These are the only two lenses you’ll ever need for landscape photography. I have travelled extensively and I always found I ended up using these two lenses after carrying four or five in my camera bag. While I am a Nikon user, I will also give my opinion on the equivalent two lenses for both Canon and Sony mirrorless range of landscape photography cameras. I know there are a lot of photographers who have their favourite lenses and if you’re getting great results, that’s fantastic. But these are the two I use and I always come back home with good images.
Day 4 Amalfi Coast – Today was a bit more relaxed than yesterday and it is my last on the Amalfi Coast. I cruised to different parts of Amalfi, including Positano again and stumbled across this magnificent viewpoint up near Agerola. I took lots of shots here including some panoramas that should turn out quite well.
From there I went back to the Torre a Mare (the medieval sighting tower) where Paolo Sandulli a local artist has his studio. For an hour he showed me around inside including his works that you could tell he is proud of. They are slightly Picasso-esque in style and capture Praiano and its residents quite beautifully, very heavily sea themed obviously. Check them out for yourself here. I now have a personally signed book of his works to add to my library back home.
For the rest of the day I took a nature walk up into the hills behind my accom. Once again great views, then lazed in the sun in the afternoon on my balcony. Full moon here tonight over the sea which should make for some good shots, better get the camera gear ready. Oh and luck is on my side once again. Tonight there is some large festival celebrating Amalfi, fireworks, bands etc. Better do the right thing and join in the festivities, you know while in Rome.. oh hang on, that’s the next stop 🙂
Day 3 Amalfi Coast – Today will be remembered as the day I rode to Pompeii. What an amazing and adventure filled day!
It started early getting up to grab some dawn shots along Amalfi. Beautiful morning here, no clouds, just birds singing, the waves gently rolling in on the pebble beached cove next to my accom. I was going to catch a bus or taxi to Pompeii. When I enquired at reception about the journey the following conversation took place:
Adrian: “What time does the bus leave to Pompeii, or how much for a taxi?”
Receptionist: “You have scooter no?”
Adrian: “Si scooter, bat bike, si.”
Receptionist: “You ride, only take one hour and half.”
Adrian: “But what about the traffic, isn’t it dangerous?”
Receptionist: “You have scooter, who care about traffic!”
So I hit the road and I have to say I am glad I did. The ride along the Amalfi coastline is something everyone should do before they leave this world. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I stopped along the way getting shots.
I arrived at Pompeii early and once again beat the tourist crowds. That gave me the opportunity to get wide shots with no one in them and to casually stroll around. I was really moved by Pompeii. Here I am in this other world, back when in 79 A.D Mt Vesuvius that I could see off in the distance erupted covering the entire place in molten ash and rock. I saw bodies frozen in time gasping for air, asleep or huddled looking for protection. Where people lived, were entertained, swam, bathed, worked, ate or shopped. For the first time I filled my primary memory card on my camera!
When I finished at Pompeii it was time to get back to Praiano. Now I am not exaggerating here (and this is where the ride got a little hairy) the traffic from the Sorrento turn off from Pompeii to Sorrento itself was bumper to bumper! Check out google maps, look at the distance involved. The receptionist’s words started ringing in my ears, “you have scooter, who care about traffic!” (use the force Luke) – She was right, this is where the scooter has the advantage, I rode on the inside and outside lanes going past everyone, through long tunnels, dodging oncoming buses, trucks, cars, bikes. Finally I got to Sorrento then the road from there was pretty clear and I could exhale again. Once again I stopped along the way picking up shots (it’s impossible not to) in and around near Positano.
I saved a lot of euros in going to Pompeii the way I did (only cost 15 euro – fuel and entry fee) but the whole experience was priceless in the end.
Day 2 Amalfi Coast – Today was spectacular here at the Mediterranean Sea! I ventured with the bat bike to Positano, up to Agerola (looking down through cloud) and to Amalfi. Along the way I stopped at caves, coves, ruins, churches, art galleries, pebble beaches and medieval sighting towers, specifically placed to help fight against invasion all those years ago.
There is such beauty and history here and I can see why so many people from all over the world come here to relax and enjoy. The water is a royal blue colour and the locals so friendly.
Very happy with the shots I am getting 🙂
Day 1 Amalfi Coast – After another exhausting day of travelling (boat, plane, bus, taxi) and going from one sea to another, I have arrived in Praiano, Amalfi Coast, Southern Italy. Words can’t describe this place, so hopefully my photos will. As I sit typing this I look up steep rocky cliff faces that are so high they go up through cloud. The cliffs drop down into the crystal clear blue ocean and along the front is juttered by caves, small beach sections and boats (including large ocean liners).
My hotel is built into the rock and I look along the cliffs and ocean all the way down to Amalfi, tough life. When you arrive, you enter a small car park that only fits about 10 cars. Then you enter a small elevator which takes you down to reception. It’s almost like entering the bat cave. When the doors open up you go along a tunnel to reveal the sea, incredible. And as for my room, now I know what it is like to be in an eagle’s nest by the ocean.
I have 4 days to explore here and I intend on going all over Amalfi from Sorrento to Salerno. I can feel a photo feast coming on, paticularly panoramas – so have camera, backpack, scooter (aka bat bike) time for some fun.
Day 1 Lake Como – Well it has been a long day travelling with 3 different modes of transport (taxi, train, ferry) but I have arrived at the breath taking Lake Como in the north of Italy, Bellagio to be precise. Approaching Lake Como via the train from Milan to Verenna I could see the snow capped Austrian Alps in the distance and I knew I was in for something special. This place reminds me a lot of another one of my favourite places in the world, Queenstown in New Zealand. Only it’s like a hybrid of Queenstown and Milford Sound rolled into one. Throw in fancy facades, quaint little walk only lane ways and lighting similar to Paris street lamps. Stunning is the word for here and you can see why it is the playground of the rich and famous. George Clooney, Richard Branson, Madonna, Elton John, Adrian Alford (ok the last guy.. not so rich and famous).
I can’t wait to explore this place tomorrow. Well, I think I’ll rough it here for the next 4 days.
Day 1 Tuscany – Ok. Umm.. wow! There is a line in the movie Forrest Gump where he was describing his run across America and a beautiful sunrise he saw, “I couldn’t tell where the Earth stopped and Heaven began.” Well, I think I have found it. I am based at the small town of Gaiole, Tuscany. The word “bellissimo” just doesn’t do it justice here. The colour intensity of the flowers are so bright it hurts your eyes to look at them. There are roses and flowers in every colour, long fields of olive groves, sunflowers, birds singing, vineyards and hills with old villa farm houses or castles on top of them. Photographic fodder. This afternoon we had a light shower of rain and I ventured out to grab some shots after it had stopped. The water droplets on the flowers were just perfect.
Funny thing on the way here my taxi driver was driving one handed whilst talking on his mobile phone, changing gears and steering with the one hand. He was speaking in Italian and spoke angrily to the person on the other end of the phone. He hung up in disgust (I think). Then the phone rang again. His ring tone on his Nokia was the Beach Boys – “Surfin USA” original song. Then he started yelling again. I just couldn’t help but laugh at the whole thing.
Tomorrow I grab a vespa scooter and hit the road. Time to explore with the camera.
Day 6 Paris – Today is my last day here. Very sad to be going as I have become very fond of this place and the people. A petite side note from Tuesdays blog. That kilometre long uniformed horsemen procession that I stumbled across was actually part of a ceremony for the new President of France who was taking office.
Last night I got some wonderful shots and a panorama which I can’t wait to stitch together down at the river on bridges looking back towards the Eiffel Tower. As it does not get dark here until about 10pm, I had a bit of time to kill before the lights came on. I noticed out the corner of my eye the Grand Palace had a photographic exhibtion on by Helmut Newton. So I thought, why not. I wasn’t familiar with his work.. but now I am. Wasn’t quite ready for what I saw and when you see his work, you’ll see what I mean.
For a bit of fun today, I decided to place only my 50mm lens on the camera, set at f2.8 and away I go for some shallow depth of field shots. I caught the metro to Luxembourg where I ventured around the areas of the Pantheon, the Mouffetard and Luxembourg Gardens (the Latin Quarter). Got some great shots of old one lane coble stoned alley ways and the gardens were just a real pleasure to photograph. Flowers were out in bloom and there was a fountain there that was just stunning. Quote of the day went to some loud tourist as I passed them – “That’s the problem with being in France, everything’s in french.”
I returned to my hotel early noon and decided to put down the camera and just go out and explore, taking in Paris without looking through a viewfinder, you know, take in one more chocolat crepe for the road. I got lost, but for the first time in my life I didn’t really care at all. No better place to be lost than in such a fantastic city.
Au revoir Paris. Tu es tres belle!