Many photographers visit national parks in Africa to see the top five primarily, and it was a similar case with Tuscany. Browsing the internet before I went there, I kept seeing the same five locations being photographed time and again. As you can imagine, my expectations were for good photography but on a small scale.
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 and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it 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 and 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 of Italian cuisine should not be left out: simply gorgeous.
Most photographers visit the area during spring, as they are greeted by green fields, poppies and many other wild flowers. However, I had always wanted to visit the area during autumn. I wanted to photograph the land in its raw state, just after the fields have been plowed and all the muted earth colours are evident. Indeed, I visited this extraordinary land, I photographed it and I was not disappointed.
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.
The Location: Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is located in central Italy. Its landscape, artistic heritage and standout cities make it a magnet to landscape photographers. In this region, nature has many different facets. However, the most typical sceneries of the region are those that merge the beauty of nature with the millenary work of man. Medieval villages, historical towns, castles and defence systems, country churches and beautiful abbeys like the one of Sant'Antimo.
Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been home to many influential figures in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace.
The cost for this workshop is £1795 GBP or €2095 EUR or $2450 USD per person. A deposit of £500 or €600 or $700 is required to book your space. The outstanding balance will be requested 10 weeks before the tour date.
The tour starts on Friday 06 Sep 2019 (meeting at Pisa airport in the afternoon) and ends on Friday 13 Sep 2019 after breakfast. The drive from the hotel to Pisa airport is around 3 hours.
The group size for this tour is limited to six people. Due to its small size group, this photo tour is designed with inspiration in mind, allowing plenty of time for individual attention by the tutors, making sure you photograph the area under the best light and the best time of day.
All transport during the tour is included in the price. Collection and drop-off at Pisa Airport are included in the price but only for designated arrival and departure times (details in due time).
Please make sure you know how to use your camera or at least the basic functions – make sure you bring the camera's manual along with you. Focal length of wide angle to 300mm will be required.
A sturdy tripod is strongly recommended. If you need advice on purchasing a tripod, we recommend the Manfrotto 055 or similar. If you own a low budget light aluminium tripod such as Jessops and you are wondering if it is good enough, no, it is not. It will not allow you to trust your gear on it and it will not allow us to help you with tuition.
Neutral Density Graduated filters are highly recommended for balancing exposure difference between land and sky. We recommend a 1.5 stop hard and a 3 stop soft (if you are just starting with filters). Full instruction can be given during the workshop to help you with the correct use of filters.
To get the very best out of your images and the locations, we suggest that you bring a good Neutral Density filter with you such as the Lee Little Stopper or Big Stopper or the Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter for long exposures.
You will need one for longer than 30 seconds exposures.
Cool clothing will be required as the weather is lovely and warm this time of year with temperatures between 20-30C during the day. Saying that, a light jacket might be needed as it gets cooler during the early morning hours ☀ ☁ ❄. We also encourage you to bring some digital files of your previous work as there will be opportunities to discuss your portfolio and supply you with beneficial feedback.
Although all 'Inspiring Photography Workshops' clients are covered by our public liability insurance, we recommend that you take your own travel insurance also.
This photo workshop does not offer post processing tuition, please see here for further details.
Dimitri Vasileiou is a highly acclaimed landscape photographer, writer and photographic workshop leader. A professional photographer for several years, he was born in Greece and currently resides in Scotland.
Some of his work has been reproduced in the Daily Record newspaper and he has also had work published in a number of photography magazines and books.
In 2011 Dimitri founded Landscape Photography Magazine. He is the editor and currently writing articles every month for the publication.
We will be based near the village of San Quirico Val d’Orcia from where we can explore Tuscany in all directions.
The bulk of our photo shoots will take place every morning starting before sunrise (good weather permitting) and every evening (beyond sunset).
During the day we will visit various classic Tuscany villages where we will concentrate on artistic and architectural photography. This is also where we will be having lunch.
Evening meals will take place after the sunset shoot.
Hotel casanova is a typical tuscany architecture building and is located very close to the centre of San Quirico d’Orcia, a little medieval village in the heart of Val d'Orcia in Tuscany. From the hotel you can enjoy wonderful views on all the surrounding valley. The famous "Belvedere Sunrise" views can be enjoyed from the hotel's courtyard.
All rooms have private bathroom with bath or shower, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, minibar, safe, satellite TV, telephone, Internet, air conditioning.