LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
10 DAY IN THE DOLOMITES
SPRING DOLOMITES WORKSHOP - EDITION 2021
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.
During May in the high peaks the winter has only just passed (in fact its not rare to see snow around the foot of Tre Cime in early May) and so the waterfalls are bursting with life as they carry the freshly melted snow into the valleys, and the valleys themselves are in bloom with mountain wild flowers. Our Spring Dolomites Workshop takes advantage of this by using three accommodation bases which allows us to cover the huge variety of landscapes to shoot here in the Dolomites at this time of year.
A UNIQUE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE 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 di Braies with its perfect reflections and red boats.
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 Suisi with its incredible views of gently rolling grass-covered hills spotted with log cabins and pine trees below the jagged, rocky peaks of Sassalungo, and at this time of year the fields are alive with colourful wildflower. 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.
Our third base takes us to Madonna di Campiglio from where we can some of the Dolomites most dramatic waterfalls, Cascate di Vallesinella and Cascate di Saent, as well as the high alpine lakes of Lago Nero and Laghi di Cornisello with their stunning backdrop of Dolomite peaks.
May is a great time to visit the Dolomites as in the high peaks the winter has only just passed leaving many of the high alpine lakes full of water, perfect for refection shot, and the waterfalls are at the biggest flow. At the same time the valleys are just coming into bloom, so the colours are magnificent everywhere. It’s also right at the beginning of the season and before most tourists arrive so most of the locations are much quieter and more peaceful. There’s also a good chance of morning mist in places like Alpe di Siusi and cloud inversions amongst the higher peaks.
All our workshops are designed to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else. Small groups, airport transfers, ideally located and comfortable accommodation as well as all dinners and breakfasts are 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 the Dolomites for over a decade, while Andy has been visiting for years and both have extensive experience of leading workshops here. During this time we’ve built partnerships and relationships with hotels, restaurants, local guides and alpine taxi drivers to ensure we can provide the absolute best all round workshop experience. We use all our photographic and location 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.
DETAIL ABOUT THE SPRING DOLOMITES WORKSHOP
where we'll shoot
Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable mountain locations
1-to-1 editing sessions
1 – to – 1 post-processing sessions in Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One, with screen recordings which the participants can keep
All accommodation in local 4 star hotels
9 SEATS VAN
Local transportation to and from the locations
our favorite restaurants
Alpine taxis to reach lesser known and harder to access locations
We visit the Dolomites by basing ourselves at three locations. 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.
Over the years we’ve been running workshops in the Dolomites we’ve refined our daily itinerary to give plenty of recovery time. We understand that over the course of a workshop fatigue can accumulate leaving people with less energy at the end of the trip, particularly at this time of year with early sunrises and late sunsets, so we ensure that after each morning session people have at least 3 hours downtime during which they can either rest, upload their images to their computers or have a walk around the local area (our hotels are located in some beautiful spots)
At this time of year the sunrise is around 5h30 and sunset around 20h45.
DAY 1 to 5 - EASTERN DOLOMITES / CORTINA D'AMPEZZO
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 Lavarado
Cadina di Misurina
Lago Federa and the Croda da Lago
Lago di Braies
Passo Falzarego and Lago di Limedes
We’ll pick you up from Venice Marco Polo Airport at 13h30 and transfer you to our first base next to the beautiful Lago Misurina, near Cortina d’Ampezzo, and after settling into our rooms we’ll head out for our first sunset shoot on the first evening.
This are is one of the most beautiful parts in all the Dolomites, with the jagged spires of the Tre Cime national park a short drive away, and the high passes of Passo Giau and Falzarego also close by. We’ll certainly be spending lots of time in the Tre Cime area, where we’ll hike around the famous three peaks to get to different points from where we can unlock the almost unlimited potential of this incredible place. There are the trails south of Rifugio Auronzo, which give uninterrupted views of the stunning peaks of Cadina di Misurina as well as views of the Tre Cime towers themselves, lit from the side as the sun sets. We’ll also hike around the southern side of the peaks and up the saddle to the Forcella ridge, which gives the iconic view facing west towards the Tre Cime peaks with the setting sun behind. We’ll head deeper into the park to Rifugio Locatelli, which gives views of both the Tre Cime peaks but also the spires of Monte Paterno alongside. There really is so much to see in the Tre Cime natural park that we can make multiple trips there, at both sunrise and sunset, and each time shoot a completely different view from another location.
However, during our time here we’ll also make sure we visit other stunning locations in the area. We’ll head up to Passo Giau for a sunset shoot, which gives us the wide angel panorama of Ra Gusela or more telephoto images of the western Dolomite peaks or towards Cinque Torri. We’ll also head up to the neighbouring Passo Falzarego, from where we make the short hike to Lago Limedes whose waters perfectly reflects Mount Tofana as the sun comes up. From this base we’ll also head up to Lago Federa where the waters are deep and sheltered by trees and the towering cliffs of Croda da Lago, and so are almost always perfectly still. Access here is limited, so we’ll head up with an 4×4 alpine taxi to give us plenty of time to be in the best position for the first light of the day rising above the trees.
Another nearby location is the iconic Lago di Braies where floating row boats contrast with the torquoise waters. It’s an easy location where we can focus on composing shots with the peaks reflected in the perfectly still waters, or work on abstracts of the boats. Other nearby locations that we may visit depending on weather are Mondavel, with it’s views towards Pelmo, or Cascate di Fanes, a waterfall which works particularly well in overcast weather.
During our stay here we’ll make use of the hotel’s conference room to do a couple of post-processing sessions. These 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 or in pairs, and the sessions will be recorded to give everyone access to them later.
Our stay here will be in 4 star hotel overlooking Lago Misurina, and we’ll eat our main meals will be at a local pizzaria, one of the best in the Dolomites, where the owner, Angelo, has become a good friend over the years we’ve been doing workshops and going there to eat.
DAY 6 & 7 - ALPE DI SIUSI
Once again, 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:
Alpe di Siusi sunrise and sunset
Capella di San Giovanni in Ranui
Chiesa di San Valentino
After breakfast on the Day 5 we’ll pack our stuff, check out of the hotel and make the scenic journey to the Western Dolomites across high passes and through picturesque valleys where the local people speak Ladin. We’ll arrive at our next base in Alpe di Siusi, a large alpine meadow covered with wooden huts and pine trees that overlooks the almost vertical peaks of Sassalungo and Sassopiato.
The plain itself feels almost like it comes from a picture book with the wooden huts scattered across the rolling hills beneath the two jagged peaks. At this time of year the plain is covered in flowers, and if we’re lucky we may get a layer of mist in the morning which makes for wonderful telephoto abstracts of the huts and trees. The location works wonderfully at both sunrise and sunset, and there are so many different possible compositions, so we’ll ensure we have plenty of time exploring this incredible area.
While we stay here we’ll also head over to nearby Val di Funes where we can photograph the beautiful chapels of San Giovanni and Santa Maddalena in beautiful green fields beneath the peaks of the Odle/Geisler massif. We’ll also make a detour to photograph the pretty church at San Valentino beneath the imposing cliff wall of Sciliar.
Our stay here will be in a 4 star hotel located on the Alpe di Siusi, and we’ll eat most of our dinners at the hotel, which serves really spectacular food. Again, during our time here we’ll have post processing session looking at how we can get the best out of the images we’ve captured on the trip so far.
In the afternoon we’ll head out for our second session of the day, shooting through to the sunset before returning to our favourite restaurant for dinner and a chance to try something else from their menu.
The following day we’ll head out again for sunrise, before having breakfast at the hotel and checking out. We’ll spend the rest of the morning driving through some stunning landscapes on the south coast of Iceland, passing the fingers of the glacier and certainly stopping along the way for lunch and to take images as we enter the Skaftafell national park beneath the mighty Vatnajökull glacier.
DAY 8 & 9 - MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO
As in our previous two bases 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:
Cascate di Vallesinella
Cascate di Saent
Laghi di Cornisello
After a final sunrise shoot in Alpe di Siusi we’ll pack up, check out and head further west to our third base just outside Madonna di Campligio. From here we’ll have access to some of the Dolomites most beautiful waterfalls, which at this time of year are full of water from the melting snow on the high peaks, making it a great time to photograph them. Cascate di Vallesinella is beautifully located surrounded by trees, where the wide waterfall cascades down the rocks in three steps. We capture Cascate di Saent from the ravine through which it thunders between rocks and below a wooden bridge, and where we can capture dynamic wide angel composition with the high waterfall in the background and the water rushing around rocks in the foreground.
Also nearby are some high alpine lakes, like Lago Nero, which looks out across the valley at the Brenta group of peaks as they catch the last light of the day, and Laghi di Cornisello, which faces Cima Cornisello for sunrise. It’s a 30 minute walk uphill to these locations so we’ll make sure we set out in plenty of time to explore the area when we get there.
Our accommodation for the two nights here is located beautifully in the Brenta Dolomites peaks and surrounded by trees, a restful place to to unwind as we get towards the end of the trip. We’ll have our final post processing session here, as well as a critique session where we look at people’s best images from the trip.
DAY 10 - RETURN TO VENICE AIRPORT
8h We’ll have breakfast first thing then 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. Spring in the Dolomites is a wonderful time of year. The valleys are full of wildflowers with lush green grass, the waterfalls are full of water from the recently melted snow on the peaks, and the peaks themselves can sometimes still snow on them. In the high places like the Tre Cime we’ll still patches of snow, and as we’re right at the very beginning of the season the trails are still relatively quiet.
We also spend time during the workshop focusing on post processing. Again, adaptability is key here. 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. Not only this but you’ll also have access via a webpage to all the post processing screen recordings we’ve done from our other workshops, which we believe gives participants the ability to continue to apply the techniques we discussed long after the workshop has finished.
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
Photographing waterfalls and moving water
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
- Deciding which direction to take post processing according to the mood of an image
Using Lightroom to apply contrast
Using local adjustments to shape and sculpt the light
Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
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 HIKING & FITNESS
Throughout the photography workshop we’ll be travelling in two 4×4 SUVs equipped with snow tyres that will allow us to be comfortable on Iceland’s roads. With our small groups size it ensures that there’ll be a maximum of three passengers per vehicle which gives everyone ample space.
However in this workshop we really wanted to spend some time visiting places that are well off the beaten track and head into the Highlands. The landscapes here are quite simply breath-taking and unlike anything you can see almost anywhere in the world. There’s a feeling of genuinely being out in a wild and remote landscape, far away from civilisation and we’ll see very few other people while we’re here. Getting here however requires a specialised vehicle and driver, so we work with a local guide and a converted 4X4 Super Jeep which allows us to travel over deep snow and access areas like Landmannalaugar, Haifoss and Hekla. Driving this kind of terrain is incredibly specialised and our driver Eddi, has years of experience driving across glaciers and snowfields in Iceland. The vehicle has 7 passenger seats and will comfortably get us to some of the most incredible landscapes in the country.
WHAT TO BRING
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.
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.
Andrea 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.
Andy 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.
We partner with F Stop Gear backpacks and Capture One Pro software, leaders in their respective fields and can offer the discounts on their products for any of our workshop participants.
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PLEDGE
We aim to make our workshops as close to carbon neutral as possible and partner with Sustainable Travel International to ensure that our carbon footprint is offset and our environmental impact is reduced. Sustainable Travel International works with local communities, governments and businesses, and invests in projects which aim to conserve ecosystems, reduce tourism’s carbon footprint and lesson the amount of waste and pollution from tourism.
We also believe in working with local suppliers as much as possible so the costs of our workshops go towards supporting the local economies, and we also practice a “leave no trace” policy to ensure that the beautiful landscape and natural environments that we spend time in are left exactly as we find them.
To register for the Iceland in Winter photography workshop we require a €1500 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information, or for any other questions you have about the workshop.