Pete Elliott is a freelance landscape and travel photographer from the South Coast of England. Driven by exploring new places and meeting new people, he loves to capture authentic moments as he travels and to share his experiences with others.
He shoots with the FUJIFILM X-T4 and has a range of XF lenses in his collection. He has been using the X Series since he started his photography journey a little over a year ago. The XF16mmF1.4 is his primary lens for landscapes, paired with the XF35mmF2 lens for its size and sharpness. For travel photography, he finds his best work is when he is accompanied with the XF18-55F2.8-4 and the XF23mmF1.4 and the XF50-140mmF2.8.
He is always planning the next trip and travelling all over the world has allowed Pete to diversify his experience in photography. He loves exploring mountain landscapes in winter or summer, as he loves to escape city life. “There is nothing better than being rewarded for your 4am alarm, or 15km hike with some good scenery or incredible conditions.”
The grandeur of The Italian Dolomites is enough to draw landscape photographers from all over the world. The jagged peaks and contrasting landscapes make the perfect playground for a photographer, and with plenty of hiking and climbing opportunities I booked a trip with a close friend for the end of June to see what all the fuss was about first hand.
After researching locations for a large amount of time we finally decided on route for a 6-day road trip through the Dolomites. When you start looking at places to visit in The Dolomites it feels like you’d need a whole month to really take in all of the sights, and I can assure you after finishing the trip a month probably isn’t enough. However there are a few must see places when visiting. So here are some of my experiences in The Italian Dolomites with my FUJIFILM X-T3 along with some photographs of my favourite locations I visited.
- FUFJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/60 sec. at F5.0, ISO 200
First on the list was Seceda Mountain, one of the best photo spots in The Dolomites, and one of the most photogenic mountains you will ever see. During summer the setting sun hits the north western side of the peaks giving them an incredible red glow (we just caught the last of this). The sun rises from the left of the Seceda in the spring and early summer and the right of the peaks towards the end of summer/autumn. Although there is a very simple composition looking straight at the peaks, if you have a little look around in summer there are often different wildflowers that make a perfect foreground for a shot. Being able to flip out the screen and use the live view on the Fujifilm really makes getting these shots much easier, as I often like an out of focus foreground to add depth to the solid shots in the bag before I go around and try to be creative. This way I’m never left with images that haven’t quite worked.
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/60 sec. at F4, ISO 500
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/125 sec. at F3.6, ISO 500
Second on our itinerary, we headed to the iconic Alpe Di Siusi, the largest high altitude alpine meadow in Europe. Known for its flowing meadows, endless huts and incredible mountain backdrop there are endless compositions to be had here, add in some wildflowers and mist and it doesn’t get much better! Walking along the road to the Adler lodge an hour before sunrise gave us plenty of time to scout a few locations and decide on our favourite. We found a spot with a few cabins to lead you into the image and the perfect backdrop of the Sassolungo range looming in the distance. The sun floods onto the meadow from the left of the peaks giving it a perfect glow during the summer months. Be sure to have a good walk around as this place has plenty of hidden compositions for the keen wanderer.
- FUJFUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/250 sec. at F9, ISO 160
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/125 sec. at F7.1, ISO 160
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/125 sec. at F7.1, ISO 160
All of the popular photography spots you see in The Dolomites are prevalent as they are so accessible. The whole area is well connected with lifts and roads to take you close to spots and reduce hiking distances. Make sure you get out and about as the views are incredible and you’re never too far from a mountain hut to refuel.
The views in The Dolomites are so vast you rarely need a wide angle, and actually benefit more from a zoom lens due to their being so many different images available. I primarily used the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR (24-70mm) equivalent for this trip which gave me so much versatility on longer hikes. I also paired this with my XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 to really extend my artistic vision. It allowed me to focus on just a handful of peaks or one single peak alone and isolate it. This allows you to make less cluttered compositions that are crisp. When hiking without a tripod I found that shooting in raw on the X-T3 gives you plenty of leeway to recover shadows and regain detail in your highlights which means you rarely miss an image.
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/125 sec. at F7.1, ISO 160
FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – 1/125 sec. at F10, ISO 160
The next we headed to Tre Cime National Park to walk the Tre Cime Circuit and shoot sunset there. This place is a must see whilst in The Dolomites; however we had avoided it over the weekend due to it being so crowded. Seeing the scale of the peaks upclose really is memorable, and there are plenty of unique angles to be shot if you leave yourself plenty of time to walk around. The landscape is barren and devoid of vegetation which makes for some unique photographs of this rocky landscape.
It wouldn’t be a proper Dolomites blog without an honourable mention to the beautiful alpine lakes located in The Dolomites mountain range. There are so many dotted throughout, each with incredible coloured water, insane mountain backdrops and beautiful reflections on offer when it is calm. So here’s some photo’s from my favourite 3 lakes we visited on our trip.
When capturing an image like this, I was set on getting the hotel dead centre and then focusing on not having any cropped buildings to the side. Of course you can always change this in post but its always worth really thinking about your composition as you’re taking it.
After seeing the Lago Di Sorapis on Instagram we were convinced it was photoshopped, but decided to find out ourselves. We weren’t disappointed. Upon arriving it was clear that the photos we had seen were not photoshopped, as the lake was the most incredible turquoise blue colour. In fact it was so inviting we had to go for a quick dip. Just a tip, lakes made of melt water are ABSOLUTELY FREEZING, in case you hadn’t figured that out…
The Lago Di Braies is also a very well known so you’re unlikely to have the whole place to yourself, however like most places that are popular it’s for a good reason, and it shouldn’t put you off spending some time here on a trip to The Dolomites.
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/125 sec. at F10, ISO 160
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/125 sec. at F8, ISO 160
- FUJIFILM X-T3 + XF16-55mmF2.8 – 1/4 sec. at F1.0, ISO 160
So that’s it for this blog. I hope you enjoyed some photographs from my favourite locations in The Dolomites. It really is an incredible place that has so much variety for a photographer to shoot and should be right up there on your list for your next adventure!