Photographing the Dolomites – An Update

Photographing the Dolomites is nearing completion and it’s been a frantic last few weeks trying to finish the few outstanding photo locations.

Last week saw a concerted effort on Sasso di Stria, the witches hat, a beautiful and elegant peak situated atop the Falzarego and Valparola passes. I’ve been biding my time, waiting for late in the season when the sun rises further to the north east between the peaks of Sorapiss and Antelao for a shot down the pass. Fortunately on the third day of hiking up through the many WW1 trenches littering the mountain, the stars – or rather the sun – aligned, casting some beautiful light rays through the five towers of Cinque Torri.

• click on an image to get a slide show of photographs •

Like so many in the Dolomites, this peak was the site of much conflict from 1914-1918 when the Italians fought the Austro-Hungarians in the White War of the Pale Alps. The many trenches, barbed wire, ammunition casings and crosses provide sombre and thought-provoking foregrounds to the alpine meadows and pale spires usually associated with the Dolomites.

The end of the week saw an abrupt change in the weather as a low pressure system sat resolutely over the Alps. The abrupt lack of light, but thankful lack of rain, provided a perfect opportunity to catch up on some stream photography within the many hidden canyons and watercourses of the Fanis Group.

The following day saw a heavy onset of rain prompting a hasty retreat to the infamous ski town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. While the glitzy town is a far cry from providing the stereotypical serene landscapes associated with the area, it does provide many photo opportunities in its own right for those willing to get a little creative!

Autumn is quickly turning to winter in the Dolomites with the arrival of three feet of fresh snow over the last few days. While this does present something of a logistical inconvenience (shipping the snow chains and touring skis back to the UK may have been a mistake), the contrasting white of the snow-capped peaks provides a beautiful backdrop to the autumn colours as the larches turn their beautiful golden orange.

Now begins the race to finish the remaining three photo locations for the upcoming book before the snow sets in properly and the lakes freeze over. The clocks have changed which unfortunately means a slightly earlier sunrise start, but it does come with the added bonus of being able to capture the milky way and be back in bed before 11pm.

Happy shooting.




James Rushforth

Author of the forthcoming Photographing Dolomites and co-author of the forthcoming Photographing Iceland
James Rushforth is an experienced and professional climber, mountaineer, skier and high-liner. An acclaimed photographer and three times published author who has worked with prestigious publishing houses, Rockfax, Cicerone Press and FotoVue. James has won 12 international photography competitions, the latest of which at the prestigious Siena International Photo...

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