A UNIQUE UNESCO heritage site
TUSCANY IN SPRING
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 2023
6 DAY LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
1 - 6 MAY 2023
The lush green fields and rolling hills of Tuscany are one of landscape photography’s most iconic scenes. The area around Val d’Orcia has attracted photographers and artists for years and it’s easy to see why. Mist filled valleys and cypress tree-lined roads are everywhere you look, picturesque hilltop towns and vineyards, Tuscany is a beautiful landscape that you can’t help but be seduced by.
May is the peak time to visit when the grass is at it’s most lush, the fields have yet to be cut, and the countryside is bursting with wildflowers. At dawn mist regularly fills the deep valleys creating a dreamy landscape that’s incredibly photogenic. We base our workshop in the beautiful medieval town of San Quirico d’Orcia, just a few minutes drive from some of the areas most iconic scenes like Cappella di Vitaleta and the famous Cypress trees, while the Belvedere farmhouse can be photographed from a wonderful vantage point within the hotel grounds. But there’s much more to the area than these well known locations and everywhere you look, particularly in the warm low light of sunrise or sunset, will inspire and fire your creativity.
All our workshops are designed to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else. Airport transfers, ideally located and comfortable accommodation as well as all meals are all part of the package, and of course the tour is structured to maximize your opportunities to get great images whilst improving your skills as a photographer. We use all our experience and knowledge to get you to some of Tuscany’s most beautiful locations in the best light, and in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want. Having two professional photography guides helps us to ensure that each participant gets plenty of one-to-one tuition and allows us to better tailor each session to your needs. Because of this we can accept range of experience levels from beginners to professionals and comfortably cater to each.
Tuscany Photography Workshop
May 1st – 6th, 2023
Price includes single occupancy in private room with bathroom
4 – 6
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.
Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable winter locations
All dinners provided
Post-processing workshops in Lightroom, Capture One and Photoshop, with screen recordings which the participants can keep.
Local transportation to and from the locations
Pick up/drop off from Florence Peretola Airport
Lunches, snacks or alcoholic drinks are not included
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL DAY
DAY 2 - 5
Typically we’ll start the day at around 5h30. Even though all our sunrise locations are pretty close, we want to make sure we always have time at the location to be in position for when the best light comes a little after 6h. We’ll keep an eye on the weather, and if there’s precipitation or high humidity at night, we’ll be ready for mist the following morning. The classic misty shot is the Belvedere farmhouse, which can be captured literally from right next door to our accommodation, but there are other locations that work really well for misty sunrises too.
After sunrise, we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast around 7h30, and then you’ll have the rest of the morning free. We’ve found that the early starts combined with relatively late sunsets followed by dinner, means that during the workshop sleep is quite limited, which can mean fatigue builds throughout the workshop. Additionally, as the sun gets higher in Tuscany, all the contrast and depth is lost from the landscape, and any images taken in the late morning end up looking flat and dull. So a post-breakfast break in the morning allows people to catch up on sleep, back up images, or use the facilities of the hotel like the pool or spa.
We’ll usually meet up again around 11h30 for a post-processing session. In our sessions, we’ll look at getting the best from the images we take on the trip. Our post-processing sessions will be tailored to suit the different levels and requirements of our clients and can range from Lightroom basics through to Photoshop Luminosity Masks and more advanced techniques, and we’ll split up and work in small groups on different people’s images, giving you time to see the different techniques we use for our own images on the photos you’ve shot during the workshop. We’ll do screen recordings while we do the sessions, which will then be shared amongst the group later and allow you to review the different techniques and steps applied. On the fifth day of the workshop, we’ll switch the processing session for a critique session where each participant brings three images they took on the trip, and we’ll discuss how successful they were in capturing the scene.
The session will be followed by a break for lunch.
After lunch, we’ll head back to our rooms to get ready for the afternoon session and then head out. We’ll keep an eye on conditions to decide where we go, and we’ll probably start the session by exploring one of the local towns like San Quirico or Pienza, or a smaller location before heading to the area where we’ve decided to shoot the best light. We’ll have plenty of time to explore the location and find a composition we’re happy with and explore different aspects of framing and exposure, before heading for dinner at a local restaurant to finish the day. Typically we’ll be back in our rooms a little after 22h,
On one day we’ll change the pace and head to southern Tuscany to explore the beautiful medieval towns of Pitigliano and Sorano. These are incredibly charming places of narrow winding streets that still feel very much lived in. We’ll also be able to shoot the towns from outside looking in, where the buildings merge with the tufa rock they stand on creating wonderful abstracts and angles in the last light.
Locations we’ll visit during the workshop:
Cappella di Vitaleta
Agriturismo Terrepille (the fields from “Gladiator”)
The Cypress trees near San Quirico d’Orcia
The medieval walled towns of Pitigliano and Sorano
Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia
DAY 6 - DEPARTURE DAY
We’ll head out for our last sunrise shoot. We’ll check with people to see if there’s a location they want to revisit and shoot again, or we may try a different angle for the Belvedere farmhouse, which we can shoot from the grounds of our hotel. If people are tired, then it’s no problem if they miss this session and catch up on sleep before the journey home.
We’ll have our last breakfast together at 7h30 before heading back to our rooms to pack.
10h We’ll check out of the hotel and then set off to Florence where we’ll drop you off at the airport at around midday
WHAT WE DO (AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS)
Our aim is to take you to beautiful locations and give you every opportunity to get great images while improving your technique over the course of the workshop. From the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, which combined with having two professional photography tutors allows us to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field and in the post processing sessions.
We also believe that having two shooting sessions a day means that participants get into a shooting rhythm and can quickly put into practice new skills as they are learned. We carefully select the dates of our workshops to try and make sure we are in each location at the best time of year. In Tuscany for example early spring means that the grass has not yet had chance to grow and many of the fields can look a little bare, whilst once we get into June the summer heat starts to turn the grass yellow and many of the fields are harvested. Early May gives us the best chance to capture lush green grasses across the hills and a temperature differential between warm days and cold nights which allows mist to form in the valleys.
Our timetable is highly flexible and having a number of fantastic locations all very close to each other means we can adapt to the weather and go where the conditions are best for shooting. This adaptability also extends to the post processing sessions. We believe that editing is an integral part of getting the absolute best out of an image but we understand that the range of participant’s skill levels and familiarity with post processing techniques varies greatly. Because of this we once again make the most of having two tutors to provide editing sessions in the afternoon that can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop.
Finally, we want to bring you the very best of the place, not only in taking you to stunning locations for photography, but also in introducing you to some of the best food and drink the region has to offer because after all, travel isn’t only about photography. Food is a vital part of any trip to Tuscany, and eating with friends, sharing stories and a bottle of wine is an essential part of our workshops. We aim to make your experience here in the beautiful landscape of Tuscany a memorable one and a trip from which, as well as getting some great images from amazing locations, you’ll also enjoy great food and great company in a very special place.
SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP
IN THE FIELD
- Understanding the light and choosing the best exposure
- Composition. Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.
- Lens choice. From the wide angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens
- Photographing mist and creating layers
- Shooting multiple image panoramas
- Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
- Shooting medieval streets and architecture
- Lightroom for RAW processing, from basics to advanced
- Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
- Photoshop masks for local adjustments
- Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
- Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
- Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex, Exposure X4 and Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers.
- Using Capture One for RAW conversion.
- Stitching multiple panoramas together
- Sharpening images
WHAT TO BRING
A dSLR or mirrorless camera
A cable release
This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, avoiding movement blur during longer exposures.
A wide angle lens
Comfortable waterproof walking boots
While we won’t be doing any long hikes we’ll certainly be doing some walking over uneven ground, and in the sunrise sessions we’ll often find ourselves standing in long grass which is wet from overnight dew. The fields can also get very muddy if it rains.
A telephoto lens
Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes
A mid-range zoom lens
When moving your camera gear for any length of time a backpack can really save your back. A good backpack, one with sturdy hip straps, can safely distribute the weight of your gear and really save you from aches, pains and potential injury.
We’ll often be shooting in low light so a tripod is an absolutely essential piece of equipment. A lightweight carbon fibre model is ideal for this kind of trip.
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW and Photoshop
We’ll be shooting RAW, and as part of each day will be dedicated to post processing images a good RAW converter like Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW is essential. Other converters like Capture One are also fine. Adobe Photoshop is great for more advanced processing as it allows us to be much more subtle and creative in it’s use of layers.
We’ll be shooting at least a couple of waterfalls and a neutral density filter of at least 3 stops will help slow down the exposure to blur the water. There may also be times when a graduated filter will help control the brightness of the sky.
If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us. A full packing list is provided on enrolling for the workshop. If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.
ANDY MUMFORD is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. Andy grew up in the UK loving nature and travel and took up landscape photography over a decade ago. Since then he has travelled extensively photographing all over the world and his photography and articles have featured in publications and books worldwide. He is a passionate photographer teacher and has been leading both group and one-to-one workshops for six years.
He is a Fuji X Photographer and a brand ambassador for Fujifilm in Portugal, although he also has extensive experience with Nikon and Canon cameras.
ANDREA LIVIERI is a Venice based professional photographer, educator, musician, and a spirited adventurer. He started exploring the photography medium by capturing images of fellow musicians, their families, and other friends and acquaintances in the music industry. As he continued honing his craft, he merged his love for photography and exploring the outdoors, amassing a body of photographic work featuring exhilarating landscapes and rugged mountains capes from around the globe, He also leads photography courses, workshops & tours to teach other photographers his method and help them to bring out their own vision.
His work has been published in Landscape Photography Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Plus Magazine, Digital Camera, Popular Photography and Fuji X Passion Magazine, among others.
To register for the workshop, we require a €1500 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information, or for any other questions you have about the workshop.