2018 saw a new location for my photography holidays. I’d heard that Puglia down in the heel of Italy was a gem of a location, and so it proved. Blue blue skies, turquoise seas, historic white washed walled towns, and excellent portrait and street photography opportunities, not to mention fabulous food and wine, made for a wonderful springtime trip in May with a group of 7 photographers and our guide Cristiano.
Below are some of the images from the trip, starting with my favourite town Gallipoli in the southern region of Salento. Fishing is a family thing, often two generations of men go out at 3am – father, brothers, cousins – bringing the catch back at dawn to sell in the market. They then sit repairing the nets until mid afternoon before getting some rest and repeating it all the following night. It’s hard work, and much of the young people of these towns have headed to bigger cities for a different life. What’s left are lovely towns and an elderly population living the slow life, sitting around in town squares having a chat or a coffee. There were plenty of opportunities for the group to capture these street scenes with their cameras. You’ll see from the images how many of the ladies are wearing black. When they are widowed they continue to wear black for the rest of their lives.
The next section of photographs are from our wanders around towns capturing street scenes and taking portraits. Also a visit to Italy wouldn’t be complete without getting a chance to see how some of the wonderful food is produced. Cristiano organised a trip to a local dairy for us to see how mozzarella is made.
A few landscapes next. Admittedly not something I do much of but any visit to Puglia with its thousands of olive trees wouldn’t be complete without some time spent with the tripod. The first image is the bay of Porto Badisco where we had a the chance for a sea swim, followed by evening light in the olive groves and a few picture postcards shots of the beautiful spring flowers that were everywhere.
And finally a street photography exercise one morning when we visited a local market. The weather was overcast; none of the bright colours of the sea towns or sun drenched white walls of the historic towns. But subdued light creates less issues with shadows so I chose for the morning to shoot in black and white on a wide focal length. This means getting in close to the subjects (really close), being quick and being bold. It’s not always comfortable but getting in close brings greater energy to the image.
If you’d like to join me on my next trip to Puglia do get in touch. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.