early autumn in the dolomites tour

If we told you that there’s a time of the year when you get basically no crowds, great days length (not too long, not too short), reasonably warm temperatures and great chances for incredible weather conditions – would you believe us?

The answer is one: early October. Join us this year!

26th SEPTEMBER - 2ND OCTOBER 2024

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6 nights/7 days

26th September - 2nd october 2024

FROM €3590,00 P.P.

moderate WALKING INVOLVED

5 PERSONS MAX.

all skill levels

OVERVIEW

As you might have already understood from the brief caption above – visiting the Dolomites in early October has plenty of perks.

Let’s start with the day length, which is just perfect: not too long like the summer one when you have to wake up at 3AM to catch sunrise or stay out till 9:30PM to shoot sunset, not too short that you have to rush to do things because we might lose the best light. That’s an underestimated point that makes the whole workshop 10x more enjoyable!

All the hikes/roads are still open – which is really important as it will allow us to explore every part of the park and don’t miss any of the most beautiful locations.

Temperatures won’t be as warm as summer, but they will still be mild enough (considering that we are in the mountains) even for all those of you that really don’t like cold places!

Last but not least – the chances of getting interesting conditions at the golden hour is generally higher: low clouds hanging in the valleys with the peaks rising tall above them, nuclear sunsets due to outcoming/incoming storms and so on – early October is just a great time photography wise!

workshop itinerary

A small disclaimer before you start diving into the day-by-day itinerary: what you will read here is a “standardized” version of it. In other words a simplified, very rigid schedule created to give you a rough idea of what our days together will look like and a “taste” of some of the locations we will shoot.

Dolomites are an incredibly seasonal location – which means that depending at what time of the year you will be here, your instructor will take you to the best locations of that season: some places are only worth seeing in summer, some others in autumn and some others in winter. There’s no such a thing as a “fixed itinerary” here – we will always pick the best spots when we will know when you join us here.

If you’d like to get more infos about the locations – you can also visit our Dolomites Location Guide, that should give you an even clearer idea of the places – and if you’d like to know more about the best times to visit the Dolomites, check this Dolomites Season Guide instead!

Truth is that we never run two identical workshops – due to the weather, due to the light, due to the length of the days at any given time of the year and a bazillion other variables that come into play when dealing with outdoor photography.

Take this general itinerary for what it is – and by any means don’t think that we’ll stick to it at all times!

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Pick-up: 10/10:30AM

Time to start our workshop together! On our first day, we will pick you up at the Venice airport around mid-morning, so that we can start our drive to Cortina (our first destination of the workshop, 2 hours drive from Venice) straight away.

Lunch: 12:30PM

After a couple hours drive, we will finally reach the Ampezzo Dolomites, the first part of this mountain range that we will explore and also where we will spend more time: Cortina d’Ampezzo will be our base for these first days.

Before heading to the hotel to do the check-in, we will do a little walk-around downtown for you to get acquainted with the place and enjoy a lovely lunch where you’ll be able to try the alpine cuisine at its best.

Hotel Check-in & Afternoon Break: approx. 2:30/4:30PM

After our tasty lunch together, we’ll return back to the hotel to check in and take a breath before hitting the road again.

Sunset Session: 5/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Our first official photography session together! Since it’s our first, we’ll have a longer session so that your workshop leader can assess your skills and give you the necessary notions to capture the golden light in the best possible way given the weather conditions of that day. The location we will probably visit is called Passo Giau, a high-altitude mountain pass which offers fabulous views all over the surrounding peaks.

Dinner: 8:30PM

It’s been a long day: finally we will have the chance to sit down and have a warm meal with some beer to end it in the best way!

DAY 2 - MISURINA LAKE, ANTORNO LAKE AND TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO (CORTINA D'AMPEZZO)
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

An early wake up call waits for us: we will go out when the twilight glow is just starting to appear, so that by the blue hour we will already be set up and ready to shoot! It’s our first sunrise together – and to start the tour in the best possible way, we’ll visit one of the most incredible locations of the area: the two beautiful lakes of Antorno and Misurina – both very accessible and close between each other.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch at the Landro Lake: 11:00AM/2:30PM

Time to hit the road again and visit another lake, called Lago di Landro!

The light won’t be optimal – but this lake (as well as any other location we’ll visit during this time of the day) is considered not as photogenic as the places where we’ll actually be when the best light hits the peaks. It will mainly be a relaxing, peaceful walk with your camera that will end up with an amazing lunch by the lake’s shore.

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:30/5:00PM

Depending on how tired we are, we might either take another break or do some post-production on the shots taken in the past couple sessions. Or maybe a mix of both!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Let’s “take the bull by the horns” and face one of the longest hikes of the trip: the walk to the gorgeous Tre Cime di Lavaredo – probably one of the most iconic locations of the entire Dolomites. There are several perspectives from which we can shoot these peaks and the length of the trail will vary quite a bit: your instructor will evaluate which perspective will be the best on that day given the weather, the time of the year and the energy you have left!

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After returning back from our hike – we’ll have a short drive back to Cortina (20 minutes) where we’ll go have a warm, well deserved meal!

DAY 3 - CINQUE TORRI, DOBBIACO LAKE AND CADINI DI MISURINA
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Another day – another sunrise! This time will be the “turn” of the Cinque Torri, Leo’s personal favorite location out of all the Ampezzo Dolomites: Cinque Torri (translated “Five Towers”) are some quite unique rock formations that can be found 20 minutes from Cortina. The hike uphill will take us 20 minutes, after which we’ll get to see the sun rising through the towers: definitely one of the best experiences of the workshop!

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/10:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit and Lunch at the Dobbiaco Lake: 11:00AM/2:30PM

Another minor location (and yep, it’s another lake!) that it’s worth seeing but probably not worth a golden hour session is the Lago di Dobbiaco – not far from the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. That’s where we’ll have lunch today!

Afternoon Break/Editing: 2:30/5:00PM

Depending on how tired we are, we might either take another break or do some post-production on the shots taken in the past couple sessions. Or maybe a mix of both!

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Today we’ll return back to the Tre Cime – but not to shot those peaks (at least, that’s not our goal for the day); we’ll actually walk on a different trail, a 30 minutes walk to an outlook over the impressive Cadini di Misurina – some of the most rugged peaks you will see in the whole workshop.

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After returning back from our hike – we’ll have a short drive back to Cortina (20 minutes) where we’ll go have a warm, well deserved meal!

DAY 4 - BRAIES LAKE, TRANSFER TO SIUSI AND ST. MAGDALENA CHURCH
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

One last sunrise in Cortina (ugh!) before moving on to the next area: we definitely will not waste it! On this morning we will visit the world-famous Braies Lake (Pragser Wildsee), a very accessible photogenic lake that basically doesn’t require any hike at all: the picture with the old house on the lake’s shore and the typical boats is one of the classic postcard views of the Dolomites!

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/9:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back. Make sure also to pack your stuff as today we will move from Cortina to Siusi – the next destination of the trip where we’ll spend the next two nights.

Transfer from Cortina to Siusi: 10:00AM/2:00PM

Get ready for one of the most epic drives you’ll get throughout the trip: we’ll cross three mountain passes – all of them stunningly beautiful – and in a couple hours we’ll reach Ortisei, the town where we’ll briefly stop by to have lunch and then keep driving for another 30 minutes to Siusi, our final destination for today.

The reason why we’ve picked Siusi as the town to stay in for the night is because of its proximity with our main sunrise location (the Alpe di Siusi, Seiser Alm): you will thank us later when you’ll get to sleep a little bit more in the morning!

Afternoon Break: 2:30/5:00PM

After an early sunrise and a longer transfer – let’s catch a break and gain some energies for the sunset session.

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Our first sunset in this new area will cover one of the most “picture perfect” views of the Val di Funes, called by many “the most beautiful valley of the Dolomites”: the St. Magdalena Church, with the huge Odle mountains in the background. The walk to the viewpoint will take us around 20 minutes.

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After returning back down from the church viewpoint – we’ll have a short drive back to Siusi (30 minutes) where we’ll go have a warm, well deserved meal!

DAY 5 - ALPE DI SIUSI, SECEDA AND SAN GIOVANNI IN RANUI CHAPEL
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Time to see the reason (at least, one of the main ones) why we traveled in this area of the Dolomites: the incredibly beautiful Alpe di Siusi, with its typical wooden cabins scattered all over the high altitude plateau (the highest in Europe!) and the rugged Sassolungo and Sassopiatto in the background. This place is so special that we will actually visit it twice – given its beauty and the multitude of perspectives.

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/9:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Visit to Seceda: 10:00AM/2:00PM

As long as you visit at the time of the year when the cable car is open – we will dedicate today to the Seceda, one of the most incredible locations you will see in the Dolomites!

Since we get this question a lot, the reason why we’ll visit here during the day and not at sunrise/sunset (even if it’s a stunning location) is because there are not accommodations on top of the mountain and the only way to be there at the best time of the day is to either camp somewhere nearby, stay in one of the lower altitude places or directly start the hike from the town: either one of the last two options will require some serious hiking to reach the top as it’s very steep, and the cable car is obviously closed during the golden hour times. See the three images in the middle down here for reference.

Afternoon Break: 2:30/5:00PM

After returning back from the Seceda – depending on the time at our disposal (ad the energy we have left!) we will decide whether to do some editing or take a break.

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

Another sunset – another church! Tonight we’ll visit the Val di Funes again, this time to shoot the enchanting chapel of San Giovanni in Ranui, another photogenic spot with the majestic Odle in the background.

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

After wrapping things up at the church – we’ll have a short drive back to Siusi (30 minutes) where we’ll go have a warm, well deserved meal!

DAY 6 - ALPE DI SIUSI, TRANSFER TO SAN MARTINO DI CASTROZZA AND BAITA SEGANTINI
Sunrise Session: 5:00/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

Last sunrise in the Val Gardena – we will dedicate it to capture again the beauty of the Alpe di Siusi from a different perspective compared to the one of the previous sunrise. You can never get enough shots of this place!

Breakfast & Morning Break: 8/9:30AM

By the time we’ll be back at the hotel, I’m sure that you will be very much looking forward to having a nice breakfast and a bit of a break to gain some energies back.

Transfer to San Martino di Castrozza: 10:00AM/2:00PM

The question we always get asked about this location is: is it worth it? Is it worth to do another 2 hours transfer for just one night? And you know what our answer is? A firm, absolute yes. And every single person, even the most dubious ones, after seeing the locations of the area always agree with us. So enjoy one more ride through the mountain passes and brace yourselves for some other marvelous views!

Afternoon Break: 2:00/5:00PM

After a nice lunch along the scenic roads that lead up to this lovely small mountain town, we’ll finally check in into our hotel for the last night and catch a break before heading out again.

Sunset Session: 5:30/8PM (depending on sunset time)

One last sunset: the place we will shoot tonight is the area around the Baita Segantini, a mountain hut that around it has a small puddle where you get to see the reflection of the Pale di San Martino in all its glory, as well as many other possible foregrounds (specially in summer).

Dinner: 8:30/9PM

One last dinner to celebrate the amazing time we had together – reminishing all the good memories we made and the amazing shots we took!

DAY 7 - DEPARTURE
Sunrise Session: 5:30/8AM (depending on sunrise time)

We are mentioning one last sunrise in the itinerary, even in our very last day: since you’ll probably have to pack things up and get ready for your trip back home, you are 100% free to decide whether you’d like to go for it or maybe just sleep in and get ready a bit later. Our recommendation is to see how the weather looks like, depending also on what conditions we got the previous day and then decide.

Breakfast & Check-out: 8:00/9:30AM

Time to pack everything up, get some “juice” for the trip back home and start our drive back towards the airport!

Drop-off: 11:00AM/12:00PM

After a 2h drive back to Venice, it’s unfortunately time to say goodbye: your instructor will help you take the luggages into the building and wish you a safe flight back home!

You have two different ways to secure your spot on any available workshop date:

– Scroll down, find the “book now” button, fill in your details and follow the process to the check-out. You will be able to leave a refundable deposit (500€ x person most of the times) via credit/debit card, bank transfer or even Paypal.

– Scroll down to the very end of the page to find the contact form or visit the “Contact Us” page to, well.. Contact us! We will be more than happy to help you with any request you have and set up the ideal workshop you have in your mind – and ultimately give you all the details to complete the deposit and secure your spot on the tour.

In either case, we only ask for a 500€ deposit to confirm your spot – we will then reach out around 2 months before your workshop starts with a link to complete the remaining part of the payment. If you booked last minute and need to pay the entire quote right away – we will be in touch as soon as we receive your reservation with the aforementioned link!

All our quotes are always based on a double room occupancy: that means that if you are traveling here by yourself, we will automatically add the so-called “single supplement” to your price.

Why? So that you to get your own room for yourself without having to share it with anyone else. The single supplement is something we add at cost price (if not less), and as annoying as it might be, that’s something that unfortunately we can’t avoid.

That’s also how we manage to guarantee every workshop departure, even if you are the only participant for that date.

Of course you can opt for the single supplement even if you are traveling with friends and you like to have your own personal space.

– Digital Camera (preferably a DSLR or mirrorless camera, APS-C, micro 4/3 and FF will be more than fine);
– An ultrawide lens (e.g. Nikon 14-24mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tamron 15-30mm, Tokina 16-28mm etc); we recommend a lens with a wide maximum aperture (like f/2.8) in case we might do some night photography.

– A standard zoom lens (e.g. Nikon/Canon/Sigma 24-70mm or 24-105mm);

– A telephoto zoom lens (e.g. various Nikon/Canon/Tamron/Sigma 70-200mm);

– A super telephoto zoom lens (e.g. Sigma/Tamron 150-600mm); this lens is not necessary but we recommend it anyway since it allows to capture the far away details of the landscapes;

– A sturdy tripod that permits to do some long exposure photos, specially at twilight;

– A set of ND filters; these are the only filters we feel to recommend, since they become useful when you need to stretch the exposure time a little bit during some difficult light conditions;

– A camera remote to avoid blurry shots.

A few weeks before your departure, we will contact you suggesting the best clothes to bring with you based on the weather forecasts and the current temperatures, so that you will be perfectly equipped by the time of your arrival!

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • accommodations (3*/4* or better) (double occupancy)
  • breakfasts
  • Car transports
  • gas, tolls, road taxes, etc
  • pick up/drop off at venice airport
  • editing sessions
  • assistance and guidance by a professional local photographer 24/7

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • AIRFARE TO/FROM ITALY
  • MEALS (LUNCH/DINNER)
  • SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (700€)
  • VISA (IF NECESSARY)
  • attractions tickets (monuments, towers, etc)
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE

CHECK OUR OTHER UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

customers reviews

what people say

Ken Haber
Ken Haber
2023-10-27
Leo is an outstanding photo tour guide. He took our group to locations in the Dolomites that would have been impossible for us to find on our own, and made sure that we photographed these sites at perfect light, and from the best vantage points available. It's very clear that he spend a lot of time pre-scouting and assembling the best locations. He arranged all of our hotels and meals, which were absolutely first class. Leo is not only a top notch tour guide, but he's also very knowledgeable about all photo systems and editing programs. Traveling with him was an absolute pleasure, and I highly recommend his services. I plan to go on more of his photo excursions in the future.
John Brandenburg
John Brandenburg
2023-10-26
Leo was a fantastic host and tour guide for our Dolomites photo tour! He knew not only where to go but also when best to be there, and varied locations and timing based on the weather. He arranged excellent accomodations and restaurants, and handled driving with aplomb. He was able to provide technical support for a variety of cameras, as well as on composition, exposure and Lightroom. I can't recommend him highly enough, and look forward to his next trip, hopefully to Iceland!
Julie Mitchell
Julie Mitchell
2023-10-17
Leo is a wonderful photo guide and instructor. His local knowledge is extensive and provides excellent opportunities for both classic and unexpected images of the Tuscan landscape. He is patient and good-humoured. I learned a great deal from his tuition and was delighted with great images that were often taken in less than optimal conditions. Our editing session was so helpful in this respect. Leo is 100% focused on the experience of his guests and that extends not just to the photographic elements but to accommodation, food and visits to towns when the light isn’t at its best for photography. Leo is flexible and very responsive to his guests’ needs and works very hard to ensure that your Tuscan experience is a memorable and premium one. He is well known in the area and clearly liked and respected so guests benefit from the welcome he receives.
Bernard Ang
Bernard Ang
2023-10-13
Leonardo is simply the best! Not only in improving my composition and shooting techniques, but in between shoots in continually teaching me the finer points of photo editing and processing. Leo is a highly motivated person, is ultra made hardworking and is fully hands-on, which is possible due to the small size of the groups he keeps. He knows the Dolomites area like the back of his hands and it would have been impossible for me to do this on my own. I highly recommend Leo and all members of my group swore we would return with Leo on another workshop before long! Bernard
Rand Kaplan
Rand Kaplan
2023-09-19
Leo is very knowledgeable, capable, and smart. He is an excellent photographer and teacher. He is good company as well. Leo is an excellent driver and he never took one wrong turn in a week.
Arun R
Arun R
2023-08-02
Leo was an excellent guide. I don’t say that lightly as not all photography experts are great guides with good interpersonal skills, but he definitely meets both requirements. Coming from such a long way away, it was important I found a guide who was prepared to take me to more adventurous and remote locations in the Dolomites rather than just doing the typical shots everyone does, and once Leo understood what I was after, he carefully planned an itinerary to suit. His expertise ensured that we were always on the right location at the right time. I think he would be one of the best photography guides running tours in the Dolomites. Being a fairly independently minded photographer he was able to read this correctly and didn’t try to over coach me but offered helpful advice when it was sought. Leading up to the trip. I asked many questions and he was patient and help for each and every time and went above and beyond to organise an outstanding experience for me. I don’t regret going with him at all and hope we can travel together again as we had a lot of laughs along the way. Thanks mate! It was a pleasure. Thank you for some life long memories.
Sam Dobrow
Sam Dobrow
2023-07-17
My wife and I just returned from a two week private tour to the Alps (France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria) with Leo. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on this trip. This was the second tour we booked with Leo. The first trip was a three week tour with another couple where we covered Italy (Dolomites, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, and Capri). In summary, the experience couldn't have been better. Leo handles everything from the time we land in our destination city to the airport departures. Now for some details... Logistics: Leo chose the lodging based on our specifications of 3-4 star hotels or best available. All the selections were great, and several exceeded our expectations. The vehicles we traveled in were comfortable and appropriately sized for our group. Leo handles the porterage of your bags and will even assist in carrying some camera gear (tripod) on the hikes. Upon our request, Leo balanced the photo activity with leisure activities so the girls (wives) could do some sightseeing and shopping. Photography: Leo has a great eye for composition and offers great suggestions on how to improve your composition with small adjustments to maximize leading lines and subject isolation. Leo recommends appropriate lens selection before leaving the vehicle so you dont have to lug your entire kit with you (unless you want to). He researches the timing and location of the sunrise/sunset to get you in the best places to capture the light. [I tried to post photos but for some insane reason Google kept rejecting them. Their loss, and yours too.] Be prepared for early morning start and late night returns; especially if it's summer. Also, realize Leo is a young guy and physically fit. My wife and I are 65 and not as fit as Leo. When Leo says it's an easy five minute walk on flat trails, you might want to multiply by 2x if you're a senior citizen and 3x if you're at high altitude. But, don't worry, Leo won't leave you behind and might even carry your camera gear if you're having difficulty. Personality: Leo is friendly, customer experience focused, and honest. You will enjoy Leo, not only as a photographer and tour guide but also as a friend. Meals: Leo was born and raised in Tuscany. He knows the best of Tuscan food and will see to you enjoying it also... three times a day. If you prefer some diversity in cuisine, give him a heads up before you travel so he can research some appropriate restaurants in the area. It may not be his first place to eat, but he will make sure you find the eats you like. We introduced him to Indian and Thai cuisine on our Alpine trip. He says he won't be craving it in the future, but I think he will be looking for Tandoori chicken and garlic naan. ... and for the not so good... If too many people read this review and book him solid, he might not be available for my next trip.
David Havlik
David Havlik
2023-05-30
Three of us spent a day with Leo who provided a crash course in Cinque Terre photography. It was an interesting dichotomy of sorts being that the three of us has just completed a different week-long photography workshop covering other parts of Italy. Based on shared feedback among our small group, we feel the instruction we received from Leo over a single day was far superior to that we experienced over the previous week. Leo was very attentive to our needs and tailored his teaching to our level of photography expertise. He was very patient and did not mind repeating concepts to be sure we had a good understanding. He was determined to make sure we made the most of the time we had with him, but he in no way pushed us to the point of exhaustion. Two specific photography techniques I learned from Leo that day were bracketing and the use of filters. I highly recommend Tuscany Photography Tours to photographers of any skill level. You will learn something new from Leo!
Sue Barrell
Sue Barrell
2023-05-24
My husband and I cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful experience we had, both photographically and personally, with Leonardo in Venice on his Classic Venice Tour. His extensive familiarity with Venice meant that not only did he take us to parts of the city that we would never have discovered otherwise (and where few other tourists lurked), but we were there at the right the right times of day to capture the ambience and atmosphere of this amazing city. We also benefitted from his deep photographic knowledge and generous advice on technique - he taught us things about our own cameras that we didn't know! On top of this, he was a personable and entertaining host and guide, adding to our overall experience. Leonardo dedicated all his time with us to ensuring our images were the best we could capture on the day.
Samuel Kwok
Samuel Kwok
2023-05-07
I was so happy to be with Leo of Tuscany Photography in Tuscany. He led our group to visit all the beautiful places Shot in good timing and shared his professional experiences. Trust I will follow him in the next trip in Italy soon.
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