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Sometimes you take an image that you instantly know is going in the portfolio. Other times you know the scene is worthy and you just hope you did it justice. More often than I care to admit, you take a bunch of photographs and pray. You just hope that when you open them on the computer at least one works out. This image was just one of those lucky instances. 


On the third and final full day spent high in the heart of the dolomites, my travel buddy Ben and I stepped out into the harsh sunlight and picked a direction to walk. We had already completed the most famous hikes in our immediate area and I’d checked off my main photography locations. Today was a wildcard. 


As we explored we happened upon a trail that led up a small peak we had been eying from a distance our entire stay at the rifugio. And here’s the funny thing about estimating distances and elevation. Most of us are really bad at it. Half a day later, and we reached the top. The vistas were sweeping. The wind was sharp. The sun hot. The mosquitos maddening. The mid-day light was unforgiving and while the adventure was engaging, I left that mountaintop unenthused by my photographic possibilities. We spent a couple hours on that mountaintop, and I spent half of it napping. 


But as soon as I saw this one on the screen weeks later, I was struck by its sense of immensity. I don’t always know what makes a photograph great, but I think the best ones make you feel something. This one fills me with equal parts dread and awe. I’ve had a morbid fascination with huge waves and tsunamis most of my life. The way the mountains seem to crest over the black treeline is reminiscent of a massive tidal wave.  


Like I said, sometimes, you get lucky. 


An abandoned structure and ominous door we encountered on this hike

It's not a mountain road trip without
Lord of the Rings


Some scattered images from the area that
didn't make the final cut...

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