Siena is a bucolic paradise of pastoral fields and rolling green hills crested by homes that are more like museums than houses. Some of these buildings are several hundreds years old and carry, in quiet splendor, the structural influences of the region. In Tuscany, a land famous for its beauty and history, Siena is one of the main tourist attractions.
Tuscany – Photo Tip

Photo Tip: Choose your focus

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Tuscany – Photo Tip Photo Tip: Choose your focus

Tuscany is one of the world’s most popular destinations for photographers, and rightly so. The beautiful landscapes are dotted with medieval villages, strategically built atop the highest hills.

Jurjen Drenth
Jurjen Drenth Travel Photographer

But can you imagine the Tuscan landscape without the mighty cypress? Not really. These elegant trees are symbolic of the region and often form the crucial element for a perfect photograph.

Once a year I head to Tuscany with an enthusiastic group of photographers to hold a workshop. We dive straight in and even though there are plenty of photographic opportunities, everyone seems to want that typical Tuscan landscape shot. But, despite the beautiful environment, this proves to be no easy task; frustrating even.

So I always give my students the following simple tips: wait until the sun is low; shoot against the sun, not with it; be mindful of the lines of the landscape; carefully choose one aspect of the landscape to zoom in on; and finally, make sure there are cypresses in your shot.

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The cypress tree is so quintessential to the Tuscan landscape that it’s commonly referred to as the “Tuscan cypress tree”. Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Jurjen Drenth

Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED

The cypress tree is so quintessential to the Tuscan landscape that it’s commonly referred to as the “Tuscan cypress tree”.

Other stories about Florence

Tourism may be a mainstay of Florence’s economy but it also has a thriving industrial sector based on its history of craftsmanship. Italy’s fashion industry relies on the city for the production of goods such as leather, including shoes, as well as jewelry, embroidery, textiles, ceramics and metalwork.

Peek over the walls and you'll see the real Florence

“Rome is a whore,” says Giambaccio, a ploud Florence native. It has just gone midnight, and we have wandered through the moonstruck streets around Florence’s Piazza San Spirito for hours before winding up here: in a haphazardly cluttered art studio Giambaccio has modeled on a ship’s deck. “She opens her legs for everybody. But Florence...” He mimes chastity – the shutting of two knees – with his fingers. “We are a walled city. We are closed.”