Here are a couple shots we took in Firenze (Florence). Generally, Italian police don’t like photos so you have to be a little sneaky about it! There are several different types of police with varying responsibilities in Italy but I won’t begin to try to explain what I only barely understand myself… The two men pictured at the top are with the Polizia Municipiale (municipal or city police), and the man in the navy blue uniform below is with the Carabinieri (national or military police).
Joel always has fun shooting photos of people in Italy. And the people are definitely a large part of what makes Italy so great! Here’s a link with some of his favorite people shots from this trip.
A reminder- coming up June 11th, we’re doing another Digital Photo Basics Workshop through Flagstaff Cultural Partners. Part of the fee is a donation to a great organization! Please contact us or visit the website for more info!
We made it back home in about 30 hours… Wow! Very tiring, but happy to be back.
The day before we left, a local gave us a tour of a private castello (castle) that dates back to the 10th century. Parts of it were destroyed and/or damaged and reconstructed over the centuries and it was at the center of a farming community. It sits on the highest point between Florence and Siena, which made it a strategic location throughout history. One can see for miles in all directions from the top of the high tower. The current owners’ family purchased the property in the late 1800s. They make their own wine, olive oil and honey. Also on the grounds was a Romanesque church from the same time period- I thought the old wooden doors and stone walls were beautiful with the dappled light coming through the adjacent oak forest.
I snapped the poppies with beautiful background on my way back to our hotel after lunch yesterday… if only this was my view at home! The sepia tone below is inside an ancient abbey that just begs to be shot in black and white!
Today we were actually in Siena- I hope to get a shot or two from our participants for my next post! Siena is one of my favorite days on our trip… We have a terrific guide to take us to some of the most important sites and tell us all about the history of Siena.
In Siena, the Palio is their most important “festa” all year long and occurs twice, once in July and once in August. The city becomes a different place during these two events and the rest of the year revolves around the Palio. We are looking into basing a photography workshop at the Palio for 2012… Very exciting!
Ciao for now.
In Siena, everyone hangs their laundry on dry sunny days. Today was absolutely gorgeous and there was laundry everywhere!
It is very early in the year for the farmers to cut hay, but this was freshly cut… amazing scenery, but not a lot of color. I thought it made for a nice black and white.
Gelati today in Siena and a delicious zuppa di farro e fagioli (bean and wheat berry soup), and pici al aglioni (fresh local pasta with garlic tomato sauce) for dinner… Mmmmm!
Here in Italy, old Fiats are prize possessions… at least the ones that are still running anyway! We’ve seen red ones, white ones, black ones, even an orange one. It seems every village has at least one old Fiat. Of course there is a back seat, but I can’t imagine who could fit inside it!
Right now there are flowers every where. The roses are blooming and smell wonderful. Italians are all about presentation in every aspect of life, and flowers are often their finishing touch on the beautiful old houses.
We arrived yesterday afternoon and fought the jet lag to stay up late enough in the evening to “reset” ourselves. We had a light dinner of fresh pasta and salad at one of our favorite restaurants and a good night’s sleep.
Today we spent the day driving some of the back roads to scout our shooting locations. Although the Tuscan scenery changes little, it is always beautiful and amazes us so! The sheep are not so smart, but very cute! And their milk makes very tasty local cheese…
For dinner this evening, we cooked fresh ravioli tartufo (truffle filled ravioli) and asparagi (asparagus) from the local market… Mmmm! Tomorrow, Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Ciao for now!
Take a workshop with a friend and share 40 percent off! This summer, for our two local shooting workshops, Light Painting in Northern Arizona (June 17-19) and Creative Black & White Part I (August 12-14), we’re offering 40% off the fee for the second person. For example, you and your friend sign up for the black and white workshop and we charge $495 for one of you and $297 for the other. You split the savings with your buddy and you can each save about 100 dollars!
It’s a great deal so sign up soon!
We leave for Italy in 1 week- we arrive several days early to scout our favorite locations and find some new ones… as well as get a little extra food and wine before the group arrives!
Abstracts can be fun because some of the general rules of photography may not apply. When we’re not focused on an obvious subject or story to the photograph, we concentrate more on color, form and texture. Almost anything can be the subject of an abstract- here I chose reflections in water. My original goal was to shoot the scene and it’s mirror image reflection at sunrise, but a slight breeze did not cooperate with that idea. So I decided to focus solely on the rippling reflections and came up with this interesting abstract.
Remember, there may still be a photograph, even when what you had in mind doesn’t work!
Living at a high elevation like Flagstaff (7,000 ft/2,100 m) can sometimes mean strange weather… like the 8 inches of fresh snow we woke up to this morning! I took this image out the back door of our house.
Instead of complaining, we should thank Mother Nature for being so generous- we definitely need the moisture. It’s been a relatively dry winter and this is beautiful! Besides, with temperatures near 60 on Monday, the snow will not last long.
We’re about a month away from leaving for Tuscany. Today has been a good day to gather the necessary books and maps we need for the trip. Now it’s time to pull out the check lists…
Thursday night Joel gave a presentation for the Flagstaff Photography Club. He talked about what to look for during photography critiques, what makes a photograph great instead of mediocre.
Editing your own work is difficult for most people, even pros. Joel always offers critique and review as part of our workshops. Many times a photo can be much better just by moving closer to a subject or if that is not possible, zooming in. Sometimes a photo can be much improved simply by cropping, after the fact, though it is best to do as much in-camera as possible. We are often overwhelmed by what our own eyes take in and want to show it all.
Here’s an example of two images I shot in a village in Provence, France. In the first image, I tried to show too much of the scene. By using a telephoto lens in the second image I more successfully conveyed the feeling of tightly built houses. As Joel often says in our workshops, your portfolio is only as good as your weakest image. Happy editing!