From the Tuscan countryside – Exploring myself through photography

From the Tuscan countryside – Exploring myself through photography

September 7, 2019 30 By Eleonora Piacentini

Hello everyone! My name is Eleonora, and I live in Italy. I am based in a small hilltop town in north-west Tuscany, a region that is well-known for its varied countryside and its incredible natural landscapes. And right from the Tuscan countryside, I am going to tell you my story.

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Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to travel a lot so far. For this reason, I mainly take pictures of the surrounding places, focusing on details, and adopting varied points of view. I think that you do not always need to travel to fascinating, exotic locations to take good pictures. What you need is your faithful smartphone and a considerable dose of inspiration!

What is photography, and what does it mean to me? Well, photography to me is an explosion of life and emotions! It is a vehicle for self-expression, which helps me feel in connection with the world and with my inner self, breaking the monotony of daily routine.

I have always been fascinated by how photography can construct our reality. Even though I am not a professional photographer, I always try to express my innermost self through photographs. The subjects of my shots are mainly natural and rural landscapes, alleys, old houses, cobblestone paths, and city views. I love nature photography, mostly because I enjoy being surrounded by nature and feeling part of it. I do not have a camera. I pick up my smartphone and go off to take pictures, trying to convey my aesthetic taste and my current mood.

When I grab my smartphone, and I start taking pictures, I look for the colours and the shapes that attract me most. What I mainly aim to do is seek and capture beauty and harmony. I have to say it: it is not a simple task at all! Anyway, I feel that every time I try, it is as if I could get to know myself and my abilities a little more.

Memories from my childhood – getting back to nature

A black and white picture featuring a close up of a tree

Tree of memories

Through my natural landscape photographs, I can relive my beautiful childhood memories in nature, recalling the emotions connected to them. I could say that photography not only helps me bring back lovely memories, but also create a bond between the past and my current self.

I will never forget the time I used to spend with my family in a countryside location near my hometown, as a little girl. Memories of wheat fields and green meadows frequently come back to me, and I feel the need to recall the sense of well-being and calmness that I used to experience at that time.

I like to explore nature and let my senses being stimulated by everything that surrounds me. I want to touch the ground, feeling the texture of the soil, smell the leaves and the grass, observing how their colours change, thus marking the passing of seasons. Even more, I love to look at the shape of clouds in the Autumn sky, and wait for the clap of thunders on rainy days.

Everything about nature is magical and mysterious! I am not going too far if I say that exploring the countryside lazing around makes me feel that “I have enough”. I think that all I need is to spend my time walking at the pace of nature, recalling and creating fond memories of my journey on our Mother Earth.
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Taking a unique perspective on reality – a process of self-liberation

Tuscany coutryside

Countryside is my natural hideout

Let me tell you a bit more about my approach to photography.

When I go off for a wander, searching for natural landscapes, breath-taking views or new places to visit, I never wear makeup or fancy dresses. I want to feel comfortable in my skin, and I do not care how I look to other people. I could say that this helps me further the process of self-liberation that I will always try to pursue in my life. It makes me feel emotionally free and enables me to focus more on who I am.

All in all, I think that photography allows me to focus more on what surrounds me and less on my outward self. It makes me feel less influenced by social pressures and constructs.

You may not agree with me, but I believe that as we concentrate on taking photographs, we become more willing to open towards the outside world. We get closer to the beauty of the world, the complexity of human nature and the passage of time. At the same time, this process allows us to look inward, embracing introspection, while practising the act of paying attention and listening to ourselves. If we can stop focusing our attention on social constructs for a moment, we become immersed in our inner state. Ultimately, in the fragment of time in which we feel connected to our feelings, we can take time for ourselves and develop our unique way to look at the world.

The solitude of photography – discovering my inner self

A glimpse of a Tuscan hamlet

Taking a walk through a magical Tuscan hamlet…

Since I became interested in photography – a couple of years ago – my usual solitary walks became more frequent. I began to reflect more on my way to deal with loneliness and the way I like to spend the time on my own.

To tell you the truth, as a young girl, I used to fear loneliness. I was afraid that being alone would make me feel bored, incomplete, and empty. Over time, as I grew up, I began to perceive the value of loneliness. I began to enjoy my moments of solitude and silence, away from everything and everyone in peace and tranquility. I realized that these moments give me the chance to observe the world from my point of view, without interference, leaving behind the empty talks and pressures of the everyday life. Eventually, I began to listen to myself at a much deeper level, in my solitude and in my freedom.

Taking a bunch of tries! – how I try to improve my photography skills

A close-up of colorful flowers

Improving like a blooming flower…

Since I started posting some of my photographs on Instagram, I have become more self-critical about my shots. I am not looking for perfection. What I like to do is to try to identify my shortcomings, improve my skills and learn day by day. I always take a lot of tries, and I rarely post my final shots. Another thing that I like to do is to explore works of other amateur photographers and look for tips, comments, suggestions and opinions.

Although I only take pictures in my spare time – without taking myself too seriously – I hope to soon be able to attend a photography course. I would like to start learning different photography techniques and try my hand at different styles.

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Digital Photography School Resources

I am very grateful to Lara for allowing me to showcase some of my photos. Thank you kindly, it has been a pleasure and an honour to write a post for your blog and your readers. I am looking forward to seeing more of your fantastic work!

Eleonora

PS.
If you want to see more of my pictures please have a look at my Instagram account:

Eleonora Piacentini's Instagram account: eleonora_piacentini_

Eleonora’s Instagram account: eleonora_piacentini_