Tag Archives: Italy

Stilfser Joch, Umbrail Pass and Gavia Pass – Daytime Impressions

Being back home from a tour, I´m mostly searching through the nighttime images I took back then and process them. Which doesn´t mean I leave out the daytime images – they just come later. Over the time I have learned to take the advantage of a shot when it arises, no matter what, even I don´t arrive at my designated destination in time. So here are some daytime impressions from my recent trip to South Tyrol, Switzerland and Italy! Enjoy!

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Watering of the fertile grounds of Vinschgau valley, South Tyrol…

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Vinschgau valley, South Tyrol…

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Road to Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Going downhill, Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Lago Scale, Italy…

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Passo Tonale, Italy…

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Umbrail Pass, Switzerland…

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Road sign, Italian style, Stilfser Joch, Italy…

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Torri di Fraele, Italy…

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Gavia Pass, Italy…

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Lago di Cancano, Italy…

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Chasing Comet Neowise, July 18th-21st

I got two days off from work so I packed my stuff and went to South Tyrol, Switzerland and Italy on Saturday, to travel to some high alpine passes I always wanted to see but haven´t been able to in the past. Stilfser Joch, Umbrail Pass and Gavia Pass were the chosen ones, all of them ranking between 2500 – 2800 m. The first night was a blast; the sky cleared up and comet Neowise was easily visible to the northwest, while the Milkyway was towering in the south. Around 4:00 am, the last crescent Moon before New Moon rose to the east, with Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter wandering along the ecliptic. The impressions of those nights are almost not bearable, and since I´m traveling on my own, there is no one to talk to about feelings and emotions. Very intense nights. From crystal clear skies to sheet lightning, I got it all, not to forget the stunning scenery during day time. So here are just my favorite comet images from those three nights and hopefully I will be able to process/stack a set of single frames of Neowise from the first night. Enjoy!

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The sky cleared up on the first night, Stilfser Joch, 2757m, South Tyrol…

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Comet gazing…

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Colorful comet Neowise…

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What a beauty, 81 sec., 200 mm, Polarie…

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Neowise to the left, Venus, Hyades and Pleiades to the right…

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Fading away during nautical twilight…

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Lots of airglow around on the second night, Umbrail Pass, 2501 m, Switzerland…

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Neowise hiding behing 3000 m mountains, just showing its tail, surrounded by airglow, Gavia Pass, 2621 m, Italy…

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but finally showed up during nautical twilight, making one last impression…

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Road Trip To Italy and Switzerland

Some impressions from my latest road trip to Italy and Switzerland, late February 2019. Lots of snow around, but uncommonly warm at this time of the year…Enjoy!

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Setting Moon over the Lechtaler Alpen, Tyrol, Austria…

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Anti-tank obstacles from WW2, covered in 1.5 m of snow, Plamort, South Tyrol, Italy…

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Eerie looking halo covering the half Moon, early morning @ Ofen Pass, Switzerland…

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Lenticular clouds at sunset over Bernina Pass, Switzerland…

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Pre-dawn with the rising crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter, Bernina Pass, Switzerland…

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Magical light @ Bernina Pass, Switzerland…

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Railroad through the city of Tirano, Italy…

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Paintings at a public well, Tirano, Italy…

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Somewhere around Lago di Como, Italy…

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Simplon Adler (Monument), Simplon Pass, Switzerland…

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Stargazing @ Simplon Pass, Switzerland…notice the bright light to the right…

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…the so-called Zodiac Light, pointing towards the Pleiades and engulfing Mars and Uranus…

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Lots of high-alpine roads in Switzerland are closed during winter times…

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Along the Simplon Pass route…

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Ganter bridge and Bortelhorn (center), 3193 m, Switzerland…

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Second night @ Simplon Pass, with Orion straight ahead…

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Pre-dawn @ Simplon Pass, Switzerland…

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Winter´s magic @ Simplon Pass, Switzerland

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Verbania @ Lago Maggiore, Italy, with the snow-capped suisse Alps in the distance, where I just got down from…

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Lago Maggiore, seen from Villa Giulia, Verbania, Italy…

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My Favorite Images Of 2018

Though I have been to a lot of countries in 2018, some of my favorite shots happened just around the corner of my home turf (Lower Bavaria, Germany). Narrowing down some +10k images into a set of 12 takes some time, but showing them off in a community with like-minded photographers is more than rewarding. If you want to be a part of it too, head over to: https://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2018/12/16/blog-project-photos-2018/ and say Hi to Jim Goldstein, who is putting up this project every year. Enjoy!

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Solitude @ Ofenpass, Suisse Alps, Switzerland…

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Mercury (bottom) and Venus (center left) being watched, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Good Friday´s Full Moon rising, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Along the Isar River, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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Pano of 26 single shots taken with a 8″ Meade telescope and a 24mm Hyperion eyepiece, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Total eclipse of the Moon, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Stargazing with my teenage daughter at my brothers farmland, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Colle del Nivolet, 2612 m, Italy…

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Pano of 20 single images, Little St Bernard Pass, 2188 m, looking towards France…

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On top of Mont Chaberton, 3131 m, France…

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Crescent Moon and the hopfields of the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Camp under the stars with my grown-up sons, Theth National Park, Albania…

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Mont Chaberton

Is there a more weirder thing than a fort on top of a 3130 m high mountain? While coming across images of Mont Chaberton late 2017, the destination for my next trip was set for the French Alps in August 2018. After a week of touring, I arrived in Fenils/I on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The weather forecast looked promising, so I packed my 20 kg backpack and hit the track around 06:00 pm, to avoid the hot afternoon sun. My plan was to arrive late at night on top of Mont Chaberton, to photograph the stars and the Milkyway and of course to spend the night up there. Around 10:00 pm, the weather started to change; clouds moved in, thunder and lightning followed. The benefit of traveling on your own: you don´t have to ask anyone where or when to go, what to do or what not to do. The downfall: you can´t ask someone for advice in a situation like this while being completely on your own. When the rain started at Clot des Morts at 2457 m, after four hours of hiking, I was still confident that the storm would pass as quickly as it came. The thunder was far away, some 25 seconds counting, and heading back was no option. But the further I went on, the rain got heavier and the thundering intervals shortened. So what to do?! Though this situation brought me to my limits, mentally speaking, I closed my eyes, and I decided: whatever would come to my mind first, I will do. And of course, some praying will help to. My intuition was to further go up and to find a spot to get shelter from the storm. Around 11:00 pm, I arrived at Col du Chaberton, 2650 m, the pass underneath Mont Chaberton. As I looked the way back, I saw clouds moving in up from the valley floor, dropping the sight down to zero within minutes. I thought everything is lost now. Luckily the clouds moved away as quickly as they came in and the same moment I spotted the ruins at Col du Chaberton, probably the remains of the former barracks of the fort. What a relief, just in time. I found a small shelter where I could change my cloth and meanwhile the thunder counting dropped down to three seconds. The place has been too small to lay down and sleep, so I had to wait another hour, around 12:00 pm, till the storm dispersed and I could put up my mat and sleeping bag on a flat spot around the ruins. At 04:00 am I got up to hit the last batch of the Mont Chaberton trail, just in time to witness the sunrise with its magical light. A night to remember for sure. Enjoy!

PS: I met some french fellows up there in the morning. One of the guys goes by the name of Ce Dric. I´m sorry, but I couldn´t find you on social media. If you ever come across this post, please drop me a note. Cheers!

View from Col Lauson, 2497 m, towards Mont Chaberton…

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On track, late evening…

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Looking back at sunset with the clouds coming in…

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Shelter from the storm…but also a preferred spot by hikers to relieve oneself…

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Thunder and rain passed, the stars came out…

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Bivouac for a couple of hours after the rain had stopped…

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Greeted on top of the mountain by a camp fire and some french fellows, minutes before sunrise…

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Belt of Venus and Earth Shadow indicates the upcoming sunrise on the opposite side…

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The artillery battery on top of Mont Chaberton…

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Sunrise…

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Artillery battery, Mont Chaberton…

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Facing north-west @ sunrise…

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Facing south @ sunrise…

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Facing south-east @ sunrise…

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Enjoying the show…

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Can it get much weirder? A flattened mountain top with artillery batteries…

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Forte Chaberton, 3130m…

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Inside the fort…

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Memorial stone, Mont Chaberton…

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Memorial stone, Mont Chaberton…

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Heading back on a sunny Monday morning…

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Col du Chaberton, 2650 m…

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Clot des Morts, 2457 m…

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Col du Chaberton to the left…

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The “Cracked Rock” to the right, along the old military road (start of construction 1898)…

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One last look back, before the track hits the forest again…

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Where the fun started: 14 km and 1500 m difference in altitude all the way up to Mont Chaberton, from the italian side at Fenils…

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Touring The Western Alps

Here is a random set of images from my recent 14 day journey through the Western Alps, the border region of Italy and France. It will take some time to go through the pile of images, even more I will be away again in two weeks time, heading down to the Balkans…Enjoy!

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Colle de Nivolet, 2612 m, Italy…

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Milky Way @ Gran Paradiso NP, Italy…

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Colle del Gran San Bernardo, 2469 m, Italy…

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Crescent Moon @ Colle del Picollo San Bernando, 2188 m, Italy…

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Fort @ Colle de Finestre, 2176 m, Italy…

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Shelter for the night after an unexpected thunderstorm @ Col du Chaberton, 2671 m, France…

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Camp for the night after rain and thunder passed away @ Col du Chaberton, 2671 m, France…

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Sunrise @ Mont Chaberton, 3136 m, France…

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Sunset @ Col de Finestre, 2176 m, Italy…

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Dusk @ Col de Finestre, 2176 m, looking towards Valle di Susa, Italy…

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Abandoned bunker from WW II @ Colle de la Bonette, 2715 m, France…

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Chamois @ Col de la Lombarde, 2351 m, Italy…

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Somewhere along the road @ Parc Naturel Regional du Queyras, France…

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Camp for the night @ Crete de la Lausetta, 2371 m, Italy to the left, France to the right…

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Looking towards Mont Blanc (covered by clouds, to the right)…

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Flock of sheep along Col de la Bonette, France…

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Zen at its best, between Saorge and Tende, France…

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Rainbow @ Col de L´Iseran, 2770 m, France…

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Bunker @ Col de la Bonette, 2715 m, France…

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Fort @ Colle di Tenda, 1908 m, Italy…

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Mars Over Misurina, South Tyrol

This is my favorite image from my latest journey to the Dolomites, South Tyrol. A 24-hours, day-to-day trip, driving a total of 900 km, just to photograph the first Crescent Moon after New Moon over the Dolomites. The weather forecast looked promising, but arriving at the Tre Cime parking lot above Misurina, storm clouds were still rolling in and out and the thin Crescent Moon got sucked away by them. Later that night, it cleared up and in the morning, a starry sky showed up. The Dolomites never disappoint, and the views are otherworldly. Can´t wait to get back before the high alpine roads are closed for the winter. Enjoy!

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Planet Mars over Misurina @ the Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy. Ten vertical images stitches via Hugin, showing the Gruppo dei Cardei to the left, the Milky Way, Mars and the Monte Cristallo Range, home of Silvester Stallone´s classic “Cliffhanger”…08:42pm/26.09.2014

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Sicily, For The Second Time

After touring Sicily back in June 2007 with the whole family ( a group of seven), I went back to this amazing island this February, but just with my two grown-up sons, Joseph (20) and Lukas (18). We drove all the way down from Bavaria to Sicily by car, traveled around, stopped where we liked it, camped in the car for 15 days and only got one shower in that time. A total of about 5000 km of driving, more than 5000 images taken and meeting new friends ( as well as humans and dogs…). The best part of this journey? Getting back in contact with my sons after a long time of absence, spending day and night with them and showing them something about photography and life itself. Some sort of modern initiation. I also have learned so many things from them and touring with my big boys has brought back a lot of memories when I was at their age, while traveling with my buddies. Joseph and Lukas are also very eager about taking images, and at the end of the day, when we were developing some of them, I couldn´t even tell if they were mine or theirs! The video in the post narrows it down to my favorite 48 images,  including also some “portraits” this time, not just landscapes. Places we went to were: Taormina, Mt. Etna, Caltanissetta, Marianopoli, Caccamo, Cappo Zaffererano, Castellammare, Scopello, Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, Erice, Trapani, Marsala, Segesta, Selinunte, Agrigento and Syrakus. Music is by Ligabue, the tune is called “Per Sempre”; click the HD-Button if you like for a higher resolution and crank up the volume. Enjoy!

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On Tour: Taormina, Sicily

Second time traveling Italy, this time by car, with my two grown-up sons, Joseph and Lukas. We drove all the way down from Bavaria with my Sprinter, a total of 1740 km, taking the ferry to Messina and making our way towards Taormina today, the home of the most famous greek theatre in the world. By the way, the town is also pretty nice – not much tourists around at this time of the year. Enjoy!

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Italy, Nocturnal…

All images are taken in Italy during the last three years, including places like South Tyrol, Gargano Peninsula and Bologna. The ones showing the Occultation of Jupiter were taken some 30km north of the city of Bologna, 15th July 2012, the very morning and time, my mother has died. First time I show them in public…

Music by one of California´s finest, Social Distortion, song´s called “Let it be me”. Enjoy!

(Push the HD-button if you like for a higher resolution…)

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“There is a force in the Universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)