In March 2017, Dublin Photography School and TDactive Holidays took a fabulous four day photography adventure to Italy. The trip balanced fast paced street action, famous landmarks, detailed landscapes and stunning vistas, with good food, mostly sunny weather and the odd carafe of vino!
Sunrise in Dublin airport was punctuated with blurry eyed photographers busily shuffling toward their flight gates, with boarding passes in hand and lugging behind them their various camera bags and luggage. A quick 2 hour 20 minutes flight later we gather in the baggage claim area of Bologna Airport, head through to clear passport control and are greeted by our local TDactive Holidays guide Paola.
Looking around our group of intrepid photographers, they come from all walks of life, different ages, different levels. some are couples, some traveling with friends and some traveling solo. All brought together with their common love of photography and travel.
We load up our coach for our fantastic scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside. There is a air of excitement as we drive our way through the terraced hills, deep valleys and dusty roads. We continue on to the city of Lucca, which will be our base for the next few days. Lucca is perfectly positioned as our starting point for the trip. The city itself is a photographers playground, with it’s renaissance architecture, churches and winding cobbled streets. After an afternoon at leisure to allow the guys sometime to explore the town and get their feet on the ground, we set off to dinner in a local restaurant as arranged by our partners TDactive Holidays. Over dinner the guys get to know each other and after a few glasses of vino and some very well priced beers we retire for the evening.
The second day of our Italian adventure finds us hitting the ground running. We take our coach to the train station in La Spezia, as there is only one way into the string of five villages that make up the UNESCO site of Cinque Terre (Five Lands) The five villages are, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, each with it’s own unique charm and character. After a 30 minute photography lesson in the open air classroom of the local plaza outside the train station (whilst waiting for our train), we bring everybody up to speed on the different settings and techniques for capturing street images. We climb aboard and head for our first stop, Monterosso al Mare.
I could describe in minute detail the fantastic and quaint character of the villages that feel like they have almost stepped out of time, but as we say here at DPS, I will just let the images do the talking.
There is only one way into the string of five villages that make up the UNESCO site of Cinque Terre (Five Lands) The five villages are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, each with its own unique charm and character.
After a brief lunch in Monterosso al Mare, we re board our train and head for what I consider to be the jewel in the Crown. Arriving in Vernazza, we quickly make our way up a set of steep steps and pass through the narrow cobbled streets as they zig zag up the hill to the cliff-face overlooking the village. Before long we are over- looking the jewel in the crown of Cinque Terre. We start with a quick talk on settings, ND, ND Grad and Circ Pol filters and tripods and we move along the line giving advice on composition and fine fine tuning. Everyone is now set up and then its “lights, camera, ACTION!”
We spend 40 minutes shooting this stunning vista before we head down into the town to explore the craggy shore line with breaking waves and hidden caves that open into secluded inlets. Then we head back to the train station to journey to Lucca. After a quick freshen up we head out to our night shoot around the town.