1. Millions of people visit Tuscany every year to immerse themselves in the beauty and historical significance of the Renaissance Period. No place showcases the cultural explosion of the 14th through 17thcentury better than Florence. For the serious photographer, the city is like a living canvas, painted, sculpted and designed by the great masters to share with the world and be captured with today’s photographic artistry. A medium da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and many others would have appreciated.
2. Being in Florence is like being in a citywide museum. Architecture is the overwhelming subject matter for your camera. Palazzo Vecchio dominates Piazza Signoria, with its massive medieval design and distinctive 311-foot bell tower. Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum, preserving the elegant courtyards and sumptuous interior spaces where the powerful lived and ruled.
3. The Piazza Signoria is a grand artistic landscape in its own right. Throughout this outdoor space stand some of the world’s finest sculptures, some displayed in open-air galleries.
4. Florence is also the home of magnificent cathedrals; the most striking is The “Duomo,” or the church of Santa Maria del Fiore. Both the vastness of the structure, punctuated by the towering dome, and the decorative exterior and interior details challenge the skills of any photographer.
5. The Ponte Vecchio, the “Old Bridge” over the Arno River, is another spectacular photographic subject and vantage point. From here, you can capture life on and along the river. Then, you can turn your camera to inside the bridge where small shops still line either side, as they have since the 13th century.
6. Florence is also a city of joyous and beautiful festivals. For photographers, The Festa della Rificolona, or Festival of the Paper Lanterns, is a must-see event that occurs every September 7th. A religious tradition from medieval times, the highlight of the festival is crowds of people walking from Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Many carry paper lanterns illuminated from inside by a candle, and attached to a long stick.
7. Although photographers may find it difficult to leave Florence for a time, the Tuscany countryside is equally compelling. Here is nature’s architecture in harmony with humans’ use of these lands for thousands of years. Rolling hills are accented by the vertical growth of the Cypress tress and the spreads of vineyards and olive groves. You don’t have to travel far from Florence to find these landscapes to photograph, as one of the most beautiful regions of Tuscany is the Chianti region, south of Florence to Siena.
8. Capture images of the people of Tuscany and their guests sampling the fruits of the earth at the annual Chianti Classico Wine Festival in Greve. During the second weekend of September, wine lovers gather in the Piazza Mattieotti, the main square of Greve, to taste wines from throughout the region. This festival will serve as a colorful backdrop to your casual portraits of people full of spirit and spontaneity (and full of wine).
9. Now, picture you in Tuscany, not just shooting photographs of all you see, but as a student of an advanced photography workshop. Instead of a simple series of images, you’ll learn how to tell a compelling story of the region. Visionary Wild has scheduled one of its highly respected workshops for Tuscany, September 2–9, 2012. You can be one of just 10 photographers who will receive guidance and instruction from Annie Griffiths, a National Geographic photographer with a worldwide reputation, and Justin Black, a well-known photographer, co-founder of Visionary Wild and trip leader.
Visit the Visionary Wild Web site for complete information at http://visionarywild.com/workshops/florence-and-tuscany/#more-919.
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