Photographing Vernazza, Cinqueterre

An Italian town without Italians

If you try and visit Vernazza, as I did in late May 2019, during an overcast day when rain was forecast, you might end up finding yourself in a small village overlooking the sea, crowded with foreign tourists, without any Italians in sight except for those who work there. Why is that? I suspect two main reasons:
1. Italians don’t like trains (you need a train to get there!)
2. Italians don’t like the seaside unless it is uncomfortably hot

An overcast day

It was the first time I was in Vernazza and, possibly because of the added “boundary” provided by the cloudy sky, I felt too constricted there. There is just one narrow main street, descending from the railway station to the marina, and then a thin network of extremely narrow alleys, usually with steps, which are useful to climb to higher grounds and have a drone-like view. The bay is small, the marina is small, and if your eyes love to look in the distance, this isn’t the place for you.

Who lives here?

I didn’t feel at home in Vernazza. That is fair to say because I think nobody has a home there unless they work for strictly local businesses (shops, railway, etc). The feeling, at least, is exactly that nobody lives there: the houses feel like dolls houses.

The colour palette

With all the colours provided by the street decor and houses themselves, and the numerous beach umbrellas, more than on the composition I focused on getting a colour palette of my taste. All the images shown here were taken with a Canon EOS 5D and processed starting from Lightroom’s “Faithful” colour profile (then adjusted to taste in Photoshop). I aimed at vivid pastel colours, mostly pink, light green and yellow. Perhaps to compensate the narrowness of the place, I tried and “open up” the shadows in post processing.

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