Un Giro D’Italia – Parte Otto

For my tenth day in Italy I awoke early to catch a train, I was going on a day trip from Firenze to the nearby city of Prato. What I was soon to learn that not only had I gone far too early in the day but that I had also gone on the wrong day, a Monday, when half of the place was closed.

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Street Photography Italia 2

Some more images taken during my last visit to Italy in November last year. These are taken around Firenze/Florence and are shot on Ferrania P30 Alpha with my Olympus OM-1.

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Little Update

Buona Sera followers, friends and casual readers/viewers alike, as you may have noticed from the last week or so of lack of updates to this site I am not currently in the UK. Although if you saw my post from yesterday where I said that I wasn’t currently in the UK then you probably already know.

I am at present sat in a very nice, if slightly small, Airbnb in Lucca, Italy, having just finished my first week of travelling around this beautiful country with the dual aim of seeing places I have always wanted to see and shooting a million rolls of film at the same time. So far, so good.

I thought that I’d post up a quick update style post this evening though just so nobody thinks I’ve gone completely off the radar, and as tomorrow I will be off to my favourite city on the planet, Florence, for the next week, it seemed fitting to share an image I took the last time I was there. I’m aiming to recreate this on medium format and hopefully a much better exposure.

25.jpg Olympus OM1, FujiColor C200.

Street Photography – Olympus OM-D EM-5; 63

Another selection of street photography images taken during my trip to Italia earlier this year, much earlier this year actually as it now feels like it was a lifetime ago. Take me back to Firenze please? As usual all images are taken on my Olympus OM-D EM-5 using either 17mm M.Zuiko or 25mm Panasonic Leica Summilux lenses. Enjoy.

St Marks Square Quayside.jpg 17mm, ISO 200, f4, 1/1600th sec. (more…)

Project 52: Week 41; Landscape – Get High

OK this subject is more like it, Landscape I can do, getting high up I can do, taking landscape photo’s from high places I can do. Now whether or not they’re any good is debatable but there we go. This week’s image is taken from the top the Duomo in Firenze, Italia and gives a view of the city looking across to the River Arno and the hills of Tuscany in the distance. The Palazzo Vecchio is on the bottom right and the Piazzelle Michelangelo is dead centre on the first hill rising up on the other side of the river.

P1010605.jpg Olympus OM-D EM-5, 17mm M.Zuiko 1:1.8, ISO 200, f8, 1/640th sec. (more…)

Nine Days in Italia – Parte Sette: Top Of The World & Mercato Centrale

Day seven and we finally climbed to the top of the Duomo itself, exciting for me, not so much for Jo who’s not keen on heights (although will always climb up to the top of cathedrals and buildings with me when I want to). As you can imagine the view was pretty spectacular, the inside of the building itself on the way up however was two things; Hot and Crowded, horribly so on both counts. I was glad to get to the top for a bit of breeze to dry the sweat I was drenched in, I can’t remember exactly the number of steps but it was in the high hundreds and went on forever. One thing I need to mention as it’s one of those things that really winds me up, the amount of graffiti on the way up to the top of the Duomo was shocking, despite the number of signs asking please not to write on the walls. I mean come on, its a historic monument, why would anybody think writing your name on it adds anything? Today we also took a walk up the Mercato Centrale, I bartered with a guy to buy a belt, Tuscan leather is one thing I wanted to buy before we left. I don’t think my poor Italiano was the reason for the supposed heavy discount I got but maybe it helped, I’d also question how much the belt was worth if the market stall guy was happy to drop the price from 42 Euro to 22 without much of a fight. The outside of the market was pretty much all leather goods, this being Tuscany, the inside was a different matter entirely, a huge food hall with street food stalls and food made to order in front of you, bars, the whole lot. The place was amazing, so good in fact that this is where we came for dinner that evening. The final thing we did this day was get some fancy gelato, because why would you not want to do that? I bought a Baci flavoured one, if you’ve never had Baci before then I suggest you try them, in gelato form it’s even better. Anyway these are the final images (well except one from the next morning) of Firenze as the next day we left early for Pisa, this film used this day was Agfa Vista 200 (you can probably tell from the fact the sky doesn’t look quite so vibrantly blue as it does with Fuji) and as usual all taken with my Olympus OM-1 and either 50mm or 28mm lenses.

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Nine Days in Italia – Parte Sei: Sunset Over Firenze

Day six of the Italia trip and we finally decided to actually check out the Duomo itself rather than just walk past/around/see it from every angle other than inside. The ticket felt a little pricey until we realised just what it got us, the cathedral itself is free, however the ticket includes the walk up to the dome, the baptistery opposite, the campanile next to it, the museum behind it and, a very nice and unexpected surprise, the archaeological excavation museum beneath it. All in all not that bad value when you add them all up, especially as it’s valid for 72 hours so you don’t have to cram everything in to one day. Firs off w waited in line for the free part, the cathedral itself, and after a few minutes of waiting was turned away at the door because Jo was wearing shorts deemed too short, good thing the apartment was a 5 minute walk away to get changed into something else. Second time around and in we go, the cathedral inside is “oddly bare” to paraphrase a guide book, I assume that means because of the lack of ostentatious gold that you usually find all over Catholic places of worship (the baptistery has all of that stuff). It was still though a bloody impressive building, especially when you consider how it was built without modern machinery and marvel at the grand scale of the place. One thing I noticed, and did in Venezia and later Pisa, was the lack of Holy Water, I don’t know if it was just me but usually when I’ve been to a place like this there’s tons of the stuff around, all the fonts were empty in every church/cathedral we went in to. Drought perhaps? Anyway in the floor was a small set of stairs leading to what looked like a gift shop of some kind, I’m not usually one to go into places like that but thought we’re here we might as well see what’s in it. To my surprise the stairs led down below the cathedral and into a museum underneath the building, an archaeological museum. Really interesting place with original Roman era mosaics on the floor, tombs of long dead knights and religious figures, relics of saints, ceremonial swords and exhibitions of how the cathedral looked throughout its life.

After we came out we discovered we were too late to climb up the to the top of the dome itself so decided to check out the Museo Della Opera behind the Duomo, again a pleasant surprise as the place was not only huge but filled with statues from the likes of Donatello, Michelangelo and just about every other Renaissance sculptor you can think of, bleeding great massive things they were as well and shockingly detailed, down to being able to see veins on the hands of the statues. We spent most of the afternoon here, although that may be more to do with the air conditioning than the artwork (I’ll pretend its because I’m cultured and not because I was a sweaty mess). The rest of the day was filled with me hunting down a birthday present for myself, I may not be as huge a football fan as I was when I was a kid but I did always have a soft spot for Fiorentina the football team from Firenze, probably because I always like Gabriel Batistuta their top goalscorer. So stumbling across not one but two official team shops made me want to buy something, I’d needed a new bag for work so that’s what I bought (a few people turned their heads confused when I did return to work with it).

In the evening we took a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo with the idea of watching the sunset, along with what looked like all of Firenze and perhaps Toscana as well, to say it was busy would be an understatement. Not that this mattered as there’s plenty of room in the huge square and surrounding steps and pathway up the hill to watch the sun go down and plenty of stalls to buy a beer from to drink while you do. There’s only one word I can use to describe the view from there, that is stunning. The colours of the sky, the rolling Tuscan hills beyond the city, the River Arno snaking through the centre reflecting the light, yes it was very pretty. Only disappointment of the day was dinner, by the time we got back down the hill and over the river to the city centre it was pretty late, we’d seen loads of people over the last couple of days with boxes from “Mr Pizza” so decided to check it out. Lets just say it was OK, Mr Pizza is allowed to keep his title as the MR of pizza, but only just.

Anyway onto the photographs from giorno sei, as usual all taken with my Olympus OM1 and either 50mm F.Zuiko or 28mm Vivitar lens attached, today’s film stock used was FujiColor C200. Enjoy.

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Street Photography – Olympus OM-D EM-5; 57

Welcome again to another edition of my street photography series with images from my Olympus OM-D EM-5, all the photos this time were taken in Firenze, Italia on my trip there a few months back. Enjoy.

Firenze Evening.jpg 25mm Panasonic Leica Summilux, ISO 20, f1.4, 1/30th sec. (more…)

Nine Days in Italia – Parte Cinque: The Big Three Oh!

So….this is the day I turned the horrifying age of thirty. No longer could I tentatively claim to be youthful and vibrant and have my whole life left ahead of me to do fun things, I’d reached an age where I had to be a grown up. How terrible. On the plus side it was our first full day in Firenze which is where I had decided if I had to become that age I was going to do it here. Today consisted of a few awesome things; Seeing pretty much every Renaissance piece of art ever made in The Ufizi, having a good wander around the beautiful city, eating a Bistecca Alla Fiorentina the size of my head from the best restaurant we had visited so far (and to think it was practically opposite our front door) and discovering that the bottle of what we thought was very reasonably priced Prosecco was actually an awfully over-priced bottle of Asti, doh.

The day started with me nearly falling flat on my face from the dozen or so “Happy 30th Birthday” balloon’s Jo had woken up in the middle of the night to decorate the apartment with, which was a lovely thought even though it reminded me what an old man I had become in those small hours between going to sleep and waking up. The free WiFi in the apartment also meant I could be constantly reminded of this descent into geriatrics from people at home as well, thanks guys. OK all joking aside it is nice when people say Happy Birthday. I finished off my bowl of “Nice Morning” and we headed down to The Ufizi museum, a fantastic building that was once the palace of the rulers of Florence and later Duke’s of Tuscany. Two things happened here, one terrible and the other great, first was the horribly long queue to get in which although was shaded, was outside and obviously not air conditioned. The second is that you can skip this queue simply by going to the front and buying a ticket for a specific entry time rather than hanging around just trying to gt in when you get to the doors. It’s advertised all around but no one seemed to notice or realise until we were told by someone and then passed on the information Chinese Whispers style. It was around this time that security guard stopped to have a chat with me about my camera, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, shoot film and people want to talk to you because it’s different and interesting. He described my choice of using film as “brave”, until I showed him my back up digital camera as well. After getting our tickets for a set entry time we killed time by taking a walk up to the Ponte Vecchio, the wonderful thing about Firenze is how close the major sights are, the river is at the end of the street where the Palazzo Vecchio and Ufizi are and the Ponte Vecchio is another 2 minute walk from there.

Anyway lets get onto the photographs from today, not too many were taken inside the Ufizi as the ISO of the film was a little too low and there was far too many things to photograph in there. As usual all are taken with my Olympus OM1 using my F.Zuiko 50mm or Vivitar 28mm lenses, the film for today was Agfa Vista Plus 200.

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Project 52: Week 37; Portrait – Fashion

Ugh a brief I have very little interest in, probably hence why it’;s taken me more than a week to get around to posting it and means we’re a week behind on this, whoops. Anyway I have literally no images of “fashion” as it bores me to death, however I do have this image that has a hell of a lot of clothing in it since all the markets in Firenze were stocked with Tuscan leather. This guy was just sitting around waiting for customers.

Market Stall.jpg Olympus OM-D EM-5, 25mm Panasonic Leica Summilux, ISO 200, f8, 1/30th sec. (more…)