DOLOMITES WORKSHOP 2020 - LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
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.
Dolomites Workshop 2020 - Landscape Photography
8 DAY LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
15 - 22 SEPTEMBER 2020
23 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2020
Our workshop has two bases which allows us to cover the huge variety of landscapes to shoot here in the Dolomites. We start off with five days in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the eastern part of the region from where we can explore the stunning Tre Cime di Lavaredo natural park at both sunrise and sunset. The park has almost infinite photographic potential, from the iconic towers of Tre Cime itself, to the southern views of the jagged peaks of the Cadini group, and the area around Rifugio Locatelli and Sasso di Sesto in the north. We’ll spend multiple sessions exploring the trails and huge variety of views around this incredible place and eat hearty dinners at the mountain rifugios. From Cortina 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, spend sunset at the towering peaks of Passo Giau, Lago di Limedes and Cinque Torri, and visit the still waters of Lago Antorno reflecting the peaks of the Tre Cime above.
Our second base takes us west where we’ll stay on the high alpine meadows of Alpe di Siusi to see a couple of the Dolomites most iconic scenes. We’ll shoot both sunrise and sunset on the Alpe di Siusi with its incredible views of gently rolling grass-covered hills spotted with log cabins and pine trees below the jagged, rocky peaks of Sassalungo. From here we’ll also visit the beautiful Val di Funes where we can shoot the lovely churches of San Giovanni and Santa Maddalena beneath the Odle/Geisler massif at sunset.
Late September is the best time to visit the Dolomites as many of the trees have started to turn a golden yellow. 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 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 years, while Andy Mumford has visited the area multiple times and knows the locations 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 in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want.
Price includes single occupancy in private room with bathroom
4 – 6
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.
Easy / Moderate
Some hiking and hill walks that should be well within the capability of anyone with average fitness
Local transportation to and from the locations
DAY 1 to 6 EASTERN DOLOMITES / CORTINA D’AMPEZZO AREA
Our time here 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 Lavaredo
- Cadini di Misurina
- Lago Federa and the Croda da Lago
- Lago di Braies
- Passo Giau
- Cinque Torri or Mondeval
- Passo Falzarego and Lago di Limedes
A typical itinerary for the three days is:
12h30 We’ll pick you up from Venice Marco Polo Airport and transfer you to our first base in Cortina d’Ampezzo
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 have a hearty dinner together in one of the mountain rifugios in Tre Cime park and get to know each other better over some great local food.
5h An early start to get an alpine taxi from Cortina d’Ampezzo which will take us up the bumpy trail to Lago Federa. We’ll 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. Because we have such small groups most of the post-processing sessions can be carried out on a one-to-one basis.
15h30 After lunch we’ll head up the winding road to Passo Giau where we’ll capture last light and sunset against the jagged spires. Dinner will be when we’re back in the hotel around 20h30.
5h30 We’ll make the drive up to Passo Falzarego and make the short hike out to Lago di Limedes from where we can see the first light of day illuminating the surrounding peaks and reflected in the still waters of this beautiful alpine lake.
8h30 Breakfast at the hotel followed by a few hour’s rest.
13h 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 We’ll have a long day where go back to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, this time exploring deeper into the park all the way to Locatelli, and find compositions for the sunset, before heading back to our favourite pizzeria for dinner
5h30 We’ll return to the Tre Cime national park, this time to capture first light and sunrise over the neighbouring Cadini peaks to the south.
8h30 Breakfast at the hotel and then a couple of hours to relax after the late nights and early mornings
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 take the road to the famous Cinque Torri, a row of five towering peaks of stone that dominate the surrounding forests. We’ll either have dinner at the nearby mountain rifugio or head back to eat at our hotel depending on what time we finish shooting.P
5h30 We’ll head to the iconic Lago di Braies, an easy location where we can focus on composing shots with the peaks reflected in the perfectly still waters. As usual, we’ll follow our morning session with breakfast and a short break.
13h 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 We’ll head out for our final sunset in the area with a trip to the northern side of the Tre Cime natural park. This time we’ll walk around the west side of the towers to explore compositions amongst the rocks and reflecting pools of the plateau to the north of the peaks. Every time we visit Tre Cime you’ll be struck by the huge variety of locations and views that can be shot from here, it really is such a magnificent place to shoot.W
DAY 6 - TRANSFER TO ALPE DI SIUSI
6h We’ll make the short walk outside our hotel to Lago Misurina where we can see the first light of day illuminate the granite walls of the Sorapiss massif and reflected in the lake waters
10h After breakfast we’ll get our stuff together to leave the hotel and head west to our second base on the Alpe di Siusi. On our way we’ll make a detour to capture the iconic San Giovanni church beneath the peaks of the Odle/Geisler massif and stop for lunch in a local trattoria.
15h We’ll check into our rooms.
17h We’ll explore the Alpe di Siusi, 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 back at our nearby hotel.
6h For sunrise we’ll head back to Alpe di Siusi 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 to our hotel for breakfast.
13h30 We’ll replace the post-processing session with a review session, where participants discuss their favourite work from the trip as well as discussing images that didn’t quite work out and what could be done to make them work.
16h As the light gets more attractive we’ll head back out to a different part of Alpe di Suisi, working on compositional balance and capturing the essence of this incredible landscape. If conditions are suitable, we might even have a go at doing some astro shots.
DAY 8 - TRANSFER TO VENICE AIRPORT
6h Depending on what time people need to arrive at Venice airport we’ll either finish with another sunrise on the Alpe di Siusi or have an early breakfast, 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. We limit the number of participants on our workshop to just six which gives us plenty of time with everyone in the field and from the beginning of your time with us we can identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on. We can then tailor the sessions to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field, and 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.
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 in the morning 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 to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop. We also do screen recordings of our editing sessions, which are then shared with all the group so you go home with a record of all the post processing techniques we used, which you can refer to again and again.
Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible place. Travelling in such small groups means we can quickly build a great learning environment where people feel comfortable together and at ease with asking questions and making the absolute most of the trip. 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, Exposure X4 and Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers. Using Capture One for RAW conversion.
- Stitching multiple panoramas together
- Sharpening images
A WORD ABOUT HIKING & FITNESS
Reaching the locations on this tour should be well within the capacity of anyone with a good level of fitness but it’s worth taking a moment to point out that we will be photographing at altitude in the mountains and a certain amount of hiking will be required to get from where we leave our vehicle to some of our shooting locations. For example, reaching Forcella, the ridge at the eastern side of Tre Cime de Lavaredo requires around 40 minutes of walking, most of which is flat and along a very good trail, but there is an incline to the ridge at the end with an altitude gain of around 100m. The longest hike takes us to Rifugio Locatelli, which is around an hour and 40 minutes hiking with an altitude gain of 150m. Additionally, any altitude gain means that we’ll have to descend when we return, and after sunset this will be in the dark and using torchlight.
All of these hikes are done at altitudes of around 2000m, sometimes a little more, so everything is a little more demanding and you will feel fatigue much more quickly than at sea level.
There is nothing technical on any of the hikes and anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will be able to manage it, but it should also have a bearing on what camera equipment you bring with you as you’ll sometimes be carrying it for a couple of hours while we make these hikes so heavy packs should be avoided as much as possible.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about your ability to participate, don’t hesitate to contact me using the form below.
WHAT TO BRING
A dSLR or mirrorless camera
A cable release
This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, avoiding movement blur during longer exposures.
A wide angle lens
Comfortable waterproof walking boots
We’ll certainly be walking over rocky and uneven ground, as well as some scrambles up the side of hills. We’ll also often find ourselves in muddy conditions so warm boots with good support and grip are essential.
A telephoto lens
Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes
Even though it’s summer it can still get quite chilly in Iceland 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 in case the weather turns bad..
A mid-range zoom lens
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.
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.
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.
We’ll be shooting at least a couple of waterfalls and a neutral density filter of at least 3 stops will help slow down the exposure to blur the water. There may also be times when a graduated filter will help control the brightness of the sky.
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 grew up in the UK loving nature and travel and took up landscape photography over a decade ago. Since then he has travelled extensively photographing all over the world and his photography and articles have featured in publications and books worldwide. He is a passionate photographer teacher and has been leading both group and one-to-one workshops for six 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.
ANDREA LIVIERI is a Venice based professional photographer, educator, musician, and a spirited adventurer. He started exploring the photography medium by capturing images of fellow musicians, their families, and other friends and acquaintances in the music industry. As he continued honing his craft, he merged his love for photography and exploring the outdoors, amassing a body of photographic work featuring exhilarating landscapes and rugged mountains capes from around the globe, He also leads photography courses, workshops & tours to teach other photographers his method and help them to bring out their own vision.
His work has been published in Landscape Photography Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Plus Magazine, Digital Camera, Popular Photography and Fuji X Passion Magazine, among others.