A Tuscan icon, the Belvedere farmhouse in Val dOrcia at dawn is pretty much symbolic of Tuscany and the landscape in this area. When I was staying in the area, I made a decision to try and get something different and more original from the place, and so when I set off for a dawn shoot, I deliberately drove past it and went on to shoot a few kilometers down the road, coming back with [link]
Id packed up for the morning, the sun was too high to give really nice light and most of the mist had burned off. I wandered back across through the muddy fields to the car, spent some time removing huge quantities of mud and clay off my feet then set off back to the town thinking about breakfast and how much I wanted a cup of coffee.
A few minutes later, I was driving past the Belvedere farmhouse, and I realized that it would be silly to come to the area and NOT get a few shots of it. I resolved to come back and shoot it the following morning, but for some reason, not sure why when breakfast and coffee was becoming such an imperative, I U-turned the car and drove back to the place where the road overlooked this farmhouse telling myself that Id just look for a few compositions. Its a far from straightforward location to get a clear shot of, as the top of the hill from where this view is, has lots of trees, a couple of farms and an overhead phone cable
so I wandered around looking for a clean shot of the farmhouse and the valley in order to save time stumbling around in the dark the following morning looking for a place to compose from.
I eventually found a place I was happy with, and took a few shots. I didnt really pay much attention, just thought Since Im here, I may as well get some record shots. The sun was too high, the scene was pretty much backlit, the light too harsh and the best of the mist had gone.
Then I headed off for breakfast.
I was in Tuscany another two days, and on both mornings the entire valley was filled with thick fog that reduced visibility to a couple of meters, completely ruling out the possibility of shooting any landscape vistas, so the shots Id done of Belvedere on the first morning were the only ones I would ever get.
In retrospect, Im happy that I spent the morning in the other location, because the shots I got that morning are among my favourites, but Im obviously glad that I did delay breakfast long enough to get some shots of this scene
and they didnt come out too badly considering.Metadata
Taken in Val dOrcia, Tuscany, Italy
Nikon D3 | Nikkor 80-400 ED VR
Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead
Lee 0.9 (3 stop) soft NDG
1/500 | f9.5 | 80mm
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