My latest Italian adventure involved a recce, a shoot and a workshop in Rimini. The district of Rimini is still well known as a beach resort with its heyday back in the 60’s but behind the façade of parasols and bars lies a classic old town set on the edge of a dramatic landscape. The newly renovated harbour is bang up to date with fabulous restaurants and yachts to enjoy over a glass of Prosecco at sundown. NSFW after the break
One major goal for this trip was to complete the planning process for the second part of the forthcoming Italy 2013 workshop with my mate Chris Hanley. I had the arduous task of checking out hotels, restaurants and bars that had been selected by Terri, my host and fixer and seeking out the most unexpected shoot locations. There is no reason to shoot the obvious so we ventured out of town.
The range of looks available in camera is wonderful. I tweak the usual sliders in Lightroom but I’m always on the look out for crushed black levels. I don’t mind bleached highlights because we are used to not resolving detail in white/ grey skies but our eyes always open up to resolve details in the shadows in a scene when we look at them.
Terri Romolo and I spent two days scouting the countryside for perfect shooting locations and we struck gold. We found abandoned houses in the rural countryside, medieval hill top towns and vistas to die for. Prior to my trip we spent time on Skype and shared location ideas using Google Earth. Terri ran a casting for models and shared her shortlist via email.
After Thursday and Friday’s scouting sessions I was itching to shoot on the Saturday and we chose the wonderful model, Alessandra to work with. I needed to practice ahead of my first Lovegrove Nudes workshop and on the Sunday I had six Italian photographers for a ‘Nudes and Glamour’ workshop too.
I shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1, together with the 14mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/1.4 primes. I also used the 18mm – 55mm and 55mm – 200mm zoom lenses. It was the first time I’d shot for real with the new long zoom and I wanted to put it through its paces. Handling a long zoom while shooting into the sun using an electronic viewfinder is not easy. I’ll explain my technique later. For now I’ll share a few pictures of my first shoot sessions with Miss D.
The repeat of this trip to Rimini in the region of Emilia-Romagna will form part two of the Italy 2013 workshop that I am running with my buddy Chris Hanley scheduled for October. This 2 day addition to the Venice trip is designed to provide a more complete and better value shooting experience.
Italy 2013 will start in Venice where we will be shooting two days of street fashion and portraits in the back streets and fabulous canals well off the tourist routes. We will then have this optional part 2 trip to Rimini. The day after our shoots in Venice we will have a leisurely morning and travel to Rimini by train. In Rimini we will have a further two days of creative shooting Lovegrove nudes and classic figure in the landscape pictures with Chris Hanley in the hills that surround the classic town.
Holding the X-Pro1 camera fitted with the new 55-200mm zoom lens is not a problem in normal light. I have bought a +2.5 dioptre set of reading glasses so that I can hold the camera close to me while using the LCD screen but in strong sunlight the screen is near impossible to see. So I use a hood loupe but holding it in place is tricky. Hoodloupe have developed an attachment system for SLRs but this is a shade too big for CSCs. I can use the EVF (electronic view finder) but I have to shield my eye with my left hand. This is no problem with a small lens but it is tricky with the big zoom. The pictures from the big zoom are spectacularly sharp. Despite not having a constant maximum aperture the bokeh opportunities are plentiful and I’d say it’s not bad but not a patch on the 60mm for oof beauty. Us Fuji users are all secretly awaiting the 56mm f/1.2 promised for early next year.
Another of my shoot locations if the weather is bad is the hotel I stay in so we did a quick hotel room shoot lit entirely by one Lupolux LED 1000 spotlight. I used the latest model of this amazing light and the numerous changes that have been made to the casing and operation are great improvements to an already excellent light. Lupolux are like car manufacturers tweaking their designs and releasing updates to improve their products.
Terri Romolo has an emerging business of arranging workshops and events for Italian photographers. She needed to establish how a workshop given in spoken English can be received by largely non English speaking delegates. We used a mixture of translation and a clear precise narrative to make this happen. I must say that we all connected and friendships were formed. Our model for these shoots chose to remain anonymous. She is not a full time professional, but she is beautiful, kind, patient and has a very professional manner about her. Our time shooting together was a great success with sessions punctuated with stops for espresso, beer and Piadinas.
The Italian way of life is wonderful.
Part 2 to follow. Please feel free to comment on these pictures or ask questions about our Italy workshops in October.
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