Dolomites Winter Edition 2020
February 3-10, 2020 (8 Days)
Dolomites Winter Edition 2020
February 3–10, 2020 (8 Days)
Click on the tabs below to view each topic.
- About the Workshop
- How to Get There
- What to Bring
- Safety Preparation
- Physical Requirements
- What's Included
- Payment and Terms
- How to Reserve Your Spot
This unique trip will take us to a variety of magnificent alpine locations in the Dolomites of northern Italy, complete with seven nights of accommodation with full board, airport transfer, and transportation between locations. Our lodging will be a mixture of hotels and beautifully situated alpine huts that put us as close as possible to the most photogenic locations for winter photography. The final full day of the trip we will hold a substantial post-processing seminar in the comfort of a hotel conference room.
This will be a rare opportunity to get out of the valleys and into the mountains to photograph some of the most spectacular, craggy, snow-capped peaks anywhere in the world. Participants will have the benefit of a small group of only six participants, allowing you to get all of the help that you need with field technique and post-processing instruction. This trip is designed for people with a spirit of adventure who want to experience and photograph some of the more remote locations of the Dolomites in a workshop environment that puts the emphasis on your photographs and creative development.
Foot travel on this trip will be minimal, and our modes of transportation may include gondolas, chairlifts, snow cats, and snowmobiles as necessary to reach our locations. Our exact itinerary will be determined according to snow conditions and therefore will be made available to registered participants as late as possible.
Please note that the photographs appearing on this listing are representative of the winter aesthetic in the Dolomites and the range of locations available to us. We will visit some but not all of them, with the exact locations to be determined as the final itinerary is set according to seasonal opportunities.
Erin Babnik is known for her expressive style of photography and for her adventurous approach in the field, both of which she developed over years of exploring unique locations in Europe and North America. She has devoted much of her time to the Dolomites, gaining great knowledge of the region’s diverse array of massifs, independently discovering seldom-seen, highly photogenic vantage points above the typical valley destinations. Her photographic expertise, her location knowledge, and her extensive teaching experience combine to provide an expert level of instruction, delivered with great dedication and enthusiasm. In her writing and public speaking engagements, Erin explores topics of both philosophical and instructional value, making her one of the most notable voices among the current generation of landscape photographers. She brings this same joy of discussing ideas to interactions with her workshop participants, offering a unique dimension to the workshop experience. Erin is a team member of the illustrious nature photography team Photo Cascadia.
We will be on the move almost every day, taking in a variety of locations and making the most of each one with photography outings planned to maximize the photogenic potential around us. Our lodging will be a mixture of hotels and beautifully situated alpine huts that put us as close as possible to the best locations for winter photography.
FEBRUARY 3–5 (AIRPORT TRANSFER AND OUR FIRST HOTEL)
After a 2:00pm rendezvous at Venice Marco Polo Airport on February 3, we will depart for the Dolomites, arriving at our first hotel in time to get settled before enjoying an orientation, a creativity seminar, and then dinner. We will kick off our first full day with a sunrise outing and and a sunset excursion with snowmobiles to the high backcountry area near the famous peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo (in the event of adverse weather conditions, this snowmobile outing will be replaced with another program). We will return to our hotel for a second night there.
On the third day (February 5) we will begin the middle portion of our trip that includes mountain huts, some of which we will access with chairlifts. Because the chairlifts and the rooms in the huts are small, we will each take a small duffel or suitcase in addition to our camera gear and put the rest of the luggage in storage. We will be reunited with our stored luggage on the final full day of the workshop.
FEBRUARY 6–9 (MOUNTAINS HUTS/SMALL HOTELS)
During the middle portion of the trip we will move between mountain huts or similarly well-sited small hotels. These huts may require traveling by chairlift, gondola, or snow cat to reach them. Participants should be comfortable with carrying their camera gear and a duffel or small suitcase on a chairlift (usually each person has a whole chairlift bench to him/herself).
FEBRUARY 9-10 (POST-PROCESSING SEMINAR AND AIRPORT TRANSFER)
On our last full day (February 9) we will be back in a large hotel for a substantial processing session in the comfort of a hotel conference room. The evening will end with a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Transfer back to Venice Marco Polo Airport will follow breakfast on February 10, getting us back to the terminal by about 1:00pm with good road conditions.
There is one airport transfer each way. The incoming transfer from VCE is on February 3 at 2:00pm. The return transfer to VCE is on February 10, arriving at 11:00am with good road conditions. Please note that winter conditions can bring sudden heavy snowfall and/or fog that could slow our travel on any given day, including the day that we return to the airport. For this reason, we recommend that participants schedule flights later in the day on the 10th or else plan to stay a night in Venice and depart the following day instead. Alternatively, you may prefer to remain in the Dolomites to enjoy other winter activities such as skiing or sledding. We will be happy to help you to coordinate for these other activities if you choose to extend your stay in the Dolomites. Our exact itinerary will be subject to change due to snow conditions and therefore will be made available to registered participants as late as possible.
TRANSFER FROM VENICE MARCO POLO AIRPORT: The nearest major airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), about a two-hour drive from the Dolomites. Transfer to and from this airport is included in the cost of the workshop. We will rendezvous at VCE on February 3 at 2:00pm. We recommend that you enjoy some time in the historic city of Venice in advance of the workshop and take the convenient train between the islands of Venice and the airport. We will return to VCE after breakfast on February 10, reaching the airport in the early afternoon.
PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM ELSEWHERE: Please contact Erin for arrangement of a private transfer to Cortina d’Ampezzo from any airport or city of your choice. A private car from Venice Marco Polo Airport typically costs about €230 for up to 4 passengers each way.
• Your Camera. You can choose to use any camera you like, but a digital camera with full manual control and interchangeable lenses is highly recommended and will give you the best experience.
• Lenses. There will be opportunities to use any and all focal lengths, so bring all that you can carry, wide to long. If you want to carry only two lenses, an ultra-wide-angle zoom (such as a 16-35mm) and a 70-200mm zoom would be good choices. Telephoto opportunities will be especially fruitful on this trip, so if you have a lens that can hit 400mm or more, consider it a high priority item!
• Tripod. We will often be shooting in low light, requiring longer exposure times.
• Filters. Generally all you will need to use is a polarizer and neutral density filters. Although, it is possible to get great shots without either.
• Other gear. Several batteries, plenty of memory cards, a remote trigger, lens cleaning supplies.
• (Optional) Laptop. Some people enjoy being able to process files while traveling and being able to follow along or to take notes on a laptop during our post-processing seminar.
• Clothing & shoes. Weather conditions in the Alps during this time of year can be quite cold. Bring insulating layers: a good set of base layers, mid-layers for warmth such as fleece and down. A shell jacket and quick-dry hiking pants will help to protect against the elements as well. Good snow boots or insulated hiking boots are advised. Having a warm hat and gloves is essential. A face cover, such as a balaclava, may also help you to be more comfortable in windy conditions.
• A small duffel or suitcase. Before leaving our first hotel, we will each pack a small duffel or suitcase with what we will need to stay four nights in mountain huts. This duffel or suitcase should be small enough to fit on the bench of a typical modern chairlift. You should be able to carry your camera gear and this duffel onto the chairlift.
• Snacks and hydration. Maintaining energy and hydration is very important when out in the wilderness. Energy bars, nuts, seeds, and water are recommended. At times we could find ourselves in very remote areas, far from the nearest store, so it is a good idea to have a stock of snacks packed when you arrive.
• Willingness to learn and discover.
While adventure and great photos are our main goals, your safety is a priority along with treating the land that we travel on with respect, practicing “leave no trace” ethics. Erin is a seasoned backcountry travelers and is certified by Wilderness Medical Associates as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). In order for participants to have a comfortable experience where they can concentrate on the photography, it is highly advised that you have proper attire consisting of non-cotton outdoor dedicated clothing, including an assortment of layers to keep you warm down to temperatures well below freezing.
The Winter Edition is a no-hiking workshop. Foot travel on this trip will be minimal, and our modes of transportation may include gondolas, chairlifts, snow cats, and snowmobiles as necessary to reach our locations. We may visit an area or two where a walk of about 20 minutes along a road could be possible, but there will be no real hiking along trails or through deep snow.
The cost of the workshop includes seven nights of lodging. In order to position ourselves with optimal proximity to our mountain destinations, our accommodations will be a mixture of hotels and charming mountain huts. Called “rifugios,” these huts allow hikers to spend the night at wilderness locations in relative comfort. The huts are more like simple hotels than wilderness shelters, providing an unusual level of comfort for wilderness dwelling.
HOTELS: Three nights of the workshop will be spent in single-occupancy rooms of four-star hotels with spa facilities available.
MOUNTAIN HUTS: Even though we will be in the wilderness, we will sleep in actual beds with mattresses, blankets, and pillows. We will enjoy hot meals and showers and will have access to lavatories with flush toilets and running water. While staying in huts, participants should expect to bunk in dormitory-style rooms with anywhere from two to six total occupants, although we will try to secure double rooms wherever they are available. Single-occupancy rooms are typically not available at the mountain huts, and there is therefore no single occupancy supplement option (three hotel nights are in single-occupancy rooms).
All of the huts have bars that serve snacks and an array of beverages, including juices, soft drinks, teas, coffee, beer, wine, and liqueurs (available at an extra charge). Some of the huts even have WiFi available, which is typically free when offered to guests. Four nights of our trip will be spent in mountain huts (or similarly well situated small hotels with shared accommodations).
- Seven nights of lodging (three nights in a single-occupancy room of a 4-Star spa hotel and four nights of shared accommodations in mountain huts).
- Airport transfer to and from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). This benefit is available for one scheduled group transfer each way (see the Itinerary tab for more information).
- Transportation between workshop locations.
- Three meals per day.
- Guidance to unique photography locations.
- In-field instruction on capture technique (composition, compensating for high dynamic range, focus stacking, shooting for advanced blending techniques, etc.).
- An introductory seminar on composition and creativity with presentations by both instructors.
- A substantial post-processing instruction session.
- Storage of extra luggage, including skiing equipment (please note that we are not responsible for lost or stolen items).
- Awesome adventure!
- Travel and cancellation insurance (highly recommended!)
- Snacks, beverages, and other personal purchases.
COST: The cost of the workshop is $4895 and includes everything listed in the “What’s Included” tab.
PAYMENT: A non-refundable deposit of $1495 is required to reserve a space on this workshop. (For any payments made with the “Full Amount” option, $1495 of the total will be considered the non-refundable deposit portion). The final balance of $3400 is due and payable 60 days before the workshop begins (on Thursday, December 5, 2019). Full payment is due at this time, and there will be no refunds on the full amount owed if you cancel after final payment. However, If we find another client to fill your space, then you will receive a full refund of your final balance portion, minus your non-refundable deposit. Payment can be made using the sign-up button of this web page using a credit card or via PayPal. If you would like to pay by another method, use the contact form on this page to ask Erin about options for sending a personal check or bank transfer.
INDEMNITY WAIVER: All participants are required to sign a standard workshop indemnity waiver: here.
CANCELLATIONS: We highly recommend that you obtain travel/cancellation insurance for all workshops. Because cancellations require us to re-open enrollment and/or to engage in additional promotional efforts to fill the workshop on short notice, our policy is that there will be no refunds of the deposit. The balance (minus the non-refundable deposit) is refundable up to the 60-day deadline. Thereafter, the balance is also non-refundable, with one exception: if we find participants to fill all canceled spaces and the workshop is ultimately full when it begins, then you will receive a refund of the balance within two weeks of the workshop’s conclusion. All refunds are subject to a 4% processing fee.
Use the sign-up button on this page to place a deposit with a Credit Card or via PayPal. If you would like to pay by another method, use the contact form on this page to ask Erin about options for sending a personal check or bank transfer.
- February 3–10, 2020 (8 Days)
- Limit of 6 participants
- Full board
- Airport transfer to and from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
- Transportation between workshop destinations
- Guidance to unique photography locations
- In-field instruction
- Seminar on composition and creativity
- Post-Processing instruction session
- Awesome adventure!
This workshop is currently sold out, but you may request to be put on the waitlist using the form below:
Ask Erin anything about this workshop:
You can download the Indemnity Waiver for this workshop here: