Within a radius of an hour’s drive of Patrick Nicholas’ home in Orvieto one can find the most varied landscape possibly on earth, but most of all there is water: lakes, rivers, streams, hot springs, torrents, waterfalls and the sea, thus a lot of my photographs have been taken in and around water. A water portrait is somehow even more special.
Vulci is one of my favourite places for taking water portraits. The river Fiora flows in a canyon through an archeological national park. The completly ruined ancient Etruscan city is nearby but we go to the seclusion of the gorge behind the waterfall. Here the water flows under the stalactites of the high cliifs breaking like waves over our heads. The bedrock over which the torrent eddies is blue black bassalt (photo above). The black rock absorbs the sun’s heat so the water is surprisingly warm even in early spring.
Vulci offers an unrivalled variety in a small area. The arching stalactites above make a vivid backdrop. Water cascades all around, and so I often have to shoot with an umbrella. There is something magical about Vulci: the kestrals whirling above, the gurgling of the water, the rushing of the cascades, it all evokes Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth or Conan Doyle’s Lost World.
The water in Italy is warm, and sometimes hot, sometimes very hot! There are plenty of hot springs and even hot water cascades so if you prefer to come off season in the cold months there are still plenty of opportunites for a water portrait.
The best place for a hot spring portrait is Bagni San Filippo in Tuscany.
A water portrait operates the same as a portrait in Orvieto, the only difference being that you will need a full day as all the locations are beyond the reach of a half day shoot.