Tuscany in Italy was high on my list of places to visit. I had seen pictures of fields on top of hills, farmhouses such as Belvedere and of course, many Cypress trees. Many of the pictures were connected with something unique; superb light conditions accompanied by mist in the valley. To a landscape photographer this is a superb combination for guaranteed success.
However, just as many photographers visit national parks in Africa to see the top five primarily, it was a similar case with Tuscany. Browsing the internet before I went there, I kept seeing the same top five locations being photographed time and again. As you can imagine, my expectations were for good photography but on a small scale.
As I have mentioned before, I am never content seeing only the same old classic scenes when I visit a new location. I enjoy pushing myself beyond boundaries and limitations – I wish to leave no stone unturned. Tuscany was no exception.
This was not just a photographic holiday to me (although it was a splendid one indeed), it was also a reconnaissance trip for future workshops. I want participants to my workshops to enjoy the locations they visit with me as much as possible and explore every inch of the ground.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Tuscany had so much more to offer than the usual top five breathtaking locations. Most villages are built on top of hills and as you can imagine, the skyline during the golden hours always looks stunning.
The houses display a grand architecture of a bygone era, they all keep a similar style – building materials with natural colours play a huge part here. Narrow alleys with cobbled streets, close up details of doors and windows, human figures on every corner – you only need a tiny amount of imagination and images can flow before your eyes like a stream after a sudden downpour.
I shouldn’t forget to mention the fact that the views from all these villages are simply magnificent. Looking down the valleys, one’s eyes can scan the landscape for miles. A hint of haze or sometimes mist adds mystery and mood to the scene. A mention about Italian cuisine should not be left out; simply gorgeous.
I am one of those people who does not take many pictures, I prefer to capture less images but make them carefully planned and thought out – this means that I always slow down and take my time to think of the composition very carefully, just like we used to do in the film era. However, in the case of Tuscany, I think one can make an exception. Even if you are like me, you will still need to take many memory cards with you. There is a picture around every corner, literally.
Looking back, I realise that Tuscany has now become my favourite photographic location. As long as you enjoy photographing such clean, neat and manicured locations, the possibilities are simply endless.