Saturday, May 19, 2012

Have a wonderful Sunday / Vi auguriamo una domenica di meravigliosa

There's always Venice / Canon 5 D

When all fails in my attempt at posting new and different photos, I can always  literally go to Venice. These date from April, 2008 and the lens used was the pedestrian but capable 24-85 F 3.5-4.5 EF.  Here are some street scenes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Have a delicious Saturday / Vi auguro un delizioso sabato

The magic of old Quebec / Nikon Ftn

These archival shots were made in June of 1973 with the Nikkor 35mm f 2,8 on the the classic Kodachrome II with an ISO speed of 25. It's hard for new photographers to understand that we were shooting at 25 and got results to die for. 

Have a bright Thursday / Abbiate ongiovedi' brillante

Segesta / E Pl-2

By now it has become obvious that the Olympus E PL-2 has become my favorite travel camera and even all around camera. It has superb image quality, portability, interchangeable lenses and the abilty to use many older lenses using appropriate adapters. The 2X factor must be taken into consideration. Here we see the use of the 9-18 zoom that is equivalent to 18-36 mm. Not too shabby. Again thr site is Segesta and in particula it's glorious Doric temple that is unique in that it does not have a cella or inner chamber. It was a sunny Sicilian day and the sky did not betray the presence of clouds.
BTW, the Greek temples in Sicily are in much netter shape and are much better preserved that those in Greece or in any other parts of Magna Grecia. Needless to say, us Sicilians are very proud of or Hellenic roots.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shot at Segesta on a hot day / E PL-2

It was a hot August day, a sunny one as usual in Sicily. Here we were at Segesta the ancient city that played a large role in the war between Syracuse and Athens that ultimately led not only to Athen's defeat but to the decline of the Greek word. Naturally the rise of the Roman world was unstoppable and after the third Punic war the whole of Sicily became Roman. It was the first Roman province but it fared badly at the uncultured Roman hands, they were not Hellenized. Many years later under Hadrian, Athens was again resurrected as the cultural center of the empire. At any rate, more photos will follow, but this man shading himself under a white umbrella caught my eye.

Flowers photos for a serene Thursday / Foto di fiori per un giovedi' sereno

Took a walk around the house and in the back yard with my Nikon D-700 and the superb Nikkor 60mm Micro F 2.8 lens. Something to do after two rainy days. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

La processione del ventuno d'agosto

Religious manifestations produce excitement,  outpouring of religious fervor, s great deal of superstition and a great excuse to party. This very long procession, in honor of the Patron Saint of Castellammare del Golfo, la Madonna del Soccorso [The Madonna of Succor] is celebrated on the last day of the three days long feast that  also includes a sea procession on the first day. It culminates with a magnificent fire works show on the water. The feature in this procession is that the participants walk in front of the statue; the cart is squarely before the horse. Nevertheless, it creates a memorable display of outpouring and the whole environment that is created sort of pulls you in and makes you a participant.

Have a great Wednesday / Buon mercoledi

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baltimore Harbor

A great place to visit. The Inner Harbor is just wonderful.
Shot with the Olympus E PL-2

Awards News

Nikon's D800 has been awarded the prestigious Camera Grand Prix 2012 title and also won the public vote for best camera. The awards, organized by the Japanese 'Camera Journal Press Club' also recognized the Canon EF8-15mm F4L USM as lens of the year. Meanwhile, the Editors Awards were given to Sony's NEX-7 and the Olympus m.Zuiko 45mm F1.8.

Have a peaceful Tuesday / Abbiate un martedi pacifico

What a memorable event / Canon 30D

I called this super exhibit the shower curtains but it was, nevertheless superb. What a great event to make winter more palatable. New York at it's best; Central Park at it's finest.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Che bellezza ineccepibile e ineludibile

What a perfect beauty, what an inescapable grip it has on me. Needless to say, I cannot stay away from my beloved Castellammare del Golfo. Il vero paese del mare.

Will it find it's niche in the market place?

Leica is famous for niche products and the predecessor to this camera was no exception. Shelling out almost two grand for a fixed lens camera "assembled" in Germany with adequate focus speed may not appeal to many people. But it's a big market and there are many so called Leica fans who will bite.


Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents the X2, a new addition to the X-line of compact digital cameras. Handmade at Leica’s headquarters in Germany, the Leica X2 features a new APS-C-format professional CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP). In combination with the high-performance Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens, a classic focal length for photojournalism, this sensor ensures maximum image quality and sparkling brilliance. With its refined styling and high-performance technical features, the Leica X2 offers unsurpassed performance in a compact package.
The Leica X2’s autofocus system has also been enhanced, allowing the camera to adapt to all shooting situations with enormous flexibility and enabling fast, extremely precise and almost silent focusing. The camera’s profile is complemented by numerous setting options from full manual control to automatic functions and an intuitive handling concept. These features make the Leica X2 the ideal premium-class compact camera for discerning photographers who wish to concentrate completely on their subjects and appreciate creative and true-to-life pictures.
The CMOS image sensor of the X2 is unusually large for a camera in the compact segment. Despite its high resolution of over 16 megapixels, each individual pixel on the sensor is very large, allowing the X2 to gather more light. The resulting benefits include low image noise, a high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format, meaning that the Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens of the Leica X2 becomes a universal reportage lens with an effective 35-mm-equivalent focal length of 36 millimeters. This is considered to be a classic focal length amongst prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images. The moderate wide-angle character and natural rendition of dimensions by the high-performance lens of the X2 open up a broad spectrum of different options for capturing those decisive moments in outstanding, authentic and richly detailed picture quality.
As a result of its simple operating concept, the Leica X2 offers clearly laid-out functions and intuitive handling. At the same time, it offers an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Thanks to the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, photographers can concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top deck provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously sized high-contrast 2.7" monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a bright and detailed view, even in strong light.
The features offered by the Leica X2 provide greater creative freedom and a wide range of photographic options. For instance, the Leica X2’s large sensor and fast lens make it ideal for shooting in available light. The camera also features a pop-up flash that can be activated whenever an additional light source is required. If more lighting power and flexibility are required, the accessory shoe of the X2 offers full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units.
The Leica X2 is characterized by clear lines and an intensely focused design concept. The linearity of its design and its compact, handy form are reminiscent of the Leica M-cameras. This, in combination with its robust, all-metal construction and premium, high-grip leather trim makes the X2 a classic Leica camera in both looks and feel. The camera is available in a discreet black or elegant silver finish.
An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X2 to each photographer’s individual photographic needs and style. A new offering is the Viso-Flex high-resolution electronic accessory finder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function for shooting from unusual angles. Also available is a bright-line mirror finder that can be mounted on the accessory shoe and ensures a bright and clear view at all times, with no drain on the camera battery. An accessory handgrip increases the hold and stability of the camera and makes it easier to shoot one-handed. Leica continues to offer a comprehensive range of bags and cases: a premium-quality black leather case to match the elegance of the X2, an ergonomically designed camera protector in untreated leather, an ever-ready case in organically tanned cowhide to protect the camera during use and a system bag that offers more room for the camera and a range of accessories.
Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the X2 package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. Leica X2 customers can download the software free from the Leica website after registering their camera.
The Leica X2 is available now through Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC. The optional accessories will be available after the market launch of the camera.

Have a brilliant Monday / Un lunedi brillante