Tuscany with Betty Sederquist

Rather than march lock step on a tour of famous places in northern Italy, we’ll be doing just the opposite; expect serendipitous dawdling, lingering in villages to get to know the people and food, the special photogenic corners, what a place looks like at the magic hours of early morning or sunset. We’ll be exploring farmers’ markets and yes, some of those well-known landmarks, but we’ll be heading out early in the day to avoid the crowds. I’m partnering with a sommelier/Italy historian and teacher who has been leading groups here for years and who is a native Italian speaker. This trip is priced VERY right as it includes airfare from the West Coast of the U.S. as well as all meals. We’ll be staying in apartments rather than hotels and sometimes using public transportation, although we’ll be traveling on some chauffered trips to hard to reach places. Although Venice and Florence are included in the itinerary, we’ll also be visiting many small villages. We’re including the spectacular Dolomites in the southern Alps, too.

FIELD TECHNIQUE – Avoiding the Tourist Trap, Story and photographs by F. M. Kearney

Vacations are a great way to get away and de-stress. However, I often find myself stressing even more. While I try to be mindful of the fact that I’m on vacation and not on assignment, I can’t seem to leave home without my camera gear.

With only a limited amount of time, I worry about getting the shot. Where are the best locations? When and where does the sun set and/or rise? How can I best secure my equipment in the hotel room?

On a recent trip to Antigua, West Indies, I was focusing on a bevy of tropical treats that don’t normally grace my lens. It’s easy to get sloppy and fall into the “tourist trap.” You want to shoot everything, but end up shooting not much of anything worthwhile at all. Slowing down and actually seeing your subjects, as opposed to simply looking at them, can make all the difference in the world.

Pride of Barbados Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Fabaceae) Antigua, West Indies

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