The Sacred Ways of Sorano, Pitigliano and Sovana

The Etruscan Sacred Ways are only found around three southern Tuscan towns: Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano. Some are very deep, up to an astonishing 20m, hewn out of solid rock by the Etruscans about 2500 years ago, and some paths are very long indeed; all of them are winding and twisting like the above. Why…

Vulci

Vulci is one of the most picturesque spots in Italy. It boasts Etrusco-Roman ruins, a sinister mediaeval castle, an ancient high bridge, a deep canyon under stalactite cliffs, a rushing waterfall and a deep lake. Vulci was a rich and important Etruscan city founded about 800 BC. It was continuously inhabited for about a thousand…

Lake Bolsena

Lake Bolsena is one of the magnificent sights of Italy. It has been considered a lake of great spiritual importance and mystery for thousands of years. It was the sacred lake of the Etruscans and centre of their pagan cult from 900BC till suppression by the Catholic church, it still has a powerful  effect on…

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio is a really ancient place but sadly is now in a state of terminal decay. The tufa cliffs on which it is built are crumbling into the valley below taking houses with them. Until comparatively recently the road signs pointed to Civita, la citta che muore – the dying city. They were…

Orvieto, the most beautiful hill town in Italy

A photography workshop in Italy could not  be based in a more appealing place than Ovieto, in Umbria, but on the borders of both Tuscany and Latium. Orvieto is an ancient city going back to pre-Roman Etruscan times, on the top of a volcanic rock surrounded by hills covered with vines and olives, and in…

the right kit for the job

or, you don’t have to spend a fortune to produce a work of art. What is remarkable about this photo? Is it the composition? Is it the quality of the print? Is it the extraordinary subject matter? The excellence of the digital manipulation? – apparently a factory was removed, as was a man with his…

Why Photography is Good for your Health……

………and lengthens your life. Photography, as a cultural activity, could be one of the causes of cheating your genes  for the better and leading a healthier and longer life than your genes have programmed you for. Ever heard of Lars Olov Bygren? Probably not and what’s more he’s got absolutely nothing to do with photography….

Castro, the Renaissance Pompeii

If there were a prize for the most mournful place in Tuscia it would go to Castro. In the woods on the borders of Tuscany and Latium lie hidden the ruins of a city that was once the pride of the region and the seat of a Duchy. It was destroyed neither by natural calamity…

Pitigliano, The Little Jerusalem

In an out of the way corner of southern Tuscany, about 45 minutes from Orvieto, is a town perched on a volcanic ridge – one of the most evocative sights of Italy – Pitigliano, the little Jerusalem. George Dennis, the noted Etruscologist, described it thus in 1847: Pitigliano is a place of considerable importance, with…

What camera?

What camera should I buy?  is one of the most frequent questions I’m asked. To be frank it’s a bit like asking someone ‘what car should I buy?’  or how long is a piece of string? As a general rule I suggest that if you already have (or can borrow) a reasonable digital camera with…

Showing Off

Showing your work. It always astonishes me how few photographers actually show their work! I mentioned in a previous blog how to make a photo book with Blurb now I want to suggest a few tips on getting your work out where people will see it. The most immediate way is to post your photos…

Smoke

Want to add a bit of atmosphere to your pictures? Then you could add a bit of smoke. One way is to hire a smoke machine but a more economical way is a simple bee-gun that bee-keepers use to get into their hives. This burns hessian rags or better still in my opinion, incense, which…