Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saluti da San Gimignano

     Photography has been my hobby for many, many years. I started with a Brownie Instamatic as a child and have loved shooting pictures ever since. For a number of years I even did my own black and white printing. Because I began in the days of film, I tend to be very economical in my shooting. When I find a scene or subject and have the time, I will study it from different angles and usually take only a few shots.  Having a film background and having started with a manual camera, I usually have a pretty good handle on my exposures.  Why am I telling you this? Because the first two photos on today's posting broke all of my 'rules.' We were in San Gimignano, and the scene above greeted us as we approached the walled city. For me, this photo represents the quintessential Tuscan scene. I shot it in the early morning fog, as the fog slowly began to dissipate, and later when the skies brightened. Wow! I simply could not get enough of this breathtaking scene. I'm sure that a large print of this or a similar photo in the series will soon grace my living room wall.

     This second scene was taken in the center of San Gimignano as I hope to recreate it in a quilted wallhanging.  I took many shots from all angles: wide shots, distance shots, closeups of sections of each building, tiny sections of the various architectural details, and the flowers and lace curtains in the windows. I am excited about the possibilities of this scene. Here's a closeup of one section.

      You might note that in the lower left corner of the larger scene there is an ancient cistern. Around its edge, it appears like the fluted edges of a pie crust. I heard a guide explaining to another group that the indentations had come from the ropes used to haul up water through the centuries.

     Today there is no water just coins and bills tossed into the cistern from travelers from around the world.

    Isn't this a stunning door!

     Finally, though our group was scheduled to soon have lunch at a local restaurant, it would have taken a far stronger woman than I am to not indulge in a bit of gelato, especially from a shop with this sign  indicating its championship record above the door.

   Was it good? You bet; it was yummy, but then I didn't have gelato anywhere in Italy that I didn't enjoy! After lunch, we left beautiful, charming Gimignano and headed to Siena. I loved San Gimignano and hope to return and spend more time there one day.
     Next posting . . . Siena.

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