Wandering around Piazza dei Miracoli presents both opportunity and frustration for the photographer. The opportunity is, of course, the three magnificent buildings in the square — Pisa Cathedral, Baptistry, and Tower. The frustration are the throngs that meander in and out of your composition:
Piazza dei Miracoli
As such, the photographer has to get a bit creative by often foregoing the broader view and instead focusing on a detail:
But at some point you simply have to throw in the towel and include people into your shots:
Sometimes, however, a few people in the shot can work to your advantage by giving both perspective and orientation, that latter being important when photographing a leaning structure:
Still, I like to look upward for inspiration in crowded venues:
By the way, the Pisa Tower is not the only leaning structure in the area. Our guide made sure we saw yet another:
Pisa’s other leaning tower
I’m going to cheat a little on today’s article, and I’ll explain that in a moment.
MS Prinsendam left Saint-Tropez on April 10 and sailed into Livorno, Italy the following morning. From Livorno you have two options for touring. One is a one and a half hour drive east to Florence, and the other is Pisa some fifteen minutes to the north of Livorno.
We chose neither that day because of bad weather. So, how am I posting photos of Pisa this week? That’s the cheat. These are from another trip we took to Pisa entirely, but I’m throwing them in with this 54 Days at Sea series.
As you can see from the above images of Livorno, we arrived fairly early in the morning. There’s also not a lot to see on the sail into port. If you cruise into this port, definitely hit either Florence or Pisa. In Pisa you’ll most assuredly get out to Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles, formerly Cathedral Square), where you’ll find the Pisa Cathedral (completed 1092), the Pisa Baptistry (completed 1363), and, of course, the Pisa Tower, more popularly known as the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa‘ (completed 1372).
These three impressive structures make the plaza a must for photographers. Here are Ursula and me making the obligatory tourist pose in front of the Leaning Tower:
Tower of Pisa
As much as the Leaning Tower features most prominently in tourist slide shows and albums, the Pisa Cathedral is at least as spectacular:
But getting back to the Leaning Tower, which serves as the campanile for the cathedral, look for unique perspectives you don’t often see:
Tower of Pisa
As I noted Wednesday, Port Grimaud offered more photographically than even the more famous Saint-Tropez. In selecting today’s Fun Photo Friday favorites, Port Grimaud shots beat out Saint-Tropez by nearly two-to-one:
Balcony and Shadows
Window on Wall
Port Grimaud Street Scene
l’Auberge des Maures
Blue Shutters on Pink Walls