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Tuscan Tips

Well trodden tracks

in Photography , Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I guess Tuscany must be well into the Top 20 most photographed locations in the world. The concentration of cameras is phenomenal, albeit nothing like the freak shows you get in places like Yosemite. The first time I went there, quite a few years back (they still sold film - proper film at that - in the shops), I certainly had all the well known cliches in mind.  There’s the Cypress Grove (on your right, heading south on the SS2 just outside of San Quirico d’Orcia, can’t miss it).

The Cypress Grove

Exhibit A: The Cypress Grove

There’s the Isolated Chapel (heading east from San Quirico, towards Pienza, over on the ridge on your right, although to do the Charlie Waite close-up shot you’ll need to take the farm track).

tuscan chapel

The Isolated Chapel

And there’s the vantage point over the Twisty-Road-With-Cypresses, which you can find by heading out of Montechiello towards Pienza and taking the first unpaved road on your left. You can’t miss the actual spot…

twisty road with cypresses

The infamous twisty road, somewhat drenched

And to complete your collection, you just need an early morning misty valley shot, preferably featuring distant ochre romantic farmhouse, and with all the pesky telegraph poles and power lines painstakingly edited out in Photoshop.  Best bet here is the road down from Castiglione d’Orcia, or the road over Le Crete Senesi, from Asciano towards Siena. But you’re going to have to get up painfully early.

misty hills

Misty morning, Le Crete Senesi, around 6am

E perfetto, va bene cosi. I’ve given away all the trade secrets, and you’re now a fully qualified Tuscan photographer. Of course, you get bonus points if you include poppies. I’m leaving that as an exercise for the student.

So, anyway, I was in Tuscany again last weekend, and although I wasn’t expecting to do much photography, I did have in mind that it would be nice to avoid the cliches, and to try to do something a little more interesting… back streets, people, details, close ups.  Of course it didn’t work. I did resist the Cypress Grove, but it was pretty tatty and the sky was dull and overcast.  But the rest, yeah, pretty much.

Detail shots take time and good ones need to say something about the bigger picture. It takes quite a while to get into the atmosphere, to relax, to listen to what a place is saying to you, and as far as Tuscany is concerned, I’m not sure that I’ve ever managed. But I quite like this photo. And I’m not telling you were it is, because I’m going back!

la fattoria

La Fattoria. Sunday, around 7:30am



Posted in Photography | Travel on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 10:58 PM • PermalinkComments (1)

1 comment

Project Hyakumeizan June 15, 2011 - 11:07
Many thanks for the inspiration - great photos too, by the way ......

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