Today was the first of two full days in Florence. My photo workshop begins this evening and I am looking forward to meeting up with friends from previous such events as well as making, I hope, some new ones. I had breakfast with the organiser, photographer and film-maker Liza Politi. This is the fourth of her photo workshops I have attended and it was good to catch up. Our "sensei" for the week, Joe McNally, stopped by to report on his early morning location scouting and showed us this photo, which sets the bar distressingly high.
I then braved the heat to haul my own camera gear around Florence. It's one of my favourite cities and, once I had bought myself a new Panama hat to shield my pale Brythonic features from the fierce sun, I enjoyed my stroll. It brought back happy memories of a family trip here with the late Mrs P. and Misses P. the Elder and Younger.
There was some kind of Ruritanian parade through the Piazza della Signoria and after watching the tourists vaguely wave phones over each others heads to produce thousands of what must have been dreadful photographs, I worked my way to the front to snatch some shots of manly Italian gents carrying off truly bizarre attire with such aplomb as only they can muster. In fairness, their outfits were only marginally more elaborate than the police uniforms here. If nattiness tended to effectiveness then this would be the best-policed country on Earth.
Tonight our workshop begins with a kick-off briefing and setting of assignments, followed by a get-to-know-each-other dinner. If the organiser's choice of Florentine restaurant is half as good as her choice of hotel, we are in for a treat.