Serendipity (5)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 — Saint Marcellinus of Ancona

Siena has been my target multiple times in the past year because of some gorgeous art exhibits. But I never have enough of those things, so when I learned of a special event about Ambrogio Lorenzetti I decided I could not miss it. But I organised a journey three times, and three times I had to cancel it for various reasons. Today, at last, I'm travelling to Siena, just a few days before the event is over.

It's a hazy but sunny day, and chances are that I'm able to have a shooting session around Ville di Corsano, one of the most picturesque areas around Siena, with a magnificent view of the town in the middle of castles and farms. I have in mind a sunset scenery, that I missed the past August.

Sony α6300 + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 126 mm, 1/160 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.00 EV, ISO 100

Castiglion della Pescaia al tramonto.

But, as it often happens, my plans are changing. I entered Santa Maria della Scala with a good weather, but now — after a couple of hours in religious contemplation of Ambrogio Lorenzetti's masterworks — I'm seeing a number of gray clouds gathered over my head. Perhaps it's better I give up with Ville di Corsano because it will take some time to drive there and the trend for the weather is bad. After visiting the Baptistery of San Giovanni I could go back to the Cathedral and climb to the Facciatone, which is a balcony over the town, where I'll hopefully enjoy some good light.

Half an hour later, now the weather is definitely bad: overcast and grey. No chances of landscape photos here. So, I'm deciding about a dramatic plan change: drive towards Maremma, as in the Diaccia Botrona there's plenty of birds at this time, in particular greylag geese and cranes; even though the whole roundtrip Genoa — Siena — Maremma — Genoa is quite long, towards the extreme mileage that I find comfortable.

Sony α6300 + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 70 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, -3.70 EV, ISO 100, panorama of four shots

Tramonto sul Padule Aperto.

The problem is that I really need to find flocks near the road, because I only have my smaller photo bag, and there's no long lens in it: 200mm maximum. Geese gather in large flocks and easily offer “birdscape” opportunities. Come on, geese...

But, guess what, the birds aren't that close. Furthermore, even though the sky is not so overcast as it was in Siena, it's not good enough.

Last chance: hope to capture a good sunset. There's a place that usually doesn't let me down, in the Padule Aperto. The westbound view is not particularly rich: it's a flat place, with just some hills and the village of Castiglione della Pescaia (sort of my second home), but either you have a dramatic sky, or you need to go tele; 200mm, anyway, are enough.

My hope is that the sun, in the last minutes before the sunset, comes out of the clouds.

Sony α6300 + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 200 mm, 1/100 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.30 EV, ISO 100

Castiglion della Pescaia al tramonto.

A few minutes later, the sun is giving me some satisfaction, as hoped. Once again serendipity is making my day.

More photos from this journey are available in the diary.

Sony α6300 + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 93 mm, 1/100 sec @ ƒ/8, -3.70 EV, ISO 100

Tramonto sull'Isola Clodia.