Blog 2018

Europe is Hell for Landscape Photographers

25 January 2016

Well that’s a sweeping generalisation and no doubt would attract lots of criticism from thousands of European photographers.

Especially when I only went to the top of Spain, South of France and North of Italy. But I did have my own car and that gave me “freedom”of movement and the ability to go anywhere at any time. If you were travelling by Bus or Train,  life would be even more difficult for a landscape photographer. If this was the case then  stick to street photography or just be the tourist with the sharpest, highest resolution picture of the Eiffel tower -50 megapixels if you have a Canon 5Ds!

Let me give you an idea of my frustrations of trying to get a decent shot in Europe. Take the first photo of the seaside village called Comune di Sori in Liguria.  Driving down the coast of Italy from France we saw lots of beautiful seaside villages. But geographically you had the sea first, then the village, then the road you were on. Could I stop to take a photo?  Nooooo. No parking and a narrow road. Hence the first picture to illustrate the road. Then you exit to go to the village to find even narrower, sometimes one way roads and any car parks were taken. Well what should you expect? These villages were built 500 years ago and catered for foot traffic and the odd horse and cart. Unfortunately the town planners didn’t anticipate me coming along  with hundreds of other vehicles driven by curious tourists. So you end up meandering through the village looking for the exit back to the motoway or non toll road. The only photo taken was by my wife sticking her I phone out the window!

I did manage to get the lovely tourist shot of  Sori  by illegally parking, walking quickly to a vantage point and shooting a few shots. Sally was riding shotgun so to speak-ready to drive off if the traffic cops come along.

The same in Tuscany. Where are all those lovely postcard shots of the vines and cypress trees. Well it didn’t help to be travelling in the wrong season, but again the roads were narrow with no room on the right to park the car. Also most of the classic scenes had power lines and modern structures as part of the scene as well. But hey the locals need electricity and modern farming practices. They are not there to satisfy the needs of people seeking romantic scenes of the distant past. But the odd horse and carriage might help….. The closest I got was a broken down Fiat Bambina. But I didn’t have the heart to stop and take a photo as that would definitely be “schadenfreude”.

I took over 5000 shots in Europe and its taking me ages to find something decent to publish! I got more interesting stuff over 2 weekends at Boggy pond and the locals spoke the same language. An analogy to my situation is like if someone sends you an image with a huge file size. This blocks up all my incoming E mail. All this work is stifling my “creative juices” !

I am still making my may through the long narrow bottle neck -just like the sea side village!

Foot Note :  What does a Landscape photographer do in NZ?   Easy, spots the scene. stops the car (after checking the rear view mirror) on the left where theres normally plenty of room. Grabs his camera and tripod, apologizes to his passenger for the inconvenience, sets up the camera, checks the Iso, places the controls to manual, then reels off a few bracketed shots (probably 100?). He then reviews the landscape, waves to the passing cars, and when satisfied packs up the gear, hops into the car , apologizes to the wife (in my case) again and promises he won’t stop again …. until the next scene!

Europe is Hell for Landscape Photographers

1.    2 October 2015    Nikon D750    iso 220    20mm    f4.8    1/125Sec    Nikon 20mm f1.8

Europe is Hell for Landscape Photographers

2.   Comune di Sori   Nikon D750    iso 200    35mm    f6.7    1/125sec    Nikon 35mm f1.8

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