French Alps 2018 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 24 - Jul 1, 2018 (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

Workshop Details

This all-inclusive French Alps adventure will take us through majestic scenery on both sides of the border between France and Italy.

Featured Destinations

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.

"All of Nothing"

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.

Erin on a workshop adventure!

Post-Processing

The trip will also include a generous post-processing session conducted in the comfort of a hotel conference room.

Participants during a post-processing session

Instructors

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.

Erin Babnik teaching composition

Skill Levels

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 Covered

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.

Intimate Group

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.

A workshop group in the Dolomites

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 24 and back again on July 1 (one shuttle transfer running each day).

All meals are included

Local & traditional picnics will also be provided

All seven nights of accommodation will be in spa hotels (one 3-star and one 4-star) with single-occupancy, en-suite rooms.

One of the hotel rooms provided

Spa pool at one of the workshop accomodations

All accommodation is provided in leading Spa hotels

Itinerary

June 24th - June 27th 2018

After a 3:45pm rendezvous at Milan Malpensa Airport on June 24, 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.

"Sweet Emotion"

June 27th - July 1st 2018

On June 27 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. 

Erin Babnik holding a pink balloon

July 1st 2018

Transfer back to Milan Malpensa Airport will follow breakfast on July 1, 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.

Variable weather conditions

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.

Safety Preparation

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 Babnik's Woofer PatchErin 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.