Catch the light

“Come on, let’s move, let’s be late!” So here I am, trudging on the snow wearing the snowshoes for the first time. At the alpine hut, the “reflex camera and landscape photography” course was so interesting that we lost track of time and now we are late on the program. We must reach the top of a snowy hill before sunset. It will be about two hundred meters but it seems to me two kilometers! I am out of breath: «The rescue helicopter can get this far, right?»«Yes, yes, don’t worry,» Alessandro replies smiling. Ok, I was joking but not too much … «Come on, there is little left, you are almost there». When you start an ascent to 2,236 meters above sea level, it is good to start with a light, unhurried step, and instead we have to get to the top before the sun sets otherwise you lose the moment, the supreme instant, the fundamental reason why you are here now: “the search for the perfect shot”.

The heart beats to the max, every four steps I have to stop to find the energy for the next four steps, “But, not bad snowshoes! I don’t sink into the snow and I don’t even slide! All saved energy”. Slowly, step by step, I reach the top, and I’m not even the last! Ok, calm down, stop everyone, now I have to understand where I am and what is happening, a few more seconds for the brain to find some clarity.

From here you can dominate the Giau pass with the Gusela of the Nuvolau group guarding the pass. The landscape is magnificent and the gaze is lost between the snow-capped mountains and the deep blue sky. We arrived on time, but the sunset is rather disappointing, to the west the clouds cover the setting sun and the peaks aren’t illuminated by the golden light that I would like. “It doesn’t matter, let’s see if I can find some interesting composition”.

I open the tripod, mount the camera and look around. Some photos at the pass, some shots at sunset, then Alessandro approaches: «How’s it going? Have you set the correct parameters? Checked the focus? Removed the stabilizer?». Luckily there is someone who reminds me of the fundamental details … “The stabilizer!”.

Ok now everything is fine. «Can I see the shot?» asks Alessandro, «In my opinion you would do well to move, so as to exclude this snow in the foreground that spoils the composition». Right, I move closer to the edge of the small plateau in the direction of sunset. After going quickly to retrieve the cap of a photographic lens that had fallen and slipped almost to the foot of the hill, Alessandro returns, calm and peaceful. Without even needing to recover his breath, he helps me compose the image on the camera display. In the meantime the sun continues to drop and the clouds, now illuminated from below, begin to turn pink, orange, red, purple, fuchsia, magenta and other extraordinary still nameless colors.

Enchanted from the moment, kneeling on the snow, alone in front of the miracle, I try to catch the light ..

Sunset from the Giau pass – Italy

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