Sunrise over Sassolungo, Dolomites, Italy

Dolomites : First Impressions

4:15 AM. Short night. The alarm clock rings. No rain clinking on the tent. It is a good sign. I put on my wet clothes and walk towards the car. Although easily accessible — meaning probably over-photographed —, yesterday I’ve been caught by the beauty and the mystic atmosphere of Lago di Carezza and then decided to go back there for dawn. But after twenty minutes of driving through passes, It feels like something is missing. Something simple and obvious, an object that is absolutely mandatory in such a situation.

Sunrise over Sassolungo, Dolomites, Italy

How could I be such an idiot to forget my camera, this one object that makes me wake up so early? One minute of rage and I resign. It’s too late to go back anyway. I will just enjoy the sunrise. Only nature and me. This time, nothing in between. It is beautiful, breathtaking, majestic. Despite the fame of the lake, I feel the desire to photograph it at its best and institute one day of compelled rest. I will try again tomorrow morning. This is also an excellent occasion to taste an Italian cappuccino while quickly developing a few shots.

Lake by Misurina, Dolomites, Italy

Dolomites; if by cumulating the number of stars of hotels you dangerously get close to the one of the milky way and if swarm of motorbikes stick to your ass like hungry flies, then that means you’re arrived. However, as bad as it sounds, I do not feel like leaving them. This place has its reputation amongst alpinists and, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, they stand as a major attraction for Italians and Germans. One can quickly understand while driving through the passes that lacerate massifs full of character. Torn mountains, vertiginous views and heady panoramas are a common fact. There is not a single day without my heart stopping, and the sensation gets even stronger as we decide to trek on the steep and rocky slopes, leading us a couple hundred meters above the majority of the visitors.

Cabins by Sassolungo, Dolomites, Italy

Sunset in Sassolungo, Dolomites, Italy

June, however, might not be the best time to photograph the place. Although the number of tourists is tolerable — it is possible to breathe —, lights become harsh quickly and, especially this year, a lot of altitude paths are still blocked by snow. Moreover, I frequently find myself facing a dilemma: interesting subject with average light or mundane subject with beautiful light? Luckily, a couple of rare moments give me the opportunity to combine both. Also, the weather becoming more and more chaotic, I keep hope.

Snow covered path in Dolomites, Italy Hikers in the snow in Tre Cime, Dolomites, Italy

But for now, from sunrises to the dark blue lights of a stormy sky — the same than in Nepal! —, here are a few shots to make your mouth water. That said, I leave you with this short post. The sunset lights over Lago di Carezza can’t wait!

Blue lights in Odle, Dolomites, Italy

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