Castelvecchio Calvisio in morning clouds.

Abruzzo and Umbria October 19-25, 2014

A 7 day (6 nights) photo workshop October 19-25, 2014 for 6-9 participants in the beautiful Abruzzo and Umbria, Italy at the best time for autumn colors in two of the most beautiful areas in Europe. The areas around Gran Sasso is the main target for the first part of this workshop and Umbria around Norcia/Castelluccio is the second part of the workshop. There are many angles to these landscapes and picturesque small villages nearby which may also be explored. The locations will depend on the weather. The altitudes vary from about 1000 to 2000 meters. Notice that the popular flexible 5-7 day workshop program will be continued in 2014. For this workshop you can arrive as early as October 17 and take part in morning and afternoon shoots from the 18th until the official workshop begins in the afternoon of the 19th without any extra workshop fee (only extra hotel and meals is paid directly to the hotel for extra days).

The workshop is the classical Abruzzo workshop extended with 3 days in Umbria in the beautiful area around Norcia and Castelluccio. We will stay in one hotel during the Abruzzo part and then move to another hotel in Norcia for the remaining 3 nights and the move takes place on October 22. The drive which will happen in the cars you arrive in to the Abruzzo hotel will take between 2 and 3 hours. Notice that the price include 6 nights and all meals during the workshop from start in the afternoon of the 19th until the morning of the 25th. Also the evening of the 24th include a very nice dinner at a gourmet restaurant to celebrate the time spent on the workshop. Notice that transportations to and from the workshop and during the workshop is not included. You are expected to either come in a rental car, own car or shared car with others.

The workshop is aimed at giving the workshop participant the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful areas of Europe and get some great pictures. You can find examples of pictures taken at the locations and at the time of year for the workshop. Scroll down to see the pictures. The instructor is Hans Kruse, owner of HansKrusePhotography. He is very experienced in landscape photography and in post processing techniques. More of Hans Kruse's landscape photography work can be found here.


The workshop will include

  • lectures about composition, scene selection, technique, post processing, etc.
  • critique and discussion sessions about the pictures taken during the workshop
  • morning and afternoon shooting sessions through the area with a selection of the most interesting spots for the time of year
  • on location instructions and discussions about composition and technique
  • opportunity to learn from and get inspired by fellow photographers


The schedule will be adapted to the weather conditions. On the arrival day the workshop will start at 16:00 with an afternoon shoot and welcome dinner in the evening at 20:00 at the hotel. The general schedule for the 7 days will follow a schedule like the following:

  • Morning shoot at sunrise (around 7:20) on a location and a drive through the area with stops at interesting locations. We will start early from the hotel around 6:15 (sometimes even earlier to catch the beautiful twilight) and have breakfast when returning around 9:00-9:30.
  • Breakfast
  • Own time
  • Meeting room from 12:00 to 16:00 where there will be class room sessions with critique sessions, lectures on composition and post processing, etc. and a light lunch.
  • Afternoon shooting session starting at about 16:00 and return between 19-19:30 depending on driving time.
  • Dinner at the hotel at 20:00.

The detailed schedule for the 7 days

  • October 19: Arrival and afternoon shoot.
  • October 20: Morning shoot. Breakfast. Meeting room: Presentation on how to achieve technically good pictrures, composition and how to select interesting view points and pictures from the areas with comments. Working light lunch at 13:00. Afternoon shoot.
  • October 21: Morning shoot. Breakfast. Meeting room: Lightroom and post processing demo. Working light lunch at 13:00. Afternoon shoot.
  • October 22: Morning shoot. Breakfast. Move to Umbria. Light lunch on arrival. Afternoon shoot.
  • October 23: Morning shoot. Breakfast. Meeting room: Critique session. Working light lunch at 13:00. Afternoon shoot.
  • October 24: Morning shoot. Breakfast. Meeting room: Critique session. Working light lunch at 13:00. Afternoon shoot.
  • October 25: Morning shoot. Breakfast. End of workshop.

Please notice that the time for going into post processing is limited since the workshop has only 4 full days for workroom activities. To get a Lightroom tutorial use the option of up to two extra days early arrival. To take full advantage of this option please plan to arrive on October 17, 2014.


There are no specific expectations for the skill level of the participants to get full value from the workshop. You will likely have been interested in photography for some years and have acquired a digital SLR or equivalent mirrorless camera and a few lenses. However less experienced photographers are equally welcome. The workshop will be adapted for the individuals attending such that individuals who need more guidance in certain areas will have the attention of the instructor to get help with the settings of the camera. For landscape photography in this area the focal lengths from 24mm to 200mm in 35mm full frame terms will be adequate (approx. 15mm to 135mm on crop DSLR cameras). A wider lens can be useful and a longer lens also (16mm and 300mm in 35mm full frame terms). It is expected that you are familiar with your camera including the most typical functions, however any question about camera operation and features are welcomed. Bring a manual for your camera too. A solid and stable tripod is essential and a cable/remote release for your camera. It is advised that you have practiced using your camera on a tripod so that you quickly can setup the camera as sometimes the lighting conditions change rapidly. The language of the workshop is English.

The instructor uses Canon 5D mkIII and Nikon D800E cameras and have detailed knowledge of these cameras, however photographers with any camera are welcome. It is expected that you are familiar with the camera and menues since it is not possible for the instructor to know every variant of even Canon or Nikon cameras. For post processing the instructor will use and show Adobe Lightroom and with additional processing in Adobe Photoshop. For HDR and tone mapping typically the Photomatix 32bit HDR plugin for Lightroom and with tone mapping in Lightroom is used. It is highly recommended that the participants bring their own laptop for post processing. For critique sessions you will need a laptop to process your own images.

On location conditions

The temperature will fall to around the freezing point at this time of year in the morning, so please bring warm clothes and good, comfortable footwear for the time we will spend outdoors. Only short walking distances are planned from the roads (up to 15 mins).

Pricing, accommodation and travel

The cost of the workshop is 1695 Euro which include hotel, meals and wine (breakfast, lunch time refreshments and evening dinner and drinks including wine). For a double room for double use the price per person is 1600 Euro. The hotel in Abruzzo is a really nice 4-star SPA hotel (Hotel Rigopiano) on the mountain side of the Appennines towards the Adriatic Sea. The hotel is located with easy access to the areas we will be shooting during the workshop. A single room for each participant (couples will be in double rooms). The price do not include any of the spa facilities at the hotel. In Norcia, Umbria the hotel is hotel Salicone Norcia and included in the price is a very nice dinner on the last evening of the workshop in the gourmet restaurant Vespasia.

The price does not include transport to and from the hotel (air fare, rental cars, etc.) and transport in the area. It is planned that the 6-9 participants and the instructor will drive in 3 cars for the shooting (the instructor in his car and 2 cars from the participants). To share a car e-mail addresses will be exchanged among the participants such that sharing of rental cars can be planned in advance. The distance from Fiumicino (airport of Rome) to the hotel is around 3 hours by car. A rental car no smaller than a Fiat Punto is assumed for 3-4 photographers per car including their equipment. Every day changing who is driving together. The reason for not including transportation is that it would add substantial extra cost to the workshop to include this and most participants would likely combine a workshop with a stay in the area. The hotel has conference facilities for class room sessions. Only registered participants are allowed to participate in any aspects of the workshop, no exceptions. If you would like to bring a spouse or friend to the workshop, then please indicate this in the registration e-mail and we will try to accommodate such requests on a space available basis. A spouse or friend cannot participate in any of the workshop activities, but is welcome to join the breakfasts and the dinners. The light lunch is a working lunch so only for workshop participants. A GPS unit is highly recommended (if you have one please bring it) and mobile phones to get reconnected, if getting lost. The instructor will have a mobile phone operational at all times and walkie talkies in the cars.


Please book space on the workshop by sending an e-mail to Hans Kruse at or if you would like to ask additional questions about the workshop. You will get infomation about payment details and liability limitations. If you are not able to join this workshop or it is sold out, then please consult the workshop schedule or contact Hans Kruse. As the time of the workshop approaches (1-2 weeks in advance) you will get updates on the detailed schedule and meeting times and additional relevant information. You are welcome to divide the payment of the 1695 Euro into a non-refundable deposit of 245 Euro at sign-up and payment of the 1450 Euro September 1st, 2014. In a double shared double room the prices are 1600 Euro and the final payment is 1355 Euro per person. If the workshop needs to be cancelled a full refund will be paid. If you need to cancel participation the 245 Euros will not be refunded unless a replacement is found. If cancelled after September 1st, 2014 a refund is only paid if a replacement is found.

Please see feedback from previous workshop participants.