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Florence, the day before (LONG)

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Alf, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Saturday afternoon. My dearest was busy fighting crime, so I decided to hop on a train and head East - to Florence, as it's so near I always forget to go.

    So here we are in the ticket room of the main station in Florence, a beautiful modernist sample of the 30s. With ice cream.
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    Some look lost, and some never stop talking
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    Then out, to S.Maria Novella
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    And left, towards via Tornabuoni, where fortunes are made and the unsuspecting are legally depredated: you know you trust a woman if you walk all via Tornabuoni together without fear, and you know you were right if you reach the end without being forever in serious debt.
    Plenty of interesting (and some well known) faces, but most of them have security who eats cameras and lenses for breakfast, so no pics of them: let's instead enjoy the view of the church of St. Michele and Gaetano, where men who avoid shopping pray that their loved ones don't fall to the temptations of Hermes (other side of the road), Gucci, Ferragamo and the like. Lovely organ, too.
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    This dark stone loves light.
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    We have reached the Lung'Arno, turn left and follow it for a while.
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    Before reaching the Uffizi, sneak into a small place, the Chiesa dei Santi Apostoli. One of the most beautiful examples of the medieval town, and in the outside chaos it was completely empty.
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    In front of the Uffizi things get seriously crowded - people from all the world enter NgoroNgoro mode and start shooting everything that moves. Or doesn't move.
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    But the Piazzale degli Uffizi is not the black hole of international tourism :that title belongs to the corner at the end of the road, where it meets Palazzo Vecchio on one side and the Loggia della Signoria on the other: the road is 3m wide, and everything orbit that corner:
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    This guy was performing, and doing mute propaganda for today's vote. As we have Electoral Silence on Saturay before voting, it was a clever idea:

    Meeting people and engaging them personally,
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    Making them play,
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    With results results results:
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    He won some hearts, too
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    We turn left again and enjoy the sun. The square is wide and everyone gets to play. Some are more serious about it.
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    A few steps more, and a little look into The Place Where You Can't Take Pictures Even With No Flash And We Pay A Large Guy To Make Sure Of That. Name witheld to protect the guilty.
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    Onwards to via Calzaiuoli, after via Tornabuoni it's a cheap place. We are reaching the Duomo, cameras get hot and people freeze in Tower-Of-Pisa mode. I hope the ice cream was good.
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    So we are tired, and we sit and do what's best. People watching, art watching us.
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    On to the other end of the square, where it becomes street again.
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    A little look up, yes it's still there. Light.
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    Ok, on again, Piazza della Repubblica is near, with its comforts.
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    An opera singer was performing for pennies. High, powerful voice filling the entire square which fell silent. She is out of contract and foreigner; apparently this was the simplest, fastest way for a nice plane ticket to the next gig - and no doubt, a nice way to protest.
    This was the result:
    He surely is in love. Freezed for twenty minutes.
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    Others are not so impressed.
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    But we have to move, we have a train to catch! Cross the arch, on to Piazza degli Strozzi, where ancient bankers were, and modern predators live in their shadows, awaiting their victims. Here are two of them, one of each kind - or both

    The Prime Mover
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    Yes, it's that red.
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    And then, I sneaked into a little place for a surprise for my dearest (still not knowing), and hopped on my train home. See you all next time!

    All shot with E-PL1 and Lumix 20/1.7, PP in LR3
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Stunning photos Alf. Thanks for the pictorial story.

    I really love your colour rendering. What processing did you do?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Thank you! The pp was done in Lightroom 3 for cropping and sharpening.
    The harsh light allows for some play in postprocessing, I used a few different presets as base, so if you are interested in one specific let me know, so I can dig out which settings were used.
  4. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is probably my favourite out of them all. The colours and tone is brilliant.
    I realize there is also a vignette added.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. JohnMetsn

    JohnMetsn Mu-43 Veteran

    Very nice, I enjoyed reading and watching as well :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Janine4d

    Janine4d Mu-43 Regular

    Great! Those photos really made me smile and I giggled at several of your comments. :D  I was there a few years ago too, so much to see...
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
  8. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Beautiful Set...

    Hi Alf,

    Fabulous travel set.... really spectacular.

    Thanks for the wonderful tour!

    • Like Like x 1
  9. Kosta

    Kosta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 29, 2010
    These are fantastic Alf, I really enjoyed your visual story.
  10. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thank you for posting. This is a lot of work and very entertaining. Excellent.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Very nice, Alf.

    One question though: in the first picture, there is sort of a purple outline going on near the man's head (leftmost - the one with a vest looking up, with his suitcase and backpack), and also on the windows near that area. I'm not very technical when it comes to images, but I wonder what could have caused these lines?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Alf, love them, it brings back memories.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    You are right! In my PPing frenzy I didn't notice it. Back to Lightroom, it's there from the start. Open in OV2, it's there.
    A huge case of blown highlights with purple fringing. Ouch.
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Thanks for the tour Alf, very enjoyable. Florence is such a great town.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    wonderful story! thanks for sharing!
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