Parco Naturale Fanes

On Weekend last october my brother and I had decided to go on a short photo trip to Italy. We had planned to stay over the weekend to photograph some fall colors in Trentino. We did ignore some bad weather warnings and left Vienna on friday noon. After a few hours drive it started snowing. At first it was just a a little snowfall but a few kilometers further it suddenly felt like deep winter.
Suddenly the road was covered in 30cm of snow. We even had to stop for almost 2 hours because lots of vehicles got stuck. We had planned to be on location for a sunset shoot, but neither did we reach our final destination in time, nor did we see a sunset. We finally arrived around 1am. We were tired, drank some beer and went to sleep. At least it had stopped snowing.
The next morning we awoke in a winter wonderland.

Snowy Sunrise at Lago di Braies © Joerg Bonner

It was still dark when we got up, but we could see the moon shining through a layer of fog and clouds. It seemed like it was clearing up. We started walking along the lake. The snow was almost waist deep (Lago di Braies lies at 1496m) and it took us 1 hour to find a good location. The picture above was taken a few minutes past sunrise when the clouds finally gave way to a few rays of light. I liked the fresh layer of snow on the trees and how everything reflected in the lake. Unfortunately the clouds didn't open up any more.

Cascata di Fanes © Joerg Bonner

We continued back to our car and ate breakfast. Since it was fully overcast again we decided to drive to a big waterfall which was just 1 hour away. The Cascata di Fanes at around 90m is the highest waterfall of the Dolomites. We followed the small path through the woods until we reached a lookout above the falls. From there a steep path leads down to the falls. We knew that we would have to get down there to get the pictures we had in mind. It took us 30 minutes to descend the snow-covered steps.

Cascata di Fanes © Joerg Bonner

When we had reached the bottom of the falls we knew that it had paid of. The tall falls and the almost orange rocks in the stream's bed were just gorgeous. The fresh snow cover was just the icing of the cake.
It struggled to keep my lens and camera clean. The cold spray of the fall was blown down by a stiff wind. I wrapped everything in a rain cover and held a cloth before the lens, which I just removed for a fracture of a second to take the exposure. Still I had to clean the lens after each capture.

Cascata di Fanes © Joerg Bonner

Our hands were freezing within minutes because of the wet cold. The rest of our bodies that had been kept warm by the exhausting walk through the snow also started to feel cold. I hurried to take a few more exposures from different angles of which I liked the most the one from above.

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