San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy
My first trip to Italy was in March 2014. The first day that we arrived in Rome, I took my girlfriend, at the time, to the Trevi Fountain and proposed to her. We spent the entire trip (about 8 days) in Italy as an engaged couple, visiting Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Venice.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel back to Italy to photograph a wedding. As I walked through Florence, it brought back many memories about our time there a few years ago. I can recall the places that my wife and I have walked by, the shops that we visited, and the spots where we took our selfies (we were tourists, don’t judge us!)
The afternoon that we arrived in Tuscany, we stayed at the Agriturismo Il Mattone. It is a beautiful vineyard with a gorgeous view of the town of San Gimignano. I had a clear line of sight of San Gimignano from inside our bedroom. The first time that I visited this area of Tuscany, it was dark, rainy, and gloomy. I didn’t get to photograph the essence to Tuscany that I have heard so much about. The view was still breathtaking nonetheless. This time, however, I was greeted with beautiful sunny clear sky to really experience the Tuscan sun.
We knew that we would have some free time to visit San Gimignano the day after the wedding. After a few hours of walking through the town, we knew it was time to leave. We had scoped out this awesome vantage point for some sunset photos of the town.
While setting up my equipment, I was disappointed that dark clouds had blocked out sunlight from illuminating the town. I took a few photos and was ready to call it a day until I noticed the clouds were parting way and allowing light to shine through. I waited another 20 minutes and the town was practically glowing while bathing in the sunsetting light. I had a good 5-7 minutes before the clouds obscured the light again. It was worth the wait. Luck played a big part as well.
The image above was taken with a Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8. Final image is a composite of 2 photos using luminosity mask. Exposure settings: 1/320 at f/7.1, ISO 160 at 200mm.