Campo Imperatore, Italy: August-September 2020

After returning to Italy from Scotland it was time to get down to business. Some time spent out in some of the most beautiful landscapes (and I’m comparing to Scotland’s NW Highlands which are also some of the most beautiful landscapes) was exactly what I needed to bring back some sense of positivity to my photographic efforts. Make the effort and you shall be rewarded with great images, or something like that? I was feeling quite down about my photography and general response to it. Getting out for a few days to shoot in perfect light was all that was needed. I recommend it for anyone struggling creatively or in terms of confidence. If nothing else, it offers motivation to keep trying.

Part of going out into Abruzzo’s wilder parts at the moment is to scout locations for photographic sessions and for teaching, and more immediately for my partner’s motorbike touring business, which will commence touring in April 2021. We are biking and driving on every road we can find to discover hidden hilltop towns, amazing roads and landscapes for shooting and riding in.

It sounds like a great life we have here? On one level it is – there is no 9am-5pm work. Instead I have to motivate myself to get out and shoot, along with doing all of the other daily mundane things like shopping, cleaning, gardening, work on the house, learning Italian, maintaining some level of online photography presence, sorting out my rental cottage, exercise, keeping up with friends and family, caring for the pets and walking the dog. In the worst heat here, I have struggled with this. I walk outside and immediately want to hide in a dark, cool corner of a room inside.

It has been so hot here in central Italy this August. 41-42 degrees wasn’t unusual at its worst. Even established native plants were dying off. Of course, searingly hot weather brings high pressure and eventual dramatic and amazing thunderstorms, which I have tried to photograph from a less-than-favourable location (the bathroom window!). Cooler weather appears to have arrived along with September, thank the gods.

Last week we spent some hours at Campo Imperatore which is an alpine grassland plateau up in the Gran Sasso massif on the Apennine ridge in Abruzzo, Italy. Abruzzo is relatively unknown and not particularly busy even in the summer months, which means photography here is still a pleasurable experience without endlessly bumping into other photographers jostling for the same shot. In fact, many of the wilder locations are relatively untouched and often not well-photographed. One of the draws here is the natural landscapes, but also its wildlife including bears and wolves.

For the moment, I am focused on landscapes and achieving some eye-catching shots for my planned second photography book which will be of nature in the region of Abruzzo.

Published by Clare Lusher

Photographer. Londoner. BSc. MSc. RHS trained Horticulturist gone rogue.

2 thoughts on “Campo Imperatore, Italy: August-September 2020

  1. Sorry my thumb slipped. As I was saying I always look forward to your photos that continue to be stunning. It is wonderful that you and your partner can share in a mutual pursuit of interests that will lead to a productive life together. Rare. Having the two countries, that I must say I love as well, is a plus. We too have shared a drought, where early spring rains have given over to a late spring drought well into summer. As well as the gardens being stunted, the blueberries, nuts, plants and pine cones were also stunted leaving the bears, deer, etc. without adequate food. As a result we have bears wandering around looking for food. A plus for me but scaring the bejesus out of others. Keep shooting, despite the chores and delights of life. Choral

    Sent from my iPhone

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