MPW VAL D'ORCIA & SIENA

Unleash your creativity in the heart of an unspoilt natural park in southern Tuscany.

Encompassing the Orcia river, from which the name originates, this area extends from the southern hills of Siena as far south as the volcanic cone of Monte Amiata, in the province of Grosseto.

The five spectacular communes of Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, San Quirico d'Orcia and Radicofani make up the Unesco heritage site, a verdant green valley called the Val d'Orcia.

Envisage breathtaking spring landscapes, vast open vistas of ploughed and sown land stretching over rolling green hills to the horizon.

Sporadically punctuated by isolated farmhouses, clusters or individual cypresses, beech, chestnut and umbrella pines.

Medieval castles, abbeys, hilltop towns, hamlets, golden wheat fields, rows of vineyards and olive groves. Not forgetting an out of sorts clay hill formation resembling a lunar landscape, the Crete Senesi.

Daily photographic adventures radiate from our Villa close to the picturesque town of Pienza, which represents the Renaissance in miniature, known also as the "Ideal City".

It's plentiful architecture, vistas and the beautiful Palazzo Piccolomini and gardens integrate into its harmonious plan. In this area where time seems to stand still, we work a flexible schedule, based on all your requests.

Portfolio building as you capture Italian landscapes swathed in seasons finest light.

SUNRISE LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

Unique days with MPW begin the moment we set out to create spectacular dawn captures in pre-scouted locations.

We'll be teaching you, easy to implement, practical non-destructive workflows that begin by setting the camera to manual and image recording (capture) in raw file format.

You'll be guided in assessing and evaluating all lighting factors, relative to the components, of the final image you wish to create.

You're being trained to select the appropriate aperture, using depth of field correctly, granting you full control over the required amount of sharpness in your images.

In a very short time, you will be able to confidently evaluate and dial in shutter speeds that can either freeze or accentuate motion, you're making great steps whilst taking full control of movement in your image.

Understanding composition is the next fundamental phase and we dedicate the necessary time covering this essential subject thoroughly.

MORNING PHOTOGRAPHY OR MASTERCLASS SESSION

Breakfast is taken back at the villa and followed by an image processing masterclass.

Post production is a non-destructive workflow phase where we learn to edit and refine images without destroying any part of the pixels.

We will guide you through an essential three copy image backup, enhancing images with software like Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge CC, Photo Mechanic, ON1 Photo Raw and Capture One.

You'll work methodically through image importing, metadata, keywording, culling (selecting) and editing your files.

Photoshop tutorials focus on perfecting images and the importance of image manipulation being completed in three distinct stages.

First, working on tone then moving to colour and finishing with any additional effects.

This complete workflow concludes with detailed mentoring of effective catalogue maintenance for Lightroom Classic CC and Capture One.

We'll have the option to take breakfast close by our dawn location so that shooting continues in one of the numerous hilltop towns where we can observe and create Street, Portrait and Architectural images.

We also use this time as an introduction to location scouting, positively maximising your photographic opportunities for the forthcoming days.

You will be instructed on how to approach an environment, surveying locations to make the most interesting and meaningful photos from the scenery.

Lunch consisting of traditional cuisine will be taken in local trattorias and restaurants.

Experience real Tuscan cuisine, a healthy variety of the numerous provincial flavours, washed down by some of the finest Tuscan wine, an ample selection of produce, harvested from this rich agriculture terrain.

AFTERNOON & SUNSET LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION

Afternoons present the opportunity to continue post-production, additional location scouting or other shooting sessions.

With the applications of extension tubes and macro photography techniques, we can turn to some of Tuscany's flora and fauna, our first exploration into Tuscany's abundant and colourful nature opportunities.

An hour or so before dusk we arrive at our final location, set up and capture the sun subsiding majestically behind various resplendent features of these sublime Tuscan panoramas.

  • Mar - July & Sept - Nov 2018 / 2019

  • ALL LEVELS

  • ITINERARIES FROM £1750

  • 1 - 4 Group Size

ITINERARY SUGGESTION

MPW Spring Val d'Orcia & Siena Workshop may be subject to changes dependant on local weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are made providing the best possible experience for our clients.

Day 1 – Arrival
We meet you at Chiusi-Chianciano Terme railway station in the afternoon. Then its check in at our beautiful villa in the heart of rural Tuscany, unpack, rest a little and settle in before meeting up and departing to capture our first Golden hour.

Day 2
Our morning shooting session will be near Capella di Vitaleta. After which we return to the villa for breakfast and download our images followed by an image processing masterclass. After lunch, we travel to Montalcino using the afternoon session to shoot from the walls moving onto some urban shooting in the evening.

Day 3
In the vicinity of Pienza's walls, we have our morning session, shooting famous villas shrouded in mist under the morning's first rays. Breakfast in Pienza, walk narrow streets, smell the freshly baked pastries, and enjoy a cappuccino. Later we return to the villa, downloading and editing images before lunch. For the afternoon we visit other locations near the cypress groves of San Quirico d'Orcia where we will have our evening session.

Day 4
Today starts close to Poggio Covilli, We'll have a lunch in Rocca d'Orcia. In the afternoon we head further south deciding on a location near to Sant'Antimo Abbey or an ideal vantage point focusing on Monte Amiata as the impressive subject of our sunset capture, we then return to our villa for dinner.

Day 5

Were capturing one of Tuscany's most famous villas, Belvedere, at dawn, moving to a second vantage point if weather conditions are favourable. Returning to the villa we have breakfast and work on post-production. After lunch, we travel to Terrapille, the famous Villa from Ridley Scotts Gladiator capturing the scene and establishing an ideal position for the day's compelling sunset capture.

Day 6
Let's start shooting from sunrise at the Crete Senesi, famous for its lunar hills but not nearly as popular as Val d'Orcia. After we'll drive directly to Siena, reaching the city early, before the daily tourist onslaught. Siena is the perfect location for street photography, so we'll remain and have dinner or move on to our evening session between Siena and Pienza.

Day 7
This is our last day we either get up and shoot our final dawn captures or use the early morning for post-production, image processing and a final critique session. After breakfast, we check out and take all new friends to Chiusi train station.

Val d'Orcia is a remarkable reflection of how the landscape was re-written during Renaissance times demonstrating the ideals of great governance aiding man and nature meet in harmony.

You will be in one of the most suggestive and unique valleys of Tuscany full of magnificent natural scenery, especially during spring and autumn.  

These bi-annual Workshops allow you to benefit from the most colourful months in the Tuscany. You're spoilt for choice, able to explore and improve your creative vision, whilst focusing on portfolio building in and around the following locations:

Abbadia san Salvatore, Arcidosso, Buonconvento, Bagno Vignoni, Bagni San Filippo, Castelnuovo dell''Abate, Castiglion del Bosco, Castiglione d'Orcia, Cetona, Gallina, Horti Leonini gardens, Le Foce, Montalcino, Monicchiello, Monte Labro, Monte Olivetto Maggiore, Murlo, Radicofani, Ripa d'Orcia , Riserva Naturale Lucciobella, Rocca d'Orcia, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Giovanni d'Asso, San Quirico d'Orcia, Sant'Angello in Colle, Sant'Antimo Abbey, Seggiano' Torrenieri.

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