Lake Como on Hasselblad

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Projects | 21 Comments
Lake Como on Hasselblad

In September we spent a couple of days at Lake Como on the way down from Ireland to Tuscany. The area has been a popular retreat since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces and many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Richard Branson and Madonna. Lake Como is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, words and pictures don’t do this part of the world justice. Lake Como feels like a movie scene from the 1950’s – but real and tangible. Among many other towns and villages, we saw Menaggio and Bellagio, my favorite of them being Varenna. The whole area still radiates the elegance and class from past times and is, except for accommodation directly at the Lake, very affordable compared to other European areas.

The highlight of our stay was a day trip on the lake with a rented motorboat. We were able to see many beautiful places from the water side and stopped for lunch in a little fishing town. It would have been impossible to cover the area by car. During our time at Lake Como the weather changed drastically and with it the light and the mood changed. It was a wonderful and truly unforgettable experience.

All the images below were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400, scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California:



















  1. Heather
    26. October 2013

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos, Johnny! You’ve made us want to go back for another visit. :-)

    Como is so close to Turin but sadly we’ve only ever been twice. I guess it is true when they say that the last places you think to visit are those closest to home.

    If you get the chance, it is also worth visiting some of the other small towns around the area. Our friends got married in a town called San Mamete which is absolutely splendid!

  2. Johnny
    26. October 2013

    Heather, thank you so much for your kind feedback.

    Lake Como was amazing and we’re definitely planning to go back. Thank you for recommending San Mamete, we are always thankful for recommendations off the beaten path – preferably from locals who know the region much better than any visitor ever could. I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures!

  3. Shawn Hoke
    26. October 2013

    Gorgeous, Johnny! Just gorgeous. I particulary love the Vespa and the first wooden boat photograph. Also the painter. Really dig that one. These have a dreamy, timeless feel. I think I would do okay hanging out there for a bit, my friend. :)

  4. Johnny
    26. October 2013

    Thank you, Shawn! I’m very happy you enjoyed the shots.

    You should definitely give it a try and go visit if you have a chance, it’s really worth it. I was hunting for a shot of a Vespa for the entire time we were in Italy. I think I shoot this three days before we left. :)

  5. Riley Joseph
    26. October 2013

    There really is an exceptional vintage feel in these photographs, Johnny. I have been eagerly waiting to view these since your return. The aesthetic of the area combined with being shot on film really calls to a bygone era. You have a great eye and these give me inspiration to get out and create. Bellissima!

  6. Johnny
    26. October 2013

    Riley, thank you very much.

    I’m really happy that you like the photographs from Lake Como. Maybe this area would also be interesting for your travel to Europe next year. I’m still hoping you will decide to purchase a Hasselblad one day.

  7. Mike
    28. October 2013

    Gorgeous work, Johnny. Simply wonderful!

  8. Johnny
    28. October 2013

    Thanks very much, Mike!

  9. Jakob
    28. October 2013

    Wow. I’m a little blown away. The colors are just gorgeous. Beautiful stuff Johnny!

  10. Johnny
    28. October 2013

    Thank you so much, Jakob! :)

    I’m very happy you like these shots, especially after you just purchased a film camera yourself. I’m excited to see your work with it soon.

  11. Robert
    29. October 2013

    We are lucky enough to live one hour drive from Lake Como where we spend part of our free time. Your photos really give the atmosphere of the past which is the real fascinating thing about this area (not on a Sunday in the summer!).

    Beautiful colors as usual in your photos, Johnny.


    P.S. Next time you are around let us know, please! :-)

  12. Johnny
    30. October 2013

    Robert, thank you very much.

    How great that you live so close to this beautiful place and can spend time there often. We will definitely let you know when we’re around next time!

  13. Ray
    30. October 2013

    Absolutely stunning imagery from the shores of Lake Como.

    There’s something special about seeing the world through your lens, Johnny. Always a visual experience that carries me along your travels as if I were there with you. The atmosphere that you attain through your work is timeless… a priceless vision that you execute with precision. Truly, you are a surgeon to the eye with your work!

  14. Johnny
    30. October 2013

    Thank you so much, Ray.

    I really appreciate your kind feedback and I’m very happy that you enjoyed these photographs and could get an impression of the atmosphere of this place. It would be so great to go shooting together one day.

  15. Adam Fedrau
    31. October 2013

    Wow Johnny these are magical photos! I know you say that photos don’t do it justice but I can truly get a sense of the place. Great job capturing the mood. Do you have a Color PAC with RPL? The colors you get from your scans are fantastic.

  16. Johnny
    31. October 2013

    Adam, thanks very much! I’m very happy you like these pictures.

    I don’t have a PAC with RPL, these are straight unedited scans. I like how film emphasizes light in each situation and creates a certain mood. I don’t want to alter this feel.

  17. Jade Sheldon-Burnsed
    1. November 2013

    Oh, my. Now I will dream of visiting Lake Como with camera in hand…

  18. Johnny
    1. November 2013

    Thanks very much, Jade.

    I’m happy you enjoyed these pictures. Maybe you and Cory will visit Lake Como on your next trip to Europe, it’s really a beautiful place.

  19. Rebecca Lily
    2. November 2013

    I can’t get enough of these shots, even a week after you posted them I’m still going back almost every day and looking through them, reliving the memories and enjoying seeing the lake through your eyes.

    Your pictures really have so much strength and gentleness in them.

  20. Johnny
    2. November 2013

    Rebecca, thank you so much.

    I’m so happy you like these and I cannot tell you how excited I am about your pictures! It’s wonderful to be in the same situation with you and see such a difference in your images.

  21. Robert
    4. November 2013

    Now I’m very curious to see Rebecca’s photos! :)

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