Category Archives: Tuscan Harvest

Val d’Orcia, Tuscany

This morning I spent some time with Deborah Bondar going over Lightroom’s workflow, processing this image she captured in the Val d’Orcia. Lightroom is a great program where you can take a raw image off your card and in less than 10 minutes you can turn it into a wall hanger.

From June 18 – June 23 2016 I will be teaching a workshop in the Val d’Orcia when the wheat field will be golden in the early morning and late afternoon light.

This is an amazing location where we can capture images and drink in the Tuscan lifestyle. We will be spending three night at an old Roman bath in the middle of the Val d’Orcia. Hope you can join me!

Val d'Orcia - Tuscany Italy

Val d’Orcia – Tuscany Italy – processed in Lightroom

Val d'Orcia - Tuscany Italy - uprocessed

Val d’Orcia – Tuscany Italy – uprocessed


Morning Mist – San Gimignano

Last weekend I was trying to explain why I spend my time capturing images in the morning and I am not sure if I properly explained what happens with light. Light is soft before the sun rises. Sunrise brings a brighter harsher light which makes it harder to capture exposures properly.

Often mornings are the quietest time of the day when there is no movement in the leaves or the grasses in the fields. When conditions are right I can take one long exposure which captures the depth of field in the landscape while retaining the details in the shadows and not burning out the highlights. For me it is the easiest time to capture an image while being conscious of my surroundings before the distractions fill my day. 

San Gimignano, Morning Mist

San Gimignano, Morning Mist

The last couple of years I have taken clients to San Gimignano to capture sunset. In 2013 I decided to stay over with the group to capture Sunrise and was excited to rediscovered this location down an old farm road with huge potholes where I had captured sunrise 20 years ago  On other visits to San Gimignano I had looked for this shooting vantage and thought that it had been reclaimed by the Vineyards.

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Exposure Adjustments in Camera Raw using the Exposure slider

If your exposure is over or under exposed you can make adjustments with the exposure slider in Camera Raw. I had already worked with this image and saved it as a tif. In Photoshop if you go to FileOpen As  the image can be opened in Camera Raw like the original raw image.

File-Open As

File-Open As

To select a tif or jpg file by left clicking on it.

Select the tif or jpg file to open in Camera Raw

Select the tif or jpg file to open in Camera Raw

In the Open As dialog box to the right of Open As at the bottom of the dialog box click on the arrow and select Camera Raw for the file to open in Camera Raw.

Select-Open As-Camera Raw

Select-Open As-Camera Raw

I had already processed this image. In order to demonstrate how to make an exposure composition I have moved the exposure slider the left to -0.50 which  under exposes the image and makes the image darker. If I had moved the exposure slider to the right to +0.50 it would make the image lighter and over exposed the image.  

-0.50 exposure Slider

-0.50 exposure Slider

I moved the exposure to the left +0.50 stop to 0 to lighten the image to the exposure I liked best. This is also the exposure that I captured in the Camera. I try to expose and crop the image in the Camera to create the best possible file. My goal as a photographer is to use Photoshop to make a good image better not make a poor image usable. In Photoshop Elements 11 and CS6 you can make adjustments up to 5 stops  plus or minus but I find that if you have over of under exposed the image by more than 2 stops your recovery efforts will brings poor results.  

xposure slider adjustment to 0.00

xposure slider adjustment to 0.00

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.

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