View of the night sky set behind tents and campfire in Umbria.

Overlanding in Umbria – Hannibal Rooftents

My favourite travel photography comes from capturing a special moment while travelling. This particular photograph was a longtime in the planning. In the summer of 2013 my family and I set off on a road trip around Europe in a Land Rover. Two teenagers and two dogs and no air con., what could possibly go wrong? The trip took us to France, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and Croatia.

For some my traveling style would not work as I enjoy the spontaneity of having no fixed plans, destination or deadlines – rather a collection of experiences I wish to encounter. I have a passion for wilderness and there is nothing more enjoyable than wild camping in mountains. I love to spend time away from ‘civilisation’, free from light and noise pollution. It heightens your senses and allows one to reconnect with nature.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was two nights spent wild camping in the mountains above Castelluccio in Umbria. A stunning uninhabited landscape that felt closer to the stars than the valley floor below. The only noise coming from the cow bells in the green pastures below. We had enjoyed a bbq cooked on the open fire and I set this shot up after everyone had gone to bed.

The camera was mounted on a tripod for the thirty minute exposure time. The roof-tent was lit by a torch as my wife read in bed. Nothing else was needed to make the image, and no photoshop was used afterwards. How come the star trail is perfectly aligned in the picture? – complete fluke! The camera just happened to be pointed straight at the Pole Star. For me the image represents the freedom that comes from traveling off the beaten track. The manufacturers of the tent thought so too, and it is their front page website image.

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