Tag Archives: tuscany

Looking for Impressions in Tuscany

I’m returning to Tuscany, Italy in 2018, co-leading a tour with pro photographer Jed Manwaring. Someone asked why I go back so many times; I could list a) the light, b) the food, c) the landscape, d) the food, e) the wine, f) did I say the food?!

Seriously though, each time I return, I challenge myself to see it differently. Sure there are the classic, iconic, and bucolic landscapes that I love, and the light and mood is different each visit, but beyond the standards, I am on the lookout for pictures that transcend where I am. I am looking at light, shadows, color, form, and moments like the blog image here, that catch you by surprise. I was first drawn to the long shadows of the people standing there, when suddenly this young boy began to walk back and forth in my frame. I spotted the shadow but it wasn’t ‘right’ at first. Thankfully he just kept doing it and I managed to capture a moment when his profile was the best. 

On our tours, no matter where we are, we emphasize creative vision – we know that people come to experience the place(s) we visit, but we encourage everyone to go beyond the classic scenes and to capture their impressions, their feelings about the places we visit. 

So, once again we’ll be enjoying the food, the wine, the people – and we’ll be enjoying the fresh ‘canvas’ of Tuscany in spring with poppies in the meadows, warm light on the medieval stone villages, and rolling landscapes that made history through the eyes of painters, first. 

For more information, visit here, or go straight to Strabo Tours for info and to register. 

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Under Amazing Tuscan Skies



I love clouds! And I love Tuscany! Put the two together and you have a magical experience for me. I also love these little trees, the cipressi and umbrella pines, that line this roadway. They’re not really little, but I made them appear to be by including so much sky.

This might be breaking the rules of thirds, but it’s a great example of WHY you want to do that more often than simply sticking by the rule. The clouds were the real story, but the trees and land anchor those billowing clouds and express how wonderful afternoon storms can be in Tuscany in summer. Continue reading »

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Unfinished art…



I’ve been going through my past pictures of Tuscany, getting psyched for our upcoming photo tour there. It’s amazing how easily we forget images that we made when often there’s so many from just one trip! But I came across this one from Volterra, the city of alabaster. We had stopped in one carver’s shop and there wasn’t anyone working at the time. I wandered around looking for photographs; the shop was covered in white powder – alabaster dust – and it felt like an old-time artists’ studio. I spotted this unfinished carving, and loved how it rested on the table waiting for the artist to return, the tools of the trade by its side. It reminded me of Michelangelo or other carvers who could chip away to let the form reveal itself! I’ve always marveled at anyone who can do that. Window light poured in and illuminated it beautifully. It was one of those images that I knew would make a better monochrome photograph than a color image, there just wasn’t much color in the entire scene!


I’m looking forward to going back to Volterra – it sits out apart from many of the more visited towns of San Gimignano, Pienze, Montalcino, etc., and it has great roman ruins and views of the surrounding countryside.  I already have visions of what else I can do with these artisans at work!

This image was processed using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2) and Color Efex Pro 4 (CEP4) to bring out the rich tonalities of the scene.

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The Green of Spring in Italy



Ah, the rolling hills of Tuscany in Spring – we just can’t get enough of them! There are so many shades of green and gold and yellow in Spring. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in this area. This spot is very close to Pienza, and it’s a favorite location for us in both morning and late afternoon light landscapes, though probably more favorite in the afternoon. The sun skims along the surface of the fields, bringing out their texture, and side lighting defines the cypress trees so nicely. The dirt road is like a ribbon unfolding through the scene. Sometimes we get joggers, or dogs and their owners walking the road, but I loved the quiet of this image. If I retire to Italy, I’m going to buy this house! 🙂


We’re scheduled to go back next year in fact, May 18-28th, 2013 – and will focus more on Tuscany this time around just to alternate our time between Umbria and Tuscany. We’re finalizing details and pricing now, but look for the announcement here or visit my schedule page at the website.


Thanks for visiting, and comments are always appreciated!

Keep sharing your vision,


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