The PhotoPills Expedition to the Dolomites is Sold Out (Join the Waiting List)

By Rafael Pons

The PhotoPills Expedition to the Dolomites is SOLD OUT!


All 12 spots are already gone!

Thanks so much :D

Wish to join us?

Don't give up!

There are always cancellations...

Click here to join the Waiting List.

Be the first one to know when a cancellation occurs.

We’re going to the Dolomites...

Are you in?

Around the Last Quarter Moon...

From October 21st to October 27th 2024, Neil Tapman and Ramiro Torrents will travel across the Italian Dolomites to photograph the beautiful autumn colors, the golden light and the Milky Way along with majestic mountain peaks and striking rock formations...

A true heaven of outdoor adventure!

Of course...

We’ll be taking photos all day long...


Can you imagine it?

To photograph autumn’s colors, the golden light and the Milky Way with immense peaks, stunning rock formations, iconic mountain churches, vast meadows, beautiful trees and sparkling lakes…

We’re dreaming about it!

To achieve it, we’ll use the planning power of PhotoPills and the expert knowledge of Neil Tapman and Ramiro Torrents to always be at the right place at the right time.

Top secret: we have quite a few legendary photos planned already ;)

The Deal (only 1 spot left)

Since you subscribed to the Priority Access list...

We're offering you a €500 discount on the regular price!

All you have to do is to book 1 of the 12 spots available before Sunday March 10th.

Read carefully all the details of this unique adventure.

And when you’re ready, click here to book your spot.

Please, book as soon as possible. The seats are sold on a first come, first served basis.

The Adventure

12 PhotoPillers | 2 PhotoPills Masters | Dolomites | Endless legendary photos

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Warning! This is not a honeymoon...

We’re recruiting 12 brave PhotoPillers (PhotoPills and photography nerds) to join us on an 7-day expedition to photograph the beautiful autumn colors, the golden light and the Milky Way along with the gems of the Italian Dolomites.

It’s a non-stop adventure to chase legendary photos and you are a key asset!

We have planned tons of photos, and we’ll travel many kilometers to capture them...

But we also want to maximize our flexibility in terms of itinerary and schedule in order to take advantage of all the opportunities that the changing weather will surely put in our way.

If we're fortunate enough to be out photographing the Milky Way at night and it takes us into the late hours, we'll take a little extra sleep the next morning, skip Sunrise and kick start our day a bit later.
On the other hand, if the conditions make us skip the nighttime photography session, we'll rise and shine early to catch the Sunrise.

Whichever path we take, you can count on us to seize every photo opportunity and be right where the magic happens!

You are about to embark on a PhotoPills’ style journey. And it’s not going to be a honeymoon precisely... :P

You’ll be a true photographer!

Are you in?

Day 1. Monday, October 21st - Welcome to the Dolomites

It’s Monday morning...

And we’ll begin the adventure strong, with a cool Milky Way shot we’ve specially planned for tonight (clouds permitting).

Plan & Pray!

10:00 am

After picking you up at Venice Marco Polo Airport, we’ll drive towards the Dolomites.

The Dolomites are known for their unique geology, characterised by sheer cliffs, jagged peaks, and rugged pinnacles.

These distinctive features create a striking contrast against the sky, especially during Sunrise and Sunset when the warm light bathes the mountains in a golden glow... And at night, when the beautiful rock formations appear to dance with the Milky Way.

As a photographer, you'll find yourself constantly amazed by the interplay of light and shadow, resulting in mesmerising compositions.

In autumn, the landscapes transform into a breathtaking spectacle. The Dolomites showcase a vivid display of colors, milder weather, and a sense of tranquillity that adds to the allure of this spectacular mountainous region.

We’ll stop along the way to have lunch and to check in at our beautiful hotel in Ortisei.

3:40 pm

We gather in the lobby for an introductory presentation. This is a chance to dive into the plans for the coming days, learn more about PhotoPills, and share a bit about ourselves - all while receiving our PhotoPills Welcome Pack.

4:00 pm

Tea time! There are free cakes and fruits waiting for us near the reception.

5:00 pm

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We arrive at Passo Sella, from where we’ll photograph the “back” of Sassopiatto, Sassolungo and Punta Grohmann at Sunset.

The highest peak here is Piz Boè at 3,151 m (10,338 ft) above sea level.

The shooting spot is not far away from our vehicle. It’s a 270 m (885 ft) easy hike (one way) with an elevation gain of 7 m (23 ft) (one way).

The idea here is to capture the Sunset beside Sassolungo and the marvellous golden light illuminating the surrounding mountains: the Gruppo Sella & Gruppo del Cir.

The Sun will set behind the top of Sassolungo and then reappear on the side. This will also be a great opportunity to shoot into the sun and achieve the 'sunburst' effect.

Get your cameras ready, because the action is about to begin!

Golden hour begins at 5:33 pm, Sunset is at 6:14 pm, golden hour ends at 6:33 pm, and blue hour ends at 6:45 pm.

6:45 pm

Dinner at a local restaurant.

If the sky is clear, we’ll try to have a quick dinner. Because we must get back to Passo Sella to photograph the Milky Way.

8:00 pm

Open PhotoPills and check this out:

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At 8:19 pm, the Milky Way stands straight up between the Sella Group and Sassolungo!

But there is more...

In the frame, from the planned shooting spot, there will also be a winding mountain road, which will serve as the perfect location to practise capturing light trails from cars passing through.

The trail left by the cars will also act as a leading line into the Milky Way and the mountains in the background.

Very Cool!

(I really hope we get clear skies)

Galactic Centre visibility begins at 7:56 pm and Galactic Center Visibility ends at 8:34pm.

Moonrise (75%) is at 8:40 pm. So after getting our Milky Way shot, if we wait a bit more, we’ll see the peaks in front of us catching light from the rising Moon.

And trust me, photographing the majestic peaks under moonlight is a real experience!

9:30 pm

Not bad for a first day!

Rest well my friends, tomorrow we’ll keep chasing the golden light... and the Milky Way!

Photographic pills:

  • Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Passo Sella.
  • Milky Way and light trails at Passo Sella (if clear skies).
  • Moonlit landscapes at Passo Sella (if clear skies).

Day 2. Tuesday, October 22nd - The Alpine Glow

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6:00 am

The day kicks off early with coffee in the lobby. This is the wake-up call for an epic day ahead. Get your caffeine fix; we have an adventure waiting.

7:00 am

We need to hike (easy) a bit to get to our Sunrise shooting spot: 600 m (1968 ft) and 71m (232 ft) elevation gain (one way).

We place our tripods in the right spot in Alpe di Siusi to photograph the Sunrise towards Sassopiatto, Sassolungo and Punta Grohmann (the Langkofel mountain group).

Cameras ready, we're here to capture the magic. This spot is great for zooming in or going wide. The early light might play coy, but keep an eye out for mist – it adds a special touch.

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Here, we're standing on Europe's biggest high meadow, aiming our lenses at quaint cabins and lush trees, all slowly lighting up with the sun’s first rays.

As the sun rises over the mountains in front of us, the landscape below will gradually be bathed in light, creating a striking contrast between the illuminated areas and those in shadow.

It’s a play of light and shadows, folks.

Blue hour begins at 7:10 am, golden hour begins at 7:22 am, Sunrise is at 7:41 am and golden hour ends at 8:23 am.

9:30 am

After a great day-start, enjoy a delicious breakfast and a well deserved sleep.

12:30 pm

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Gather your energy; the day is far from over.

2:30 pm

Ready for a PhotoPills class?

It’s time to dive deep into the secrets of photography planning.

5:00 pm

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Back to Alpe di Siusi, this time to photograph the Sunset light on the stunning mountain peaks of Sassopiatto (2,969 m), Sassolungo (3,181 m) and Punta Grohmann (3,126 m).

Remember, it’s popular, but we’ll claim our spot early. We might even venture to a secret spot for a different view.

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The show starts at 5:31 pm, with the sun dipping at 6:13 pm. If the sky is clear, we might head off early, aiming to catch the Milky Way in all its glory.

Golden hour begins at 5:31 pm, Sunset is at 6:13 pm, golden hour ends at 6:32 pm and blue hour ends at 6:44 pm.

6:50 pm

Dinner at a local restaurant (now far away from our shooting spot for the Milky Way).

8:10 pm

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After a short drive, we’ll arrive at a spot from where the view of Mt. Sciliar (2,563 m) is just beautiful.

It’s nighttime. The Moon (66%) is under the horizon. And the Milky Way is slowly getting more and more vertical, while approaching Mt Sciliar.

It’s also a good idea to take the time to shoot a few long exposures for our foreground, to capture detail taking advantage of the light pollution in the area.

We don’t want a pitch black foreground!

At 8:40, the Moon will rise at our backs. And when it’s high enough, its light will start to fall on Mt. Sciliar in front of us.

We’ll photograph this stunning scene until 9:00 pm.

9:30 pm

Bed time!

Tomorrow we’ll do something really special!

Photographic pills:

  • Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour at Alpe di Siusi.
  • Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Alpe di Siusi.
  • Milky Way at Mt. Sciliar (if clear skies).
  • Moonlit landscapes at Mt. Sciliar (if clear skies).

Day 3. Wednesday, October 23rd - The Secret

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I’ve been giving you lots of details of this amazing expedition to the Dolomites.

Maybe far too many...

But on October 23rd we’ll do something very special...

What will that be?

Well, you'll have to be there, with us, to figure it out :P

Day 4. Thursday, October 24th - The Five Towers

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6:00 am

Wake up, pick up the gear and get ready for another stunning view.

Our Sunrise shooting spot is placed in Passo Sella to photograph the Sassolungo group with various foreground elements such as rocks and trees.

The golden morning light will be coming from behind us and illuminating the east face of Sasso Lungo. Pretty cool!

After sunrise, with some light on the landscape, it is the ideal moment for photographing north toward Passo Gardena & the Odle group using a telephoto lens.

The hiking distance is 345 m (1131 ft) and 35 m (114 ft) elevation gain (one way).

Blue hour begins at 7:12 am, golden hour begins at 7:24 am, Sunrise is at 7:43 am and golden hour ends at 8:25 am.

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9:15 am

Back at the hotel for a restoring breakfast.

11:00 am

Check out and we hit the road again.

This time we’re heading to Cortina where we’ll check in at our hotel.

We’ll stop for lunch on the way.

4:45 pm

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After a 40-minute drive, and a 5-minute walk, we’ll arrive at our shooting spot in the always amazing Cinque Torri.

Cinque Torri is a dolomite rock formation formed by five towers, Torre Grande (2,361 m) being the highest one.

The five towers are:

  • Torre Grande
  • Torre Seconda, also named Torre del Barancio or Torre Romana
  • Terza Torre or Torre Latina
  • Quarta Torre, formed by two blocks of rock with different heights, that are called Torre Quarta Bassa and Torre Quarta Alta.
  • Quinta Torre or Torre Inglese.

As you can imagine, this place is heaven for landscape photographers.

As golden hour begins at 5:26 pm and sunsets at 6:08 pm, we focus on capturing the fleeting light on the peaks surrounding Cinque Torri.

Remember, the light on the towers themselves will vanish before sunset, so prioritise those shots early.

Golden hour begins at 5:26 pm, Sunset is at 6:08 pm, golden hour ends at 6:27 pm and blue hour ends at 6:39 pm.

7:30 pm

After a long day, we arrive at our hotel in Cortina where we enjoy a delicious dinner.

9:00 pm

Tonight we rest. Because tomorrow we have an early start to photograph a hidden lake.

Photographic Pills:

  • Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour with Sassolungo group
  • Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Cinque Torri.

Day 5. Friday, October 25th - The Three Peaks

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5:30 am

Time to wake up.

Our first stop is Croda da Lago, a small mountain group in the central Dolomites. With a height of 2,715 m, Cima d’Ambrizzola is the highest peak.

What makes this location so special is that in October the whole area seems to come to life, when the surrounding valleys are covered in beautiful golden tones...

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At the foot of the mountain, we find Lago Federa, which will add a lot of interest to our compositions.

The calm waters, framed by larch trees and the striking Becco di Mezzodi, await our lenses.

Today’s morning light promises to transform the scene into something out of a dream.

Remember, we’re aiming for those perfect reflections, so positioning is key.

Blue hour begins at 7:17 am, golden hour begins at 7:24 am, Sunrise is at 7:43 am and golden hour ends at 8:25 am.

9:30 am

Breakfast at our hotel in Cortina and down time.

12:30 am

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Also, grab food for tonight. Because if the sky is clear we’ll stay out to photograph the Milky Way.

3:00 pm

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After our lunch in Cortina and a 45-minute drive, we’ll arrive at Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

The rock formation is composed of three overwhelming peaks: Cima Piccola (2,857 m), Cima Grande (2,999 m) and Cima Ovest (2,973 m).

As we hike up (1 hour), we’ll take a few stunning midday shots of Tre Cime.

The hiking distance is 2.85 km (1.77 mi) and 217 m (712 ft) elevation gain (one way).

And once at our planned shooting spot, we’ll get ready for the Sunset shot.

The east side of Tre Cime will be our primary subject, there are some big boulders that can be used as elements to give depth to the image.

As the sun sets behind Tre Cime, there's a chance for vibrant colors to emerge in the sky.

Additionally, the surrounding peaks offer excellent opportunities, especially focusing on the northern peaks, which might illuminate beautifully in the golden light.

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And those feeling adventurous can hike a bit further to reach a unique vantage point. From this spot, we'll have the opportunity to frame our images, incorporating the saddle as a leading line towards Tre Cime.

Golden hour begins at 5:24 pm, Sunset is at 6:06 pm, golden hour ends at 6:25 pm and blue hour ends at 6:37 pm.

6:40 pm

Quick dinner in the field.

No time to lose. We need to get ready for the Milky Way

7:50 pm

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At 8:12 pm, if we’re lucky with the clouds (Plan & Pray), the Moon (45%) will be below the horizon, letting us enjoy a stunning view of the Milky Way next to the impressive rock formation in front of us.

But it will be around 8:30 pm when the Milky Way will be in the place we want, aligned with the view of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Galactic Center visibility begins at 7:48 pm and it ends at 8:21 pm.

11:00 pm

Finally, Bed time!

What a day!

Photographic pills:

  • Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour at Croda da Lago.
  • Midday shots hiking up Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
  • Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
  • Milky Way vertical and Star Trails with tre Cime di Lavaredo (if clear skies).

Day 6. Saturday, October 26th - The Labyrinthine Needles

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5:30 am

Wake up!

Because you’re about to photograph Cadini di Misurina, a true labyrinth of needles.

The mountain group is extremely irregular, with a rugged appearance, packed with sharp peaks.

Its highest peak is Cima Cadini di San Lucano, with an altitude of 2,839 m.

We’ll hike up and down to get the best compositions as the Sun rises in the east.

Blue hour begins at 7:13 am, golden hour begins at 7:26 am, Sunrise is at 7:45 am and golden hour ends at 8:27 am.

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9:50 am

Breakfast at the hotel.

11:00 am

Landscape or Milky Way Post Processing Class with Neil and Ramiro.

1:00 pm

Lunch at a local restaurant in Cortina.

3:30 pm

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On our way to our Sunset destination, we’ll stop at the always amazing Passo di Giau to photograph the majestic tower of Ra Gusela (2,595 m) and the surrounding landscapes.

From our shooting spot, we’ll enjoy an amazing 360-degree vista that includes some of the range's most iconic peaks, such as the Nuvolau and the Averau.

We’ll be back here for our last Sunrise in the Dolomites!

5:00 pm

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We arrive at Colle Santa Lucia, a small village located in a beautiful valley surrounded by tall mountain peaks.

Here we’ll find the Chiesa di Santa Lucia, an iconic church located right at the heart of the valley.

The small church of Colle Santa Lucia stands atop a little hill, making it stand out as the perfect foreground against the majestic backdrop of Mount Pelmo.

It’s a delight to photograph it at Sunset along with the autumn colors and the giant mountains, Mount Pelmo (3168m, 10393 ft).

Golden hour begins at 5:22 pm, Sunset is at 6:05 pm, golden hour ends at 6:24 pm and blue hour ends at 6:3 pm.

7:30 pm

Dinner at the hotel.

10:00 pm

Bed time!

Tomorrow we’ll photograph our last Sunrise in the Dolomites :)

Photographic pills:

  • Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour at Cadini di Misurina.
  • Midday photos at Passo di Giau.
  • Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Colle anta Lucia.

Day 7. Sunday, October 27th - The Farewell

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6:00 am

As the Sun rises (one hour earlier today due to the winter time change)...

As always, we’ll be at the right shooting spot, at the right time, waiting for the morning golden light to arrive.

Suddenly, the sun rises in the east, casting its soft light on the tower of Ra Gusela, at Passo di Giau.

The views are simply stunning. We start pressing the shutter as there is no tomorrow!

Blue hour begins at 6:15 am, golden hour begins at 6:27 am, Sunrise is at 6:46 am and golden hour ends at 7:29 am.

8:00 am

Breakfast at the hotel, check out and off to Venice Airport... where we will get at approximately 12:30 pm (traffic permitting).

Time to say goodbye.

See you soon friends!

Life goes on...

Book now and save €500 (only 1 spot left)

To book your spot to join the expedition to the Dolomites at a reduced price of €4,900 (the official price is €5,400), a €1,000 deposit is required by Sunday, March 10th.

Payment in full is required by June 2nd, 2024.

Please, finalize your booking as soon as possible. The seats are sold on a first come, first served basis.


What’s included in the price
  • The PhotoPills welcome kit.
  • An 7-day expedition photographing the Dolomites with the Autumn colors, the golden light and the Milky Way.
  • 7 days of learning, fun and adventure with Neil Tapman, Ramiro Torrents and the funniest geek community – the PhotoPillers.
  • Full immersion in the PhotoPills method (Imagine.Plan.Shoot.!).
  • 6 nights of lodging, sharing a double room with another PhotoPiller (Optional €900 single room supplement upon availability).
  • The activities on the Secret Day.
  • Beakfast.
  • Ground transportation during the expedition.
What’s not included
  • Flights/transport to Venice.
  • Visa or permit (if necessary).
  • International medical and travel insurance coverage (strongly recommended).
  • Lunch & dinner.
  • Snacks, alcohol and beverages.
  • Anything not mentioned in the “included” list.

Do you want an example of how huge this will be?

This is a glimpse to what happened in the 2016 PhotoPills Expedition to Iceland. We had so many adventures and so much fun... We can’t wait for the Dolomites!

But you don’t have to take our word for granted. Here’s what some PhotoPillers say about the PhotoPills adventures:

“I went to Iceland expecting to have the opportunity to photograph the marvelous landscape and master nightscapes. What I encountered was so much more – 14 kindred souls from across the globe who share a passion for photography. Together we expanded our creative boundaries, learned from one another and had an insane amount of fun in the process. I am confident that everyone came away from the experience a better photographer.”

“From the very moment the guys from PhotoPills announced the expedition to Iceland... I didn’t think it twice! I was using PhotoPills but not at its full capacity, so I had no better chance to learn from the creators of this amazing app. The experience was even more amazing than anything I could have imagined. In Iceland, I discovered a bunch of folks as crazy about photography as I am. I had a blast!

Photography is a continuous learning process, you always find something new that motivates you to improve. And this adventure made me improve more than I could imagine.”

"The PhotoPills guys know how to create a fantastic experience. They bring an infectiously fun energy and are always willing to drop some handy photography knowledge on you that you will take with you. You take their trip and you'll for sure have a good time, get some amazing pics and leave a better photographer."

“During my experience in Iceland I lived wonderful moments and had surprises that were beyond the expected. It completely exceeded my initial expectations! Sharing knowledge, experiences and ways of working and living photography with such a great group has been one of the most enriching life experiences I have ever had.

Who he said that learning and knowledge sharing can not be wonderfully fun?”

“I can't say enough about what a fantastic time I had during the PhotoPills Iceland photo tour! The guys from PhotoPills and Donal Boyd were so knowledgeable, accommodating, and especially lots of fun. Never a dull moment – nonstop action and shooting of amazing landscapes for 10 days. I came away with enough images and memories to last a lifetime!”


What’s the temperature in the Dolomites in October?

Temperatures vary greatly depending on the area we are visiting. In the valleys/towns, you can expect a temperature range between 0-15ºC (32-59ºF). In the mountains, temperatures can go below 0ºC (32ºF) pretty quickly. Although the weather is generally pleasant at this time of the year, be prepared for fog, snow and rain.

What do you recommend I bring along for the expedition?

Your sense of adventure and fun, your camera and your sense of humor, of course.

Besides that? When you book your seat, we’ll send you an email that will give you further details and suggestions about what to bring (gear, clothing, etc.).

Is travel insurance included in the price of the expedition?

No. Participants are required to purchase national or international medical and travel insurance coverage.

Also, we recommend you to choose a travel insurance that:

  • Covers trip cancellation costs.
  • Covers Covid-19 health, travel and cancellation costs.

What is the cancellation policy?

We hope you don’t need to cancel your spot, but if a situation arises where you don’t have a choice, our cancellation policy is the following.

If you cancel and the expedition is otherwise filled, we'll refund you the full booking fee you have paid, minus a €300 administrative fee, and the non-refundable costs that are withheld by our travel partners.

If you cancel and the expedition doesn’t fill, then you’ll be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the expedition:

  • 91 days or more before the expedition: 100% refund, minus the deposit payment and the non-refundable costs that are withheld by our travel partners.
  • 90 days or less before the expedition: No refunds will be given.

Refunds will be paid using the same original method of payment.

Credits: All images by Marco Grassi, Neil Tapman and Ramiro Torrents.

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