French Alps 2019 with Erin Babnik and Enrico Fossati
Join Erin Babnik and Enrico Fossati in a new frontier of landscape photography! Be among the first to get the shots in areas that these cutting-edge workshop leaders have discovered and explored. This all-inclusive trip features spa hotels on both sides of the border between France and Italy in two regions of the French Alps.
- Date: Jun 22 - June 29, 2019 (8 days)
- Destination: French Alps: Hautes Alpes, Graian Alps on both sides of the border between France and Italy
- Genre: Landscape, Adventure, Post-Processing
- Skill Levels: All skill levels
- Group Size: Max. 8
- Includes: Full-board accomodation (single occupancy rooms in spa hotels), transportation, all meals
"Erin is smart, humble, kind, energetic and generous. Her photos are of the highest quality and artistry and were already admired by the group before we knew who she was. In addition to being a talented photographer she is an educated art historian, an excellent writer and has great energy, passion and vision. Erin’s love of nature, adventure, exploration and sharing her knowledge aligns directly with the PhotoCascadia mission. – Sean Bagshaw
This all-inclusive French Alps adventure will take us through majestic scenery on both sides of the border between France and Italy.
We will begin our trip in a charming French hamlet of the Hautes Alpes, where we will enjoy the craggy peaks, waterfalls, streams, and alpine lakes of one of the most picturesque valleys of Europe.
After three nights in this southern region, we will head north to the Graian Alps, basing ourselves in a four-star hotel on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif.
Here we will enjoy views of the formidable forms of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, and other distinctive peaks around it. While in this northern region, we will also visit a series of glacier-fed waterfalls that cascade down a total of 2,300 feet, we will stand on the snowy surface of the Glacier du Géant, and we will visit an azure glacial lake fed by the Vény Glacier to photograph the spires of rock jutting into the atmosphere overhead.
The trip will also include a generous post-processing session conducted in the comfort of a hotel conference room.
You will have the benefit of two instructors for guidance through these spectacular locations and for the entire process of making compelling photographs, from in-field techniques to post production.
Whether you are a beginning photographer or a seasoned pro, we are committed to helping you to produce memorable photographs of the French Alps for your portfolio.
Topics of instruction include the art of composition, utilizing different qualities of light ranging from the subtle to the dramatic, maximizing dynamic range and depth of field through exposure bracketing and focus stacks, in-field techniques for advanced blending (exposure blends, perspective blends, focal-length blends) and for other creative solutions.
Learn master processing skills and discover how to make your images more compelling and rewarding. Instruction goes far beyond the basics, but those who desire help with the fundamentals of photography will certainly be accommodated.
Due to the small ratio of participants to instructors, you will enjoy a more intimate experience, having more time to work with the instructors on an individual basis.
Accommodation & Meals
All lodging, meals, and transportation between locations is included in the cost of this trip. We will also provide transportation from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) on June 22 and back again on June 29 (one shuttle transfer running each day).
All seven nights of accommodation will be in spa hotels (one 3-star and one 4-star) with single-occupancy, en-suite rooms.
June 22th - June 29th 2019
After a 3:45pm rendezvous at Milan Malpensa Airport on June 22, we will depart for a charming Hamlet in the Hautes Alpes in France, arriving at our first hotel in time to get settled before enjoying an orientation dinner.
We will spend our first three nights in the nicest hotel in the village, a three-star spa hotel that puts us as close as possible to the many natural attractions in the area.
On June 25 we will transfer up north to the Graian Alps and will check in to our four-star spa hotel there.
This hotel will be the base for our outings for the rest of the trip and will be where we will hold a substantial processing session in the comfort of the hotel conference room.
Transfer back to Milan Malpensa Airport will follow breakfast on June 29, getting us back to the terminal by about 1:00pm with good road conditions.
Adaptation & Flexibility
Each of our base hotels puts us in position for a large variety of options in their respective areas, and we will plan each outing to maximize the photographic potential of each location that we visit.
Please note that our exact plan for each day will be based on that day’s weather conditions, which can vary a lot in the mountains.
What to Bring
- Your Camera. You can choose to use any camera you like, but a digital camera with full manual control and interchangeable lenses is highly recommended and will give you the best experience.
- Lenses. There will be opportunities to use any and all focal lengths, so bring all that you can carry, wide to long. If you want to carry only two lenses, an ultra-wide-angle zoom (such as a 16-35mm) and a 70-200mm zoom would be good choices.
- Tripod. We will often be shooting in low light, requiring longer exposure times.
- Filters. Generally all you will need to use is a polarizer and neutral density filters. Although, it is possible to get great shots without either.
- Other gear. Several batteries, plenty of memory, a remote trigger, lens cleaning supplies.
- Trekking poles are highly recommended for greater comfort and balance on the trails.
- Clothing & shoes. Weather conditions in the Alps during this time of year can be quite cold at sunrise. Bring insulating layers: a good set of base layers, mid-layers for warmth such as fleece and down. A shell jacket and quick-dry hiking pants will help to protect against the elements as well. Good hiking boots or shoes are advised along with a warm hat and gloves.
- Snacks and hydration. Maintaining energy and hydration is very important when out in the wilderness. Energy bars, nuts, seeds, and water are recommended. At times we could find ourselves in very remote areas, hours from the nearest store, so it is a good idea to have a stock of snacks packed when you arrive.
- Willingness to learn and discover.
While adventure and great photos are our main goals, your safety is a priority along with treating the land that we travel on with respect, practicing “leave no trace” ethics.
Erin and Enrico are seasoned backcountry travellers, and Erin is certified by Wilderness Medical Associates as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR).
In order for participants to have a comfortable experience where they can concentrate on the photography, it is highly advised that you have proper attire consisting of non-cotton outdoor dedicated clothing, including an assortment of layers to keep you warm down to the occasional temperatures of slightly below freezing.
Erin Babnik is known for her expressive style of photography and for her adventurous approach in the eld, both of which she developed over years of exploring unique locations in Europe and North America.
She has devoted much of her time to the Alps, gaining great knowledge of the region’s diverse array of massifs, independently discovering seldom-seen, highly photogenic vantage points above the typical valley destinations.
Her photographic expertise, her location knowledge, and her extensive teaching experience combine to provide an expert level of instruction, delivered with great dedication and enthusiasm.
In her writing and public speaking engagements, Erin explores topics of both philosophical and instructional value, making her one of the most notable voices among the current generation of landscape photographers. She brings this same joy of discussing ideas to interactions with her workshop participants, offering a unique dimension to the workshop experience.
Enrico Fossati is one of Italy’s premier fine-art landscape photographers, with a reputation for creating highly memorable images that exude a profound sense of mood and mystery.
His interpretive approach to mountain scenery in the Alps makes magic out of weather conditions that would keep many photographers indoors, and he has a proven ability to find beauty in scenes where it could easily be overlooked.
Enrico is the author of two popular educational videos on post-processing techniques for landscape photographers and teaches photography workshops worldwide.
Total Cost: USD $4,595.00
Deposit: USD $1,495.00
- Shuttle transfer from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) on June 22 and back again on June 29 (one shuttle transfer running each of those days). Transportation between workshop locations.
- Seven nights of lodging in spa hotels in single-occupancy, en-suite rooms (one 3-star, one 4-star hotel).
- Three meals per day (some are picnic meals in order to maximize our time out in nature).
- Guidance to unique photography locations in the Hautes Alpes and Graian Alps.
- In-field instruction (composition, compensating for high dynamic range, focus stacking, shooting for advanced blending techniques, etc.).
- Processing instruction including everything from raw processing through to sharpening for web and print: blending exposures using luminosity masks, focus stacking, the Orton effect, artistic finishing touches in Photoshop, and much more.
- Guaranteed adventure.
- Travel and cancellation insurance.
- Snacks, beverages, and other personal purchases.
A non-refundable deposit of $1495 is required to reserve a space on this workshop. The final balance of $3100 is due and payable 45 days before the workshop begins. Full payment is due at this time, and there will be no refunds on the full amount owed if you cancel after final payment.
However, If we find another client to fill your space, you will receive a full refund, minus your non-refundable deposit. Payment can be made using the sign-up button of this web page using a credit card or via PayPal. If you would like to pay by another method, use the contact form on this page to ask Erin about options for sending a personal check or bank transfer.
All participants will be required to sign a standard workshop indemnity waiver.
Cancellations require us to re-open enrollment and/or to engage in additional promotional efforts to fill the workshop on short notice, so our policy is that there will be no refunds after the 45-day deadline (45 days before the workshop start date), with one exception: if we find another participant to fill your space and the workshop is ultimately full when it begins, then you will receive a refund, minus your non-refundable deposit.
All of our hikes will be day hikes, meaning that you will not need to carry much more than your camera gear. Sometimes we will be away from our hotel for many hours at a time, so you should have a backpack that can carry some additional clothing layers and a picnic meal in addition to your gear.
Hiking will rarely exceed distances of two miles or 400 meters of elevation gain to reach our shooting locations, and the trails are well protected from steep drops. Nonetheless, we do recommend that participants wear boots that provide good ankle support, and we strongly encourage you to bring trekking poles to improve your comfort and balance on rocky trails.
"I’ve been home for one week now and I have re-lived our trip every day. I have started a number of thank-you notes, but feel unable to articulate my thoughts without you thinking I’m crazy. So, to begin: I had a wonderful time. The mountains and you were perfect. I have finally started processing the photos. As I work on them I hear your words in my mind about why and how they were composed. Lessons I’ll long remember." - Aphra Pia
"It was a fantastic group, super well organized, good food and really nice accommodations. The shooting locations were very exclusive and I'm impressed at how well you run your workshops. I will be back for more! I really enjoyed the post-processing session with you and Chip Phillips. I learned quite a bit and am anxious to put it into practice. You guys were incredible leaders and teachers. Thank you for taking care of us. And I loved our mountain chats!" - Annalisa Harding
"Great workshop, great teaching and great photography knowledge sharing ... Erin will take you to the amazing spots for you to get the amazing shots and capture the amazing light! Her post processing workflow demo is just the icing on the cake!" - James Chia
"I had a great time, learnt a huge amount about photography, and saw parts of the area that I would never have seen had it not been for your local knowledge. As we speak I am putting a few of your processing suggestions into practice on an image from the trip." - Kris Bell
"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for a wonderful week. It was challenging, educational, fun, and so inspirational. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge and yourself. I’m looking forward to the Dolomites this summer!" - Gordon Gornbein
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