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Tuscany in Spring

The lush green fields and rolling hills of Tuscany are one of landscape photography’s most iconic scenes.

1 May 2023 - 6 May 2023

Price: 3750 EUR

SOLD OUT!

General Information

Join Andy Mumford and Terra Photography Expeditions for a photography workshop in the beautiful Tuscany. 


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.

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Guides

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Tour Leader

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. He is a certified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that has spent a lifetime exploring the world's wild areas. Jonas will be leading the expedition.


Jonas loves working with developing photographers to strengthen their technical foundation and support them to unleach their inner creativity. Jonas achieves this through engaging lectures, educative assignments and hands-on teaching in the field.


More info here.

Andy Mumford

Creative Guide

Andy is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. He is also a passionate teacher of photography and has been leading groups and one-to-one workshops for over five years, while his images and photography writing have featured in magazines and publications worldwide. As well as workshops and travelling he also produce regular videos about photography and film-making on his Youtube channel.


Andy's YouTube & Website

Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrival Day

16h We’ll pick you up at Florence Peretola Airport and transfer to our hotel in San Quirico d’Orcia.  The journey takes less than two hours, so we’ll have time to settle into our rooms and then head out for a first shoot of the workshop at one of the nearby locations, perhaps the cypress trees or a poppy field overlooking Val d’Orcia.  Afterwards we’ll head into town to get to know each other better over dinner at one of our favourite trattorias.


Days 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 a 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 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 facilitates 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 differing 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 which 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:

  • Belvedere farmhouse

  • Cappella di Vitaleta

  • Agriturismo Terrepille (the fields from “Gladiator”)

  • Crete Senesi

  • The Cypress trees near San Quirico d’Orcia

  • Staffolino

  • Poggio Covilli

  • 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

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the 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

Processing:

  • Deciding which direction to take post processing according to the mood of an image

  • Using Lightroom to apply contrast locally

  • Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments

  • “Shaping” the light using contrast tools in Photoshop and Lightroom

  • Using luminosity masks in Photoshop

  • Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image

  • Using CaptureOne for RAW conversion

  • Stitching multiple panoramas together

  • Finishing touches for processing to give images dramatic punch

  • Sharpening images

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition


We are first and foremost out to enjoy the fields and villages and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills.


  • Planning for a day out in ever changing conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • What it means to be a leader in the outdoors

  • Group management skills

Additional Information

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.  We limit the number of participants on our workshop to just six which gives us plenty of time with everyone in the field and from the beginning of your time with us we can  identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on.   We can then tailor the sessions 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.  We also do screen recordings of our editing sessions, which are then shared with all the group so you go home with a record of  all the post processing techniques we used.  Not only this but you’ll also have access via a webpage to all the post processing screen recordings we’ve done from our other workshops, which we believe gives participants the ability to continue to apply the techniques we discussed long after the workshop has finished.


Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible  place. Travelling in such small groups means we can quickly build a great learning environment where people feel comfortable together and at ease with asking questions and making the absolute most of the trip.  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.


What to bring


A DSLR or mirrorless camera

The criteria for the kind of work we’ll be doing is a camera that can be operated completely manually to ensure we get the best exposure with interchangeable lenses allowing us to cover a range of focal lengths


A wide angle lens

For some of the locations a wide angle lens really is essential if you want to get those epic landscapes that have the long grass right up in the foreground leading into the rolling fields and the sky in the background. 16mm or 17mm on a full frame camera (10mm or 12mm on an APS-C sensor camera) is ideal, but anything below 24mm (16mm on a crop frame sensor) should be OK


A telephoto lens

Tuscany is a place where we’ll often find ourselves on a hill shooting with a telephoto lens at a scene across the valley.  A telephoto also compresses the landscape and is great for shooting misty scenes.  A telephoto zoom that covers 70-200mm (55-135mm on a crop sensor) is perfect.

A mid-range zoom lens

While these lenses are often the least useful for shooting landscapes, for the kind of locations we’ll be encountering in Tuscany there may be a couple of occasions when the zooms listed above are too wide or too long, and a mid-range zoom in the 24-70mm (18-55mm on a crop sensor) is perfect.


Tripod

We’ll often be shooting in low light so a tripod is an absolutely essential piece of equipment.


A cable release

This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, which can cause movement blur during longer exposures.


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 Lightweight Down Jacket or Fleece

It can actually get quite chilly early in the mornings or after the sun has gone down so it’s best to be prepared with some kind of insulated layer to wear on top.


Water and windproof jacket

It can get quite windy, and there’s always a decent chance of rain at this time of year, so a windproof and waterproof outer shell  will help keep you comfortable.


Camera Backpack

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.


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.

How Challenging?

Orange Level.png

This tour has a Low Effort Rating. We can expect to be out around 7 hours per day with light trekking. Previous trekking experience is not necessary. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

Included:

  • Landscape photography and shooting in attractive medieval towns

  • Two professional photographers & guides

  • Post-processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop, with screen recordings which the participants can keep.

  • All accommodation in local hotel

  • All dinners provided

  • Local transportation to and from the locations

  • Pick up/drop off from Florence Peretola Airport

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment

  • Lunches, snacks or alcoholic drinks

  • Flights to/from Italy

  • Insurance

Sold Out!


Price: 3750 EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 60 days before the start of the workshop. A private room possible (depending availability at the Lodge), at an additional cost. Please contact us for a quote. Excl. VAT, where applicable.


Logistics

Start: Florence Peretola Airport, 4PM Pick-up

End: Florence Peretola Airport, Noon Drop-Off (approx.)

 

Participants: Minimum 4, Maximum 6

Please note: the workshop needs to reach the minimum participation to go ahead. Kindly do not book your flight until we have notified that the workshop is going ahead.


We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.


This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions