and other matters
Nobody likes surprises and a little preparation goes a long way.
It's always a good idea to carry at least a couple of batteries, in case things go south. It may well be you have been shooting all day before going on the tour. You may well shoot more than 500 pictures. Nobody is to know, and it's always safe to prepare for the unexpected. Make sure your batteries a fully charged before the tour.
Same thing goes for data cards. They fill up pretty quickly too, so always carry at least 2, making sure you have emptied them before going on to the tour. Once you're on the tour, running out of space and having nowhere to empty your cards, would a pretty dismal situation to get out of. Make sure your cards have been emptied before the tour.
They ought to be clean. I would hate to see the disappointment on your face when you realize that you have taken pretty amazing pictures and your lens of choice was smudged. It only takes 2 minutes to make sure your lenses are free of dust and dirt. A good wipe wouldn't do any harm anyway. Make sure you use microfibre cloth or something meant for optical glass.
A few words
I know, but you can't operate without terms and conditions. And once you start putting down all the things that can go wrong, your head starts spinning. So, you will agree with me, that once you have gone through them, it will feel mostly common sense. The important thing is that if you have any questions, do write to us. By booking your tour, you implicitly agree to accept all terms and conditions.
Going back to the previous point, the number of things that can go wrong is pretty huge. Rome's roads and pavements are not always in tip top condition. Road traffic can get pretty crazy, so while I won't tire to remind you to be careful on your tour, you need to be insured for the worst case scenarios. Please have a travel and medical insurance before going on a tour. This is a prerequisite.
It happens to the best of us, even when we are aware of our environment. So while I will try to keep on eye on you, you have to keep an eye on your belongings. We all carry very expensive gear and I dread to think what would happen if my camera bag were to be stolen. Please be careful and insured. Though having an insurance against theft is not required, it would still be a nice addition for your peace of mind.
As I mentioned earlier, Rome's traffic can get pretty crazy. I'd venture to say that it's getting crazyer than Naples's. While that may seem a bold statement, though it's not, you ought to keep a watchful eye when crossing the road. No headphones on while on the tour, so you can be fully vigilant. Cars, motobikes, scooters, mopeds, they all pose a risk to your safety.
As I mentioned earlier, Rome's roads and pavements ( sidewalks ) are not as they should be. I know. If you, like me, carry a heavy bag full of gear, you ought to be extra careful, because it is so easy to lose your footing on an uneven surface. Don't let that distract you though, cause the view can be pretty amazing.
... yes the weather ...
We all love the sun and the blue skies, though they are not always ideal when taking pictures. Bear in mind that, bad weather is good weather for the photographer, as the most dramatic skies add up drama to your pictures. Therefore, the tour is always rain or shine.
Dress appropriately for the season and the temperatures. If you are in doubt, don't hesitate to contact us for further details. However these general rules of thumb will help you. 1. Dress in layers. 2. Wear very confortable shooes. These can be trainers or hiking boots, as longs as they are confortable. Flip flips are a no-no! If we expect some rain, a nice rain poncho will provide the cover you need, while allowing you to continue to take pictures.
As previously mentioned, our tours are rain or shine, therefore your camera equipement needs to be well protected from the elements. Especially if rain is to be expected. This can even be a plain plastic bag with some tape around it. In case you have none, please let me know. I will be able to provide some form of reliable cover.
The weather can be pretty hot, and being hydrated is of absolute importance. We'll definitely stop for refreshments, however bring a bottle of water with you. Same goes for sunscreen and a hat.
Being incospicuous is key
This especially goes for all religious places. Make sure your attire, your attitude, the volume of your voice does not attract attention upon yourselves. You want to be incospicuous for the most part. While men shouldn't really wear shorts, women are definitely not allowed to have their sholders uncovered or wear short skirts. If you are in doubt, do contact us.
I am honest with you, every time I try to use a tripod in a church or at a museam, I get caught and I have to pretent I am a foreigner, faking my british accent, just not to be told off. So while tripods are definitely a no-no, maybe ( and it's a big maybe ) monopods won't get you noticed. I am aware the two are not exactly the same thing, but probably worth a try.
This is easy. No flash! Really! You may bring one, just in case, just don't use it in churches or museums.
I am stating the obvious, I know you know, still ...
Sometimes all is needed is an inquisitive look. We Italians generally don't mind being photographed, especially in a market, or at an emporio. Though you would show courtesy by requesting permission to capture something that has caught your eye, and that is always apprecited. With long lenses, you might as well as do without asking for permission anyway :)
Like flash, this is easy. No. Not a good idea. You might get into trouble for being spotted.