will however ensure that we visit all of the locations in each area.
At this time of year the sunrise is around 7h15 and sunset around 18h45.
DAY 1 to 4 - EASTERN DOLOMITES / CORTINA D’AMPEZZO AREA (SEPTEMBER 27 - 30)
Our time at each base is flexible and can vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we shoot all of the locations in the area:
- Tre Cime di Lavarado
- Lago Federa and the Croda da Lago
- Lago Antorno
- Lago di Brais
- Cinque Torre or Passo Giau
A typical itinerary for the three days is:
DAY 1 (SEPTEMBER 27)
12h30 We’ll pick you up from Venice Marco Polo Airport and transfer you to our first base in Lago Misurina
15h onwards we’ll welcome guests and spend a little time getting to know each other before heading out to our first shoot in the stunning peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo
17h We’ll walk around the base of the peaks to capture the Tre Cime in the day's last light and at sunset. Afterwards we’ll head back to the hotel for dinner
20h Dinner together in our hotel. We’ll get to know each other better over some great local food.
DAY 2 (SEPTEMBER 2)
5h An early start to get to Cortina d’Ampezzo, from where we’ll get an alpine taxi which will take us up the bumpy trail to Lago Federa. We’ll take a packed breakfast with us and start the day at the alpine lake surrounded by forest beneath the towering cliffs of the Croda da Lago shooting the sunrise and then the first light as it illuminates the trees
9h30 We’ll arrive back at the hotel for breakfast and take it easy for a couple of hours
11h30 Introduction post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we took in the sunrise session early in the day and the sunset on the previous evening. Our post-processing sessions will be tailored to suit the differing levels and requirements of our clients and can range from Lightroom basics through to Photoshop Luminosity Masks and more advanced techniques.
13h Lunch at the hotel before heading back to Tre Cime di Lavaredo where we have all afternoon to explore deeper into the park all the way to Locatelli, and find compositions for the sunset.
19h30 After sunset we’ll head back to Rifugio Auronzo and have dinner in the restaurant there before heading back out to capture the stars above the peaks of the Tre Cime.
DAY 3 (SEPTEMBER 29)
6h We’ll make the short trip up the road to the neighbouring Lago Antorno where we can see the first light of day illuminate the peaks of the Tre Cime far above us reflected in the lake waters. Once again we’ll take a packed breakfast with us.
8h30 Breakfast at the hotel and then maybe walk around the neighbouring lake taking in the beautiful views towards the Sorapiss massif across the water.
11h30 Our second post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we took in the sunrise session early in the day and sunset last night. Once again, this will be tailored to your needs.
15h30 After lunch we’ll decide where we’d like to shoot our final sunset in this part of the Dolomites. We might decide to head to the towering rock formations of the Cinque Torre or the jagged spires of the Passo Giau. Alternatively, we might decide to return to one of the locations we’ve already shot like Lago Antorno or Tre Cime. Dinner will be when we’re back in the hotel around 20h30
DAY 4 (SEPTEMBER 30)
5h30 We’ll make our final trip to Tre Cime, this time to capture the sunrise and see the first light of the day hit the towers from up close.
10h After breakfast we’ll get our stuff together to leave the hotel and head to our second base in the western Dolomites.
11h Halfway on our journey we’ll make a stop at Lago di Brais to capture the turquoise waters of the lake in the gentle morning light before arriving at our second hotel in St Ulrich/Ortisei before lunch.
DAY 4 to 7 - WESTERN DOLOMITES / VAL GARDENA AREA (SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 3)
Our time at each base is flexible and can vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we shoot all of the locations in the area:
- Alpi di Suisi and Sassalungo peaks
- Seceda and Odle/Geisler peaks
- Val di Funes with the churches of San Giovanni and Santa Maddalena
A typical itinerary for the three days is:
16h We’ll drive up to Alpi di Suisi, a large alpine meadow covered with wooden huts and pine trees that overlooks the almost vertical peaks of Sassalungo. We’ll have plenty of time here to find a composition that we like before sunset and then have dinner in a restaurant in town
DAY 5 (OCTOBER 1)
6h We’ll head over to the neighbouring valley of Val di Funes to shoot the church of Santa Maddalena, hopefully surrounded by morning mist before heading back to our hotel for breakfast. As usual, we’ll take a packed breakfast with us.
11h30 Post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we took in the sunrise session early in the day and sunset last night. Once again, this will be tailored to your needs.
15h30 After lunch we’ll catch the cable car to the peak of Seceda, the long grass slope which gives stunning views of the nearby peaks of the Odle/Geisler group, as well as back across the valley to Sassalungo to the south and Val di Funes to the north. We’ll shoot sunset here before heading back down to our hotel in an alpine taxi.
DAY 6 (OCTOBER 2)
6h For sunrise we’ll head back to Alpi di Suisi again, this time to see it with completely different light and hopefully with pockets of mist across the vast alpine meadow as the sun comes up behind the sheer peaks of Sassalungo. We’ll spend some time walking around capturing the location in beautiful early morning light before heading into town for a coffee and pastry.
11h30 Our final post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we’ve taken so far on the trip and putting what we’ve learned into practice.
15h30 For our final sunset we’ll be in Val di Funes, this time shooting the picturesque San Giovanni church beneath the peaks of the Odle/Geisler massif illuminated by the last light of day. As the church of Santa Maddalena, our sunrise location on the previous day, is relatively close we might be able to capture an image there as well. Then back to our hotel for a farewell dinner.
The following morning (October 3) we check out of the hotel and take you back to Venice where we 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. From the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, which combined with having three professional photography tutors allows us to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field and in the post processing sessions.
We also 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. We carefully select the dates of our workshops to try and make sure we are in each location at the best time of year. In the Dolomites for example the weather is still quite dependable in autumn with sunny days and crisp nights but the height of the tourist season is over with fewer people on the trails leaving the locations much quieter. Everywhere you look in the forests you’ll see that some of the trees are starting to turn a beautiful gold which really enhances their potential in images, but there’s still a feeling of life and lushness in the countryside.
Our timetable is highly flexible and having a number of fantastic locations all very close to our two bases means we can adapt to the weather and go to where the conditions are best for shooting. 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 once again make the most of having three tutors to provide editing sessions in the morning that can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop.
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
- Photographing lakes and reflections
- 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
- Photoshop masks for local adjustments
- Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
- Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
- Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex and Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers
- Stitching multiple panoramas together
- Sharpening images
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, particularly the lakes, 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 may well be 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 remove ripples from the lake’s surface. A graduated neutral density filter of 2 stops will also allow you to balance the exposure of the sky with it’s reflection in a lake.
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
We’ll certainly be walking over rocky and uneven ground and we’ll also often find ourselves in muddy conditions so warm boots with good support and grip are essential.
Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes
Even though it’s not winter yet it can still get pretty cold, particularly when up amongst the peaks at 2500m so warm clothes will help keep you comfortable while we’re out shooting. It’s best to layer, with a base layer next to the skin and then a fleece or thicker layer on top. An insulated jacket on top of that will keep you warm, and also a waterproof or windproof shell as a final layer because there’ll certainly be times when the wind can be really strong in the mountains.
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.
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.
If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.
ANDY MUMFORD is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. Andy has travelled all over the world taking pictures and his work has featured in various publications such as Practical Photography UK, Australian Photography and Progresso Fotografico amongst others. Andy is the author of the travel photography guide Photographing Burma and has co-authored the soon-to-be-published Beyond Lisbon, a walking guide to the coast and countryside of the Lisbon region.
Andy grew up in the UK loving nature and travel, and originally came to Lisbon as a teacher in 1998. He started his journey in landscape photography over a decade ago and since then has travelled extensively photographing all over the world. He has been leading both group and one-to-one workshops for five years.
He is a Fuji X Photographer and a brand ambassador for Fujifilm in Portugal, although he also has extensive experience with Nikon and Canon cameras.
KONSTANTINOS VASILAKIS is an award winning Greece based professional landscape and mountain photographer. His work has been published and exhibited around the world, and he has been organising and leading workshop for over five years.
Konstantinos’ work stems from his passion for nature and his drive to capture images that are a personal representation of the scene in front of him, and living in Greece’s northern mountains provides him with much of his inspiration.
KOSTAS PETRAKIS is a Holland based professional landscape photographer who has travelled extensively and photographed some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. He has over a decade of photographic experience shooting in iconic locations from Italy to Iceland, Scotland to the French Alps, and has been leading workshops for over five years.
Kostas’ is inspired by the wild landscape, by the untouched wilderness and by the adventure of exploring new places.
For more information, including an overview of the weather, tips on how to get to Venice, as well as all the terms, conditions and payment information please download the workshop PDF.
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