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Dolce Vita Experiences

Photographing Florence

In 2019 there is no vacation without photos and there is no traveler without a photo-camera. Skills and equipment may vary from cellphone to pro DSLR but one thing is sure: we all want to take amazing pictures on our Holiday and go back home with the best memories ever. So let’s see, how we can create the most stunning photos while in Florence.

Taking Pictures Under the Tuscan Sun

We often see in photo books that the best period to take pictures is early at the morning as streets are empty and lights are soft. But let’s be honest here. Who would wake up at 5am in Italy to take some nice pictures when dinner normally starts around 9pm and we definitely had to taste that house wine at the evening? Keeping in mind that for many it is hard to wake up early while on holiday, I’d suggest instead to try to take the most from your already active hours, such as late at the morning or late at the afternoon.

Given that Mediterranean sun can be very strong and harsh I recommend to always pay attention to the direction of the sun and if possible turn your back to the sun so it will be behind the camera (unless you are trying to take a selfie). When you are taking a picture of a bridge or a building, try to move around to find the best angle while placing the sun behind you. A beautiful blue sky will be the prize for your efforts. For example, to take beautiful pictures of Ponte Vecchio, you should head to the east side of the river at the morning while you should head to Ponte Santa Trinita on the west side at the afternoon. Try to avoid taking pictures at noon when lights are too harsh but it’s worth to give a try early at the afternoon when lights are starting to be a bit better.

For amazing sunset photos head to Piazzale Michelangelo where you can sit down on the steps and enjoy the panoramic view of the city with live music. A good bottle of Prosecco and some snacks will guarantee the success of your evening.

“Seeing is not enough, you have to feel what you photograph.”

Andre Kertesz

Central Composition

One of the most important rule of photography is to never put your object in the middle of the photo. (We all know that feeling when we ask someone on the street to take a photo of us, then we find ourselves in the middle of the photo cropped at waist with tons of empty sky on the top. Sometimes we even have a full tree growing out from our head.) However, when it comes to photographing symmetric buildings central composition might be our best bet. Most of the cellphones and DSLRs can cover wide angle, so all we have to do is just to stand exactly in front of the building and frame it wisely.

Picking your Subject

You can find many repetitive subjects in Florence and Tuscany which are very typical in the region. These are the statues, the different styles of capuccinos, colorful motorbikes, door knockers, wooden doors or homeless cats, just to name few of them. Continuously taking pictures of your favorite subject can help to create your own photography style and then making an album with all of these repetitive pictures is the best way to present the city to your friends and family on your own way.

The Most Useful Photo Tool: Gelato!

You might get confused here. What gelato is doing with photography?! Let me explain it. Sometimes we need to use all available tools in hand in order to capture our visualized dream photo. We might need to move around to find the best angle, test camera settings such as ISO, aperture or exposure compensation, we might need to wait for people to move out from our frame, use filters, tripod or flash and here comes the problem. Most of the photographers are not traveling alone and all of these settings and testings are taking way too much time! Unfortunately our travel mates (family, kids, friends or spouse) can get very impatient with time. If this happens, experience shows that gelato is the best way to keep them quiet for at least 10 minutes! So whenever you see a beautiful spot in Italy, head immediately to the nearest gelato shop to buy a gelato for your beloved ones and some extra time for yourself. It will worth it, I promise!

+1 Useful Tip

It might be unnecessary to repeat but never leave your house (hotel) without spare batteries and empty memory cards! Florence is full with breathtaking sceneries, amazing landscapes and historical buildings. Missing chances to take pictures of all these beauties can result some sleepless nights.

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