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Wall of Fame Winner • Daniel Laan

Seceda, Val Gardena, Dolomites, Italy • Nikon D750, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, f/2.8, 30sec, ISO 400

The sunset on this warm summer’s day was beautiful, but once the orange glow faded, it was surprising how soon you could be alone at the Seceda Ridge of the Italian Dolomites.

About one hundred meters away from the spot where the masses flocked, there was this outcrop with a grand view into Val di Funes, the valley to the north. It was there that our group was suddenly be confronted with a change in the weather.

The intermittent flurries of mist set the mood for this Tolkien-esque scene, but there was a subject missing. I have a fear of heights, but with the daylight now quickly departing in the north-west, there wasn’t much time to think about that. We were already at 30 second exposures with wide-open apertures.

I set the self-timer at 20 seconds and bumped the ISO to 400. I then quickly scrambled over to the rocky outcrop. There, right at the edge, I felt myself shaking as I stared into the abyss, listening for the shutter to close behind me. A distant rumble announced that a thunderstorm would soon be upon us, so I chose to call it a day after this humbling experience among these impressive peaks.

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