Western Alps Photography Workshops
Italian wilderness in the alpine National Parks
The part of the Western Alps that lies within the territory of Piedmont features some of the best mountain landscapes in Europe, with majestic peaks, forests and woods, streams and waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and high altitude prairies. More over, there are two vast wild areas here, the Gran Paradiso National Park - the oldest and largest protected area of Italy - and the Maritime Alps Nature Park. Both can offer a fulfilling outdoor experience: wonderful pristine natural sceneries, unexpected encounters with wildlife species, enchanted forests of conifers, endless extensions of prairies dotted with wildflowers. In short, a paradise for every landscape photographer.
Gran Paradiso National Park
The Piedmontese portion of the Gran Paradiso National Park (Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso) with the high altitude pass of Colle del Nivolet (2613 mts. asl), the nearby plateaus and prairies, and the lakes area with dozens of wonderful glacial lakes.
Maritime Alps Nature Park
It is the largest park in Piedmont and one of the largest in Italy. Several summits over 3,000 m high, lakes, grasslands, small glaciers, the abundance of Alpine fauna (chamois, ibexes, wolves, red foxes, marmots) and of botanical species give birth to a unique environmental heritage. Twinned with the French Mercantour National Park since 1987, it preserves an alpine area of 100,000 hectares.
Sacra di San Michele
The Sacra di San Michele, sometimes known as Saint Michael's Abbey, a 10th-12th century religious complex situated on the south side of the Susa Valley overlooking the small town of Avigliana and Chiusa di San Michele.
A small, narrow valley in the Cottian Alps at the border between Italy and France. It's certainly one of the best alpine environment I know. Its incredibly rich and varied vegetation that includes most of the species you can find elsewhere in the whole Alps range, such as larches, maples, aspens, scots and swiss stone pines among many others, makes the valley the ideal location for some serious fall colours photography.
A small valley in the Western Alps in Piedmont, Italy, 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 like as it was taken out from the Lord of the Rings novel.
Po River sources
Pian della Regina and Pian del Re, two high altitude plateaus at the feet of the imposing 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.
Lakes of Avigliana
the Avigliana Lakes Nature Reserve, (Riserva Naturale dei Laghi di Avigliana) a small protected area at the feet of the mountains, with two beatiful lakes and many avian species such as mallards, swans and coots.
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Check my photo portfolio online for hundreds of images from this and other areas of Italy Click the image below.
Example of a typical
day in the field
Sunrise and early morning
We will wake up 40 minutes before dawn and drive to the Avigliana Lakes Natural Reserve, where we will shoot sunrise at the smaller of the two lakes.
We will scout this area for about 1 hour photographing intimate scenes such as leaves in the water and we will also try to photograph the wild ducks (mallards) and coots that live at the lake.
rest of the morning
with a 20 minutes transfer by car we will reach the top of Mount Pirchiriano, where the Sacra di San Michele Abbey lies.
We will spend the rest of the morning photographing this wonderful medieval complex from many spots along the Sentiero dei Franchi, an ancient trail that dates back to the early centuries of the Middle Age and which once was the main road to France.
We will also look for small, intimate scenes such as leaves in the wood floor.
We will grab a quick lunch at some bar in the Susa Valley and then we will drive all the way up to Bardonecchia and the entrance of Valle Stretta.
We will scout the valley photographing its prairies and woods, the huge vertical rock walls of Parete dei Militi, and its incredibly rich and varied vegetation We will create all sort of imagery during the afternoon, from macro and close ups up to scenic vistas and panoramas.
We will also scout the area looking for small subject suitable for beautiful close ups, and we will photograph the amazing jagged peaks of Mount Thabor/Grand Seru massif bathed in the warm light of sunset. We will keep shooting for about 30-45 minutes after sunset.
We will get back to the B&B at around 11:30/12:00 pm. We'll have dinner at some restaurant along the road
Why should I take an Italy Photography Workshop with Paolo De Faveri?Simple: because you will learn how to take better photographs. Consider a Paolo De Faveri's Photography Workshop as an invaluable add-on to your gear: a tool that will teach you how to take wonderful photos wherever you go. We make the art and technique of photography simple to understand by breaking it down into easy pieces of information that you will find useful to apply every time you will be in the field.
What will I learn?Well, a whole lot, you can be sure. Paolo De Faveri's workshops are designed to help take your creativity to a new level. Through a combination of both in-the-field image sessions and class/lecture sessions on many different topics both technical and artistic, I want to get you to start thinking differently as an artist and spark your artistic vision. key features always include: - master the basics of landscape photography - learn how to compose effectively no matter of the subject, from macro to grand vistas - learn how to photograph with challenging lighting, such as at sunrise and sunset - learn about when and how to use filters - explore advanced photography techniques such as long exposures in broad daylight and image stitching for panoramic compositions Check the lessons section in this website for an exhaustive list of topics usually covered in my in-the-field and classroom sessions.
What happens on an Italy Photography Workshop with Paolo De Faveri?All of my workshops start with a brief Introduction, a presentation of the daily schedule and the technical and artistic goals of each day, followed by questions and answer session for getting to know each other, assessing the level of knowledge of the group, each person's goals and expectations. On average we will spend from 8 to 10 hours a day in the field, every day in a different location, having big fun in chasing the best possible light and scouting the area looking for images that capture the innermost beauty of the amazing world around us. My tours are a mix of adventure and teaching, and they are not intended as only formal teaching and instructions They are more about wandering in some of the best natural or urban environments I know and getting fully immersed in photography. A "learn by doing" kind of education, as I answer questions and solve problems as they arises, completed by a debriefing in the evening when we will thoroughly review and critique together the work done in the day, and we will analyze in details basic and advanced techniques of image processing.
What will I learn in the classroom/webinars?Check the lessons section in this website for an exhaustive list of topics usually covered in my classroom sessions and webinars.
Does the instructor shoot over the workshop?Yes, I will be shooting during the tour/workshop, but in a limited capacity as participants needs come first of course. I often take pictures right along with the students inspiring them to learn to see an image the way I do. Much of my shooting over the workshop is meant as direct field demonstrations aimed to improve student's creative vision and technique.
How advanced do I need to be?Anyone, no matter of how advanced he/she is, will find my workshops to be a great learning experience. The majority of my students are usually somewhere between intermediate to advanced amateur up to semi-pro and pro, but many beginners attend too. You should in anycase be at least familiar with your equipment and its operation. Always bring your camera manual for quick reference in the field.
What kind and how much equipment should I bring?The essential photo gear you should have with you is listed here below. This gear is highly recommended for taking full advantage of the instructions you will receive in my workshops. - tripod - dslr camera - a good quality zoom lens covering a focal range length of at least 28 to 100 mm - enough storage cards for at least 16 GB - extra camera batteries - camera bag or backpack - camera user's manual
Will weather ever force us to change the workshop's schedule?Bad weather always provide unusual and harsh conditions that contribute unique drama and mood to our images. So the answer is no, normally. We only stop shooting and/or move elsewhere if an element of danger arises.
Is transportation included?Usually yes, it's included, unless when stated differently in the workshop description. For group tours we will use vans/small buses for our daily transfers from the hotel to the shooting locations and back. For private/small groups workshops I will drive my own car. Of course, you have to arrive on your own to the hotel/lodging.
How should I dress?I recommend to come prepared for anything and bring an extra layer of warm clothes with you. Here is a list of clothes/accessories you should always dress/have with you when shooting outdoor: - trekking shoes if you shoot in a natural environment; a pair of very comfortable - and possibly water-proof shoes - if you shoot in a urban context - wind/rain proof jacket - pile pullovers - gloves - headdress - head lamp and batteries
How do I register for a workshop?Simply use the pre-registration form available in the pages describing each workshop and compile every field of it, letting me know about the workshop of your choice, the number of participants, the desired dates and duration, etc. I will be back to you right away for confirming the availability and with the instruction for booking. To validate your reservation, you will be asked to pay the 35% of the workshop price as a deposit.
What is your cancellation policy?All my workshops are subject to the following Cancellation Policy: - If you cancel within 30 days before the workshop start, you will be refunded the deposit minus 100,00 € as administrative fee. - No refund will be issued for cancellations received with 30 days or less remaining before the workshop starting date. Please note that there is no exception to this policy. For this reason it is strongly recommended to purchase refundable plane/train tickets only and endow yourself with a trip cancellation insurance. All cancellation request must be in writing.
Details and Requirements - Key FeaturesNumber of students per workshop: minimum 1, maximum 3 students Duration: minimum 3, maximum 7 days 5 or, even better, 6 days is the recommended length, as it is indeed the ideal timeframe for putting together a very effective itinerary, there are long distances to cover as the Ardeche is quite a big region Workshops Availability From March thru November Difficulty Easy. Most of the shooting locations are directly accessible by car. A few of them require short hikings of no more than 1.5 kms one way, on easy trails with moderate elevation gain. The trail along the Ardeche River Gorges is not difficult but long and demanding in terms of stamina required. It can be added as an option, just ask What's included - full time in-the-field tutoring and instructions - at least one image processing class (min. 2 hours) per workshop - all transportation during the workshop will be provided with a rented car/van. included in the price What's not included - Travel costs for reaching the accommodation, hotels/B&B rates, meals and beverages are not included in the cost of admission unless specified. - Excursion boats - Entrance tickets to archelogical sites. museums, etc. - Lodging costs of the instructor Insurance All participants must be in possession of a valid Health and Accident Insurance with repatriation cover.
About your Photography Instructor
Ciao! My name is Paolo.
I have been a full-time professional landscape, nature, travel and architecture photographer since 2007. Since then, I have planned and led hundreds of private one-to-one and small groups photo workshops and tours in some of the best looking regions and cities of Italy and France.
My pictures have appeared in calendars, books, travel magazines, brochures and as wall art in offices, hotels, restaurants and corporate venues. For more info please click here