Boost your visual skills.
My photo workshops are designed to be an extraordinary fun and learning experience. Whilst one of my goals is to improve your technical skills as a photographer, the main aim is to boost your visual skills as an artist. Creativity is at the heart of what I do.
Small group size for total attention.
The tours are aimed at everybody, from beginners looking for advice such as composition, metering, depth of field, etc, through to advanced photographers wishing only to be guided to incredible locations. The small size of groups will guarantee my attention, support, and feedback to all participants at each location visited.
Flexible timetable and post-processing sessions.
The timetable is flexible and may depend on local weather conditions, but generally, the tour will be something like this:
Most days –if not all– we’ll start early in the morning to reach our destination before sunrise. On location we will have a couple of hours shooting session (if possible in two different locations) after which we will head back to our guesthouse for a well-deserved full Italian breakfast. The day will continue with either master classes about post-processing technique, or walking the streets of a medieval town, which is especially advisable on a rainy day, to hunt for reflections in the wet cobblestone streets.
Much more than landscapes.
We will visit and photograph the medieval town of Pienza, considered to be the incarnation of a Renaissance dream and an ideal city, taste its exquisite cuisine and relax with a fine glass of wine while contemplating stunning views over the Val d’Orcia.
Other not-to-be-missed towns that we may decide to visit and photograph during the tour are Bagno Vignoni, Castiglione d’Orcia, Montepulciano, Monticchiello and Montalcino.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR INCLUDE:
One of the most beautiful vistas in Europe, the Podere Belvedere is incredibly popular among landscape photographers who come here all year round from anywhere in the world. We will visit and shoot the Belvedere at least twice, both times at sunrise but from two different spots to get different perspectives. With a bit of luck we will find the typical morning mist which gives this already magic place an ethereal atmosphere.
The podere is situated on a hill facing the medieval town of Pienza and enjoys a beautiful panoramic position in the Orcia Valley. A short walk down the hill leads to this magnificent location where Ridley Scott directed some scenes from the famous movie ‘The Gladiator’. The venue is perfect during the golden hour both at sunrise and at sunset for landscape photography as the light strikes the hills sidewise both times.
The Chapel of Madonna di Vitaleta
This little jewel built in the middle of a hill is one of the most photographed churches in Tuscany. A truly mystical building that is best photographed at sunset, but can be extremely remarkable at sunrise on a misty or cloudy day. We’ll take photographs of the chapel from two different viewpoints, first from a distance, and then closely after a lovely five minutes walk in the countryside. Time permitting, we will be here both at sunset and sunrise.
Torrenieri and the Cypress Grove
The most iconic and world-renowned sight of Tuscany. The area offers endless opportunities to shoot gorgeous landscape, from lone trees, green or bronze rolling hills, and the picturesque cypress circles. We will spend quite a bit of time exploring the area since there’s a lot to photograph anywhere around, and each spot you choose can make you shoot a great variety of landscapes.
The Crete Senesi
The almost lunar landscape of the badlands of Tuscany – known as Crete Senesi – would probably require a dedicated tour as there is plenty of hidden corners such as rows of cypresses, secluded farms and picturesque views. However, we will visit a few of my favorite spots with the warm light of late evening and sunset. Luckily, a few of these viewpoints are grouped in a relatively small area, so they are only a few minutes drive from each other. Following are a couple of them.
The old farm near Vescona
This incredibly photogenic scene of an abandoned farm requires a telephoto lens since we will be standing at a distance of several hundreds meters from the subject. Depending on the time of year, the fields surrounding the farm can be of incredible colors, from bronze-gold to shimmering green. This is a great opportunity to get some practice with long focal lengths composition in landscape photography.
The sentinel is how I named this photogenic lone cypress in between cultivated fields, as it looks like a sentinel standing guard. The Crete Senesi is a place unlike any other in Tuscany, at just every curve you could stop to take a picture. One remarkable feature of this area is that at many viewpoints you will be able to take a few totally different photographs just by standing in one spot and moving your lens around. The limit is only your creativeness. This place will totally amaze you in every season, spring to winter.
The rolling hills
THe typical rolling hills of Tuscany can be easily spotted in most places in the countryside, but there are a few precise viewpoints where the hills are particularly gentle and attractive. The Crete Senesi really shines in this regard. The hills are quite amazing when the sun is low in the sky and generates incredible play of light and shadow.
Secrets of Val d’Orcia
We will photograph the most beautiful and off the beaten track locations, carefully selected by me over the years. These are my “secrets” of Val d’Orcia. Having been photographing the landscapes of Tuscany for many years and in every season, I know the area intimately. This allowed me to make a selection of my favorite spots, some of which have been discovered just by chance during my location scouting.
PUSH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY TO NEW HEIGHTS
To help participants improve their photographic skills, you are encouraged to explore each location we visit and to find your own viewpoints and compositions. You will be given assistance to capture the photograph and supported with technical and artistic inputs.
The precise locations of most outings will be determined day-to-day according to seasonal developments and weather conditions in order to maximize the photographic potential of each day. Some venues indeed can be more interesting with particular weather conditions such as mist, others with clouds and so on. However, we will visit all the places aforementioned, weather permitting.
I am passionate about what I do and spend a lot of time into planning a workshop in order to ensure that everyone has a great experience and is able to make the most of the photographic opportunities and tuition.