TUSCANY PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 2013
KEVIN McNEAL PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
ANNE STRICKLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
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Experience photography like never before! Wake up in your charmingly comfortable Tuscan farmhouse suite overlooking one of the most iconic landscapes in the world. You will sleep like a baby as the Tuscan breezes fill your room with the sweet, earthy fragrance surrounding our home base, the converted 13th century farmhouse, Tenuta Santo Pietro, which overlooks acres of Tuscan countryside. Discover amazing landscapes within walking distance of the farmhouse and many more stunning landscapes less than an hour away. Let your creative juices flow as you capture magnificently dreamy landscape vistas and local Italian life in charming village scenes. Become inspired by the beauty that surrounds you everywhere!
Fill your senses with the magical landscape of the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a once-in-a-lifetime photography experience. Place your tripod on the very landscape that has been made so famous in movies such as “The English Patient”, “Gladiator”, “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Romeo and Juliet”, to name but just a few movies that have been filmed here. Let your inspiration soar with a day trip to Florence to view the Master’s like da Vinci and Michelangelo or to the romantic ancient walled city of Siena. Guide your lens through the beautiful streets of ancient hill towns like Pienza, Montepulciano, San Quirico and Siena, shooting scenes that have changed little throughout the ages. And capture all of this stunning place in the most exquisite light.
Each day, Kevin McNeal and Anne Strickland will take you to exciting shooting locations from the unforgettable, sweeping landscapes to the more intimate scenes found in the surrounding Tuscan hill towns. Our shooting locations will be nearby our base so that we can maximize your shooting time in Tuscany and still offer time for you to have some cultural experiences, too. We will arrange our shooting locations so that we will be able to visit one of the hill towns at lunchtime so that you will not miss out on some of the most fabulous cuisine that you will ever eat! If you are bringing a guest, your guest will be able to join us for a lively lunch!
Whether you are a beginning, intermediate or advanced photographer or merely want to take some great travel photo’s, this photo workshop will offer you the flexibility to shoot independently or with Kevin’s and Anne’s guidance within the group setting. Though most of your shooting time will be spent discovering the landscapes and scenes of Tuscany, we will also be available for group and individual sessions to discuss composition, techniques and post-processing.
November is a wonderful time to visit Tuscany! The tourist season is over and Tuscany comes alive during the Harvest Season. The Tuscany area produces some of the world’s best cuisine and the fall season brings to the table the freshest produce like grapes, figs, almonds and olives, harvested within hours of presentation at the table. The Hunting Season rounds out the local cuisine with wild game such as boar, rabbit and venison, locally-raised lamb, pork and beef, and succulently tender Chianna steaks. November also brings the Truffle Season with local villages celebrating the prized delicacy with festivals and food. The Val d’Orcia is known for it’s local Pecorino cheeses and some of the finest wines in the world. The temperature will be autumn-like, averaging about 58°F (15°C). The evenings will be cool. And if that isn’t reason enough to be in Tuscany in autumn, airfare and transportation costs are lowest outside of the tourist season. You will love it!
Thinking of bringing a non-photographer guest but don’t want them to be alone while you’re shooting? No worries! Tuscany is a very special place and your ‘significant other’ or friend may want to join you! Your guest is welcome to join you at no extra charge for the room. Your guest will be able to join you on some activities when we are not shooting but will also keep busy with many activities in the area which can be easily arranged through our partners at Tenuta Santo Pietro, at your disposal. Easily arranged are exploring the local sites such as the Etruscan tombs, visiting the thermal baths, listening to ancient Gregorian chants by monks sequestered since the 15th century, charming local restaurants, world-class wine vineyards, bike touring, shopping at the nearby Italian designer luxury outlets, art and cooking classes and much, much more to delight your senses and tickle your palate! Or just relax in a hammock by the pool with a glass of wine and a good book, soaking in the incredible view. Whether you come alone or with a guest, you will be pampered!
Important Information and Trip Details
Dates of Workshop
Begins: Sunday afternoon, November 10, 2013
Ends: Friday morning, November 15, 2013
Please arrive at our Inn by Sunday afternoon, November 10, 2013. We will meet in a common area of the Inn in the late afternoon, at a time to be announced later.
Our lodging will be at the luxurious Tenuta Santo Pietro, just outside of the charmingly quaint village of Pienza. The inn has twelve rooms ranging from classic to superior, but all rooms are outstanding. Upon your application, we will assist you with your room choice. You will pay a deposit for your room directly to the Inn. Deposit and payment details will be based upon your room selection and length of stay. You may choose to stay additional nights before or after the workshop. Each room is unique and are booked first come, first choice.
The room fee includes a lovely gourmet breakfast.
Visit the inn’s website for detailed information about the rooms, pictures and room prices:
NOTE: Several of the rooms have twin beds if you want to share a room with another participant to save on lodging. If you are willing to share a room, please let us know, but we cannot guarantee that you will have a roommate.
Departure (end of Workshop)
Friday morning, November 15, 2013
You may choose to stay longer, if desired.
Map of Tuscany
Searching the internet will give you a wealth of information about everything that you want to know about your visit to Tuscany, but we will give you the basics for our workshop.
You will need a passport to enter Italy. Be sure that your passport will be current during your stay in Italy. Some countries may have other requirements, so be sure to check your country’s requirements for your travel to Italy.
The Tuscany Photoworkshop will be based out of Pienza in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Val d’Orcia.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get around Tuscany is by car. You can rent a car at the airport when you arrive or we can arrange transportation for you to and from the airport, at an additional charge. If you choose this option, you may rent a car locally in Pienza or carpool with other members of our group.
If you arrange a rental car to be picked up at the airport, an internet search will give you many options for rentals from the major car companies. Be sure to do a thorough search because rental charges vary greatly and you can usually get a good deal with a little internet searching. Driving is on the right side of the road like in the US and Canada. Again, the internet is a great place to research the general rules of driving in Italy. US citizens will need an International Driving Permit available at the AAA offices in the US for a nominal fee (about $15).
Pienza is easily reached by car from several airports:
Bologna 2.5 hours
Rome 2.5 hours
Florence 1.5 hours
Pisa 2.5 hours
Venice 3.5 hours
Naples 4 hours
Milan 5 hours
Driving in Italy is easy and the roadways are easy to navigate. The roads in Tuscany are sometimes tight or winding, but you will find little traffic and no trouble getting your way around.
The currency in Italy is the Euro. ATM machines are easily found even in the smallest villages. Tips: To save money on fees and charges, you can pick up Euros at an ATM when you arrive in Italy at the airport. Use a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. VISA and Mastercard are usually acceptable cards. Some establishments in Italy only take cash, so be sure to have some Euros on hand with you after arrival.
The temperature will be mildly cool during the day with temperatures dropping in the evening, so please bring appropriate clothing to layer. Dress will be casual for any place that we will be visiting in Tuscany, so please wear what you normally would wear at home when outdoors in the fall. We will not be doing much hiking, but we will be doing some walking in rural areas so please bring some sturdy shoes or hiking boots.
Bring any camera gear that you want to use, including your tripod, plenty of memory cards, back-up system/external harddrive, laptop, etc. Don’t forget to bring an adapter plug for Italy to run all of your plug-in appliances and battery chargers. Space is limited here, but you can look up “what kind of adapter plug for Italy” on your computer and you will find information and where to buy the correct plugs before you leave for Italy. Your room at the inn will have a hairdryer.
The official language of Italy is, of course, Italian! But our workshop will be conducted in English.
Our Italian hosts speak fluent English.
The Tuscan cuisine is absolutely some of the best in the world! Since Tuscany is a farm community, the local products are bountiful and used in most of the dishes that you will sample. Meats such as boar, deer and rabbit are commonly on the menu, as well as many local cheeses, olives, pasta dishes and vegetables. Everyone will find some delicious cuisine to enjoy! We will be in one of the top wine-making regions of Italy, where you will be able to sample some award-winning wines such as Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Vin Santo. Rest assured - nobody will be hungry !
Our lodging has a restaurant on-site, but we will also be sampling some of the other fine restaurants in the area.
Please make sure that you know the “rules” of your health insurance program while in a foreign country, in the event that you become ill or injured.
We strongly suggest that you protect your travel investment with trip insurance.
Your spouse or guest is welcome to join you at no extra charge for the room. Your guests will find many, many activities to keep them busy while you are shooting. Our wonderful Italian hosts will be very happy to make any reservations for any of us and are full of suggestions. If your guest pays the tuition fee, then your guest may join us on all photo shooting sessions. Otherwise, your guest will be on their own (or with other guests) while we are shooting. We will have opportunities to meet up together for meals and on other excursions, such as a daytrip to Siena or Florence or wine-tasting. You and your guest will have a memorable vacation!
Tuition: $2,000 (new guests)
$1,800 (returning clients)
Payment may be made by personal check or PayPal.
Lodging, transportation, meals, travel insurance, transfer and entry fees are not included.
Our photography workshop is limited to 10 participants. Kevin and Anne expect to devote our entire time to making your workshop an enriching experience, so we will work closely with all of you during all sessions. The entire tuition is due at the time of application or you can arrange to make up to four payments, the final payment to be made no later than June 15, 2013. The tuition is not refundable, UNLESS we can book another participant in your place.
We expect to fill this workshop. If our workshop participation does not reach 7 participants by May 15, 2013, we reserve the right to cancel the entire workshop. We will refund the entire amount paid for tuition to you. We will not be responsible for any other fees or expenses that you have paid in connection with the workshop.