The shocking colours of the Revello Chapel, painted by the artists Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett.
Here in the rural plains and the hills of Piedmont you miss the majestic views and the wilderness of the Alps, but you gain an entirely different world of small, romantic, enchanted scenarios.
A simple line of trees running along a ditch in the vast expanse of the Po Valley, the repeating patterns and textures of the vineyards of Barolo, La Morra and Serralunga, a lonely farmhouse or a medieval castle atop a slope in the Langhe hills.
I believe that framing a beautiful composition out of a relatively busy scene or in a place that might not look very attractive at a first glance, can often be a much more difficult task - and thus more rewarding - than photographing the grand vistas landscape photographers always dream of. The country side is simply the ideal playground for photographers who want to spark their creativity and bring their vision to another level.
Castle of Pralormo
Every year at the beginning of the Spring (from the end of March to the beginning of May), the "Messer Tulipano" exhibition (Mister Tulip) turns the park of the Castle into a kaleidoscope of colours, with thousands of tulip flowers blooming everywhere.
The rural scenes of the Po Valley
A vast expanse of farm lands, fields and fields of crops of every kind, sparse trees, dirt roads and scattered farm houses. The country is the place where nature and the hand of man melt together, producing sometimes harmonious landscapes and quiet rural scenes.
Sacra di San Michele
The Sacra di San Michele, sometimes known as Saint Michael's Abbey, a 10th-12th century religious complex situated on the south side of the Susa Valley overlooking the small town of Avigliana and Chiusa di San Michele.
Castle of Serralunga
On the crest of the hill overlooking the town and the surrounding vineyards stands Serralunga Castle. One is immediately struck by the steepness and height of its Gothic architecture. The fortification contains two asymmetrical towers, one cylindrical and one square, and a turret roof. From the time of its construction (XIV century) up to the present day, very few alterations have been made. Fortunately, the castle suffered no serious damage from battles.
Placed on a dominant position atop one of the highest hills in the heart of the Langhe hills region, from this small town is possible to enjoy and photograph a 360 degrees view on the vineyards of Barolo, Novello, Monforte d'Alba and La Morra itself.
Castle of Racconigi
The Royal Castle of Racconigi is a palace and landscape park in Racconigi, province of Cuneo, Italy. It was the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy, and is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list. The park of the castle features amazing trees, some of them older than 400 years.
The Po River banks
The bank of the Po, the longest and largest Italian river, nearby Carignano, a small town about 20 kms south of Turin. This location is just 15-20 minutes far from where I live and I can say I almost know each single tree, stone and blade of grass of it. I love this place, as it's very peaceful and rich with mood at every hour of the day and night, and it's for me like a gold mine for photographic opportunities.
Example of a typical day in the field
Sunrise and early morning
Wake up about 30-40 minutes before dawn. We will shoot the sun rising from the early morning mist in the country side nearby the B&B. We will scout the area for about 1-2 hours looking for some beautiful rural scenery.
Right after lunch, with a transfer by car of about one and a half hour we will get to the Langhe hills. We will spend the whole afternoon shooting these amazing landscapes in the vineyards of Barolo and La Morra.
Later on we will take the car and with a 20 minutes trip we will get to the banks of the Po river nearby the town of Carignano. We will spend the rest of the morning at this location shooting the river banks with its beautiful lines of poplar trees and the Alps range in the foreground, and we will also focus on water reflections and small scenes such as leaves in the water, emerging logs and poles, etc.
About one hour before sunset we will get to the small village of Serralunga, lying atop a hill and dominated by the imposing Castle of Serralunga, a wonderful fortress built in the fourteenth century. We will shoot the sun setting behind the Langhe with the Castle as the main subjects and the vineyards of Barolo in the foreground.
- Dslr camera
- Camera user's manual
- Wide angle to normal zoom lens, at least 24/70 mm on a full frame sensor, the equivalent on cropped sensors. Ideally one 16/35 mm and a 28/70 mm
- Long tele zoom lens - 70/200mm is enough, 300mm is recommended
- Enough storage cards for at least 16 GB
- Extra Camera batteries
- Photography backpacks come in handy to protect the equipment if it rains and to facilitate transfers from a shooting location to another
- polarizer filter
- a set of Graduated ND filters, at least a 2 and a 3 stops (it is ideal to have all the range from 1 to 4 stops)
- ND filters for long exposures, ideally one 10 stops and one 6 stop
- remote (or cable) switch
- for the image processing session, a laptop with Photoshop CS3 or newer and Lightroom 3.x or newer
Details and Requirements
Number of students per workshop: minimum 1, maximum 3 students
Duration*: minimum 2, maximum 4 days
3 days is the recommended length, as it is indeed the ideal timeframe for putting
together a very effective itinerary, and it still allows enough free time
for a few good image processing/image critiquing sessions.
*upon request the maximum duration can be extended up to six days. Please inquire for prices.
Year around - Particularly scenic in Fall and Spring
Easy. Most of the shooting locations are directly accessible by car.
A few of them require short hiking of no more than a few hundred meters one way on easy trails, with little or no elevation gain.
- full time in-the-field tutoring and instructions
- at least one image processing class (min. 2 hours) per workshop
- all travel costs from the B&B to the shooting locations and back (fuel, tolls, tickets, etc.)
What's not included
Travel costs for reaching the accommodation, hotels/B&B rates, entrance fees (if any),
meals and beverages are not included in the cost of admission unless specified.
All participants must be in possession of a valid Health and Accident Insurance with repatriation cover.
2 days, 1 student: 1.000,00 €
3 days, 1 student: 1.400,00 €
4 days, 1 student: 1.700,00 €
*a discount applies for groups of 2 or 3 students. Please inquire for prices.
A deposit of 1/3 of the total amount is due at the moment of the reservation, this is required to secure your place at the workshop.
The final balance payment is due no later than 15 days before the beginning of the workshop.
Bank Transfer, Credit Cards, Paypal
If you cancel within 30 days before the workshop start, you will be refunded the deposit minus 100,00 € as administrative fee.
No refund will be issued for cancellations received with 30 days or less remaining before the workshop starting date.
Please note that there is no exception to this policy. For this reason it is strongly recommended
to purchase refundable plane/train tickets only and endow yourself with a trip cancellation insurance.
All cancellation request must be in writing.
There are two 3 stars bed & breakfast located less than 10 minutes away from where I live, and thus very handy for picking the students up on every morning.
Price: 40-55 € per night depending on season. Continental breakfast included.
Both accommodations are situated in the green, peaceful countryside about 20 kms. south of Turin,
they are very nice and comfortable, recently restored and regurarly maintaned.
All rooms come with ensuite bathroom and wi-fi connection.
Of course you can choose a different venue, provided that it is not too far from where I live.
If you need assistance in choosing your accommodation please contact me.
Clothes and accessories
Weather in Piedmont is very variable, particularly in Fall and Spring, when you can experience
blue skies and pouring rain in the same day. In Winter it snows quite often and temperatures
below 0°C are very common, while the summer is often very humid and hot.
So, how to be dressed here really depends on the season.
Here's a list of the most common items you should always wear/have with you for outdoor activities:
- comfortarble walking shoes
- gumboots (optional, but useful in certain situations such as rivers and lakes)
- wind/rain proof jacket
- a warm pullover
- sun glasses
- Head lamps and batteries