Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Photography in Florence

One of Europe’s most majestic cities in terms of art, architecture and culture, Florence boasts an infinitive wealth of photographic opportunities. This blog aims to point visitors in the right direction with regards to making the most out of these opportunities with some basic tips.
The first part of this blog will mention the “must-see” attractions while in the future I aim to offer suggestions on some places that are off the tourist map. With a wealth of Florence rentals in the city centre it is possible to find rooftop views that are not as common as those taken from buildings with entry to the public.

The following examples are some of the must-see attractions in Florence:

Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio bridge is without doubt one of the most photographed landmarks in Florence. Some of the best views towards it are from along the river bank or from one of its neighbouring bridges.
The Ponte Santa Trinita is closer to the Ponte Vecchio than the Ponte Alle Grazie and is more favoured among photographers for this reason. It is well worth making two trips; both in the day or early morning and at night. In high season the early bird really does catch the worm, as by midday tourist numbers are so high that photographing the bridge can be difficult. The reflection of the buildings along the River Arno can be an enchanting sight and evening photo excursions are a must.

Il Duomo

The Basililica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the catedral of Florence. The building took over 400 hundred years to complete and was designed by architect Arnolfo di Cambio. The exterior fa├žades of the building are faced in marble of and the octagonal dome is the largest masonry dome in the world. On a clear day it is worthwhile spending time to see how the light behaves at various times throughout the day. Due to the rich marble textures it is possible to achieve some impressive contrasts between light and dark with a fantastic blue sky backdrop. From the plaza of the Battistero di San Giovanni it is possible to achieve a composition that contains the Baptistery, Campanile and the Dome in the same photo. It is still possible to photograph inside the cathedral and the frescoes in the dome make an impressive composition though attention must be made to sunlight. Please note all photography within the building s must be carried out without the use of a flash.

Santa Croce

The Basilica de Santa Croce houses some of Florence’s most impressive frescoe paintings and contains the tombs of some of the most influential people from European history. The tombs of and monuments of Santa Croce include those to: Vittorio Alfieri, Charlotte Bonaparte, Dante, Galileo and Michaelangelo Buonarroti among others. The elaborately decorated tomb of Michaelangelo was decorated by Giorgio Vasari and is worth seeing at midday when it is illuminated at its best. The impressive facade of the building is also worth capturing, though an early morning visit is imperative to avoid snapping the hoards of tourist who are present on its large piazza from around mid morning.