MM 4.5 — Day 3: La Dolce Vita Italiana

Darn, why do most of these shore excursions start so early in the morning. If you spend all night geeking out with some very cool Mac folks, and tuck in at the late night snack buffet, having to get up to catch the excursion bus around 8am is a major challenge.

Today, we were off to the pretty tuscan village of Montecarlo di Lucca, checking out the picturesque side streets and amazing views of the surrounding Tuscany hills and visiting the Michi winery. Although rather small with “only” about 130,000 bottles of wine produced each year, it was very interesting to have a look behind the scenes of making wine.

Tuscany View from Montecarlo di Lucca

Any visit to a food or drink producing site would be a colossal waste of time if you wouldn’t get a chance to taste the products. My personal preference when it comes to wine are the heavy red wines of northern Italy like Barolo or Bardolino. The wines produced on the Michi estate were rather light, more like the typical red and white table wines Italians like to enjoy during lunch time. While a bit of a let-down, the wine went very well with the delicious prosciutto, dried tomatos, salami, and bread that were served for lunch.

In the evening, I finally got to attend my first geek cruise class, called “Getting the Most From Your Camera” and presented by Bill Durrence. Not your classical instructive class, Bill asked us participants to supply one or two pictures each to be critiqued by him. Focusing on both technical and compository aspects, this session was an eye opener to me.

Although I do like to play around with what and how I photograph, I’d probably still squarely fall into the point-and-shoot category, so this was the first time I learned about what makes a great picture. You know, Bill has this odd combination of being absolutely passionate about what he does, and calmly professional at the same time. Somehow, just listening to how he views photos got me interested in learning about photography beyond the “switch on/set to fully automatic/shoot pics” methodology. Tomorrow’s full-day photography workshop with Jack Davies probably is just the right next step after this inspiring session with Bill.

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