Italy: The Dolomites & Venice, September 9-19


Tuition: $5550
Deposit: $300
Dates: September 9-19
Type of Excursion: Workshop
Skill Level: All Levels
Duration: 10 days
Group Size Min: 4 Max: 8

  • Landscape photography
  • Architecture
  • Astrophotography (weather permitting)
  • Camera Operation
  • Exposure, Working with light
  • Workflow
  • Filters, Time Lapse, & Long Exposure

  • Instruction, image review & feedback
  • One-hour pre-workshop Zoom meet-n-greet & prep
  • Accommodation, probably a vacation rental with kitchen
  • Transportation from gateway city (Marghera, Italy, Marco Polo Int’l Airport)

  • Drinks, alcoholic beverages and personal snacks
  • Personal items & expenses
  • Fees for activities not included in the itinerary
  • Travel + medical insurance (recommended)


Gift Card

The Dolomites ride the border between northeastern Italy and Austria. A rugged, aggressive, and magnificent region of upthrust rock and alpine valleys designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. The Dolomites have become legend and will be remembered not only for their astounding beauty but also for the blood shed there during World War I, and the most treacherous battle of the war in 1917. E. Alexander Powell, a journalist for New York World wrote “On no front, not in the sun-scorched plains of Mesopotamia, nor in the frozen Mazurian marshes, nor in the blood-soaked mud of Flanders, does the fighting man lead so arduous an existence as up here on the roof of the world.”

The hard, crystalline structure of dolomite, the rock giving the area its name, has eroded over time to form high-elevation mountain ranges of sharp, dramatic crags reflecting a wide range of colors in the shifting light. Tarns and lakes dug out by glaciers are dark to bright blue and the source of many of the streams carving their way through the landscape. The rural nature of northern Italy also offers a peaceful, serene atmosphere that belies its turbulent and violent past that existed during both World Wars.

Emphasis during this workshop will be your interpretation and exploration of the mountainous terrain, historical features of the landscape, and the changing aspects of weather using your senses and perceptions to make photographs that as much as possible express your experiences and interests. We’ll discuss in a group and individual one-on-one guidance about using light and shadow to create form, improving composition, setting exposure under difficult lighting conditions, abstract impressions, using filters, long exposure, time lapse, and sensing and perceiving the environment to help find subjects and make meaningful photographs. Weather permitting, we’ll photograph the stars and learn a little astrophotography.

We begin our exploration arriving at Marco Polo International Airport and heading directly from the airport north into the mountains. A general itinerary is for our first night to be at the village of St. Magdalena where we’ll photograph the iconic church there at sunset with the sharp Dolomite peaks of Sass Rigais and Furchetta (both 9,925ft, 3025m) in the background, or to Passo Rolle and Cimon della Pala, the Matterhorn of the Dolomites. The next day, if there is room for our group, we’ll head up to 9,000ft (2752m) via cable car for two nights at Rifugio Lagazuoi with its stunning 360-degree “roof of the world” views and open air WWI museum. For the rest of the workshop we’ll be exploring the central Dolomites, based from Misurina near the base of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or the Three Peaks, iconic peaks of the Dolomites. We’ll hike to Cinque Torri, and a glacial lake under vertical cliffs, encounter amazing views of Tre Cime, and wander the meadows, forests, lakes, and villages of the area before returning to the airport for departures home. Our itinerary is flexible and will adjust to the vagaries of the weather and other factors.

This area of northern Italy is rugged, expressed in the topography of the landscape, elevation, and in both the hiking trails and roads we will travel. If you have a fear of heights or have a tendency for car sickness, this may not be the workshop for you. The roads are fine, but do twist and turn. Although most walking we will do will be easy to moderately strenuous, there will be sections that may be strenuous, depending on your level of fitness. We will be riding in cable cars, walking distances of 2 to 6 miles round trip on trails with uneven, steep, and potentially wet surfaces, stairs, and some cliff-hugging narrow portions. We will be spending time at high elevation (7,000 – 9,000ft, 2,100 – 2,700m), and driving mountainous, serpentine roads. While we will be taking our time every day to ensure you have a pleasant and successful experience, to get the most from this workshop you should have the physical ability to negotiate rugged, variable terrain at high elevation, be able to carry your camera equipment for long periods of time, and be tolerant of and prepared for varying weather conditions.

Venice. The City of Love, City of Water, City of Masks. Unique in the world for its history, architecture, museums, and environment. Sublime in its atmosphere and people. Built on 118 small islands, where the streets are made of water, Venice is the European end of the Silk Road trading route. Renaissance and Gothic palaces, basilica, canals and piazzas are an endless source of images. We will explore the City of Water for 5 days

Pickup at VCE (Venice Marco Polo Airport) must be arranged, with arrivals before 3:00pm on Oct 3. Participants are welcome to arrive earlier to explore the surrounding area. Pickups in that case will be arranged at a convenient location on the route to our first destination. Participants are welcome to rent their own car or take a bus (approx $50/€41) or private shuttle (approx $370/€300+) to meet the group in the afternoon at our first destination. However, traveling in one vehicle is encouraged during the workshop for flexibility, to facilitate conversation while traveling, and to keep the group together. I will have a vehicle large enough to comfortably seat everyone. If you prefer to use your own vehicle, let me know. Our last day will begin with a sunrise shoot, then travel back to Marco Polo Airport for afternoon departures. Timing of the last day will depend on departure times. I encourage you to book afternoon times for your departure. If you arrive earlier than the 3rd and stay later than the 19th, you will need to arrange your own lodging and transportation to and from your arranged lodging and Venice Marco Polo Airport.

This workshop is limited to 8 people.

About one month before the workshop, I will invite you to attend an optional pre-workshop Zoom meet and greet, itinerary overview, gear discussion, and Q&A.

A release form, gear list and other information will be mailed to you upon registration. Please see the FAQ link at the left for details about deposits, refunds, and other general workshop information.