About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Italy Part Tre, (Florence)



The Duomo and Brunelleschis' Dome, From our Roof-Top



Our Window View
Santa Croce Basilica

Our three weeks in Italy are winding down.  We look forward to a few days in Venice and then we will be heading for home.  This trip has been amazing, but I think that both Susan and I are looking forward to getting back to New England.  Hopefully, by the time this blog is posted we will be enjoying New England’s crisp autumn weather and brilliant fall foliage.








Alley Green, Florence

After a lovely week in the relaxed environs of Tuscany, the next days of our trip were spent in the cities.  Florence and Bologna were both fascinating, but in different ways.  I had planned to cover both Florence and Bologna in this article, but we have been so busy along the way that it has been difficult to find any time to work on the images.   When you are in such beautiful and interesting places it is hard to justify wasting time in front of a computer screen.  This article will focus on Florence, including as many pictures as I can get to process. 



Duke and Duchess of Urbino, Uffizi Gallery

You will notice that this article is a few days late.  Since getting back, I had to deal with my wonderful Fall Foliage Workshop, and a massive dose of jet-lag.  I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of the Italian images, I know what I will be doing during stick season, but in the meantime, here are a few glimpses of the fascinating city of Florence.


Palazzo Pitti






The Duomo Dome

Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, and is rich with monuments to that important epoch of history. The city is dominated by Brunelleschi’s remarkable cathedral dome, completed in 1436, topping the intricately ornamented multicolored Duomo.  There was no possibility that I could get Susan to climb to the top of the dome, but she did manage to get to the roof-top bar at our hotel.  From the roof we had a spectacular panoramic view of the city.  Both of our kids were staying in Air B&Bs, but they were sure to join us for evening cocktails on our roof.   



 The Kids 

Jeremy, Gina, Susan



On the Roof
Grayson, Abby, Kerry, Cuyler




Ponte Vecchio

Our hotel was on the Arno River, close to the shop-lined medieval Ponte Vecchio, which was the only bridge across the Arno that was left intact by the Germans in World War II.  Florence’s many narrow streets open on busy plazas, churches, shops, and endless museums. 


Uffizi Gallery Across the Arno River



The Uffizi

Long Lines around the Uffizi Courtyard

By far the most famous art gallery is the Galleria degli Uffizi.  The Uffiz was built to house the massive collection of pictures and sculpture collected by the powerful Medici family.  The museum is famous for long lines, but we were lucky to have reserved tickets and had only a relatively short wait.  Once inside, the Uffiz is intimidating.   











Ceiling Uffizi Gallery



Tribuna Gallery

 

Cosimo de Medici the Elder

We saw only a fraction of the more than ninety galleries.  Works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vince, Michelangelo, Raphael and many lesser known artists were on display, and along the halls were ancient and more “modern” sculpture.  After 3 hours we reached artistic overload and had to escape for a relaxing afternoon exploring the Boboli Gardens behind the Palazzo Pitti.









Adoration of the Magi  (Detail, Unfinished)
Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo





Wheels, Florence

Florence is a beautiful and historic city.  We explored much on foot and ate much more. It was here that I finally found a Gluten free pizza! I began to tire of beautiful churches and statues and began studying the people on the street.  I was inspired by an exhibition of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Musei Civici in San Gimignano. I may do an article solely on some of the wonderful faces of Italy. 






Street Leather



David by the Uffizi

 We were reluctant to leave.  I didn’t know what to expect from Bologna, but I was very pleasantly surprised. That part of the trip will need to wait for the next article in this series, but I am heading back to New England and given the fall foliage who knows when I will get back to the thousands of my Italy pictures.



In the meantime, you can follow my slowly growing archive on my








 Blogna, Lake Como and Venice are to come!

Sunset on the Grand Canal




Jeffrey Newcomer

partridgebrookreflections.com

603-363-8338


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Italy Part Duo, ( Tuscany )



Duomo Siena   


Morning at the Villa, Tuscan
We are rushing along on the high-speed train from Bologna to Milan on our way to Lake Como, in this blog I will be featuring pictures from our wonderful, nearly week-long stay in our hill-top villa in Tuscany.  The area is magical enough with endlessly rolling hills, vineyards, and compact hilltop villages, but the real magic was that we got to share all this, along with amazing food, with the kids, their significant others and friends.  





Golden Dawn, Colle Bianco, Tuscany



Piazza del Campo, Siena
 
The villa was perfectly situated with views in all directions.  Every morning I got to open our bedroom windows on the hills spotted with isolated villa.  I somehow wanted to breath it all in and never let it go.  We shared the house with Abigail and her boyfriend Grayson, Jeremy with his girlfriend Gina (Napolitano, can’t get more Italian than that), and we were excited to include Grayson’s brother Cuyler and his wife Kerry.  We all had cars to explore independently, but we generally got together for Breakfasts and dinners.












Rosette Duomo Museum, Siena
Torre del Mangia, Siena






















 
Olive Road, Trequandra

Steggiano, Tuscany
As I said previously, it has been difficult to find time to work on the thousands of images that I have captured so far.  It has taken late night efforts to get about thirty pictures onto my Italy 2017 Gallery.  I must keep working because I know that when I get home I will be slogging through hundreds of fall foliage images, assuming there is any color back home.  Perhaps I will have more time to return to Italy during the stick season and the bleak winter.  


Last Harvest, Castello di Potentino
 
Wine Tasting Lunch, Castello di Potentino

 
Porta Santo, Pienza, Tuscany
Charlotte, Castello di Potentino























Here are views of Tuscany.  They include our tours of Siena, Montalcino, including the best lunch of our lives overlooking the village, the magical valley vineyard of Castello di Pontentino, and many other hill-top towns including San Gimignano, Pienza, and San Quirico D’Orca.   

Montalcino

Many of the best pictures came from the verandas of our villa with amazing sunsets and peaceful sunrises.

Morning Mist from our Villa


Lyonel, Cupan Vineyard, Tuscany
Tuscany was a lovely quiet respite between time spent in the busy cities.  Florence and Bologna were wonderful, but the combination of spectacular beauty and the special family time will likely make Tuscany the highlight of our trip.

 
Family Lunch, Montalccino












This is only a taste of the classic beauty of Tuscany.  Next week, we return to great Italian cities as I will post images from Florence and Bologna. Of course by then I should be back in New England, frantically trying to get ready for my Fall Foliage Workshop, so who knows what I will be writing.
In the meantime, check out my slowly growing Italy 2017 Gallery.



Jeff Newcomer
partridgebrookreflections.com