Photographing Italy on film was an incredible experience. We spent three weeks zigzagging our way across the country. I’ve been to many tropical hot spots – Mauritius, Bali, the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii etc – and I haven’t seen water quite like what I witnessed in Italy. Arriving at the tail end of summer meant all of the locals were tanned and well rested from their holidays. We were a bit worried that it would be hard to get by with next to no Italian but Jen knows a bit of Spanish and apparently it’s quite similar to Italian so she was quite good at adjusting and making rudimentary small talk when it was needed. Tuscany was very special and so was Le Marche – where we drove to photograph a wedding. I got to meet Jen’s family too which was a really special time as Jen rarely sees them since they are all so far flung around the globe.  It all happened in such a rush I didn’t get much time to shoot but I wouldn’t have it any other way. What a trip.

All photos here are film – I was able to develop and scan at home using the gear that I’ve accumulated over the past couple of years. This is my biggest film post to date and I’m excited to do more in the future. Cameras used are: Plaubel Makina 67, Pentax 67, Chamonix 8×10. I shot with Kodak Portra 160 and 800, and also Ektar 100.



Here’s a final bonus shot for whoever visits this post well after it was published. I’ve just managed to develop some slide film at home for the first time! Here’s a shot taken on Velvia 50:


  1. Lucy Spartalis says:

    Really beautiful work, James. The colours and clarity are just stunning… very inspiring (particularly as we’re off to Italy next year).
    I did a similar post just this morning, but using black and white through Spain –

  2. Mitch O'Hearn says:

    These colours are ridiculous. As always, you have captured some stunning details here James. Highlight include the beach chairs and that golden light coming through the dome. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Myekie says:

    Wow!! I love this work so much. I have my own dreams of driving around Italy with my wife and cameras. Knowing that you produced all of this work with your own hands must be deeply satisfying. I admire the effort and drive demonstrated to a achieve a truly personal, tangible and amazing body of work.

  4. Pat Banister says:

    Your landscapes have the same atmosphere and captured light and shade as some of the best film photographers I’ve ever seen.

  5. Adam Johnson says:

    Wow. You are some kind of genius seriously. These images are insanely beautiful, with so much thought and feeling. I have two favourites I think – the guy in the rowing boat, with the left behind oar ripples, and the light rays through the church windows. Absolutely sublime!

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