Imagine medieval hill towns, cypress-lined lanes, the scent of herbs and wildflowers, rolling green hills, delicious fresh food and wine, and best of all, capturing stunning, professional images on our Tuscany Photo Tour.
It is hard to describe just how magical it is to be out in the Tuscan landscape with your camera. I often have to pinch myself to believe that I am really there. It is that special. Tuscany is a photography lover’s paradise.
You are invited on this immersive trip with award-winning photographer Jim Nilsen and designer Magrit Baurecht Nilsen. On this guided Tuscany Photo Tour you will explore the sensual landscape and villages of Tuscany and learn how to create stunning photographic masterpieces worthy of publication. In addition to guiding you to the best photogenic locations in Tuscany, this photo tour also includes instructional sessions in workflow and post-processing using photo editing software so that you can craft the best images possible.
This photography tour is based out of the charming medieval hill town of Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, a region that is universally recognized as one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. We will spend seven nights in a cozy hotel with the best breakfast buffet in all of Italy. This will be our home base for daily photographic forays into the surrounding countryside. Many of the iconic Tuscan images you may already be familiar with were captured near Pienza. This convenient proximity offers us the opportunity to spontaneously return to specific photo sites to catch just the “right light.” This is “slow travel” at its best.
Join us for a wonderful Tuscany Photo Tour to one of our favorite regions of Italy.
On our Tuscany Photo Tour based out of charming Pienza, some of the destinations we will visit include the medieval hill towns of Montepulciano, Montalcino, Monticchiello, San Quirico d’ Orcia, and Castiglione d’ Orcia.
On some days, you will have the option to rise early to capture images such as a quintessential Tuscan farmhouse at blue hour and in the early morning light with mist rising in the valley before enjoying your first well-deserved cappuccino.
In addition to great dinners at cozy restaurants offering fresh Tuscan cuisine (including wild boar), we’ll enjoy a special lunch at the award-winning intimate restaurant La Porta in Monticchiello. Like us, you’ll love sitting on the cozy terrace with a sweeping view over the valley while Daria and her staff serve delicious food.
Our comfortable photo tour van will also take us to some of the famous sites within a 2-hour distance, including Pitigliano and the amazing Civita di Bagnoregio.
Our lovely hotel in the heart of the charming medieval town of Pienza offers a wonderful buffet breakfast. Marco and his wife Paola as well as Syliva, the receptionist who speaks English fluently, will graciously take care of all your needs.
At night, when all the tourists have gone back to Florence or continued on to Rome, our small photo tour group will have the tranquil car-free lanes all to ourselves. It doesn’t get any more romantic than the tiny “Via dell’Amore” (love street) and “Via del Bacio” (kiss street). We like to think of ourselves as travelers rather than tourists and our approach to this photo tour reflects our slow travel philosophy. By spending seven nights based in one location, we will be able to experience the daily rhythms of life in a small Tuscan town.
In addition to great photo opportunities on our Netherlands Photo Tour, we will be lecturing (mostly in the field) on photographic topics including:
Depth of Field calculation
Blue Hour Photography
Filters, Neutral Density, and Neutral Density Grads
This is a sample itinerary that is subject to change depending on weather and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are always made to provide the best possible experience for our clients.
May 1, 2023
Plan on spending this evening in Pisa or nearby if you are not already with us on the Cinque Terre Photo Tour. This will allow you time to get some rest before the tour begins and also ensure that you arrive on time for the following day’s departure for our Tuscany Photo Tour.
Our Tuscany Photo Tour group meets at the Hotel NH Pisa at 10 am for departure to Pienza which takes approximately 3 hours. After checking into our B&B, we will have a group meeting before heading out to explore Pienza and to photograph our first sunset at the nearby “Terrapille” farmhouse. This is one of the most photogenic scenes in Tuscany and was even featured in the movie Gladiator.
May 3 – 8
We have six full days to explore the magical Val d’ Orcia region and beyond with our van.
Our Tuscany Photo Tour group will depart Pienza at 10 am for the journey back to Pisa. You also have the option of not returning to Pisa with the group if you want to head in another direction, for example south to Rome. In that case, taxi transport can be arranged to the nearby town of Chiusi where one can catch trains north to Florence or south towards Rome.
Join us before your Tuscany Photo Tour in the picturesque Cinque Terre or after Tuscany in Venice for an opportunity to practice and hone your new photography skills and to experience 3 distinctly different landscapes and flavors of Italy. Diehards have been known to join us for all 3 tours.
Personal Items and Weather Conditions | Tuscany Photo Tour
Temperature range for this time of year: 54 to 66º F
Average monthly rainfall for this time of year: 3 ”
Please pack light, as we will not have room in the van for more than one piece of luggage plus a camera bag for each of us. Magrit & I both travel for 4-5 months with 25-26 inch Travel Pro Max Lite luggage. Most airlines are now charging for more than one piece of checked baggage. Keep in mind that laundry services are usually available.
Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field where you can get wet and muddy. One pair for evenings.
Lightweight rain jacket and rain pants. You don’t have to go all out here, but if we have some wet weather and it is not raining too hard we can still go out and get some good photos. I really suggest a rain jacket if nothing else. We have worn cut open Hefty bags as skirts and they work great when we did not have rain pants. The rain gear will keep you dry when walking in tall, wet grass.
Small umbrella for rain and shade. I use an umbrella often to block the sun from hitting the front element of my lens. Black is best.
Sweater or light jacket for a possible chill on early morning shoots. A light layer underneath a rain jacket can be surprisingly warm. Magrit & I both travel with lightweight down vests and jackets.