All posts tagged as european photography

15 Dec

Bella Campagna

In Uncategorized by admwil / December 15, 2011 / 0 Comments

 

From Santorini, I headed to Italy.

To Tuscany. The land of the golden light.

I would be staying in Val D’Orcia, literally off the old Roman road, Via Francigena.

Tuscany is the place of Dante,Galileo,Puccini and Michelangelo. A rich artistic legacy that grew from an agricultural base and built a great cultural stronghold before, during and after the Italian Renaissance. It rivaled Florence politically and artistically.

Literally a valley of poetry, it presented a landscape which fascinated the great painters of the Renaissance and the Romantic writers of England and Germany and France. And, she charms us still today with her subtle hues and golden light.

I arrive late in the afternoon. The sun is low in the sky but it still paints the landscape…colors of dry clay and golden earth, hills green like moss and ancient farmhouses dot the landscape.

I am staying in the old stone farmhouse of a working vineyard. The workers are heading in, pulling their carts into an old stone barn, and waving to the guests under the portico. Time stands still in Tuscany. I finish my Chianti and call it a day. I plan on an early start in the morning.

Morning comes and I head downstairs to grab a quick coffee. But in Tuscany, there is no such thing as a quick anything. It is a slow place, a place where life is enjoyed and the simplest of routines are savored. So, in the dining room I have an espresso and fig focaccia, a specialty of the kitchen. I am warned by the staff to be back on time because dinner is pasta shuta, a favorite of mine.

I am off down the road in my rented SUV, my gear stowed in the back. When I say the road, I mean The Road. Via Francigena is a road the Romans built. Centuries old, it winds along the countryside, weaving in and out of the valleys and past the hills that are notched with ravines. My innkeeper has given me directions to some interesting places in the valley and I plan to spend my day meandering. So I wander, shooting images here and there and chasing the light around Tuscany.

And then, I came upon it. “It”  being a spectacular place. As I rounded a bend in the road, I saw the old stone farm house perched on top of a hill, sitting like a jewel in an ancient crown, guarded by manicured orchards and spikes of cypress.   The farm was the only thing still lit by the afternoon’s fading light.  And, it was lit with a wand dipped in gold. As I got closer, I saw the earthy colors of the vineyard melding with the silver grey of olive groves and the graceful cypress. The beautiful palette of nature is before me…the burnt sienna of art classes gone by is a reality on this afternoon. That hazy golden light hangs over the vineyard, touching all the other colors below and seeming to linger past day’s end.

I set up my gear and I know that I am at the feet of the Masters.  I am in the middle of the flourishing Renaissance. I look through my lens and sheer poetry comes back at me. I capture my image …the golden jewel farmhouse set in the crown  landscape of umbers and greens and silvers. And, I wonder, how can this rich painting of nature be just part of an everyday landscape? But that is the beauty of it and that is the secret of it.

The mystery of Tuscany.  A suspended place in time that has never surrendered to progress.

I head back to my lodging, knowing that I have possessed timeless Tuscany for a brief moment with the click of a shutter , the thought of pasta shuta and a glass of Chianti waiting for me.

Ah, Bella Campagna.

28 Nov

Santorini

In Uncategorized by admwil / November 28, 2011 / 0 Comments

 

I awoke to find myself in a strange land, far away from my Southern Utah roots.

I was on a European shoot, planning to cover about fifteen hundred miles or so. I went to my window and gazed out to the Southern Aegean, out onto the bluest of blue seas, 120 miles south of the mainland of Greece.

Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic eruption that occurred three or four million years ago. It is a place of great beauty and history. I grab a quick coffee and my gear and head out for a trek up to the top of the city.

And I say up because I am staying near the harbor and the rest of the city is above me. Far above me.

Actually, the whole town is really a harbor of sorts. The city clings to the top of a cliff, looking down on a lagoon. The lagoon flows through a break in the sea wall and boats sail in and out.

I start my trek up, pausing at intervals to view a calm sea below. The pace of life in Greece is slow but constant, children dart in and out of alleys, women carry their groceries on a long slow walk home. A fish monger leans out his door, enticing me with a fresh caught octopus. A few men are talking, laughing, arguing about a lamb being barbecued at a small taverna , sipping their first glass of wine of the day. I stop and chat along the way, engaging myself in their conversations. I laugh at their observations and comment on a chess move or two.

This is Greece.

Slow but energetic, it’s pace a seeming contradiction.

But, my journey is singular and I return to hiking the narrow streets , up to the top to capture the City from a perch high above. I am determined. Determined to make it to the top to catch the early evening view. To see the sea of legends in the moonlight.

It is said that the island was formed after a huge volcanic explosion several million years ago. And this Big Daddy of volcanoes caused the entire Minoan Civilization to perish. Known as Thera, her fury is thought to have been responsible for the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

By the time I have climbed to the top, the sky is dark. The sky is as blue as velvet can be, it presides over this ancient city and frames the harbor with a matching cloak.

The domes of Santorini dance across the rooftops like little blue hats. A place as old as time but yet as lively and timely as today. I glance down at people walking and at boats bobbing on the bay…a bay with winds that seem to laugh at the land above.

I have been to Greece many times and I know the ancient stories and legends surrounding the place. And , I feel their presence up here.

Standing on top of the World.

Standing on top of Santorini.

I survey the City below, knowing immediately where I can capture my image. I find it in my lense. And then, click. There it is.

My Santorini captured in time.

I began my trek back down those cobbled steps. But in the distance, I smell the faint aroma of a familiar lamb on a spit.


14 Oct

Bella Vista

In William Carr Collection by admwil / October 14, 2011 / 0 Comments

 

I had been driving north for a few days, headed towards the Italian Alps, hoping to get some great images of the Italian countryside. I was on the “other ” side of Italy, in the high country…very different than Rome or the other ancient cities. But, ancient just the same. And, unique in its own way.

I had gotten an early early start. And, by that I mean dawn. Fueled by espresso, I was determined to find an amazing shot on one of my last days in Italy. It had been a good trip and I was happy with the images I had gotten. But I wanted to capture some of the amazing Tyrol, the Italian high country.

I looked at my watch and realized that I had driven for over three hours. I was deep in Sud Tyrol and the wine country. I stopped in Caldano, a beautiful city built by the Medici family to use as a country place as well as being a thriving vineyard culture since before the time of Christ. Time in Sud Tyrol moves at a comforting pace. Every day is a repetition of the day before. And the day before that. And the day before that. And so it goes for a thousand years. I took my time in Caldano, having my lunch in an outdoor cafe and doing a little people watching. I chatted with the owner of this small bistro and he told me his family had lived in this city for four hundred years. He gave me a couple of bottles of the local wine for the road and I was on my way.

I drove past a grove of olives and then I saw it.

Ancient dolomite peaks stood like soldiers at attention above green valleys and tiny villages.Those mighty dolomite spears, with a wide lap of snow around their base, seem to stand guard around the spring green lushness of the meadows below. Silently, stoically protecting all that lay below. The dolomites are national treasures of Italy. Literally a million years old, they draw visitors from all over the world, anxious to view their stone majesty.

My painterly eye drank in the spring, just when that spring had rolled back the winter and spread a lush carpet of green below. There was a newness, an untouched quality of pureness here this late afternoon, high in the Italian Alps.

I captured my image just before the day began to signal her shadows of day’s end. The afternoon sun was still warm, casting her golden embrace to the valley below and wrapping it in reds and golds and yellows. A wash of rusty purple signaled the end of the afternoon. I knew this image would be magical…I could feel the power off the dolomites in it.

My Bellavista complete….Now, where did I put that bottle of wine….

12 Jul

William Carr – The Early Years

In William Carr Collection by admwil / July 12, 2011 / 0 Comments

William Carr Gallery

No, the guy above isn’t an extra from the musical HAIR – it’s yours truly, back when I believed that true vision could change the world.

I still do.

As a regular feature on this blog, I’ve decided to present some of my earlier works of when I was starting out as a photographer. Thought it might prove to be an interesting visual timeline of my evolving techniques and style.

For the first image in this series, I’ll shine a light on The Portal, an image created, literally, very early on in my career.

THE PORTAL

The Portal belongs to the kind of image that I like to call ‘table top photography’. Early on, I would use everyday household items to create images that would help to learn key photographic principles such as lighting, depth of field, composition, etc. – and The Portal is a perfect example.

For this shot, I used a piece of white dryer vent hose, about 4 inches in diameter. Suspending it using wire coat hangers, I directed a red light bulb and a blue light bulb on the outside of the hose. In the background, I created a space field with a black art board with tiny pin holes for stars and pencil-colored velum paper for the planets.

I then took the shot in two exposures; the first was with the tube with the colored lights, the second was with the colored lights turned off but with a white light directed toward the camera thereby illuminating the tiny pin holes which simulated the stars and planets. The camera lens, incidentally, was just inside the tube demonstrating depth of field.

There you have it. Space, that infinite final frontier, recreated on a table top!

Thanks for taking the journey back with me. Check back often: I’ll dip down memory lane again soon.

01 Jul

Here’s The Scoop

In William Carr Collection by admwil / July 1, 2011 / 0 Comments


William Carr Gallery



Hot off the presses: check out one of our latest press releases:

William Carr Gallery To Celebrate Its One Year Tenancy at Planet Hollywood

Stay tuned as the William Carr Gallery rings in our first year at Planet Hollywood with tons of new website editorial features and upcoming gallery events.

28 Jun

Behind the Scenery: Austria’s Swan Lake

In William Carr Collection by admwil / June 28, 2011 / 0 Comments

William Carr Gallery

It’s interesting to note to what degree I’ll go to find the ideal image. For this particular image, my lovely wife Victoria and I traveled to this specific European location on three separate occasions just to get the perfect shot.

Austria’s Swan Lake

 

Lake Hallstattersee, high in the Austrian Alps approximately one hour from Salzburg, I spied this extraordinary picturesque fairy tale-like tableau; a calm, gentle lake, a steepled row of quaint cottages casting shimmering, color-specked reflection off the dark water, and a majestic backdrop of fertile mountains reaching towards the heavens.

 

Only one thing seemed missing from this amazing landscape, keeping it from attaining absolute and utter perfection all on its own; an elegant, white swan that I noticed gliding across the water nearby.

 

If only…

 

A bird’s sense of sight is known to be extremely keen. I was hoping that this particular swan might be more moved by its overwhelming sense of hope.

 

My instincts took over; I grabbed a handful of white blossoms strewn across the ground and threw them in the water. The swan, dutifully deceived into believing the blossoms might be food, began to slowly swim into frame, ultimately adding the perfect final touch of magic and whimsy to this image.

 

By the end of this shoot, I was clearly the happier between the two of us.

 


Original music by William Carr

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