Charming Rome

My family and I went to Rome to enjoy a late summer long weekend in this beautiful city. This was our first trip together to Italy and it was also my first trip with my new, old Hasselblad. Would I miss my digital camera?

Rome was everything we had hoped for. Yes, it is quite noisy with fast driving cars everywhere. But Rome also has a soft side. The historic white buildings, nuns walking everywhere, the soft light, pastel colors and terracotta colored buildings make it a beautiful city to visit.

We felt at home in Rome. The Italians are charming people, there is good food everywhere and the city is filled with history.

Before we left to Rome we decided we wanted to experience the narrow streets of Rome, not the waiting lines of the famous tourist attractions. But the center of Rome isn’t that stretched, we did everything by foot and we bumped into a lot of places we initially didn’t want to visit.

But we succeeded in our plan. To have no time schedule and experience life in Roma ‘behind the scenes’ - I’m sure we walked every one of the seven hills, we experienced the fine Italian coffee, had lunch at one of the little squares and had pizza both for lunch and dinner in small Italian restaurants.

And I learned a lot while I was shooting the streets of Rome. I learned that I don't have to take every shot, many moments are meant to be experienced not registered. 

I have also taken portraits of people. Real portraits. Taken with permission. It was the first time I did this and it felt good. I really learned I need to get out of my comfort zone to grow and experience new things.

Here are some images from our trip to Rome, all images are taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 CFE on Fuji Pro 400h and are processed by Carmencita Filmlab.

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Narrow streets of Rome

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Late summer in Rome

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Glen Etive Road, beauty in disguise

I keep a list with destinations I would like to visit (read: photograph) in my notes app. It has been there for years and every once in a while I add new destinations or go through the list to keep these destinations top of mind.

And with our summer holiday to Scotland in August, one of the destinations got ticked off my to-visit list: Glen Etive Road.

Glen Etive Road is a 14 mile long single-track road leading from the A82 to Loch Etive. When you drive along the A82 to Glen Coe and get the beautiful rocky pyramid-formed north side of Buachaille Etive Mor in sight, watch out for the exit to Glen Etive Road because it’s easily missed. While this seems like a regular road, this might be one of the most beautiful routes in Great Britain in disguise exposed with every turn you make.

Together with the small river Etive, the road meanders through one of the most beautiful valleys of Scotland. Every turn is worth a stop, so we took our time to breathe the atmosphere of this wonderful place. We even got lucky enough to spot some of the deer which reside in this area.

While the weather was changing all the time, we mostly had the best weather to drive Glen Etive Road, beautiful Scottish weather with clouds touching the summits of the impressive roundish mountains.

 
And then.. the best model I could have found on this beautiful road. .
a creamy white Volkswagen Transporter (type 2) van.
 
 
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Everything changes
at every turn..

 
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Heather & Horses

History

It was two summers ago that I was a beta-tester for the Rebecca Lily Pro pack III. These are excellent presets you can use on your photos to give them a specific look and to process to your liking after applying. I had used other presets but was very excited about these and wanted to shoot some new work specifically for these. What better place to visit De Kampina for this? De Kampina is a national reserve not far from where I live, and is a very special place because of it's various sorts of landscapes. It has some large woodlands, fens, fields with high grass and in the late summer it has heather fields stretching as far as the eye can see. Many told me this place reminds them of the savannas in Africa.

One of those Days

And I got lucky. This time was different, it was one of those days.. I got the right light, right weather and as a bonus I bumped into the wild Icelandic horses who graze here. Perfect conditions to test Rebecca's presets.

 
 

Present

The new Rebecca Lily Pro pack IV came out a few months ago and I wanted to try my luck and visit the Kampina to shoot some new work to test the new presets, just like I did with Pro pack III. I have been using pack IIIon a lot of my photos and I have been visiting De Kampina over and over again since that shoot with all kind of conditions from the hottest day in summer to the coldest brumous days and it really has become my 'photographic home'. So what better photos to use than a photoshoot with wild Icelandic horses (or cows) in the middle of blooming, purple heather.. Wíth great morning light.

So even better than two years ago.. what are the chances? Right?

I got so lucky, or was it persistence?
 
 
 

Purple heather

 
 

Lily presets

So how about those presets? Well.. like the former presets by Rebecca these are excellent! They are subtle but strong and I love the look they give my work. Pack IV has some really great B&W presets and I already have some favorite colour presets, and I can't wait to use it on my recent work.

From Rebecca Patience :"Pro Set IV for Lightroom 5/6/CC and ACR 8/9 is an evolution in digital editing, with professionally handcrafted color renditions including film-inspired pastels, soft desert hues, bold black & whites and vintage modern tones. Expertly fine tuned controls make pro-level color grading easy and attainable: spend less time tweaking, and more time doing what you love. Photographers who shoot both film and digital will also find this product a wonderful complement to the looks they’re able to achieve with film." - more on the website