Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso
Small Group Landscape Photography Tour
Mountains have always inspired awe and a sense of majesty in mankind.
The Western Alps features some of the best mountain landscapes in Europe. The tallest and most famous "rocky giants" of the whole Alps range such as Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso and Monte Rosa are all standing here in the northwestern corner of Italy, in a range of just a few miles. Join me in this small group, all inclusive workshop and get ready to be immersed in a true landscape photographer's paradise made of majestic peaks, forests and woods, streams and waterfalls, glaciers and lakes.
- Seven Days Landscape Photography Workshop with Paolo De Faveri -
The Rocky Giants of the Western Alps, Italy
July 21st-27th, 2019
• Full time in the field guidance and instructions from a professional landscape and travel photographer with more than ten years of experience in international photography tours and workshops.
• An all-Inclusive treatment: hotel rooms and all meals are included in the price.
• A small group size ensuring the necessary tutor’s attention for each guest;
• Cable-car's excursions atop the Mont Blanc
• Public transportation granted for the length of the tour, for your best comfort and maximum flexibility
• A balanced itinerary where you will photograph stunning landscapes in untouched areas, visit beautiful towns built in the typical alpine style, and have a chance to taste the exquisite local cuisine and wines;
• At least one image processing session, where we will analyze in details basic and advanced techniques of post-processing
• Inspiration, fun and a great time!
Need to Know
Western Alps, Italy
July 21st - 27th, 2019
Double Occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
3'250 EUR double room, 300 EUR single room supplement
Medium, a few hikes with moderate elevation gain
Required: DSLR or mirrorless camera, 28-120 mm zoom lens, tripod
Open to any photographer interested in landscape and travel photography, whether a beginner or a pro
Limited to maximum 6 guests
• In the field full time tutoring and instructions
• 6 overnights in hotel, with continental breakfast included. Double room occupancy, single available with a supplement.
• All meals and soft drinks for 6 days (lunch and dinner)
• 7 days transportation with mini-van
• at least 1 image processing session (a laptop with photo processing software is required)
What's Not Included
• international air travel tickets
• cancellation and travel insurance
• Venice local tourists tax (approx 4,50 EUR/night pax)
• tickets to cable cars
• Everything not specifically listed as included
A deposit of 35% of the total amount will be required to hold your space in this workshop. The balance will be due not later than 4 weeks before the start of the tour. You will be provided by email with instructions on how to make the payments.
This workshop is strictly limited to 6 guests, so don't delay. If you've been thinking about a photo workshop in the Dolomites then click the button below, fill the form with all the information required and any other information you wish to communicate. You will be contacted back right away with the instructions on how to pay the deposit and make a reservation.
Day 1, July 21st, 2019 - Pick up at the airport, transfer to Aosta Valley
Plan your flight in order to arrive to Turin, Italy (TRN) not later than 2:00pm.
Day 2, July 22nd, 2019 - Lakes, streams and glaciers at the feet of the Mont Blanc
Morning: we will leave the hotel after breakfast and we will drive for about 30 minutes to reach the top of the Aosta Valley and then Val Veny. Val Veny is a lateral valley of the Monte Bianco massif. The valley head is at Col de la Seigne. The Valley was formed by two glaciers: the Miage Glacier and the Brenva Glacier and is divided into into three parts:
· the part at the top that lies parallel to the Mont Blanc massif, between the Col de la Seigne (2,512m) and part of the Miage Glacier
· the part called Plan Vény
· the mouth of the valley, dominated by the Mont Blanc and the lower Brenva Glacier (1,444m)
This place is just another paradise in the heart of the Italian Alps, featuring literally everything that a nature/landscape photographer could wish for in a single shooting session: prairies, wildflowers, roaring rapids, small creeks and watefalls, swamps, lakes and the Miage glacier, which is the largest glacier in Italy. And of course all is topped off by some of the most beautiful peaks of the whole Alps range such as Pyramides Calcaires, Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey, Les Dames Anglais, all being part of the Mont blanc massif.
We will follow the track that from the mouth of the Valley climbs up to Plan Veny and the Lake Combal, running along the course of the Dora river and will photograph grand vistas as well as intimate views for the whole day.
We will be back at our hotel at around 10 pm, we will have dinner on our way there from Val Veny.
Day 3, July 23rd, 2019 - Lake Arpy, Monte Bianco Skyway, Rutor Waterfalls
Sunrise and early morning: wake up about 2 hours before dawn and with a 45 minutes walk on a very easy trail we will get to Lake Arpy.
Late morning: At around 10 am we will get back to the car and with a 30 minutes transfer we will get to Courmayeur and from there, with the cable car Monte Bianco Skyway in 15 minutes we will reach Punta Helbronner, a peak at 3466 mts of altitude (approx 11500 ft), from where we will enjoy an astounding 360° view on the peaks and glaciers of the whole Monte Bianco massif. We will spend a few hours in this location and we will also have lunch at the restaurant of the cable car station.
Sunset: At the powerful waterfalls of the Rutor glacier. This mighty stream originates from a glacier lying atop a 3000+ mts peak know Testa del Rutor, part of the massif of the Monte Bianco. It's a wonderful mix of high falls (30+ meters each) and narrow gorges, encircled by pine trees and larches. We will spend the rest of the day in this beautiful area rich with energy.
Day 4, July 24th, 2019 - Matterhorn, Fenis Castle
Sunrise: wake up about two hours before dawn and with a transfer by car of about 1 hour we will reach the first location of the day, the Lake Blue in Valtournenche, from where we will photograph at sunrise the majestic pyramid of the Cervino (Matterhorn outside Italy) reflected in the waters of this small lake. We will then keep shooting at this location for another hour or so, and then we will get back to the hotel for having breakfast.
Morning: right after breakfast we will have a long image processing session at the hotel.
Late afternoon: at around 4pm, we will leave Aosta and in 20 minutes we will get to one of the best conserved medieval castle in the world, the amazing castle of Fenis. We will spend the rest of the day visiting the castle and taking many pictures in and around it, and will wait there for sunset.
Day 5, July 25th, 2019 - Gran Paradiso National Park
Morning: We will have breakfast at around 8:30 am at the b&b and then, after checkink out, with about two hours driving we will reach the Orco Valley in the Gran Paradiso National Park.
The Gran Paradiso National Park is the largest wild area of Italy. This park is located in the Western Alps around the border between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, and it is truly a playground for wildlife photographers. Many species live there, such as chamoises, ibexes, marmots, eagles, hawks, foxes and, recently re-introduced, grey wolves and bearded vultures.
The first location we will visit in the park is the top of Val Piantonetto, a steep short and narrow side-valley of the Orco Valley and the Lake Teleccio, a wonderful small lake at the feet of some of the most beautiful, jagged peaks of the Gran Paradiso range.
Afternoon:, at around 2 pm we will be back to the car and head to our hotel in Ceresole Reale, a small village in the heart of the National Park. After checking in at the hotel, we will head to the Nivolet pass, a gorgeous plateau in the heart of the park. We will spend the rest of the day shooting panoramic views as well as close ups in this wonderful plateau. With a bit of luck, we will have a chance of photographing some of the wild species living there.
Night: if the sky is clear, as it often is in summer, we will have a chance of photog
Day 6, July 26th, 2019 - Gran Paradiso National Park, Valchiusella, Monviso
Sunrise and early morning: we will wake up about 2 hours before sunrise and from the Rifugio Savoia we will reach another amazing plateau situated just above the Nivolet pass, with prairies and many lakes. At Lake Rosset we will photograph the Gran Paradiso range in the mist at sunrise and the beautiful reflections in the waters of the lakes. We will stay at the lakes for a couple of hours then we will head back to the Rifugio where we will have breakfast.
Morning: at approximately 11am we will leave to Valchiusella, and we will have a quick lunch along the road. Valchiusella is an enchanted place where time seems to have stopped. Its old villages, cobblestones trails and bridges, and the many, incredibly beautiful waterfalls and streams make this place look as if it was taken out right from the Lord of the Rings novel.
We will create all sort of imagery during the day from close ups to scenic vistas, but with the main focus on the many streams and waterfalls of this area. We will also focus on creating beautiful panoramic views with flowing waters as subject, learning how to combine different techniques (such as pano sequences and long exposures) to create images of great impact and higher artistic content.
Afternoon: At around 4 pm we will leave this area and head by car to the top of the Po valley, to reach Pian della Regina, Pian del Re and the sources of the Po River, the longest and largest Italian river.There are two amazing high plains at the feet of the majestic pyramid of the Monviso, one of the best-looking mountains of the whole Alps range. This area has loads of wildflowers and wildlife, and it is where the Po, the longest river of Italy, has its sources.
Night: If the weather is favourable, we will stay at Pian Regina for a milky way shooting session, with the Monviso in the foreground. In this case, we will have dinner at the Rifugio Regina again. We will be back to the b&b at around 1am.
Day 7, July 27th, 2019 - Sunrise at Lake Fiorenza, transfer to Torino Airport
Sunrise: wake up about 1h30' before sunrise, we will take the trail up to Lake Fiorenza, a beautiful small lake lying right at the feet of the Monviso. We will reach the lake in about 30 minutes on an easy trail, and we will spend a couple of hours shooting in this area
Morning: After the sunrise shoot, we will get back to the hotel for breakfast
Rest of the day: After breakfast, we will leave the mountains heading to the airport of Turin, where we will arrive in about 2 hours.
• Dslr or mirrorless camera
• Enough storage cards for at least 32 GB
• A zoom lens covering at least the 28/120 mm range on a full frame sensor, the equivalent on cropped sensors
• Camera user's manual
Recommended additional/optional items
• A very sturdy tripod with panoramic head
• Wide angle to normal zoom lens, at least 24/70 mm on a full frame sensor, the equivalent on cropped sensors. Ideally one 16/35 mm and a 28/70 mm
• Long tele zoom lens - 70/200mm is enough, 300mm is recommended
• Enough storage cards for at least 64 GB
• Extra Camera batteries
• Photography backpacks come in handy to protect the equipment if it rains and to facilitate transfers from a shooting location to another
• polarizer filter
• a set of Graduated ND filters, at least a 2 and a 3 stops (it is ideal to have all the range from 1 to 4 stops)
• ND filters for long exposures, ideally one 10 stops and one 6 stop
• remote (or cable) switch
• for the image processing session, a laptop with Photoshop CS3 or newer and Lightroom 3.x or newer
Clothes and Accessories
Weather in an Alpine environment is unpredictable by definition. We can literally experience a whole set of different conditions in the same day, ranging from pristine, clear blue skies and mild temperatures down to rain/snow showers and strong and chilly cold winds. Even in summer time.
So a full set of warm clothes is recommended, including but not limited to:
- trekking shoes
- gumboots (optional, but useful in certain situations such as rivers and lakes)
- wind/rain proof jacket
- pile pullovers
- sun glasses
- Head lamps and batteries
Lake Arpy in summer, with Les Grandes Jorasses - part of the Mont Blanc range - in the background
Sunrise at Lake Rosset, with the whole range of the Gran Paradiso in the background
The Lake and Glaciers of Miage, at the base of the Mont Blanc in Val Veny, Aosta Valley, Italy
Lake Arpy in summer, with Les Grandes Jorasses - part of the Mont Blanc range - in the background
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“Paolo explained the scientific reasoning behind constructing a good image in easy to understand terms along with many tips and ideas to improve my photography. I learned much from him, including the processing lesson via skype. All in all an enjoyable, inspiring experience that I would highly recommend to other photographers.”
— Noline Skeet, Auckland, New Zealand