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We, two grandparents and a eager-to-learn 16 year old granddaughter, spent six wonderful days in Orvieto with Patrick Nicholas in September 2011. (Imagine being 16 and in Italy for the first time.) Grandfather and granddaughter are experienced photographers (and even more skilled after Patrick’s teaching) and grandmother enjoyed tagging along. Patrick was a skilled and thoughtful instructor in photographic techniques, compositions, settings and tricks, as well as in Umbrian, Etruscan, Roman and Italian history and culture.
I can’t believe how photogenic Italy is– or is it just ones frame of mind when in a new place… Just this morning, over coffee, we were reflecting on our day with you. Marianne and I both remember it as one of the highlights of our vacation. Specifically, you helped me to improve my confidence, AND made it possible for us to see places that the average tourist would not. Thank you SO much for making yourself available. Do you have any idea how much fun it was?– we were so “bagged” by the time you chucked us out at the B&B, we showered and slept like stone for 10 hours straight.
Through my work I have travelled alone to many places and met many new
people, though signing up solo for a week photography course in Italy
did create some apprehension. On arrival my apprehension immediately
disappeared and the week proved to be my best ‘time-out’ yet!
Patrick proved to transfer his photographic knowledge in a fun,
enjoyable and easy way within a small and mixed experienced group. He brought us to the most off the beaten track of locations,
super places to eat and cared for us quite literally from dawn ‘til
dusk. Not only will your photographic skills be improved but your
knowledge of the local area, especially if you read DH Lawrence’s Etruscan Places
(the English novelist who visited the places you will visit).
I’m already signed up for my second course ( a weekend in Venice) and
have enthusiastically shared my first photography course wonderful
memories and experience to all whom I have since met.
If you are looking for a wonderful location to improve your photography skills we enthusiastically recommend
Camera Etrusca in Orvieto. This is a photography workshop run by Patrick Nicholas, a British ex-pat and 25+ year resident of Orvieto. All his workshops are usually limited to no more than six people. Ours had four people and the skill levels varied, however Patrick was able to patiently assist at each level. Each morning we’d meet at a local coffee shop near his studio. We’d chat about the days objectives and head out in his Land Rover to locations it might take the average person years to find.
Ideal locales, perfect angles and all at the best hour to get the shot. Lest you think this was all about catching the “magic hour”, we found that Patrick was quite an authority on the Etruscan and Roman archeology and history of the area. We would be lying if we said that between the history lessons and his recounting the story of his life we all had our share of laughs. Did I mention the food. First of all there are no bad meals in Italy. We had some memorable ones. It was truffle and mushroom season and every place we ate had a number of dishes infused with black or white truffles, and porcini mushrooms. At the conclusion of our workshop we worked on editing our images, while learning new skills we could take away. All in all it was a great experience, one I would recommend to anyone.
While traveling in Italy, we spend a glorious late October day in Orvieto, the medieval Italian town perched on top of a rock between heaven and earth. As an amateur art photographer, I am slowly and methodically building a body of work to be proud of, and as I walked past Patrick Nicholas’ gallery in the “downtown” Orvieto, my head…
This course has been a fabulous experience! We arrived a couple of days before and stayed just outside Orvieto in a fantastic hotel called InnCasa (http://www.inncasa.eu) so we were refreshed and relaxed before the photography began. Patrick Nicholas picked us up in his beat up Land Rover as promised right on time at the top of the Orivieto Funilcular and our course began straight away with wine and pizza then a gear review. The accommodation Patrick supplies is charming and comfortable but we were seduced so much by InnCasa we decided to go back there and use the hotel as the base for our course. Orivieto is a beautiful town and Patrick knows the place and it’s people like the back of his hand. A ‘frightfully English’ chap, Patrick has spent half of his adult life in Italy and speaks Italian like the true local man he is. You could not wish for a better guide for the area and his photography skills are second to none. Not only did we see all the best spots in the area through the 3 day course we learnt an amazing amount from him about photography and the history of the local area. From ancient Italian towns and architecture through to the beautiful rolling Tuscan landscape we photographed it all! Going off road in the Landrover and picnicing in 2500 year old tombs were some amazing moments. Patrick’s course encourages you to discover the culture as well as the correct aperture and shutter speeds! We were fortunate in that it was just two of us on the course, but we are considering going back again next year!
“One of my best trips anywhere ever, and I’ve travelled a lot. Patrick is a great host, and a fantastic photographer with a lot of experience that he passes on in the course. His local knowledge is brilliant and this adds to the already superb experience. Would love to come again – had a great time and the area is so beautiful and full of history!”
Marco Ryan review of Camera Etrusca Workshops and Master Classes in nude photography in Italy.
“I was very fortunate to spend a week with professional photographer, Patrick Nicholas, who runs Camera Etrusca in Orvieto, Italy. Patrick has been a professional photographer for most of his working life and has been based in Italy for the last 25 years or so. Patrick brings an encyclopedic knowledge of Etruscan history, insights and stories that bring the landscape alive, ad help you to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.”“As a photographer what this helps you to do is to stop and listen. Patrick’s wonderfully laconic and easy going style are the perfect complement to the landscape. He encourages you to look. No, really look. To stop, to listen not just with your ears but to listen with your eyes…and if you think this is hyperbole think about how lovers pick up every change, every innuendo without a word being said. You begin to see the change in light; to feel the history. It is absorbing and you can’t help but let it impact the pictures you take.”