The traveler: Kyle Turner of Minnetonka.

The scene: The Sassolungo mountain (Langkofel, in German) looms over a simple hut in the Dolomites of Italy.

The location: "I have traveled extensively through Europe, and northern Italy is my favorite area. It has the best combination of mountains, lakes, food, culture and history," Turner wrote in an e-mail. When he made this photo, he was climbing Alpe di Seceda with his brother and a friend. The trio of young, fit hikers had been told the trip would take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. "Yet after two and a half hours of uphill climbing, we still weren't there," he wrote. A group of Germans invited them to rest on the sunny patio of a small cottage. "They were the kind of people that make you feel like old friends in just a few minutes," he wrote. After that break, the trio carried on and summited 30 minutes later. "We were exhausted but the reward of looking across the peaks of all the mountains in the area was something I'll never forget."

How I got this shot: Turner used a Canon PowerShot G16, in HDR (high dynamic range) mode. That setting "brings balance to the overexposed and underexposed areas of the photo," Turner wrote.

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