Catching the sunset
Sometimes it is necessary to take as much time as it takes to find the perfect lighting conditions. In the meantime a kettle with hot tea, good friends are ideal.
January 2020.
Together with some friends, we are in the heart of the Dolomites for a week. With me there is also someone who is not used to see the natural spectacles typical of this land and so I decide to organize an hike in the snow. The main purpose is to reach the top of a small peak called "Col della Puina" and then wait as long as necessary to have the best sunset lights and then take some photographs. At this time of the year in fact, the snow illuminated from a certain angle creates truly breathtaking colors. Although I have already been on this hill, I return there very gladly; I remember very well how excited I got the first time I went there and if there is one thing that gives me a lot of happiness is to see other people being enchanted by the same situation. In short, I wanted them to feel such a strong emotion too. So the next day we start and with the car we reach the parking lot where the routes start.
Once on the way, we start talking along the beaten snow road that leads us to a well-known and very popular hut, the Città di Fiume. We then spend the first twenty minutes walking past several groups of people until we reach the hut. And here we finally separate ourselves from the mass of hikers and enter a path that only us and a few ski mountaineers have undertaken.
Let's talk about the landscape: we are between the valley of Zoldo and the Val Fiorentina, one of my favourite viewpoints, just below the immense Pelmo, the so-called "Throne of the Eternal Father", which is in itself an enchanting sensation. Having left the main path, we climb up the ridge of the hill. The snow is pleasant, tending to ice and, following the tracks of some skiers who have already passed with their skins, we find ourselves in a grove formed by the last fir trees before the change of high altitude vegetation. As we pass the last vegetation, the ascent becomes steeper and the snow begins to be so icy that we can make the most of our crampons. This last ascent expresses all its beauty especially in winter, when the ice and the snowy ridge bring out the contrasts of light on the snow between one side and the other. With the last efforts we reach the summit and I finally start to see big smiles on the mouths of my friends, they are satisfaction! We reach the cross, which is just under two hours before sunset. It's still early for sunset but I wanted to make sure we reach the top before dusk, so we have time to prepare and think about the compositions of the shots.
It's nice to take as much time as you want to design a photograph, especially when it comes to landscapes. The light in those hours changes from one minute to the next, allowing you to know nuances that initially tend to gold and then fade into a deep blue that reminds you of the cold. The best thing is to capture a few last rays of gold while the sky is in the blue hour. I have well in mind what I would like to achieve, last year I saw an exceptional sunset in the same place. Time passes and with the portable boiler we prepare several herbal teas and coffee to warm up. My friends are visibly moved by this great beauty and so am I. To see the lines of landscapes that mingle with each other in constant harmony is a spectacle. After sunset we enter the blue hour and with the last lights we start to go down. As we go back in, I think about how the mountain can move people. These are sensations that only those who have experienced them can imagine and that can hardly be expressed in other ways. My photographic project, for example, tries to tell these strong emotions through images and stories, even though I am aware that the only way is to experience the mountain in the first person.

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