Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dedicated to mothers / Dedicata alle mamme

Have a peaceful Sunday / Vi auguriamo una domenica di pace

Portraits of a dear friend / Canon 5 D

No fancy lights, no reflectors or diffusers, only a flash on a Stroboframe bracket. At times all the equipment really gets in the way. Naturally, the superb Canon 24-105 F 4 L lens was used.

Buon appetito / Canon 5 D

Food photography is an art form, one that I have never tried to master. I'm just too impulsive, I work too fast to set up elaborate lights; not to mention that I like food so much that I would probably eat it before the shot. However, there are times when the simplest and fasted methods do the job. This pasta ai frutti di mare was shot at  the Bouillabaisse Restaurant in Brooklyn. The shot, and I mean the shot, took  no time. The lens was the Canon 23-105 F 4 L. I did not like to bother the other patrons with my flash. Not to be immodest, but this shot works. The food looks good enough to eat. And let me tell you it was very good considering that the fish were not from the Mediterranean.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Have a great Saturday / Viauguriamo un sabato superbo

Archival shot / Nikon S-2

This shot was taken on 187th Street off Arthur Avenue in the  famous Bronx Little Italy. The time was June of 1984, the film was Tri-X and the lens was the Nikkor 50mm F 1.4. The S-2 was a rare nikon rangefinder. Ir was the camera that introduced the Nikon brand to the US. The famous Nikon F came much later.

Unique camera announced, but will it find buuyers.

Here's the press release:
Solms Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents the Leica M Monochrom, the world’s first digital camera exclusively for full-frame, 35 mm black-and-white photography. Featuring a sensor designed specifically for this purpose, the new addition to the Leica portfolio enables photographers to capture images in outstanding black-and-white quality, setting entirely new standards. The latest camera in the flagship Leica M-System, the Leica M Monochrom continues the successful story of the Leica rangefinder system, which has written numerous chapters in the history of innovative photography.
“Black-and-white photography is more popular than ever before. Even today, it has lost none of its fascination as an expressive medium, not even for younger generations of photographers. This is confirmed by the numerous monochrome images shown by members of the M-Community, who we are in constant contact with,” said Jesko von Oeynhausen, Product Manager for the M-System at Leica Camera AG. “For the first time ever, we are offering an opportunity to consistently and authentically explore black-and-white photography with the M Monochrom, a tool that is unique in the digital world. The camera’s exclusively black-and-white sensor brings an enormous technical benefit that is reflected in the amazing imaging quality it delivers.”
The 18 MP image sensor of the M Monochrom is perfectly matched to the unique properties of the Leica M-System and the superior performance of Leica M-Lenses. As the sensor does not ‘see’ colors, every pixel records true luminance values – as a result, it delivers ‘true’ black-and-white images that are significantly sharper than comparable exposures from a camera with a color-sensitive sensor.
To allow precise control of tonal values, the Leica M Monochrom offers a raw data histogram display to exhibit original, unprocessed and unmodified raw data. This, combined with a configurable clipping display, allows precise correction or optimization of exposures.
At the touch of a button, images captured by the M Monochrom can be converted with characteristic toning effects from black-and-white film photography (sepia, cold or selenium toning). All users need to do is save the image in JPEG format and select the desired toning effect – simply and conveniently, with no need for post-processing.
The classic, iconic design of the Leica M-cameras is carried forward by the Leica M Monochrom. The matte-black finish of the chromed top deck allows the camera to be an unobtrusive tool. Only an engraved script on the accessory shoe reveals the product name. The camera features particularly soft leather trim with ideal grip that perfectly complements the camera’s discreet character. The camera package also includes a genuine leather carrying strap in premium full-grain cowhide.
Our question is what is the future of this unique camera in the marketplace in view of the fact that there's really no sound way to print images in black and white with current printers. Not to mention all the software programs that convert images from color to black and white. We shall see.

Have a beautiful Friday / Vi auguriamo un venerdi' bellissimo

A few more from the trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden / Canon 5-D

Shot on the first day of spring, we had an early spring this year. at my favorite place the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This is a true gem and one of the many places that make New York such a great place to live. I hope that my followers do not get tired of these type of photos because I will post them again as often as I  can. I just love this place.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A sight to behold. Beautiful

Leica has just announced the new APO-Summicron, M-50mm F 2 aspherical. The design is similar to the Summilux 60mm F 1.4. It just looks great. For those with deep  pockets the still unannounced price will not be an issue, for the rest of us, it's a dose of sticker shock. I guess I have to hold on to my original 59mm Summicron that it's 40 years old. Wow, was it that long ago that I got it. Frightening thought.
Photo courtesy of Leica

Have a bright Thursday / Abbiate un giovedi' brillante

Everybody is a photographer

It has become so easy to take pictures that these days everybody is a photographer. From serious cameras to point and shoo and ultimately to cell phones there's no reason to let photo opportunities go. These photos were shot with my modest but capable Olympus E PLO-2 on a pleasant Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this past April.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Here's the GI MP web address
Give it a shot.

Free, did you say free?


Free GIMP Version 2.8 Brings New Interface and More

For those who need it and can afford it, Adobe CS6 is in the stores now and it's new pricing model that comes with Creative Cloud, it's more affordable than ever. Of course, if you prefer free software, there's an alternative.

GIMP,  is also known  GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free image editing software that can provide you as much functionality as possible for  a free product. free. Did you say free?

Naturally,  don't expect GIMP to do everything that Photoshop does, and it's not in the same league with CS6, but it gives you a lot of functionality for the price. The latest update to the program brings has new interface updates, some new features and the ability to process images in 16 and 32 bit modes.
Go to the GIMP website for the free download. Did you say free?

Have a great Wednesday / Buon mercoledi'

Orchival portraits / Canon FT

These 2 young girls, who are adults now, were photographed at the Gyon Festival in Kyoto a while back. The lens was the Canon 50 mm F 1.4 FL and the film was Plus-X. I'm always fascinated by the camera's ability to freeze a moment in time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Great news from Novoflex

Novoflex has just announced a range of mount adapters for the Fujifilm X-Pro1's X mount. The adapters  make it possible   to use a wide range of non-XF lenses with the new and hot16MP mirrorless camera. The range supports a  great variety of current and legacy lenses, including Canon FD, Nikon, Contax, Olympus OM and Minolta MD and AF mounts.  There are also adapters  [ that's the really good news in spite of  multiplier factor, that allow the use of Leica M-mount lenses.  Fujifilm  is also developing a series of adapters. These should be available from the end of May 2012.
Photo courtesy of Novoflex

Have a splendid Tuesday / Abbiate un martedi slendido

Olive blossoms.

Il paese / E PL-2

A few more shots of my beloved home town of Castellammare del Golfo. Again I used the art filter on the camera to create a softer image.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Have a great week / Buona settimana

We were all so much youger then / Nikon Ftn

I remember fondly all those meet and greets back in the summer of 1977 while working for the Mayoral campaign of Mario Cuomo, This candid shot was taken with the Nikkor 105 F 2.5 on Tri-X. I just love this image. It had power and great virility. A nice photo of a great man.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dream system

Click on our link to DP Review to read about what it's like to  shoot with the king of all rangefinder cameras. Those of us lucky enough to have used Leicas can understand the mystique, The M-9 is very expensive indeed but there's nothing like it anywhere. Would I buy one? If I had money to burn I certainly would, I really would and even without money to burn, I sometimes the the urge of getting rid of all my equipment and get a digital Leica and head toward that sunset with style.
Photo courtesy of DP Review