Tag Archives: Dolomite

The Dolomites, Italy – For The First Time…

I can’t believe it myself, but last year September has been the first time I have been to the Dolomites in northern Italy – to the probably most beautiful “mountain-scape” in the whole world. It’s only a 4-5 hours drive away from where I live and a predicted 4-days high pressure weather period and a New Moon phase was the final trigger to get moving. Arriving there late in the afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this place. I had no maps and I did not know where to go first – everything was just amazing. I stood by my car at the highest located parking lot at an elevation of 2320 m, while looking around and waiting for the sun to set, the clouds moved in and within an hour, everything was soaked in. Damn. I went to bed in my car early and was very anxious about what the next morning would bring. But as often, “don´t ask what will I get today, ask what will I be given today.” And in my case, its been one of the most beautiful mornings I have witnessed so far. Only the first five images are from the arrival from that afternoon, all the others are from the next morning and day. The Dolomites are a place of heaven nowadays, but this area has got a dark past as well. During WW I, there has been the fighting line between the Italians and the Austrians/Hungarians, filled with tunnels and emplacements and most of the soldiers on both sides died not of the fightings, but of hunger, the cold and avalanches. The Dolomites are a place with history and a fantastic area for doing outdoors – combining those things with photography – makes an extraordinary experience. Enjoy!

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Soldier cemetery  @ “Nasswand”, Toblach…

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The Rifugio Auronzo, 2320 m a.s.l. @ the world-famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo Nature Park…

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Sunset @ the Gruppo dei Cardini mountains…

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Clouds moving in @ sunset…

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Obscured Gruppo dei Cardini @ twilight…

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A starry morning feat. Venus, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Sirius and Orion (from l.-r.); the clouds above are gone, but the valley is still covered and the lights of the town of Auronzo are shining through @ nautical twilight…

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Orion above the Gruppo dei Cardini and the clouds are floating through the valley; the light to right on top of the ridge is the Rifugio G.Lorenzi, 2932 m a.s.l. within the Gruppo del Cristallo Range…

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The stars above and the town lights below and the Rifugio Auronzo begins its day…

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The lights of Auronzo –  like a space ship sailing through the void…

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Morning is coming @ the Rifugio Auronzo…

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The lights within…

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Floating clouds @ twilight…

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…at an elevation of about 2000 m…

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First light and floating clouds on the Gruppo del Cristallo…

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The so-called Venus Belt or Earth Shade visible over the Gruppo del Cristallo Range (left); this is the area where they filmed the movie “Cliffhanger” feat. Silvester Stallone in 1993…

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Man @ work…

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Exhausted, but happy after photographing through a fantastic morning…

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Can you spot the Rifugio G.Lorenzi @ 2932 m ? Somewhere to the top right…

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Take me in…

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Hiking trail feat. a lot of tunnels from WW I…

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Looking down @ the summit of Sasso di Landro, 2536 m…

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Looking towards the Drei-Zinnen-Hütte, the red dot to the upper right…

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The Drei-Zinnen-Hütte to the left…

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The so-called Blue Hour @ the Gruppo dei Cardini; the Blue Hour marks the time between civilian and nautical twilight, just before the stars become visible…

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” Feel happy and grateful for having received such wonderful gifts. Then go your way in peace.”  (Neville)

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2012 – A Year In Twelve Images

´A Year In Twelve Images` is a self-appointment which reflects in a subjective way the shots of the past year I like most. The real challenge of this deed is to narrow down all of the images and to select not more than twelve photos,  which you think of that they are ´worthy`. Having done that, you can send the list/blog post to Jim Goldstein´s blog, a professional photographer based out of San Francisco; more info here: http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2012/12/17/blog-project-best-photos-2012/ . A lot of the pros I´m ´following` since two years now are participating too in this project and it´s good to know/to see what they are up to. This is my second year as a “full-time-hobby-photographer” and I´m very grateful that I can live this life – photography fuels my soul like nothing before. With this in mind: Do what you love and love what you do! Enjoy!

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Star trails over the Dolomites @ Passo di Giau, 2300 m/7600 ft., -10°C/14°F, Italy…

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A so-called Sun Pillar showing up during sun set, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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Moving clouds and still visible stars during nautical twilight/early morning, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Sunrise and the transit of Venus, 06/06/2012, over the ridge of the Bavarian Forest, Germany…

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The Milky Way, reddish hydrogen-alpha nebulae and green airglow @ Großglockner Mt., Austria…

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Lunar occultation of Jupiter, 07/15/2012, from center to top: Venus, constellation of Taurus, Crescent Moon, Jupiter;  seen from Bologna, Italy…

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Star trails over the woods of Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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The stars and the Milky Way reflecting in a pristine mountain lake, South Tyrol, Italy…

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The stars and Venus are shining bright over the Dolomites early morning, while the city lights of Auronzo lying under a blanket of high clouds, Italy…

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A view of the Milky Way, with the constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus and its reddish hydrogen-alpha nebulae, on a clear September night, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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The setting crescent Moon, accompanied by Mars (next to Moon) and Antares, over the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, Russia…

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Twilight at the end of the day @ Passo di Giau, the Dolomites, Italy…

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Always Good Light, Cheers!!!

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Passo Giau – The Dolomites, Italy

If you like driving, sightseeing, spectacular vistas and of course photography, Passo Giau would be one of your best bets while driving along the Dolomites. The pass is open year-around, but can be closed temporarily due to heavy snow fall. At this time of year, the conditions were perfect; some inches of snow at the top, the roads open and dry, New Moon phase, and some fantastic high-pressure-weather since the last couple of days, and best of all – almost no other people around. Who is stupid enough anyway to camp in the car/van at this time of the year?! From the parking area of the pass at 2236 m, I hauled all my gear up to a little ridge where I got a 360° view, with the photogenic mountain ridges of the Dolomites, the setting crescent Moon (which provided a little ambient light), and a great view towards the mundane city of Cortina d´Ampezzo, the famous italian winter ski place. After the sun set, the temperature dropped down to some minus 5°C, and with the upcoming wind from the west, which brought a weather change and some cirrus clouds, it felt like minus 10°C. I´ve been up there at 3:30 pm, got down in between to grab some food, went back and stayed up there till 12:30 am. After I had finished all the photographing I wanted to do, I packed my gear and was laying on my iso-mat, ready for the constellation of Leo to come up from the horizon and to watch the maximum of the Leonid meteor shower. Yes, I know, I´m some kind of different –  I felt to sleep while looking at the stars, and after one or two hours, can´t tell, I woke up and the whole firmament was covered with cirrus clouds. So I took my stuff, descended down to my Mercedes Sprinter, wrapped up the sleeping bag up to my nose and thanked God for another stellar night! Click to enlarge the images if you like! Enjoy!

Ra Gusela Mt., 2595 m (right), and Nuvolau Mt., 2574 m, with the Rifugio Nuvolau, 2575 m, to the left, at sunset…

Sun, snow and great vistas – what better….

The setting crescent Moon during twilight over the snow-covered Dolomites…

View from “my” ridge at the beginning of nautical twilight towards Ra Gusela Mt. and the pass road…

The Dolomites and the stars over Passo Giau; the Big Dipper is visible just left of Ra Gusela Mt….

5367 sec./90 min. single exposure star trails over Ra Gusela Mt….

After taking the photograph, processing can become a real pain in the digital darkroom – before….

…and after processing; composite image, 60 x 3 min…

The Milky Way to the left, Orion, Hyades, Pleiades to the right, and Jupiter in the middle…

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowline, sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails and travel !”

(Mark Twain)

The Dolomites And The Stars

The Dolomites are – in my opinion – one of the top ten destinations everyone/every photographer should have seen once in his lifetime. I can´t explain why I haven´t been there earlier – it´s just a 6 hours drive away from where I live. First time arriving at the Tre Cime parking area, I have been blown away by the pure grandeur of these mountains. Ever experienced that feeling by arriving at a new location and you want to see all and everything at once, not missing anything? Like where is the best spot for watching the sunset in two hours, in which direction will the MilkyWay show up, the best hiking trail for the next morning…. The adrenalin rushes through your body and you are overwhelmed by the new expressions – because you don´t want to miss a thing. That is what happens with me mostly and I guess that´s the same with you guys out there. But I´ve experienced  a good way to work with that kind of situation: “Don´t ask: What will I get today? Ask: What will I be given today?” This quote has been stated by the great American photographer Minor White, and this sums up everything: “Expect nothing and you will be given.” Just stay at your spot and wait for the things to come; if something is meant to be seen by you, it will show up! I experience those situations more and more and here is one story about this image here: Sunday has been sunny and calm as I made my way from the Austrian Alps over the border to Italy. Arriving at the Tre Cime parking are at 2350 m, its been a fantastic day – so far. But shortly one hour after sunset, the whole area was covered with fog and one couldn´t see what´s in front for the next 10 m. But the next morning, the fog was gone and there was a extend low stratos lying between the valley ground and the parking lot. Couldn´t have been better; I couldn´t even have wished for something like that, though I have wanted to photograph such a situation for a long time. And the best: I was the only one around! That´s been the start for an awesome 3-day-trip around the Tre Cime area. Enjoy!

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The stars and the Dolomites above, while the city of Auronzo is covered by fog….

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Constellations …

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…and names added properly…

A morning to remember!

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