Cinque Terre in Italy is a dream for photographers. Here are some of my experiences.
Inspired by beautiful pictures from numerous photographers I decided to spend a couple of days in the Cinque Terre area in Italy on a recent long weekend.
Cinque Terre means “five lands” and is the name of five fisher villages on the west coast of Italy: Riamaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. They are spectacularly located on steep hills by the ocean.
We went there by train from Pisa. The travel took just around an hour and a half. You can also travel easily with train between the five villages. Bringing your own car is not recommended.
Sunset photography in Cinque Terre
For an amateur photographer the most exciting opportunity is to make beautiful sunset photographs.
There is a challenge with this in Cinque Terre. The fact that the area has five villages, means that you have to choose. Because the great time for photography is at the most a couple of hours in the evening.
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I chose the Manarola for my sunset photos. I loved the steep hills the village was located on…and there were also great track on the opposite side which gave a fantastic view of the village.
I am used to being alone with my camera and tripod at sunset. Not so in Manarola. The track overviewing the village was full of red lights indicating long exposures from numerous amateur photographers. You had to be careful not to stumble in tripods along the track. Photographers gathered from long before sunset until it was almost completely dark.
I thought the best photos were just before the sun went down…as the village started to glow like if it was made of gold. But also the sunset itself was indeed beautiful:
After sunset in Cinque Terre
We stayed in the village Riamaggiore – and this was also where we returned for dinner after my sunset photo expeditions. And of course: After dinner it was nice to try a bit of night photography in this beautiful village:
I have been fascinated by night photography recently. I try to take them not too late, so that there is still a mixture of natural and artificial light. And I use the HDR technique, which means I take five different exposures that are later merged in the software HDR Efex Pro.
In my opinion HDR often can make the photos richer – as both highlights and shadows are correctly exposed. But you have to be careful. I try to make it look as natural as possible in post-production. Tripod is an absolute must.
It is especially fascinating to see how fast the light changes. See for instance the two photos below, which were taken at almost the same spot two different nights:
There are also possibility to take great photos of the sunset:
Sunset in Cinque Terre, Italy.
Other photos from Cinque Terre
I took a lot of other photos in Cinque Terre. Here is just a small selection: