a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

A little help holding up the leaning tower of Pisa

Posted on the July 29th, 2011

Creating special effects with their snapshots is especially popular when tourists visit Pisa and its famous leaning tower. On a trip there last May, photographer Tarcisio Arzuffi also found the temptation irresistible. With a little help from his friend Andrew, he framed a fun optical illusion.

Explaining how and why he created the photo, Tarcisio wrote:

Last May I spent a couple of days in Savona (Liguria) for a meeting. The weather was okay but a little cloudy and cold. I was hoping for better weather on the long six-hour trip back home to Rome. When I left with my friends Andrew and Walter it was just a gorgeous day.

We decided to take the coastal highway. Along the way, after passing the beautiful white marble caves of Massa Carrara, we saw the exit sign to Pisa, and since no one of us had ever seen the famous leaning tower we decided to take a detour.

The cathedral with the leaning tower is really worth seeing. We walked the whole “Campo dei miracoli,” the square around the cathedral, and then… I saw the photo: the light was great (6 p.m. I think the light is at its best, right where you want it). I only had to work a little on the composition with the help of Andrew so that his hands are in the right place and his feet also, so that it looks like he is really pushing the tower. I also found the right balance between the height of the tower and that of Andrew, and then the right zoom.

We rewarded ourselves with some awesome cones of gelato artigianale, the famous Italian ice cream, almost as famous as the leaning tower!

I hope this advice can be useful for those who will be coming to Italy and are planning a visit to the Tuscany region.

Reader Comments (1) - Comments are closed
  1. POSING WITH PISA TOWER | Manasupaluku's Blog said, on July 12th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    […] What they are attempting is what is called forced perspective photography. Choosing correct optics and orientation, photographers can make objects seem like they are farther, closer, larger, or smaller than they really are. Using a combination of these techniques and a bit of creativity, one can make awesome photographs with forced perspective. I found that many of these enthusiasts at Pisa are obsessed by same theme. Many tourists pose for photographs pretending to “hold up” the leaning tower and prevent it from falling. Like this one (http://foreignremarks.com/passingcomments/archives/4136) […]