The Dolomites is a place that I used to visit on a regular basis for a number of years. Climbing in the mountains there was one of my favourite things to do. I haven’t been for a while now, and this video really makes me want to go back there again.
When I used to go there I would take a Nikon D70s with a 6mp sensor (and a Fuji Finepix compact for backup)- how things have moved on over the years. And, in terms of cameras for me, as I used that little Nikon for about 8 years before finally upgrading to a Canon 5DmkIII. I remember thinking that 22mp at the time was overkill for a camera. Since then it’s probably been overkill in cameras for me, to be honest!
The Dolomites is a very magical place to me. I have walked a number of the Alta via trails (I think there are 8 of them) and used the via ferratas to get to some pretty spectacular mountain huts dotted across the range. The food is an interesting mix of Italian and German, which is great in towns like Belluno and Bolzano, but not quite so good up in the mountain huts (although it never ceased to amaze me how good the Strudel was up there!). Each day of trekking would end with a pint (or two….) of Forst or Birra Moretti, which always went down well.
Anyway, I found this great time-lapse video, which reminded me of how great this place is.
A few of my own images from a couple of trips to the Dolomites:
I went down to Mudeford for the so-called sunrise this morning. It was more of a vague lightening of the land and coast, rather one of those glorious sunrises that you usually hope to see. I am quite glad that the weather was subdued though, because the diffuse light created a subtle scene.
It was lovely to be by the coast, listening to the seagulls and smelling the lobster pots that were waiting to be sent back out to sea. To be honest, it’s a fairly foul smell, but one that very much reminds me of home!
Earlier in the week I went up to Grovely woods, taking my 2 year-old son there for a walk. I grabbed a quick shot whilst I was up there, but wanted to return again to the woods. This evening, I went back to the patch of woods that I was at earlier in the week and got this image. Again, time was not on my side (a common thing with three young children aged 6 and under)!
As a person who grew up by the sea, I have a very special affinity for it. Boats, more precisely, wooden boat building also is a very large part of my childhood. I have numerous memories of sailing, fishing for mackerel and generally faffing about on the coast. Some of my most memorable experiences of growing up in Cornwall are of listening to the sea at night from my bed. The rhythm of the waves breaking onto the beach, then rolling back out was very calming at night. I never slept with the window closed, if I could help it.
When there was a storm the Atlantic was particularly noisy and dramatic sounding. Sometimes, when I went to the coast in the morning, I would see large sections of the cliff had fallen away during the night. Often, the storm would continue during the day. It was a thrilling sight, but also one that was very dangerous if you got too close to the waterfront in such conditions.
I took this shot a few months ago when I had a brief (but nice!) spell in which I got up for the sunrise. This particular morning, back in April, I arrived after an hour’s drive to find that the weather was grey and dull. However, converting the image to monochrome and using a long exposure time (with the assistance of a 10-stop neutral density filter) helped to create a more dramatic image. It was a bonus that the clouds were travelling in such a way that they seem to converge above Clavell tower on the headland.
I went for a short walk this evening in the fields near to where I live. I just managed to catch the end of the sunset. As I was just out for a walk I didn’t really have the time to set up a thoughtfully composed image. However, I like the resulting panoramic all the same as the sky was very dramatic after a day of rain (click on image for larger version).