Tuscany Landscape Photography Tips by Marat Stepanoff

Tuscany Landscape Photography Tips by Marat Stepanoff

Tuscany is a fantastic place unlike any other. I want to tell you about a small area of ​​Tuscany called Val d’Orcia. This is a man-made landscape, but it’s very beautiful and amazing. In this article, you will learn some tips for planning a trip, equipment, photo gear and other aspects of photography in Tuscany. This is not a complete guide. But I would like to inspire you to travel.

Tuscany, Italy landscape photography

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

Preparing for the Trip

Identify priorities for the trip. Traveling to Tuscany is not an ordinary photo tour. There are many temptations here. There are great wine, Italian cuisine, hundreds of attractions, art galleries and museums. It is very important to plan your day.

I recommend traveling by car. Landscape photography in Tuscany will be impossible without a car. Moving through the fields on public transport is also impossible. Since it will be very hard to navigate many country roads you should use GPS Maps. By public transport, you can get from the town to the town but not to the photo spots.

Tuscany travel photography

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

What photo gear is needed for shooting in Tuscany?

Recommended gear for capturing the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.

  1. Camera

  2. Tripod

  3. Lens 70-200mm or more.

  4. Variable lens is 16-35mm or 24-70mm

  5. Wide angle Tilt-Shift lens (optional)

  6. ND filters

  7. Polarizer

  8. Extra batteries

  9. Microfiber cloths

In Tuscany, the 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens is the most needed lens for your shooting. You should bring along a Tilt-Shift lens. The old villages and cities of Tuscany are very beautiful. Tilt-Shift lens is indispensable for architectural photography and panoramas.

Tuscany landscape photo

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

What equipment do you need?

The best clothing and equipment for hiking/exploring the Tuscan region.

  1. Wellingtons or waterproof hiking boots.

  2. Waterproof or quick-drying pants.

  3. Fleece jacket.

The morning fields are covered in dew. Casual shoes and jeans get wet quickly. It will be cool in the morning and a fleece jacket might well be useful. Shop for waterproof hiking boots →

Since you will be shooting near your car, you need nothing else special.

Where to stay?

Next, to San Quirico it will be the best choice. This small town located in the center of the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. All the photo spots are nearby. You should stay at a hotel or one of the Tuscan villas if you are traveling with friends.

rolling hills Tuscany, Italy - marat stepanoff

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

What to photograph?

What should you take photos of in the Italian countryside? Here are some recommendations based on Marat’s travels through the region.

  1. Green Rolling Hills

  2. Abstractions

  3. Cypress Trees

  4. Villas

  5. Ancient Architecture

  6. Details

What is the best time to photograph?

sunrise in Tuscany

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

Sure, the best time for landscape photography in Tuscany is early morning.

The famous Tuscan hills covered with fog. After sunrise the fog dissipates, the light becomes very bright and contrasting. At this time opportunities for interesting photos have largely disappeared. You should be at the point of shooting earlier.

During the day, it is better to focus on sightseeing and photographing architectural details and street scenes.

The evening also offers very good shooting conditions. Go to one of the photo spots.

If you do not stay a long time in one place, you will have time to shoot at 2-3 locations. Val d’Orcia is a very small area and the distances are not great.

After sunset, go to the city and shoot the city street in the evening light. I advise you to shoot a long exposure to blur the many tourists. Architectural photography is a life hack if the weather is bad. Wet streets and old houses look amazing.

Best places for landscape photography in Tuscany

tuscan spring, marat stepanoff

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

A list of the best locations for capturing scenic landscapes in central Italy.

  • Podere Belvedere

  • Capella de Vitaleta

  • Villa Gladiator

  • Pienza

  • Montepulciano

  • Pitigliano

  • Sorano

This is not all the places where you can shoot. You can come again and again in Tuscany, and every time to find something new.

If your time in Val d’Orcia is limited, I advise you to start a morning photo session near San Quirico and shoot villa Podere Belvedere. After driving a few kilometers to Pienza, take a picture of Capella di Vitaleta. Perhaps you will have time to take a picture next to the villa Gladiator.

Tuscany countryside

Photo: Marat Stepanoff

Final Tips

Google map help you to plan your route. I also advise using TPE. The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an application that will help you plan a photo session based on the outdoor conditions and natural light. You will know where and at what time the sun will be during sunrise and sunset.

Special thanks to Marat Stepanoff for his expert tips on Tuscany landscape photography!

Author Bio

Marat Stepanoff is a professional landscape photographer and author of educational articles on landscape photography and travel. He based between Tuscany and the Lofoten Islands. His favourite locations are the rugged coastlines of Northern coasts — Lofoten islands, virtually uninhabited shores of Ladoga lake, Iceland. Marat has written a guide book for photographers and travelers on the Lofoten Islands.

See more photos and connect with Marat on Instagram and Facebook.

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