It's often the unplanned experience that really leaves a mark on you. I visited the Italian Dolomites years ago planning to shoot its stellar vertical mountains but bad weather sent us looking for something else. I had spent so much time researching alpine hikes & camping that I hadn't made a backup plan. Quick roadside research showed a lake with stellar views and a decent weather window just hours away...so we decided to hide there for a few days. Turned out it was the very last days of the season and soon snowpack would set in, the road would become impassible & the lake would freeze over. Being so close to winter I envisioned freezing conditions, but instead it felt as warm as a California summer. The water however was a chilly glacial temperature right around 35 degrees. We were the only people in the historic hotel on the lakes edge. The owner would tell us stories of how the valley was formed, about the old films that were shot here & stress that we had to try his homemade pasta. I think we impressed him with our ability to brave the cold water.. or maybe he just felt sorry for us.
This is a few of my favorite photos.
Ps - the first photo is of me.. and yes I survived ;)