ADP Photography | A summer holiday in Italy, what could go wrong?

A summer holiday in Italy, what could go wrong?

April 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

From my serialised adventures in the UK, from Wales and Yorkshire, and also posts from Turkey, you may have noticed that I am not always lucky with the weather.  Even now, as I write this, I had hoped for a half decent morning to get some blossom photos, only to have all spring snuffed out by heavy clouds and icy rain.  You see, Turkish weather isn’t all sun!

I digress, Italy.  Summer.  Surely, no weather problems there!

Riomaggiore, f/8, 17mm, ISO100 3 shots bracketed. HDR in Photomatix Pro

Well, for the most part, no, no problems. 

Florence was actually too hot.  My Turkish wife suffering more with the heat than me, (a pasty white Englishman), maybe because I had a photograph in mind that set me up with an objective!  The photography was good in Florence, have a read of this earlier post.  A flash of a thunder storm one evening even gave an unexpected variation in photo opportunities.  No complaints!  But then we moved on to the Cinque Terre.  The region of 5 beautiful coastal villages.  Gorgeous! Definitely.  Lucky with the weather, erm...

The weather on arrival was good, but more storms had been forecast.  The first day, a few snaps and a swim in the beautiful sea at Monterosso Al Mare.  Gorgeous isn’t the word! 

The next morning we woke to a rain storm.  The mill-pond calm of the Ligurian Sea the day before had been banished.  Waves were crashing in.  The hopper ferryboats that take tourists up and down the coast had all stopped, and continued to be stopped for our whole stay here on the coast.  The small docking stations were too close to rocks for the boats to moor.  Train was the only means of transport, but this change in the weather also prevented other plans from being realised. 

After the rain storm that morning, no more rain came.  So what’s the problem? Well, the sea was just too rough for some shots.

You may have seen the classic image of Riomaggiore, similar to the one above.  A very colourful village stacked high on the cliff face with a small street at the running down the hill, culminating in a boat launch into the small harbour.  All of the villages of the Cinque Terre, especially this and Vernazza, have a labyrinth of narrow lanes and stairways leading up the sides of the hills.  You think the stairway is in someone’s garden, but it’s actually part of the street, bobbing and weaving under through over and between houses.  Amazing to walk through! 

The main street, Riomaggiore, f/8, 1/160, 20mm, ISO100

The photographs of Riomaggiore are taken looking directly up into the village from the harbour wall, but not today!  The waves were smashing against the rocks.  If I could’ve stood up to their force to get a shot, my gear would still have got soaked.  But wet rocks and rough seas are best avoided…do not walk on wet rocks folks! In any kind of weather!  THEY’RE DANGEROUS!  Falling in rough water isn’t a muppet moment I want to experience!

Erm, no.  Not gonna try a photograph from there!

Anyway, the classic shot was out of the question so I had to use the slightly side-on shot, well protected by rocks and positioned on a nice flat, safe, surface.  Perhaps this slight angle gives a better insight into the structure of the village, though it doesn’t include the small harbour.  Ah well, we can’t have it all.  Sadly I may never go back to Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre, though I would like to. 

A muppet moment, another case of missing obvious shots and regretting it, this time in the Cinque Terre, will follow soon!

Have you ever had to adapt plans to suit the weather or other variables? Chances are, if you live in the UK, the answer is yes!  Please share your stories and links to your images!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.


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