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The Dolomites: Sella Pass

05 Feb 2020, Posted by Elliot Hook in dolomites, landscapes, trips

This is likely to be the penultimate post in the series of blog posts featuring images taken on a photography trip to the Dolomites in September 2019.  This one covers Sella Pass.  There are numerous mountain passes in the Dolomites, filled with winding roads and spectacular scenery.  Throughout most of our trip, we’d included them in our itinerary as we travelled from location to location, hoping to shoot what we saw on the fly.  That didn’t really work out for the most part; either due to our poor timekeeping not giving us the opportunity, or dull weather leaving the potential scenery flat and lifeless.

That is, until, Sella Pass.  After staying up on Piz Boé and before our final night at Rifugio Firezne (near Seceda), we had a night at a camp site in Canazei, at the bottom of Sella Pass, with nothing on our itinerary for 24 hours except Sella Pass and Gardena Pass.  So we spent both a sunset and sunrise driving up and down these passes, looking for opportunities to shoot as the light and conditions changed.  And, compared to the other passes, it was fairly successful.

The sunset was a non-event, again due to cloud, but this created plenty of opportunities for road side shooting.  This was actually taken from our camp site before we even got in the car…

Mountains shrouded in cloud, Sella Pass, Dolomites

And then these two were taken along Sella Pass as the cloud came and went…

A clouded mountainside along Sella Pass, Dolomites

 

A clouded mountainside along Sella Pass, Dolomites

The next morning wasn’t looking too hopeful before sunrise but as the sun rose, cloud began to move and started to create completely different opportunities to those from the previous night.  So much so, that we were scrabbling around a bit, trying to make a decision for where to go when we saw this scene from the car, so we pulled over to find a clear view before the light and cloud changed…

Sunrise over Sella Pass, Dolomites

The benefit of scoping out the pass the previous day soon became evident as, once the sun was up, we decided to head to a section of Sella Pass that we had scoped out the night before, that is covered with trees, but is open enough to shoot, with interesting rocky features.  We ended up spending a good hour or so finding compositions here and it was fantastic.  This has a very ‘North American’ feel to it, for me…

Light hitting the woodland hillsides of Sella Pass, the Dolomites

I particularly enjoyed getting away from the road side and into the trees…

Tree covered roadsides of Sella Pass, the Dolomites

Tree covered roadsides of Sella Pass, the Dolomites

So, considering we didn’t have any particular location in mind, I’m relatively pleased with what I came away with from Sella Pass – nothing that you could immediately identify as “the Dolomites”.  It certainly helped re-enforce the need to remain flexible and adapt to the conditions at hand anyway.

Next up, the final location…. Seceda.

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