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Crete Senesi a landscape floating on the mist

Crete Senesi a landscape floating on the mist

When we can find the famous misty mornings in the valleys of Crete Senesi? And where are the best shooting points? And how to fully capture the solemnity of this scenery, using which focal lenght?  These are the frequent questions I am asked by participants of my photo tours in the Crete Senesi.
When, where and how, as usual.

The first question is the most difficult. You have to be a kind of meteorologist and also have a bit of luck. The one of Crete Senesi is a clayey soil that retains the humidity of the night, and there are several ponds that cause condensation of water vapour at the groud level. The ridges shape of the terrain favors the stagnation of water vapour among the gullies. So let's say that in situations of high pressure, absence of wind, medium to high relative humidity and low temperatures you have a very good chance to witness the phenomenon. We find these perfect conditions most easily in autumn and spring, sometimes in winter. Almost never in summer, due to high temperatures.

The best shooting points are up on the hills. Leonina, Mucigliani, Grania, Torre a Castello. Following the Lauretana road from Arbia to Asciano, or the dirt road of Monte Sante Marie, which has become lately famous because of bicycle races, you can find quite a few. The important thing is to stay always at high altitude, if you go down into the valleys you will be surrounded by the fog and you won't be able to see anything!

About the equipment, in this case it does NOT depend on your personal taste: you need of long focals. I often use tele photos from 180 to 500 mm. Wide-angle focals are more occasional use, and only in case of heavy thermal inversion (with dense fog in deep valleys and clear sky above).
Sometimes I take panoramas of four to six vertical shots, again with the telephoto, which I then merge in Lightroom. Only telephoto lenses, due to perspective compression, are able to convey in a photo the magic of these wonderful landscapes, and give to the photographs a touch of visual abstraction that make them really great.