Back in February, I took my first trip to the Dolomites to carry out a “recce” on locations throughout the mountains of north Italy to create a “Photography Holiday”, it was an amazing trip but was also a cold one with most of the lakes iced over, so I had to go back and see it in warmer weather, woohoo!
So part two was scheduled for the Autumn with “hope” for wonderful colours and lakes that weren’t frozen. The images taken on the first trip were very special and the scenery spectacular which prompted interest from people in my photography groups for my “part two recce” so I had 4 others for company.
Landing at Venice airport, vehicle sorted we headed for our base in the same location as the February trip and that was useful for me from the familiarity angle. After a bite to eat we settled into the digs and grabbed the cameras and headed to the local lake for sunset just to get our heads in the right space. Water levels were incredibly low but even that was interesting with the layers around the lake and the cracked mud in view; a sight we wouldn’t normally see. That’s the great thing about photography – you never know what you’re going to get.
The list of locations to explore was plentiful and the weather was fabulous with sunshine and wonderful autumnal colours to compliment the incredible light. Sunrises were optional for the group, some did and some didn’t, this was also the case for one of the destinations we visited that had quite tough terrain and a decent hike that was a reasonable challenge (there are a couple of videos on my Facebook page showing the route we took).
The majority of the trip was very easy with little to no serious walking to capture some amazing images which I did mention to the group on our journey from the airport. I told them “my first take on The Dolomites is that there is a WOW around every bend and every turn you will not go short of epic views. So when you see something you want to stop for just shout & I’ll do my best to stop”. This shout became the call of “Armadillo” which brought a lot of fun and laughter to proceedings and it quickly became the most used word daily! It was even suggested by one of the group that the future trips to The Dolomites should be called “Land of the Armadillo”.
As a seasoned landscape photographer, the advice I give on all my trips is about the importance of being on location and ready for sunrise very early. One particular morning when we were all out together, this was never more proven to be right with us being joined by approximately 20-30 other photographers clambering for spots that quite frankly didn’t exist, so I am glad the group was already in place to avoid the melee.
I did a cable car trip in February at Alleghe which was a first for me and was awesome so on this trip we decided to try a different location with quite extraordinary views that really did take your breath away….the altitude had a hand with this too. We looked out for I have no idea how many miles to see mountains after mountains the scale of which is impossible to describe, seeing really is believing!
I had no preconceived idea the impact the lakes would have on our photography so when we were gifted with incredible weather and wonderfully calm days that gave us mirror like reflections, I truly felt like we were in photographic heaven, creating images that I am sure we will all treasure forever.
No matter how many times I visit The Dolomites over the coming years, and it will be a lot, I genuinely believe I will never stop discovering fantastic places to photograph and that even the locations I do revisit regularly it will always be “epic”.
To Debbie, Jan, Kecia and Diana I thank you for being such great company, enormous fun, it was “Epically Armadillo” and a truly memorable trip, I hope we get to share other adventures & trips in the future.