James Kerwin Photographic

2020 - The Lost Towns of Southern Italy

3rd - 12th October 2020

Valle dei Mulini, or Valley of Mills. Sorrento, Amalfi coast. It
The Lost Towns of Southern Italy 2020

My exclusive 10-day photography tour includes everything from the breath-taking views and photography opportunities up at the abandoned town of
Craco, right through to shooting the stunning Vallone dei Mulini in Naples.

(Anybody not wishing to pay the full amount please contact me to pay a £800 deposit - with the remainder due 8 weeks prior).

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The number one reason to visit Italy in Autumn is to avoid the crowds, but also the autumn colours that are on display and the heat in the south of the country is a little more ideal for photography workshops, with daytime temperatures that are still in the late teens and early twenties but not in the roasting mid-thirties.

Due to natural disasters and urbanisation, Italy is packed with abandoned villages and towns - often in remarkably beautiful locations such as hills or mountain tops. On this tour we hunt out the gems, and take to photographing the ones that look stunning under Autumn conditions. We also visit towns that have had an upturn in fortunes in recent years but that are stunning to photograph nevertheless.

I only work with experienced drivers to provide transport to each of our photography locations and this is included and provided alongside all overnight accommodation. I take care of all the bookings, so you can relax and take in our stunning surroundings as well as focus on your photography.



For nearly fifty years, the town of Craco in southern Italy has stood uninhabited. Located in the earthquake-prone Basilicata region of Italy the streets and buildings of this medieval town seem to have literally been vacated overnight, left to crumble in decay. We visit under differing lighting conditions and spend plenty of time exploring the old town by foot.



From underground slum to the European Capital of Culture: Matera, the Subterranean City of Caves and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, was once one of Italy’s most deprived cities but now an Airbnb hotspot that is set to be the capital of culture in 2019. Despite the recent growth, the city is picturesque with plenty of iconic locations to photograph (top right).


My Photography adventure tours are aimed at any level of photographer who is looking to improve their photography and meet like-minded people. From beginners looking to understand the basics and improve, through to advanced photographers looking to find some great locations or rekindle their enthusiasm and inspiration.  The key aim of our time together is to have fun and enjoy being outdoors whilst leaving inspired to take photos that will enter your own photography portfolio.

I have organised and ran photography tours for a number of years, both personally and with friends and having left a job as an events organiser in early 2018 after 7 long years, it seems like the perfect next step that I should be running photography tours and experiences for other inspiring photographers.

During our week long adventure, I will talk you through what I use as the key elements to producing great images:

  • Composition

  • Light

  • Subject

  • Timing

  • Post Processing techniques

As we wander through the streets of Napoli, or the abandoned town of Romagnano Al Monte - I will also chat to you about the technical aspects of photography. Helping you understand your camera and settings whilst keeping it simple. I also help each day with the technical aspects, depending on your requirements.

The typical areas that we discuss will be the exposure triangle of f-stop, ISO and shutter speed, but I can also help with:

  • Composition and how to find unique angles

  • Understanding light and how it can impact on the mood of the image

  • The key technical elements, demystifying the often overwhelming array of camera settings (focus, exposure, histogram, lenses, tripod, and of course filters)

  • Dedicated time to slow down and think more carefully about taking fewer but better quality images

  • How to visualise an image


We will have an amazing time hunting out some great images whilst taking in a tour route that I have designed from the ground up. We seek out a mix of landscape and architecture in the form of stunning abandoned Italian locations. Here are a few of the other key features and benefits that the workshop will provide:

Small group size. Maximum of 5 people

  • Smaller group size allows for more interaction and more tuition for my participants

  • Transport provided throughout Italy over the 10 days (inc. collection from Airport)

  • 9 nights accommodation inclusive - in apartments or hotels

  • 10 days of workshop guidance with myself James Kerwin

  • Autumn offers the balance of some time in the evening vs great amount of shoot time

  • Help with lightroom / post processing on some evenings

  • The exploration of a minimum of 6 abandoned towns/villages

  • Cityscape and Landscape photography with an abandoned twist

  • We take sunrise images looking down on the stunning abandoned mill of Vallone dei Mulini

  • A moderate pace that works for everyone

  • Prize for image of the week

  • A photography clinic during the week

  • 1 on 1 sessions

AN Itinerary of LOCATIONS

I wanted to build an itinerary* that would show the best of Southern Italy in a short time. I wanted to show you the two extremes of this beautiful country. We mix abandoned architecture photography with landscape photography in a beautiful way. Shooting locations with historic exteriors on this comprehensive adventure.

Here are a few of the possible examples (a more comprehensive guide shall be sent in the welcome pack):

  • Vallone dei Mulini

  • Landscape shooting at Dolomites Lucane (The little Dolomites)

  • The abandoned town of Craco

  • The abandoned towns in the Aspromonte National Park

  • Landscape/cityscape photography in Matera

  • The architecture of Naples

  • Abandoned & Hidden towns in the region of Benevento

*Note: The itinerary in Italy is not set in stone and can change based on environmental variables.



“Single supplements” are available on request - otherwise you will be twinned/partnered with someone of similar age/interests.

  • 1 night in the region of Benevento

  • 1 night near Potenza

  • 2 nights in Dolomites Lucane

  • 1 night in Matera

  • 2 nights near Craco

  • 2 nights in Aspromonte National Park


  • Late Autumn/Early Winter clothing - it may rain, or be chilly early in the morning

  • Walking boots

  • Camera (obviously) and spare batteries as they will soon run flat

  • Sturdy Tripod as it is likely to be windy at some point

  • Filters if you have them (but not necessary)

  • Manual for camera

  • Phone


With flights landing in Naples, Italy each and every day from worldwide destinations:

From the UK (London & Manchester) – Daily

From the UK (Other Nationwide airports) – Every 2 days

Spain – Daily

Paris – 5 days a week

Amsterdam – 4 days a week

Stockholm - 2 days a week

Germany (Nationwide) - 5 times a week

USA - I recommend flying into one of the large European airports and changing. In addition you could fly to Rome or Bari and transfer via public transport.

Regardless of which flight you arrive on, you will be greeted by James & our driver to take you to your local apartment/hotel in Naples, where you will check in.

Copy of Forsa d'Agro old town


  • Any personal expenses

  • Lunch or additional snacks

  • Dinner/Meals

  • Alcohol

  • International air tickets

  • Visa fees (if applicable)

  • Photography equipment, although some hire can be arranged through James in advance.