I’ve been going through my past pictures of Tuscany, getting psyched for our upcoming photo tour there. It’s amazing how easily we forget images that we made when often there’s so many from just one trip! But I came across this one from Volterra, the city of alabaster. We had stopped in one carver’s shop and there wasn’t anyone working at the time. I wandered around looking for photographs; the shop was covered in white powder – alabaster dust – and it felt like an old-time artists’ studio. I spotted this unfinished carving, and loved how it rested on the table waiting for the artist to return, the tools of the trade by its side. It reminded me of Michelangelo or other carvers who could chip away to let the form reveal itself! I’ve always marveled at anyone who can do that. Window light poured in and illuminated it beautifully. It was one of those images that I knew would make a better monochrome photograph than a color image, there just wasn’t much color in the entire scene!


I’m looking forward to going back to Volterra – it sits out apart from many of the more visited towns of San Gimignano, Pienze, Montalcino, etc., and it has great roman ruins and views of the surrounding countryside.  I already have visions of what else I can do with these artisans at work!

This image was processed using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2) and Color Efex Pro 4 (CEP4) to bring out the rich tonalities of the scene.