Photography & Tuscany
Tuscany has long been viewed as one of the most popular destinations for landscape photographers. During the late spring and early summer travel photographers flock to this area to explore the winding roads and beautiful views. I had put off this trip for several years in lieu of other destinations including Iceland and Canada. Finally I made my way through the region of Tuscany to fully explore the landscape photography opportunities. My opinion is clear - Tuscany is worth it in every way. These pictures from Tuscany are a part of my Italy Art Gallery presentation which is also viewed on my regular portfolio website. I rank Tuscany in my Top 5 destinations for photographers, and a definitive must add to every bucket list. This article explores some of my favorite photographs of Tuscany with tips for traveling through this region.
The best way to explore Tuscany to get the most out of this trip is to rent a car. It may be intimidating to think about driving a car in a different country with a different language, don't let it scare you off. Driving through Tuscany is incredibly easy and slow paced. Italian drivers have a reputation for being fast and aggressive - but driving through Tuscany you have plenty of opportunities to take your time. Your driving will be off main highways (for the most part) and will allow you to pull off frequently without being stuck on a charter bus or other tour schedule. Driving will also give you the freedom to get out and walk where necessary. To get the most out of exploring consider stopping by a local grocer and packing local cuisine along for a picnic. We often packed along food to stop and picnic taking in the beautiful views of rolling fields, villas and cypress trees. Just be careful driving into towns - you will often find driving is prohibited inside towns and will need to park outside the city walls.
Add an Extra Day
Tuscany is an excellent region to explore the winding roads - but don't overlook taking an extra day (or more) to explore the small towns scattered through the countryside. We spent time in Siena, Florence (not a small town), Perugia, and stopped along the way at many others. You can plot out a general idea for the number of days you want to spend - I recommend at least two full days driving the countryside (maybe even three) - add in at least two other days to explore the smaller towns with 2 days in Florence. I recommend a similar timeline because you want to take in everything Tuscany offers. It is a beautiful region that offers the bigger cities (Florence), smaller country villas, wide open landscapes, and plenty of winding roads to explore.
If you want to get the most of your Tuscany trip - you need the right photography equipment. The basics you will need are:
Camera Body (DSLR, MFT, film - whatever you desire)
Tripod -- yes, this is important enough to pack! I always fly with my tripod and have never had an issue
Wide Angle Lens -- don't go anywhere without my Nikon 14-24mm lens, most of my Tuscany pictures were taken with it -- pack a quality lens, rent it if you have to
Filters -- I use my neutral density Singh-Ray filter (ND) on a majority of shots, you will also want to pack along a polarizer for the blue skies
Extra Memory Cards or Backup Storage -- for this trip I was in Europe for 36 days so extra memory cards wouldn't cut it, I opted for a portable backup storage device and never looked back
Shutter Release Cable -- this is optional if you prefer to use your camera's timer, I always use some sort of hands off / delay feature for my landscape pictures
Comfortable Camera Bag -- I prefer to use my Lowepro flipside backpack, it gives me security of my equipment (as long as it is on) and is comfortable, you want something to carry everything without sacrificing space or comfort