Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!
March 8th is International Women’s Day, let’s remember all the women in our lives.
And, it is the perfect time to try photographing something new.
Try taking photos of things that would not be your typical subject.
Try taking photos at an unusual time of the day or from a different height. A friend once asked if I could shoot from the vantage point of a small dog. This challenge opened my mind to consider radically different viewpoints when photographing.
I hope this inspires you to try something new. Be sure to let me know.
I am proud to announce my photo essay, Tuscany June 2011. The book chronicles my latest adventures in Italy. You’ve seen some of the photos in previous posts, like this one about Siena, but there are lots more to see. The book is thirty-six pages filled with photos and available for purchase at Blurb.com. I am thrilled to share this with you and hope you enjoy the book.
Our next excursion was to Siena, a very large city in comparison to my favorite town, Radda in Chianti.
Siena is well known for the Palio, a spectacular horse race that takes place in the center of the city twice a year. But we were looking for a different Siena and found some unexpected things. We were dropped off at San Domenico Basilica where, much to our surprise, we came upon the head and finger of St. Catherine of Siena ( 1347-1380 ). No photos permitted in the church but, if you’d like, you can see her head here.
Next, we walked on Via Cittá and heard classical music. Following the sound, we entered the courtyard of the Palazzo Chigi Saracini (This link shows a 180° view-don’t forget to look up.) which houses the Chigiana Musical Academy. We sat on a bench and lost track of time while we listened to music, worked in our journal, photographed and watched people.
The most wonderful site was the crypt (cripta in Italian) which was re-discovered in 1999 under the Duomo (Cathedral). I was disappointed because photography was not permitted in this space which was full of incredible frescoes and decorative patterns. But I had an alternative to photography-my journal. I made drawings of the areas I wanted to remember. A whole new world has opened to me. Now along with my camera, I travel with a notebook and pencil.
Our first day trip was to the lovely hilltop town of Radda in Chianti in the center of the Chianti region. Our host explained how safe it was by relating this story: A previous workshop participant lost a camera somewhere in the town. The next day it was returned by the Policia. A local resident found the camera, recognized the photos of Borgo San Fedele and knew that it had to belong to a visitor staying there. You can’t get much safer than that.
We found the perfect bench in a small park overlooking the countryside and painted the fabulous views. The Church of San Niccolò is in the center of this circular town so we knew exactly where we were at all times. In the middle of the Chianti region, we found many black roosters (found on the seal of Chianti Classico wine) and the most delicious white wine made with the typical Vernacchia grape.
Of course we didn’t paint all the time. We visited abiti e accessori, a store with home accessories in one room and, in the other, beautiful clothes made with hand painted fabrics made by the artist in the middle of the store. Other stores featured the food of the region including pici pasta and a tasty olive oil, of course. And, don’t forget a fabulous lunch.
The size and friendliness of Radda was just perfect for our first adventure.