The PhotoPills Expedition to the Dolomites is SOLD OUT!
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PhotoPillers in the Dolomites...
Are you in?
Around the Full Moon...
From October 8th to October 15th 2022, Marco Grassi (local PhotoPills Master) and Rafael Pons (the Bard, PhotoPills team) will travel across the Italian Dolomites to photograph the beautiful Autumn colors, the golden light, the Moon and the Milky Way along with majestic mountain peaks and striking rock formations...
A true heaven of outdoor adventure!
We’ll be taking photos all day long...
Can you imagine it?
To photograph autumn’s colors, the golden light, the Full Moon (and even the Milky Way) with immense peaks, stunning rock formations, iconic mountain churches, vast meadows and sparkling lakes.
We’re dreaming about it!
Top secret: we have quite a few legendary photos planned already ;)
The Deal (only 12 spots)
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 October 17th.
Read carefully all the details of this unique adventure.
And when you’re ready, fill in the booking form.
Please, book as soon as possible. The seats are sold on a first come, first served basis.
12 PhotoPillers | Marco Grassi | Dolomites | Endless legendary photos
Warning! This is not a honeymoon...
We’re recruiting 12 brave PhotoPillers (PhotoPills and photography nerds) to join us on an 8-day expedition to photograph the beautiful autumn colors, the golden light, the Moon 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 see something interesting happening in the sky, we’ll pick the best location possible, stop and take advantage of the occasion.
When we are hungry, we’ll stop and eat. When we are tired, we’ll stop and rest...
You are about to embark on a PhotoPills’ style journey. And it’s not going to be a honeymoon precisely... :P
This adventure is going to require a lot of physical effort...
But it's going to be so much fun!
Are you in?
Day 1. Saturday, October 8th - Welcome to the Dolomites
It’s Saturday morning...
And we’ll begin the adventure strong, with a cool Moon shot.
After picking you up at Venice Marco Polo Airport, we’ll drive directly to the location where, weather permitting, we’ll photograph a 200-meter Moon aligned with the mountain peaks of Sass Rigais and Furchetta, in golden hour (the elevation of the Sun is -1.18º).
Sass Rigais (3,025 m) and Furchetta (3,030m) are the two higher summits of the Odle Group. Their magnificent presence and particular shapes will surely delight us.
We’ll stop along the way to have lunch and to check in at our beautiful hotel in Ortisei.
Open PhotoPills and check this out:
Golden hour begins at 6:00 pm, Moon rise is at 6:26 pm, Sunset is at 6:40 pm, golden hour ends at 6:59 pm, and blue hour ends at 7:11 pm...
According to the plan, our Moon shot will occur around 6:46 pm, right after Sunset, so there is plenty of time to scout the area and fine tune the shooting spot.
The shooting distance to the Furchetta is 22.2 km, so prepare your long Lens (200mm, 300mm, 400mm, 500mm...).
Plan & Pray!
Note: If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we have a plan B in mind.
After blue hour, when light begins to fade away, we’ll start our journey back to our hotel, where a succulent dinner awaits.
Tomorrow we’ll wake up very early to photograph the Milky Way.
- Long distance Sunset, golden hour and blue hour with Mt Sass Rigais and Furchetta.
- Long distance Full Moon aligned with Mt Sass Rigais and Furchetta.
Day 2. Sunday, October 9th - The Mermaid and the Wizard
Wake up and get ready to photograph the thin part of the Milky Way with the Chiesa di San Giacomo (St. Jacob’s church) and the tallest peak of the Langkofel mountain group, the Sassolungo (3,181m).
The Milky Way will be in place (vertical) around 5:08 am. And the 99.3% Moon will help us light the landscape and the Langkofel group from the side, as it sets to the west.
Time to go to the next shooting spot. We’ll 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).
Since cars are not allowed in the area, each one of us will jump on a comfortable electric bike to get to the shooting spot. It’s only a 30-minute trip to our destination. This is going to be fun!
Blue hour begins at 6:52 am, golden hour begins at 7:04 am, Sunrise is at 7:23 am and golden hour ends at 8:03 am.
After a great day-start, enjoy a delicious breakfast and a well deserved sleep.
Right after lunch, we’ll drive to the beautiful Lago di Carezza, a small mountain lake known for its emerald green color, calm waters and the tall mountains surrounding it.
Due to its beautiful colors, it is also called “Lec de Ergobando” or “Rainbow Lake”, there is an ancient fairy tale about mermaids and wizards around it:
“Once upon a time, there was a mermaid living in the lake. The wizard Masaré was in love with her. In order to seduce her, he followed the advice of the witch Lanwerda to dress up as a jewel merchant and to throw a rainbow between Mt Catinaccio and Mt Latemar. The wizard did this, but he forgot to dress up as a jewel merchant. The beautiful mermaid realized that he was a wizard and disappeared in the lake. The wizard then threw the rainbow and all the jewels into the lake. That’s why the lake still features such amazing colors.”
The lake is a great location for midday photography. So it’s time to take your cameras out and spend a cool afternoon taking pictures.
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).
Golden hour begins at 5:57 pm, Sunset is at 6:38 pm, blue hour begins at 6:56 pm, blue hour ends at 7:08 pm.
Turn the camera a bit to the left.
Because around 7:00 pm, during golden hour and blue hour, the Moon will rise over the stunning view of Passo Gardena. Make sure not to miss it!
After a short hike back to the car and a short drive, we’ll arrive at a spot from where the view of Mt Sciliar (2,563 m) is just beautiful.
As the Full Moon rises in the east, lighting the landscape, the Milky Way is getting more and more vertical, while approaching Mt Sciliar.
We’ll photograph this stunning scene until 9:00 pm.
We’ll enjoy an Italian dinner in Castelrotto, in the Pizzeria Zum Wolscht. Always tasty!
- Milky Way at Chiesa di San Giacomo.
- Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour at Alpe di Siusi.
- Midday photos at Lago Carezza.
- Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Alpe di Siusi.
- Full Moon over Passo Gardena.
Day 3. Monday, October 10th - The Secret
I’ve been giving you lots of details of this amazing expedition to the Dolomites.
Maybe far too many...
But on October 10th 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. Tuesday, October 11th - The Five Towers
Wake up, pick up the gear and get ready for another stunning view.
Our shooting spot is placed in Passo Sella, from where we’ll photograph the “back” of Sassopiatto, Sassolungo and Punta Grohmann at Sunrise.
Blue hour begins at 6:54 am, golden hour begins at 7:06 am, Sunrise is at 7:25 am and golden hour ends at 8:05 am.
Back at the hotel for a restoring breakfast and sleep.
We’re on the road again. This time we’re heading to Cortina where we’ll check in at our hotel and have lunch.
After a 30-minute drive, and a 30-minute hike, 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.
Golden hour begins at 5:52 pm, Sunset is at 6:33 pm, golden hour ends at 6:51 pm and blue hour ends at 7:03 pm.
The almost Full Moon rises at 7:21 pm. At 7:30 pm, it will be right behind the Cinque Torri. Giving us the opportunity to prove our skills to capture a compelling image of the rock formation backlit by the Moon.
We’ll have dinner in the field because the Milky Way awaits!
As the Moon moves south of Cinque Torri, the Milky Way will be aligning (vertical) with the rock formation.
This one is going to be a real challenge (and so much fun). We’ll try many different compositions. One option is to include the Moon and the Milky Way in the Frame. Another option is to move a bit south, and just photograph Cinque Torri with an almost straight Milky Way.
We’ll explore both options.
- Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour from Passo Sella.
- Sunset, golden hour and blue hour at Cinque Torri.
- Cinque Torri backlited by the Moon.
- Milky Way with Moon in Cinque Torri.
Day 5. Wednesday, October 12th - The Three Peaks
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 explode in gold and orange tones.
At the foot of the mountain, we find Lago Federa, which will add a lot of interest to our compositions.
Blue hour begins at 6:54 am, golden hour begins at 7:06 am, Sunrise is at 7:25 am and golden hour ends at 8:05 am.
Breakfast at our hotel and down time.
Landscape photography post processing class with Marco Grassi.
After a quick 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.
And once at our planned shooting spot, we’ll get ready for the Sunset shot.
Golden hour begins at 5:49 pm, Sunset is at 6:30 pm, golden hour ends at 6:48 pm and blue hour ends at 7:00 pm.
Dinner in the field.
The Moon rises at 7:43 pm, almost at the same time the Milky Way begins to be visible.
But it will be around 9:00 pm when the Milky Way will be in the place we want, aligned with the side view of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
A 90.8% Moon (low in the sky) will add light to the scene from the side, helping us capture volume and texture on the rocks.
- Blue hour, golden hour and Sunrise at Croda da Lago.
- Midday shots hiking up Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
- Golden hour, sunset and blue hour at tre cime di Lavaredo.
- Milky Way vertical with tre Cime di lavaredo and the Moon lighting the landscape.
Day 6. Thursday, October 13th - The Labyrinthine Needles
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 next to the mountain peaks.
Blue hour begins at 6:55 am, golden hour begins at 7:06 am, Sunrise is at 7:25 am and golden hour ends at 8:06 am.
Breakfast and rest at the hotel.
After a delicious lunch and a 50-minute drive, we’ll get to our next destination: Lago di Braies.
Its green-blue calm water makes Lago di Braies the jewel of the dolomitic lakes.
We’ll walk around the lake taking a few cool midday shots of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
We’ll arrive at our sunset location, the Rifugio Pomedes, a unique place to enjoy the “Alpenglow” – a magical phenomenon that occurs when the Sun is just below the horizon and the Dolomites glow with golden colors.
The refuge is located at the foot of Punta Anna (2,731 m), a stunning pillar that belongs to the Tofane mountain group.
Golden hour begins at 5:49 pm, Sunset is at 6:29 pm, golden hour ends at 6:48 pm and blue hour ends at 7:00 pm.
After a long day of photography, we’ll enjoy a restoring dinner at our hotel.
Off to bed, because tomorrow we have an early start with a Milky Way shot.
- Blue hour, golden hour and Sunrise at Cadini di Misurina.
- Midday shots at Lago di Braies.
- Golden hour, sunset and blue hour at Rifugio Pomedes.
Day 7. Friday, October 14th - Autumn Colors
We’re going to Passo di Giau to photograph the Milky Way aligned with the majestic tower of Ra Gusela (2,595 m).
Take your phone, open PhotoPills and check this out:
Around 4:00 am the Milky Way will stand straight behind the rock formation. And a 82.1% Moon will add light from the side, helping us capture the scene in a single exposure.
We’ll use PhotoPills’ Night Augmented Reality view to visualize the position of the Milky Way and help us fine tune our shooting spot.
We’re staying at Passo di Giau to photograph the morning light on Ra Gusela.
Blue hour begins at 6:57 am, golden hour begins at 7:09 am, Sunrise is at 7:28 am and golden hour ends at 8:09 am.
Breakfast and down time, before we check out from the hotel and begin our journey to our next destination.
We’ll 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.
It’s a delight to photograph it, even in the middle of the day, along with the autumn colors and the giant mountains.
Before we hit the road again, we’ll have lunch in Colle Santa Lucia, check in at the hotel and rest a bit.
Lago Baita Segantini is one of the best spots for Sunset and Sunrise photography. Here we’ll enjoy one of the best-known peaks in Dolomites: Cimon della Palla (3,184 m).
Golden hour begins at 5:48 pm, Sunset is at 6:28 pm, golden hour ends at 6:47 pm and blue hour ends at 6:59 pm.
With our memory cards jam-packed with great stills, we’ll pack our things and drive back to the hotel where a nice dinner awaits.
But there is another Sunrise to photograph before we all go home.
- Milky Way with Ra Gusela from Passo di Giau.
- Sunrise, golden hour and blue hour with Ra Gusela from Passo di Giau.
- Midday photography in Colle di Santa Lucia.
- Sunset, golden hour and blue hour Lago Baita Segantini.
Day 8. Saturday, October 15th - The Farewell
It’s our last day and we want to capture the last picture, the last Sunrise at Baita Segantini.
As the Sun rises behind Cimon della Palla the sky will explode into red and orange tones. If we’re lucky and there is water in the small lake, the scene has the potential to be mind blowing.
Blue hour begins at 6:59 am, golden hour begins at 7:11 am, Sunrise is at 7:30 am and golden hour ends at 8:11 am.
Breakfast at the hotel, check out and off to Venice Airport.
Time to say goodbye.
See you soon friends!
Life goes on...
Book now and save €500 (only 12 spots)
To book your spot to join the expedition to the Dolomites at a reduced price of €4,000 (the official price is €4,500), a €1,000 deposit is required by Sunday, October 17th.
Payment in full is required by June 19th, 2022.
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 8-day expedition photographing the Dolomites with the Autumn colors, the golden light, the Moon and the Milky Way.
- 8 days of learning, fun and adventure with Marco Grassi and the funniest geek community – the PhotoPillers.
- Full immersion in the PhotoPills method (Imagine.Plan.Shoot.!).
- 7 nights of lodging, sharing a double room with another PhotoPiller.
- Breakfasts at the hotels.
- Transport in the Dolomites.
- Permits and passes.
What’s not included
- Flights/transport to Venice.
- Medical and travel insurance coverage (mandatory).
- 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 of what happened in the PhotoPills Expedition to Iceland... But we had so many adventures and it was 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.” - Warren Hatch, USA
“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.” - Leonardo Villa, Colombia
"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." - Patrick Rory , Canada
“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?” - Carlos F. Vásquez, Colombia
“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!” Jana Kalous, Canada
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 Information Package 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 to the Dolomites is otherwise filled, we'll refund you the full booking fee you have paid, minus a €300 administrative fee.
If you cancel and the expedition to the Dolomites doesn’t fill, then you’ll be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the expedition:
- 61 days or more before the expedition: 100% refund, minus the deposit payment.
- 60 days or less before the expedition: No refunds will be given.
Refunds will be paid using the same original method of payment.
Covid-19 cancellation policy?
We understand how difficult the situation is and, in case we or you have to cancel a trip due to Covid-19, we will do all our best to refund you the full amount paid to us minus the non-refundable costs that are withheld by our travel partners.
Everything we can return to you, we will. This applies to all PhotoPills expeditions and events.
Covid-19 vaccination policy?
The best way to ensure our ability to maintain the health and safety of our expedition participants, staff, and local communities is through adopting the following vaccine policy:
“Anyone traveling on a PhotoPills Expedition will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including all staff and expedition participants.”
Credits: All images by Marco Grassi.