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.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Waiting for the Bearded Vulture

The Bearded vulture is a magnificent bird that is luckily regaining possess of the Italian Alps. He usually feeds on carcasses of dead animals, but rather than eating meat, his diet is mainly bone marrow. It lets the bones fall on the rocks down below to break them and eat the marrow inside.

Hoping to spot, and photograph, the Bearded vulture, Gipeto in Italian, yesterday I went with some friends to a location in the Piemonte Alps. Unfortunately the wind was extremely strong and that was probably the reason the bird of prey did not show up.

               Wind was particularly strong, especially as soon as we arrived...

But the trip was not totally "useless": the location was great and while waiting we were able to spot other animals worth shooting with our cameras – not to mention the "polenta and spezzatino" we had as a late lunch, when we got down to the village.

Some Chamois were looking for grass on the rocks, where there was less deposit of snow, showing their ability to climb very steep areas.

               800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO500 +1

               800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO1250 +1

                                      800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO2000 +1.33

                                      800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO1250 +1.33

               800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO320 +1

               800mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO800 +1.33

Also, an Alpine chough kept flying over our heads to get down every so often, looking for food. This bird has a yellow beak and bright red feet and is very similar to the less common Red-billed chough, that has both bill and feet red.

               294mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO500 +1

               540mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO500 +1

And before we could even realize it, a large male Alpine ibex approached us from behind the big rock structure where we had stopped, and we were able to enjoy such a wonderful close encounter, for the few minutes the animal stayed in the area before disappearing from our sight. Both Chamois and Ibex are beautiful with their thick fur during the winter season; they will shed with the approaching of spring.

                                      400mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO1250 +1.33

               381mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO500 +1.33

               533mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO1600 +1

               533mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO1250

               381mm f/8.0 1/1000sec ISO800

Both the mammals and the Chough (this one especially) are pretty dark and taking pictures of them against the white of the snow requires compensation of exposure done in a proper way. Finding the right balance is key, in order not to have too much black for the animals and not loose all the detail of the snow at the same time.


  1. Outstanding images, Guido, excellent captures. I like the majesty of the Ibex with its large horns.

    1. Thank you very much, Jake. Yes, I agree, the Ibex is really a magnificent animal and you feel as if you were in front of a king.