Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tuscany – What A Difference The Light Makes

Oh how I wish to be back in Tuscany driving through those rolling hills. What an impossibly beautiful landscape! I’ve picked a couple of photos below to demonstrate the difference a bit of extra light can make to a photograph (and also because I couldn’t decide which one was my favourite of the two!). Both were taken from a very similar position in some fields just to the north of Siena. You can see in the second photo the sun is shining through the clouds a little bit more improving the definition of the hills and adding some brightness in the foreground. Just a little bit of light makes a big difference. It’s a shame my camera can’t cope with the glare very well, or maybe I just don’t know how to handle it properly!

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Photo Spot – Duomo, Florence

I recently returned from a short trip to Italy and wanted to share one of my favourite shots from the week – so here it is! This is the Duomo (or Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore), a magnificent cathedral that is surely the most impressive building in Florence. I was searching for an interesting angle when I wandered down a side street, turned around and glanced up to see this wonderful sight! Not only that, just out of shot is a fantastic restaurant called Il Caminetto who served a lovely tasting menu for lunch.

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Yvoire: Medieval Charm

I’m currently in the process of moving my photo library from iPhoto to Lightroom and came across some old pictures from a trip to Yvoire, an incredibly well preserved medieval town sitting on the shores of Lake Geneva. While it is a town that basically lives off the tourism industry it still maintains a fantastic charm. Just 30 minutes drive from Geneva it’s a great day trip for anybody in the area, and certainly provides a pretty unique experience!

It has a very cool castle which is great for photos, although unfortunately it’s a private residence so you cannot visit inside. It’s also very colourful in the summer as the locals make a big effort with flower baskets decorating almost every corner you can find!

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Being right next to the lake it has a small harbour and lakeside promenade that you can stroll along while listening to the soft sound of water lapping up against the shore. I was particularly fond of this boat, positioned perfectly for a great photo opportunity! I like to imagine it belongs to a local fisherman who has been fishing for years catching the local favourite – Perch – before it’s served up in one of the many restaurants around the town.

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If you are in the area I would really recommend a short trip to Yvoire. Half a day would be sufficient, perhaps over lunch so you can sample the fresh Perch which is delicious!

Have you been to Yvoire? Visiting the Lake Geneva region and looking for some tips? Please feel free to comment below!

Introducing: Cinque Terre

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Unless you’ve spent some time looking into a trip around Italy, you may not have heard of the Cinque Terre. I certainly hadn’t. But since moving to Geneva a few people had mentioned it to me, saying that I must go and see “the five lands”. I did a bit of research and the pictures looked absolutely stunning, a photographer’s paradise. So since it’s a 5 hour drive from Geneva a long weekend was on the cards. Having lived in Geneva for more than 2 years just an hour from the Italian border, this was (shamefully) the first time I had ever been to Italy! I have to say I did not expect the place to live up to my expectations, and was wary of comments I’d read saying it would be crammed full of tourists. And whilst that was the case, I think it’s still the most magical place I’ve visited yet.

The Cinque Terre is a series of five small communes perched impossibly on the cliffs and shoreline of the Italian riviera in the north of Italy. I mean, to look at some of these buildings you might think they were defying gravity. There were so many things that I loved about this region, but if I had to boil it down to two things they would be:

1. The natural landscape is absolutely spectacular. There is something inexplicably special about being right on the cusp of the meeting of land and ocean. It may have been the weather whilst I was there, but the sea was quite rough and standing right beside the shore as waves were crashing into the rugged cliffs really gave you a sense of the sea’s power.

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2. The colours. Oh the colours! Not only do you have the fantastic combination of turquoise blue sea and lush green vegetation seemingly disappearing into the ocean at ridiculous angles, but the range of colours in the buildings really does provide a sensory overload.  Pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, greens – it really has it all.

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I’m planning a few more blogs on the Cinque Terre, a look at each of the five towns, their beautiful colours and some tips I picked up along the way. But in the mean time, here is my favourite spot for a glass of wine overlooking the harbour and coastline from Riomaggiore – Bar La Conchiglia. I hope you enjoyed my first full blog and look forward to seeing you back here soon! Cheers!

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Have you been to the Cinque Terre? Planning a trip to Italy? Feel free to comment below!

A storm is brewing

This was taken after a sunny afternoon in Monterosso al Mare as the clouds started to roll in and the rain came down. I’m really pleased with this shot, I love the amber glow of the lamps sparking up just as the sun starts to set and the shine of the stones. Although it makes me glad I am inside out of the rain right now! Let me know what you think!

Monterosso al Mare – What a view!

My first blog post! This is the full picture from my header, taken just before a downpour on a recent trip to Monterosso Al Mare in the Cinque Terre region of Italy. There will plenty more coming up from this trip, this is a little taster (and a test of posting to the blog from flickr). I don’t know if anybody lives in the building to the right, but what a fantastic view if they do!