Tuscany, Italy with Jennifer King

There is something in the air in Tuscany, and something in the earth, that creates incredible experiences unlike anywhere I have ever traveled. The food, the wine, the people, all make this yearly journey so special for all that come together and photograph. We will stay in the heart of Tuscany in the most beautiful and photographable area of Val d’Orcia. Our stay is in the heart of the rolling hills, just outside the gates of the medieval town of San Quirico d’Orcia where we will awake to beautiful views to inspire us. Join us on this 7-day and 7-night journey as we explore and photograph under the Tuscan sky.

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.

From Jersey to Italy

Story and photography by David DesRochers

Budoia, Italy © David DesRochers

Budoia, Italy © David DesRochers

It was September of 2006 when I walked into a Tri-County Camera Club meeting in Nutley, New Jersey to judge my first photo competition. As a member of my own camera club, I had spent the previous six years listening attentively to other judges score and critique our own competition entries, some even offering suggestions on how to improve them. Not all judges are created equal and I didn’t always agree with what they had to say but I developed a thick skin and used many of their suggestions to help improve my own work.   And now it was my turn in the hot seat. Continue reading