The landscapes of Tuscany

Sep 20, 2017 | Continuous Lighting, Fujifilm X, Location, Travel | 4 comments

Armed with a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and a 100-400mm lens I set off South of Siena in search of some classic landscapes and a few new shots of my own. I’m migrating my career to the landscape and travel photography genres and I thought Tuscany is a great place to get some practice in and this was a great opportunity to recce next years Tuscany adventure. As I’m already a competent photographer it’s only really a few new craft skills that I have had to learn. The art, design and composition skills are all still there.

1. These are the vines carrying the Sangiovese grapes for the famous Brunello wine from Montalcino. The wine is very exclusive and apparently it can’t be released for sale until 5 years after the harvest and then it’s best to lay it down for another five years or more. I understand the 2007 Brunello is drinking well right now. It’s great for me to know that this hillside is the source for one of Italy’s finest products. Brunello wine sits alongside Ferrari, Maserati and Borollo in Italy’s league of excellence.

2. This hilltop chapel near Pienza is another Italian classic. I just loved how it is set against the distant mountains. I’ve pinned my shoot spot on the map for the 2018 Tuscany tour and I have made a note of the ideal time of day to capture it at it’s best.

3. The ever changing light in the late Summer is perfect for those photographers prepared to play the waiting game. The villa top right on the hill is one of my favourite lost locations and will be a key shoot spot on the 2018 Tuscany adventure tour. The villa on the left is a well known shoot location but is rarely shot in the early afternoon light.

4. Pre dawn light and evening light make great shooting conditions but so can the middle of the day if there are a few clouds around to create spectacular dappled sunlight on the fields.

5. Landscape photography is a bit like fishing. You need to be in the right place at the right time with the right kit. That’s why I’m doing the location scouting now, exactly one year ahead of the trip. I’m logging everything so that next year best use can be made of the time we have on location.

6. Simplicity like this excites me. Solitude and strength in isolation makes quite a reassuring photograph.

7. The recently ploughed soil has a wonderful texture and tone. These images make great prints for the home, office or hotel room.

8. The ever changing landscape is often photographed in early May when the poppies are prevalent or in July in full crop.  This late summer/early autumn time makes for a stark contrast and one I happen to love.

9. I used the GFX50s with the 110mm lens at f/13 for this shot taken just after sunrise. I calculated it to give me the best detail and depth of field combination. I used a tripod, ISO100 and gave a 1/60th of a second exposure using electronic front curtain shutter and a 10 second timer. These little things eliminate camera movement and shutter slap apparently. All I know is it works and the shot is bitingly sharp.

If you would like to join me in Tuscany in 2018 on the 7 day adventure shooting portraits and landscapes visit this page to get the schedule, pricing and dates.


  1. paulmellingphotography

    Great set of posts from Italy Damien. I get the impression that this grand master is entering a ‘warm’ period. The tones in both the portraits and landscapes are gorgeous. Superb locations and inspiring stuff as ever. Thanks for sharing.

    • Damien

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you. Indeed I am in a warm period when I’m in Tuscany. The colours, tones and textures call out for a classical treatment. It’s an exciting period in my photography journey and I’m pleased with the way my pictures are looking right now. It’s a completely new approach for me this season. I’m using a tripod for everything. I have far more dynamic range in my files than I’ve ever had in the past and I find I can bend the colours in a way that looks calm and believable.

      Kindest regards,


  2. Gil

    Superbes photos. Une si belle région. Bravo, j’aurai bien envie de me joindre à vus pour 2018.


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