A couple of weeks ago I was able to make my first foray into travel photography. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work for a few days at the lakes in Northern Italy. For those of you that know me you'll know that international travel is not something that has tempted me before. I feel such a belonging on the shores of a remote loch, wading through a highland river, tromping across the Scottish hills or being beaten by the North Atlantic gales. Needless to say that 27 degrees under the blazing sun in a foreign city was daunting to me. Nevertheless, an opportunity had presented itself, an opportunity I knew I would regret missing!
Despite all my anxieties, I navigate my way to the first destination of my foreign escapade - Malcesine. Malcesine is a typical and picturesque Italian village and the tourisism metropolis of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, and the venue of the wedding I had travelled some 1300 miles to photograph.
I had arrived 2 days before the wedding in order to explore the town, visit the venue and scout the area for any and all photo opportunities.
The landmark of the town is of course Castello Scaligero, taking pride place overlooking the town. As this brilliant location was to be the venue of the wedding it was the first place I visited.
Strangely, the first thing that struck me about the castle was the sound and sight of swallows criss-crossing in the sky, in and out. From the top of the tower the castle commands magical views of the lake in each direction. To the south was an sparkling expanse of blue contrasted with the patchwork of rooftops that make up the town.
To the north the views are all the more spectacular. Looking deep into the head of the lake you can make out the sails from pleasure boats flapping their way around the blue. Above them tower the mountains that complete the scene of Lake Garda.
On a spare free afternoon I took advantage of the chance to use the cable car to ride to the top of Monte Baldo and take in the amazing panoramic views that only a mountain top can offer. As it happens, on my arrival at the top and as soon as I stepped out of the terminal the threatening clouds closed in around me and I felt enormous heavy rain drops begin to land on me. I was never going to be able to stay for long but in the end I was only able to capture a few shots of the sun breaking through the cloud onto the lake.
I couldn't leave Malcesine without capturing a shot of the iconic castle rising out of the town and the mountains beyond. On a warm still evening I battled mosquitoes to get this shot. With the sun disappearing below the cliffs behind my left shoulder, it was at just the right angle to pick out the colour of the buildings that make up Malcesine beautifully.
Fortunately we had stunning weather all the way through the 'big day' and it wasn't until the morning after, we all woke to BIG winds, torrential rains, massive thunder and lightning strikes across the lake. Just about time to get out of Malcesine - next stop, Venice!