Last week was our first Tuscany workshop of the year. How did it go? Well, I think it could be described as cold, wet but good fun with the opportunity of some unique images. Let me explain more.

On the flight over, I made sure I had a window seat to allow me a great view of the Alps. In my opinion, the view of the Alps from a plane is simply sublime. Especially during the late evening as the sun is setting and painting the snow with pink and orange hues. On the journey to Tuscany, the Alps were capped with snow while the lower slopes and valleys were green. The rivers and lakes were full of the freshly melted winter snow and there was a clear blue sky stretching out to the horizon. Lovely and promising weather for the coming week. Mmmm! 

The weather on Sunday and Monday was not too bad. We were able to spend Sunday wandering around the narrow, quiet and picturesque streets of Barga. It wasn’t hot, or even as warm as normal for Tuscany in late April, but it was pleasant. It was a nice gentle stroll through the maze of meandering cobbles as we discussed composition and photographic techniques. It was the perfect way to relax and unwind for everyone after a busy week running up to the trip.

Barga is one of the most picturesque towns in Italy. A fact corroborated by its award of the “Orange Flag” status from the Italian Touring Club. The highly coveted Orange Flag is a seal of excellence awarded to towns and villages that not only have a historical, cultural and environmental heritage but are also renowned for offering tourists a quality welcome. A wander through the streets of Barga is always going to be a rewarding and creative experience for a photographer. 

Monday was also nice weather and I embarked on my usual pilgrimage to San Pellegrino in Alpe. This is a small village perched at the top of the Apuan Alps. It offers a surreal view across the tops of all the peaks and is the most charming place to spend a few relaxing hours. It also offers some photographic opportunities and the chance to shoot a time-lapse whilst eating lunch in the mountain sunshine and air.

The weather was so nice up here that we all managed to get a “suntan” of varying shades of red and orange. 

From a weather perspective, that was the last of the good stuff. The temperature gradually dropped each day and the rain became more Scottish like. But there was still lot’s of opportunity to take photographs, drink coffee and brush up on post processing skills. Using my laptop, I was able to spend the mornings in a Barga cafe demonstrating different post processing techniques inside Lightroom and Photoshop. The rain gave us the permission to discuss Lightroom and Photoshop without feeling we were missing out on good weather.

We did manage out each day to take some photographs. The rain allowed everyone to capture some unique shots of wet cobbles and reflections. Shots that are not normally possible in the hot and sunny Tuscan streets.

Tuscany Workshop

Wet Cobbles in the Evening

The rain did subside most evenings which gave us the chance to chase sunsets. The cloud cover was too thick on some of the evenings but it was still nice to stand at a viewpoint and admire the scenery while we gabbed about life. On the evenings when the clouds did break and disperse, we were supplied with a lovely view and some photographic opportunities. 

Tuscany Workshop

After the Rain Had Gone


The weather was challenging but it also presented me with unique teaching opportunities. We were forced to work with what we had. We had to change our photographic opportunities and compositions to match the weather. When we were presented with a cloudy sky I explained that this could be developed to emphasise the drama and bleakness of the scene. Especially if converted to black and white. Street lighting can produce nice reflections and add impact to the old buildings painted with their Tuscan colours.

At the end of the week, we all agreed that it had been a great holiday and some fantastic photographic experiences appeared. So despite the Scottish like weather, everyone did get some good images and learned more about camera technique, composition and post processing. Job done, I’d say.

Places Available

There are still a few places left for September and October. If you are interested, you secure your place with a low and refundable deposit. Please have a look and contact us for more information.

Update July 2017 – Please note that there are no spaces available for 2017.