Behind The Lens: Italy’s Cinque Terre
“Cinque Terre” The charming seaside village of Manarola, Cinque Terre National Park, Italy. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens @ 26mm, 30 seconds @ f/10, ISO 200.
Cinque Terre is a strand of five charming and colorful seaside villages along the dramatic Italian Riviera coastline. Colorfully-painted houses cling perilously to the sea cliffs while vineyards grace the steep, terraced landscape just above the town. One of Cinque Terre’s most scenic and photogenic villages is Manarola and I visited there in 2015 for some coastal photography Italian Style!.
My strategy for this image was to execute it during the twilight hour where the ambient blues would create a dramatic color temperature contrast with the warm lights of the village, once they were turned on. The house colors were decidedly muted during the day and I wanted this photo to really pop. Twilight was definitely the right time. Even though there were no clouds top help create some drama, the deep blues in the sky were colorful enough for me. Choosing twilight also allowed me to employ a long shutter speed (30 seconds) without having to add any neutral density filters. The long exposure smoothed out the waves and created a sweet yellow reflective glow on the water.
When traveling, I love taking along the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens, which is light, sharp, and versatile (and not to mention, relatively inexpensive) and I chose a focal length of 26mm with this lens, which was plenty wide to allow comfortable negative space along the top and the bottom.
Even though I am happy with the result, I am already looking forward to my next visit to Manarola and Cinque Terre!
Cinque Terre can be licensed or purchased as a print here.
Besides the wonderful image, it’s really nice to hear some of the creative process! I know some of that process is inevitably after the fact, but when the feelings about the shoot are strong enough, as it seems to me even this one image is, those after thoughts come less cluttered from the swell of the moment. Wonderful work, Richard – I bet you have some definite would-likes for your next visit there!
Good morning, Richard. Dave and I loved Cinque Terre…The views were magnificent, each little village with its own special charm. I’m interested in knowing what your vantage point was when you took this photo. You don’t mention a drone, but the pic is from a distance, and high up. Always, your photos and commentary are most enjoyable!
Lois, there is a trail from town that leads to an adjacent hillside, which allows perfect views of Manarola from a distance.
Aha! Thank you for explaining!
Wow. What an amazing capture! I only knew Cinque Terre by day, and never tried to see what it looks like by night, but you managed to get the colours still showing very well. Is it before sunrise or the blue hour? I passed by Cinque Terre back in 2002 right after shooting the Cannes Film Festival, I suddenly felt like seeing Tuscany, and stopped in Cinque Terre on the way to Lucca. You now have made me want to go back. Thanks.