Photography in the Dolomites & Venice

DATES: 09/12/2020 - 09/19/2020
LOCATION: The Dolomites
PRICE: $3,400.00

Lester Lefkowitz is a New York-based professional photographer who has photographed in all fifty states and fourteen countries. He has provided images to many Fortune-500 companies and most major publications, from National Geographic to Time Magazine to The New York Times.

Lester is the author of numerous books and articles on photography, and has been a consultant to both Kodak and Polaroid. He has taught workshops and lectured at many arts, educational and professional institutions, and is a very popular teacher at The International Center of Photography (ICP). From introductory classes to advanced lighting, from basic Photoshop to close-up photography, Lester has been an enthusiastic instructor to hundreds of students.

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Lester was an early adopter of digital photography, but is still pleased to assist film photographers based on his years of experience with that lovely (old) medium. His knowledge of state-of-the-art digital imaging is extensive, working with both Macs and PCs, numerous digital cameras, and with a long list of software, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, iPhoto and Portfolio.

Lester is a major producer of stock photography; creating images for both Getty and Corbis, the two largest stock photo agencies in the world. His subject matter ranges from landscapes to cityscapes, flowers to lasers, architecture to surgery.

Explore this stunning location in northern Italy with your camera

NOTE:  dates and the price are tentative.  If you are interested in this workshop, please send us an email at to get your name on the list early.  Enrollment will be limited.

Join Lester on this new adventure in one of the most gorgeous area of Italy.  Nestled in the foothills of the Alps in the Veneto region, the Dolomites are a wonderful mix of Italy, Switzerland and Austria.  These mountains are a prime destination for skiers in the winter, but in the warmer months, they provide the opportunity to hike the hills and valleys engulfed in the exquisite scenery.  For those interested, we’ll offer a 3-day extension to Venice at the end of the trip where you can continue your photography with Lester to include canals, reflections, teeming campos and timeless architecture.

Dolomites vista, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

Combine these sights and stimulations of the Dolomites with an opportunity to broaden and hone your photographic skills and vision. For a solid week, totally immerse yourself in this adventure, with sights that are a feast to the eye, then translate those experiences into compelling photographs with the assistance of an energetic, vastly experienced and wonderfully engaging instructor – Lester Lefkowitz.

The emphasis will be on photography.  Hiking from place to place will be at a gentle pace with plenty of stops for rest, refreshment and local wine.

The goals:

  • to have a wonderful experience
  • to improve your visual and technical mastery of the film or digital medium, regardless of your current level, and
  • to create memorable images.

Because of the small group size, and opportunity (but not necessity) to interact with the instructor and each other for up to sixteen hours a day, each person will get a good deal of personal attention.

Daily excursions will allow abundant time for photography at visually and intellectually stimulating venues. Each morning (and after dinner if you wish), there will be presentations by Lester as well as one-on-one attention to your personal photographic interests and needs. Digital photography, of course, provides the tremendous opportunity for immediate feedback, critique and sharing, greatly facilitating the learning process. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a digital camera or iPhone/iPad and a laptop computer.

As appropriate, Lester will offer instruction in all aspects of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, iPhoto and Portfolio for editing, organizing, image enhancement and image manipulation. If you are familiar with some other software, you are, of course, welcome to use that.

Venue:  TBA

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION: This area is in northern Italy in the Veneto. You can fly into Venice or even Verona. Once you are registered, we will send you instructions on how to meet up with the group.

Squisito!, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

The Dolomites are a mountain range in the Veneto area of northern Italy, not far from Venice.  These are technically the foothills of the Alps and approach the boarders of Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

This area has politically gone back and forth among these 3 countries for centuries until the present borders were set after the break up of the Astro-Hungarian Empire and World War I.

It is a unique amalgam of all three cultures in language, food, wine and traditions.

The Dolomites are a popular destination for skiers in the winter, but in the warmer months they provide stunning pathways for hiking between the towns.  Our hikes will be kind and gentle, since the focus will be on photography.

The main town in the area is Bolzano, with smaller towns and villages like Vipiteno scattered all about.

There are gondola cable car lifts open year ‘round all over the place, for great trips up into the mountains. 

A Little History:

The South Tyrol province in Northern Italy is where German is the mother tongue of most inhabitants, and every town, river, hill and street has a different name in both languages.

Evening Village, photo by Lester Lefkowitz

Part of Austria for centuries, South Tyrol and neighboring Trentino became part of Italy as part of the spoils of World War I, making German and Ladin (a Romance language spoken by several thousand people) speakers Italian citizens overnight without their consent.

“In the 1920s, Mussolini deputized the ardent fascist Ettore Tolomei to ‘Italianize’ South Tyrol,” 

Every place was given an Italian name … using German in public places was forbidden, secret ‘catacomb’ schools were set up because the German-speaking schools had been banned and some people were even forced to change their names to Italian ones. German speakers wouldn’t be hired for most jobs.”

World War II was followed by decades of continued discrimination and sporadic acts of nationalist terrorism which cost 21 lives overall.  And though the immediate problems seemingly ended in 1972, when a second comprehensive autonomy agreement gave South Tyrol powers of self-rule far greater than anywhere else in Italy, tensions still linger in the form of fascist-inspired monuments and some of the invented Italian place names.