By the time this blog is published, I’ll be somewhere in the Lot Valley of France, at another Damien Lovegrove photography workshop. But I wanted to share some photos that I took during my brief stay in Florence, Italy. They were taken over a period of about 16 hours, from the evening I arrived to the late morning the following day before I headed out to the ancient medieval city of Volterra. All of the photos were taken with my Fuji X-H1 and my always handy 16-55mm f/2.8 lens. That lens is on my camera 90% of the time.
This first set of shots were taken in the vicinity of Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s most popular bridge.
Storm clouds were brewing to the east, but thankfully they didn't head our way. I wasn’t eager to test my X-H1’s weatherproofing in a thunderstorm.
Next I worked my way over to where the Cathedral and Duomo were. I was actually looking for dinner at that point, but with so many options, I wasn’t sure what to eat. So while I was trying to figure that out, I decided to try some extended exposure shots.
I didn’t bring my tripod with me, so I mounted my camera on anything I could find, from the tops of trash receptacles to the backs of benches.
The tripod / no tripod choice was a bit of a tactical choice on my part because I would be doing a lot of walking and would clearly look like a tourist on the streets. But then again, there were tons of tourists around me as well. I decided that the unencumbered way was best.
Since I was unencumbered, my compositions were basically dictated by where I could firmly mount my camera. In the case of the Duomo below, I really did put the camera atop a trash receptacle.
The long exposures helped eliminate the moving people in the shots. I hadn’t done a long exposure of street scenes before, so this was an interesting experiment. I was worried that the X-H1’s in-body image stabilization might interfere with the shot, but thankfully it didn’t.
The following morning I headed out to find some souvenirs and brought the camera along with me again.
I love these morning shots because there were less people on the streets and in the water, and I was able to capture some wonderful reflections.
Florence is a wonderful city. It’s smaller than what I’m normally accustomed to, which is why I think I may have found it to be quite comfortable and pleasant. There’s so much beautiful history and architecture in the area. It’s definitely worth exploring again.