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In the heart of Tuscany

Photography Tour

- Val d'Orcia Hills and Towns

Paolo De Faveri landscape photography workshops

The amazing Val d’Orcia has always been loved for its unique scenarios. A UNESCO's Mankind Heritage Site since 2004, this land probably represents the most successful example of how human interaction with nature can turn into magic and create incredibly beautiful landscapes.
For centuries, painters have been deeply inspired by these gently rolling hills, with their changing colors in the seasons, patchwork of wheat, corn and sunflowers fields, scattered farmhouses and dirt roads lined with cypress trees.
Today, the Val d’Orcia remains one of the most photographed and filmed areas of the world, and its enchanted views have been featured in many famous movies such as Ridley Scott's The Gladiator, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient and Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet.
The best period for visiting and photographing this area is probably from March to June, when the fields are green and dotted with flowers, and trees are blooming. However this place is so impressing that also in less ideal seasons will provide the conditions for unforgettable holidays and photographic tours.
Words simply fail for describing how beautiful this region is. You really have to come and see with your eyes!


Join me on a fully customizable, off-the-beaten-path, ‘one-on-one’ or small group photo tour in Tuscany. Learn new skills, experiment with advanced techniques, develop your artistic vision, all while enjoying  in the good  company of a qualified local photographer an enthralling outdoor experience in one of the most unique hills region of the world.
Private tuition is a great way to kick-start your landscape photography hobby, fine tune your skills or analyze in depth a particular topic or technique. Paolo De Faveri's workshops are designed to help take your creativity to a new level. Through a combination of in-the-field shooting sessions and indoor or online classes on many different topics both technical and artistic, I want to get you to start thinking differently as a photographer and spark your artistic vision.

I feel lucky for living in a place that is just a few hours away from the Orcia Valley, and since I felt in love with  this enchanted scenarios of rolling hills and lines of cypress trees, I have been spending there in the last ten years every single moment I could.  The outcome is that I become an expert of this area, of its history spanning more than twenty centuries and of its unrivaled artistic beauties
And I will be happy of course to share with you what I have learnt of the secrets of this wonderful valley, together with my expertise in landscape photography.

My photography tours are a mix of adventure and instructions, and they are not intended as only formal teaching and instructions, they are more about wandering in some of the best places I know and getting fully immersed in photography.
A "learn by doing" kind of education, as I answer questions and solve problems as they arises, completed by a debriefing in the evening when we will thoroughly review and critique together the work done in the day, and we will analyze in details basic and advanced techniques of image processing.

On average we will spend from 8 to 10 hours a day in the field, every day in a different rural area or town of the Orcia Valley, having big fun in chasing the best possible light and scouting the region looking for images that capture the innermost beauty of the amazing world around us.

My workshops are specifically designed for single participants or small groups of maximum three students, and they are intended for people who look for intensive, full immersion courses.
Zattere is the sidewalk on the Giudecca Canal, one of the ideal locations for beautiful twilight and sunrise shoots. From Punta della Dogana you can enjoy an amazing view over the Basin of San Marco. Riva degli Schiavoni, the large waterfront sidewalk besides San Marco, is perfect both at sunrise and sunset. When the "acqua alta" comes in, San Marco square becomes the perfect setting for wonderful mirrored compositions.
The decorations of the San Marco Basilica work great for close-up, semi-abstract pictures. On the Giudecca there are many great spots for simple compositions of strong impact, particularly when it’s foggy. Libreria "Acqua Alta", one of the most unique bookshops in the world, with gondolas used as bookshelves! The Grand Canal, the "main street" of Venice, with its ancient buildings and bridges.
Behind the theatre La Fenice there is one of the most tranquil and beautiful corner of the whole city. A Gondola ride is a great way for viewing Venice from "the inside", and for taking some great picture too! Cannaregio is the perfect location for semi-abstract compositions involving water and building facades. Burano with its colorful houses is one of those photographer’s playground where possibilities are simply infinite.
In Burano you can also photograph wonderful reflections in the water at every corner. And when the night fall, the quays at the small harbour of Burano work great for simple yet strong compositions. From the top of San Giorgio’s bell tower it is possible to enjoy one of the best view of the whole Venice skyline. The Rialto bridge is among the best spots for some serious night photography.

Example of a typical day in the field
Sunrise shoot wake up about 30-40 minutes before dawn and with a five minutes transfer by car we will get to the Bevedere, a wonderful spot perfectly situated at the centre of the  Orcia Valley. We will shoot grand vistas in the mist at sunrise of the rolling hills with the small hamlets and scattered farm houses typical of this area.

Morning: we will spend the rest of the morning scouting the area between San Quirico d'Orcia and Pienza, leaving the beaten path and driving instead on dirt roads and off-track, looking for beautiful spots and stopping everytime we will find a good one.
With a bit of luck we will have a nice encounter with some of the wildlife species living in the area, such as deer and hawks.
Lunch: we will grab a quick lunch at some bar/trattoria in Pienza.
Afternoon We will spend the afternoon visiting and photographing the many beautiful buildings and churches od this amazing small town, as well as the wonderful views on the surrounding hills one can enjoy from the bastions. Declared world heritage site in 1996 by Unesco, Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace (in 1405) of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a Renaissance humanist who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the whole village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, creating an impetus for planning that was adopted in other Italian towns and cities and eventually spread to other European centers.

Sunset shoot We will leave from Pienza about one hour before sunset heading to the Chapel of Vitaleta, a small rural church placed atop a hill in the country side between Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia. We will shoot the sun setting behind the hills from this enchanted country scenario.
Private photography tuition is a flexible, practice-led approach to learning and exploring your photography and get the most from such experience. My attention to detail ensures that your time is very well spent and that your photography will benefit greatly as a result of my tutoring and professionalism
.
Usually based on a two, three or four days timeframe, you can personally decide about the length and the period, and choose the locations in downtown Venice and in the lagoon that you want to visit and photograph, or leave the decision making to me and let me create the best possible itinerary, tailored to your personal  needs, expertise level,  time availability and period of the year, at an extent that is usually very difficult to reach with big groups.

So drop everything, pack your bags and pick the next flight! I am looking forward to meeting you in person in the heart of Tuscany and starting our tour in the hills, farmlands and medieval towns of this enchanted land!
The most photographed bunch of trees in the world is in San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany The Chapel of the Madonna od Vitaleta is  placed atop a hill in the country side between Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia. The medieval fortress of Montalcino dominates the hills in the valley of the Orcia river in Tuscany, Italy An enchanted rural scene of the Orcia Valley, between San Quirico d'Orcia and Bagno Vignoni.
The Abbey of Sant'Antimo, established in the VIII century, lies in a valley not far from Montalcino A lonely oak tree in the crop fields on the hills nearby Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. "Vasca delle sorgenti" in Bagno Vignoni, a rectangular pool built in XV century for collecting the hot waters of a thermal spring A view on the hills from the bastions of Pienza, in a very foggy morning
The rolling hills nearby San Quirico d'Orcia seen from the vantage point known as Belvedere d'Orcia A sunny morning in the hills surrounding San Quirico d'Orcia Siena seen from the "Facciatone", the unfinished facade of what should have been the biggest cathedral in the world. A glorious sunrise from the road between Pienza and Castiglione d'Orcia
The Belvedere, probably the sweetest photographer's spot of the whole Orcia Valley Piazza Pio II (Pius II Square) is the key point of the beautiful renaissance town of Pienza the most famous zig-zagging road in the world is at La Foce, a small hamlet not far from Montepulciano The Mount Amiata, visible from everywhere in Val d'Orcia, is a quescient volcano, the highest and largest of Italy.
Italy Photo Workshops - Fine Art Landscape Photography Workshops, Tours and Adventures by Paolo De Faveri
Tuscany Photography Workshops
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Italy Photo Workshops - Paolo De Faveri Italian and European Landscape Photography

Contact: paolo@paolodefaveri.com -Tel. +39 348 2458867 - Partita IVA/VAT Registration Number: IT10997490015 - Registered in Italy
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