Sunday, June 12, 2011

olives olives olives

We had to be entirely packed up BEFORE 8 a.m. breakfast. Ouch. We ate again in the hostel and loaded up a baggage taxi with all our suitcases. I began to recognize stores and street names during our walk to the Duomo and Cathedral. David and Carolyn gave us another OA (on assignment) for the morning of taking every angle possible of any building- not just the clique tourist picture. Thinking this would be an easy assignment I started firing away. After a couple of shots I started to realize they were ALL the touristy pictures- exactly what we did NOT want. I started to analyze my frames and subjects before I took the picture. Taking my time really proved to enhance the quality of my pictures. 

The only other thing we had to do today was visit an olive grove. We rode the public transportation for about 20 minutes to the very last stop and got off. I felt like we were ‘in the country’ Italy style. What Massimo forgot to tell us was that we were going to have to walk 45 minutes uphill to get to the grove… gratzie Massimo! It was difficult but the scenery was beautiful and we really got some pretty shots. When we finally made it up to estate 13 I could hear the sigh of relief from everyone- of course today was one of the hotter days here in Italia!
Touring the olive grove was really interesting but pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. A bunch of olive trees! But we did get a lot of interesting inside scoop from the owner and an up-close look at the process. After seeing how it’s done we got to be the judge of what’s good oil and what’s not. We each had 3 numbered cups and tasted each one. Number 1 was an example of what it tastes like when you only get vegetable fat. Kinda tasted like the Texan version of olive oil. Cup number 2 was fermented. Not so good either. Finally cup number 3 was what real traditional Italian olive oil is supposed to taste (and smell) like. Much better than any I’ve ever tasted! We enjoyed it with bread, tomatoes, and even some homegrown peppers. Yum.

Getting back on the bus (after a nice downhill trek) we headed for the 2nd hotel we’d be staying at. We’re now located much closer to the insides of the city and there’s much more commotion.  THANKFULLY someone had already carried our bags up the 3 flights of stairs to get to the first floor of the hotel. God bless that person. Another plus was that this hotel actually has an elevator! Using that after not having an elevator the first time to get up to our rooms was so nice. Did the daily routine of downloading pictures and had our first critique. Everyone put their top 3 pictures on a hard drive and we projected them up on the wall. Massimo critiqued each one and made suggestions as to how to make the specific picture and our techniques better. We were all starving after such a light lunch and we went out for pizza. A night shoot had been scheduled for that same night but we were all way too tired to go. Plus, tomorrow we go to Rome, which means we have to get up at 5 a.m. Not really looking forward to that! But I am excited to see the coliseum, Spanish steps, and trevi fountain! 

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