For those of you who don’t know, I was a backcountry ranger in Yosemite several years ago and have been trying to get back ever since! So I used scouting as an excuse; I continue to try to convince Joel that a Sierra workshop would be amazing! If you’d be interested, let us know… The Sierra Nevada are as beautiful as I remember- it’s no wonder Ansel Adams spent so much time there. I spent most of my time in the high country so all of these locations are 10,000 ft (3050 m) or higher. I hiked about 35 miles in 3 days and my maximum elevation was a mountain pass at just over 12,000 ft (3700 m).
Photo Tech Notes:
I used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 for all of these, a small light weight camera with a lot of control. I used a polarizing filter on all but the night shot. I carried the Pedco Ultrapod Mini (tripod) with me in my backpack- small and light weight is a necessity! I used Lightroom 3 to process my color photos and Joel helped me use Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex Pro, Topaz Adjust and Topaz B&W Effects to process the black and whites. NOTE: For a 15 percent discount on Nik or Topaz products, use the links here and when you check out use the code JWOLFSON.
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!
Today, we were lucky enough to be part of the “crowd” during a national cycling race. Watching how excited the people were was just as fun as the race itself. All the locals were posted at their windows to watch it, a better view than from the street I think.
After the racers left on their 150km journey, we noticed the trophy tent… Only in Italy do athletes get wine as part of their prize!
A local told us that this race is the last qualifier before riders go pro. I have to say, it was very exciting- especially the finish! It was really close at the end. Of course it was a great place to take photos too. All in all, a fun and pretty relaxing day. Once the race started, we couldn’t go anywhere anyway- everything was fenced up. And we didn’t mind at all.
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!
Joel will be participating in an exhibit at Hidden Light in downtown Flagstaff for the month of September where he will show only black & white images. When he first began his photography career many years ago, he shot mostly black & white. Although he still shoots a lot of black & white, he rarely shares it. I’m a bit early in mentioning a September show here, but he’s been having so much fun picking out images and shooting some new stuff that I wanted to share a preview!
Hidden Light and Joel will host a catered reception as part of the First Friday Artwalk in September… I’ll have more details this summer!
And Don’t Forget…
Check out our summer workshop schedule, including a black & white workshop! We’re working on a special pricing deal that I’ll put in my next post. Stay tuned…
Ciao for now!
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!