It's in my blood.
Since I was given my first camera, when I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by capturing in a shot what my eyes were seeing around me. The beauty of nature or the smile of a friend, an event or an emotion... Precious pearls to be framed in a photo. Whether freezing a movement or moving the stillness, looking at normality through a different angle or portraying the exceptional, I can choose different perspectives, I can catch reality. I think this passion is in my blood, I inherited it from my Grandpa and then from my Dad, and it has always had a great influence in my life. Come and follow me in my journey searching impressions of life.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Majestic Alpine Ibex

I still remember the first time I visited Valnontey and the whole family hiked up to the Vittorio Sella shelter. The beautiful view of the glaciers around and the river streaming down the deep groove in the valley. I was very excited to be in a national park. That was the closest thing to the dream of, one day, visiting the big national parks that I was seeing in documentaries on TV or reading about in books – dream that actually became true many years later.

              EOS 5D Mark III – 400mm f/10 1/1000 sec ISO 400

It was a memorable day. We saw many animals, in a wonderful natural environment: fat cute marmots, the elegant and fast chamois and the regal ibex. I remember how my Dad saw this huge male from such a distance and ran up to the ridge of the mountain to take a video with his 8mm videocamera: it was worth it, the big animal hadn't moved and my Dad took a great shot (I can see myself doing that now).
Since then, I have visited the park many times and I have been lucky to see steinbocks and chamois pasturing among the high mountain peaks or running like dare-devils on steep rocks.

But during the most recent visits, I hadn't been that lucky, maybe also because I hadn't that much time to walk around the valley or really look for the animals. While I was planning another trip to the national park, however, during a walk to a pass between Val d'Aosta and Piemonte, we were lucky to encounter a couple of beautiful male steinbocks.

              EOS 5D Mark III – 380mm f/8 1/500 sec ISO 800

I wouldn't have seen them, but I kept looking around me because I knew there might be animals in the area, and I was hoping to spot them. And in fact, while we were walking on a trail, higher on the side of the mountain we saw a first male approaching. Low clouds were at times obstructing the view with a thin fog, but we were pretty close to the animal to seee him well.

              EOS 5D Mark III – 375mm f/8 1/500 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 400mm f/8 1/500 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 400mm f/7.1 1/500 sec ISO 800

After a minute we spotted a second male, larger than the first one, with huge curved horns, coming after him. We looked at him walking and jumping on the steep rocks, but also posing for a classic shot, as if he was saying: "Yes, it's me, the king of the Alps."

                                      EOS 5D Mark III – 380mm f/7.1 1/400 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 400mm f/7.1 1/400 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 275mm f/7.1 1/500 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 260mm f/7.1 1/500 sec ISO 800

I kept shooting, until they both went past the ridge and we let them go, without running after them, happy with the wonderful view that these majestic animals had given us.

              EOS 5D Mark III – 360mm f/7.1 1/400 sec ISO 800

              EOS 5D Mark III – 400mm f/9 1/640 sec ISO 800