Category Archives: Chianti Italy Photo Workshop

Village Cats of Chianti – Tuscan Photo Workshop 2013

Chianti is dotted with wonderful old villages and Castello’s that I am able to visit while teaching location workshops every October. I pulled this image to work on after hearing from a client that he and his wife are going to be joining me for the Tuscan workshop that finishes up in Rome. The village cats were taking shelter from the rain in this little passage way adding to the character of this image. When I am teaching I am always looking for interesting compositions for the class and subjects that have character and stand out. Often the rain ads that little extra character to an already interesting image.

Village Cats of Chianti – Tuscan Photo Workshop

Village Cats of Chianti – Tuscan Photo Workshop

 

After a few adjustments in Photoshop CS6 I used Nik software Color Efex Pro to give this image a little punch.

Village Cats of Chianti – Tuscan Photo Workshop

Village Cats of Chianti – Tuscan Photo Workshop

After processing this image as a color image I used Silver Efex Pro 2 to make a wonderful black and white image.

 

 

 

 


Harvest Time in Tuscany – Tuscan Tractors in the Mist

 

These tractor images were captured by Connie while we were out shooting in Chianti Tuscany last year on one of the early morning shoots. Each morning the group goes out to  photograph sunrise in the vineyards and on this morning we were fortunate to capture this tractor in the early morning mist working its way through the Vineyard.  

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist – 1

I used Film Effects in  Nik Software Color Efex Pro to process these two tractor images.

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist - 2

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist – 2

The best part of spending a week on location capturing images is that it gives you time to become immersed in the local culture while enjoying  the small Villages and Vineyards that most tourist miss because of their rush to try to see it all.


2013 Lucca, Greve and San Gimignano in Tuscany with our final day in Rome

Lucca, Greve and San Gimignano in

Tuscany with our final day in Rome

Oct. 23-29 2013

$775 / Limited to 8 Students

Moonrise over the Curia, Roman Forum

Moonrise over the Curia, Roman Forum

Lucca an ancient Etruscan walled city 20 miles north of Pisa is a great place to spend our first day capturing images. Pisa has an International airport and is a major train hub which makes it an easy entry and exit location. The Etruscan city’s were taken over by the Romans when there influence spread first through Italy and then the known world.  In the Heart of the Tuscan region we’ll be capturing images while staying in the Chianti countryside with time for wine tasting a cooking class and some Photoshop work. San Gimignano built by the Etruscans and known for its skyscraper towers that were built by wealthy merchants during the Renaissance. Ancient Rome beckons to be photographed from the Vatican to the Colosseum and so much more. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There are training video at my website and tutorials at my blog that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture   beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the
world photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

Brief Itinerary:

Day One: 4pm get together in Lucca, Italy to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph   at sunset.
Day Two: Photograph at sunrise in Lucca then relax over breakfast before heading to Chianti.
Day Two– Five: Photograph at sunrise and sunset in the Tuscany, Italy and when the light is right.
Day Five: Photograph at sunrise in the Tuscany, Italy then relax over breakfast before heading to Rome for afternoon and sunset images.
Day six: Photograph Sunrise in Rome and go over final thoughts over breakfast before saying goodbye.

Rome is an Ancient city full of history and after breakfast I would recommend taking  a small group tour with Steve and or Grazia after breakfast on October 29 to learn some of Rome’s history. There knowledge of  the history and architecture in Rome is always a treat.  http://enchantingrome.com/


Siena Farmhouse – Processed using Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.1

 

Last fall I spent 2 weeks teaching Photographic Workshops in the Chianti area of Tuscany, Italy. We stayed at a Agriturismo that was  an working vineyard south of Florence, each day we started with a sunrise shoot then head back to the Agriturismo for breakfast. After breakfast we would explore nearby villages for more images and a little shopping. I find that my best images are normally captured at sunrise and sunset except when you are lucky enough to have scattered showers thought the day. When everything is drenched from a fresh rain it enhances the colors. If you are luck enough to have partial overcast, as in this image, your colors are not washed out from the bright sunlight. The mix of blue sky and clouds helped to give this image it’s finishing touch.

 

Raw CR2 File

Siena Farmhouse – CR2 Raw image

Siena Farmhouse – CR2 Raw image

 

This histogram looks good but the image looks a little dark. In the Basics Pallet, I  start with the Exposure slider by moving the slider to +0.20 to brighten the image. This changes the Histogram by shifting the information to the left and created a little clipping in the highlights. To compensate for the clipping, I shifter the Recovery slider to 11 which shifted the highlighted area back to the right and eliminates the clipping.

 

The next step is to adjust for White Balance, this can be done by manually adjusting the Temperature and Tint sliders or using the dropdown menu. Using the dropdown menu to check the presets, with this image I liked the Daylight preset of 5500 Kelvin and +10, this added the warmth you normal see during daylight hours. 

 

The next adjustment I made was Clarity which adjusts midtone contrast. This is a wonderful adjustment which brought out crisper detail in this vineyard image. With the Vibrance slider  I added +40  to bring out the saturation in the midtones. I love this adjustment, it adds a much subtler saturation than you can achieve with the Saturation slider. In this case it enhanced the blues in the sky and richened the tones throughout the image.

Basic Pallet

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Raw 6.1 Elements 9 Basic Pallet

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Raw 6.1 Elements 9 Basic Pallet

The next adjustment I made was in the Camera Calibration pallet, to bring out the colors in this fall vineyard image. Using the Camera Profile dropdown menu I selected Camera Landscape, to bring out all the colors I remembered seeing in this wonderful image near Siena in Tuscany.

Camera Calibration

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Calibration – Camera Landscape

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Calibration – Camera Landscape

The Last adjustment I made was in the Detail Pallet. Right click on your screen and bring the image to 100%. By bringing the image to 100% you will be able to see the effect the sharpening is having on the image. On this image I set the Sharpening Amount at 100 with the pixel Radius at 1.1 and the Detail at 25, which are the setting I use 90% of the time.  With most images I find that if I set the Amount between 75 and 150 with the pixel Radius between .75 and 1.5 and the Detail amount at 25, I achieve my best results.

Detail Pallet

 

Siena Farmhouse – Detail Pallet – Sharpening

Siena Farmhouse – Detail Pallet – Sharpening

 

With just a few minuets of processing in Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 in Elements 9 we have a printable image that will bring out the beauty of  this Siena Farmhouse.

Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 - Elements 9 - Siena Farmhouse

Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 - Elements 9 - Siena Farmhouse

 I will work with this image for several more hours to bring out the colors and clone out antennas and other distractions but for all practical purposes this image is ready for printing.


Pisa Chianti and Rome Workshop Tour – Oct. 24-31 2012

        Pisa, Chianti and Rome 

                      Oct. 24-31 2012

                      $795.00, Limited to 8 Students

Tuscan Vineyard

Chianti Farmhouse in the Mist

Pisa famous for its Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli is a great place to spend our first day capturing images. In the Heart of the Tuscan region we’ll be capturing images while staying in the Chianti countryside that boasts impressive Etruscan roots, with time for wine tasting a cooking class and some Photoshop work. Ancient Rome beckons to be photographed from the Vatican to the Colosseum and so much more. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There is a training video at my website that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

Workshop Information

In these workshops we will capture landscape images that excite and move, images that trace where the mind has been and form a unique vision that will last a lifetime. These workshops are about applying new skills learned daily and sharing our collective knowledge to take that next step in a supportive environment. We hold a deep passion for the places we travel to, and will help you explore how to create the images that continue to inspire. What takes time to create, time respects, good images don’t just happen. Most often, our best images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.

Paul James is a published, award winning photographer from Southeastern Michigan who offers the best in personalized photographic instruction on every level; whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned veteran. Paul takes great pride in his work, and this translates to some great teaching techniques. He has vast experience in both the artistic and technical aspects of photography; he is adept in Digital, Medium and Large format Cameras, which includes a large range of camera brands and models. He welcomes photographers of all formats and skill levels; however, this class will be geared for the digital photographer.

Brief Itinerary:

Day One–5pm get together in Pisa to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two–Photograph at sunrise in Pisa and drive to farmhouse in Chianti for afternoon and sunset.
Day Three–Five: Photograph at Sunrise and Travel to Rome for afternoon and evening images.
Day Six–seven: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day eight: Photograph Sunrise and go over final thoughts before saying goodbye or taking guided tours with Steve and Grazia where we will be capturing more images.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the world
photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

A Journey shared is truly a Journey remembered

The October 2012 Florence Tuscan and Roma photographic workshops trips were a great success. Each groups came home with some wonderful images and some wonderful memories. I have been posting some of the new images on the website and hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them. Many thanks to my two wonderful friends Steve and Grazia who helped make the Rome workshop very special. For anyone traveling to Roma for a holiday, taking one of their personalized day tours is a must.


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