La Dolce Vita, Italian style…

dolceI went to Italy to shoot the food, but I ate most of my first meal before it dawned on me … oops! First let me explain how I normally photograph food. Always on a tripod, and always set on manual…exposure, aperture, shutter, focus, white balance, and  ISO. I like to take my time, to study the dish and to compose the composition.

la dolce vita-13

Soooo, I lugged my tripod to Italy and was eager to take my time, and shoot.  Oh boy !!  The first day I tucked it under my arm and headed to Eataly, a high-end Italian food market. After twenty minutes I dumped it in the cart, and never looked back. Hmmm, is this a good thing?  Not really, you see I don’t know how to shoot in automatic, and I haven’t hand-held a camera in 2 years.  True, as dumb as it sounds.  I buy my lenses used, and some are old. Therefore, some are, or are not, set up for automatic exposure, focus etc. …  Because of my handicap, many, many, pictures have been 86’d, but that’s the beauty of taking hundreds !!! dolce-2

By the third day I was back in business, and a bit more confident that I was the one in control. I had figured out which lenses did what, and when I could, I opted for manual everything. That would have been when the lighting, and time, were on my side. I did play around before I left the States, but it just wasn’t the same … trust me!

My next dilemma was that most of the food was in a case behind glass.  I figured out how to work with that barrier much quicker, and to my delight, I like most of these shots.  Let’s peek, shall we?

la dolce vita 1

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…………………….  la dolce vita 1-8

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…………………..  berries

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I don’t know the names of these sweet delights, but that’s OK.  When shopping for something delicious, I leave it up to two of my senses, my sight and my smell.dolce-3

In Roma we went to this incredible Italian Ice Cream Parlor, Giolitti’s.  There are no lines in Italy, no queuing. In fact, street signs are just a suggestion…. yikes!  This next image is of gelato, not from Giolitti’s, but another parlor … I couldn’t even see the tubs where Pierangela used her muscle, and I’m not likely to push, not when I’m fightin’ with the pro’s !

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…………………   la dolce vita-6

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I love everything about the gelato photo….. Why? I don’t know, perhaps it’s triggering a memory …

Our last night in Italy we dined at Pierangela’s cousins home, her Zia Luisella made,… with LOVE…, this incredible Torta di Mele.

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………………………………  torta di mele 3

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 … and of course you can’t enjoy a dolce without a caffè, it just wouldn’t make sense.

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9 thoughts on “La Dolce Vita, Italian style…

  1. The name of the pastry that’s right after the mull fruit tarts is Sfogliatella riccia or Sfogliatelle. They date back to 1600’s Salerno. My fav as a kid.

  2. I read your blog today while eating my Potbelly’s salad. We definitely don’t eat here the way Italians eat there! Beautiful shots! Congratulations on mastering the only mode I know how to use: manual. Hugs girlfriend!!!

  3. These are most amazing–they FEEL like Italy. I get a chill looking at the gelato–these may be closeup but I feel they contain the entire environment.

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