Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have a dry Sunday / Abbiate una domenica asciutta

WKH Fund Boys

The  Walter K, Hoerning Fund [WKH Fund] is an organization that offers educational enrichment programs for inner city boys. This event was held to introduce the program to potential candidates. Here are some bright faces shot with the Nikon D-700 and the Nikkor 28-105 F 3.5. This rather old   "non digital" lens is extremely sharp and useful. It almost makes all the claims for the new so called "digitally ready" lenses a lot of BS. The great thing about Nikon is that  most old lenses can be used making it almost unnecessary to buy the newest and latest lenses. I'm not saying that the new lenses are not needed, I'm pointing out that the old ones can still take great photos. The AF is better with the newer lenses and for some this is very important. I'm still looking for a great and affordable manual focus digital camera. But then, I'm considered odd by many.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It will soon look like this. Happy saturday / Buon sabato

Purple truck on the North Fork

It will soon be autumn and time to go to the nearby farms to gather  up some  fall delicacies. We usually go to the North Fork of Long Island. These photos go back 2 years and were shot with the Canon 5-D and the 24-105 F 4 L. I just love the fall in the North Eastern part of the USA.

Great news for economy minded photographers

This lens should not break the bank.

Samyang has announced it will be presenting a perspective control 24mm F3.5 lens at Photokina 2012. The Samyang T-S 24mm 1:3.5 ED AS UMC is a wide-angle, full-frame lens that offers tilt and shift movements, allowing control of subject geometry and depth of field. It offers up to 12mm of shift and 8.5° of tilt; the shift movement can be rotated +/- 90° relative to the lens mount, and the tilt movement 90° relative to the shift axis, allowing lots of flexibility over adjustments. The lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony Alpha mounts.

For those who want to save some cash


Vanguard Offers New Mail-in Rebates of Up To $100 on Tripods, Ball Heads Etc.

If you need to  buy a high-end tripod, the new mail-in rebate program from Vanguard is as nice a reason as any. There are many products available through the program, however the biggest rebates come from the company's Auctus tripods.

If you buy an Auctus Plus carbon fiber tripod, you ere eligible for a rebate of $100. Those chosing aluminum can get $50 back. You'll also get a $50 check in the mail if you buy a XCenior shoulder or trolley style camera bag.  The BBH series ball heads will also get you a rebate of $25.
Go for it. Help the economy. But are you sere these aren't made in overseas?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Have a splendid Friday / Abbiate un venerdi' splendido

I love this city / Archival shots

I really do, it's the only place that can make me tolerate my distance from my Castellammare del Golfo. I realize that you may have gotten tired of the Flat Iron Building but if you have, please bare with me. Amuse me if you will. I do not know of an area in New York were urban architecture blends so well with nature resulting in a very pleasant pace to sit and sort of escape the rigors of city life that unlike many I actually love, and where one can be in the center of it all and still be away from it all. The concomitant Madison Square Park, is the most European of any in New York. It mimics the great parks of Paris or the great villas of Rome. The word villa  means park in Italian even though in modern usage it also defines a unattached home.

I love this park and love to photograph it. These shots date from February 2002 and were shot with the amazing Fuji S1-Pro with it's puny 3.4 mega pixels that today would be laughed at in a camera.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Have a sweet Thursday / Abbiate un giovedi' dolce

Tuscan countryside / Nikon D-200

These shots of the Tuscan countryside are from April. 2007 and the lens was the 18-70 F 3.5-4.5 that came with the camera. This so called kit lens was actually rather good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A few more from Castellammare

The late afternoon is a magical time for photos and these are a few examples.
Have a great Wednesday / Buon mercoledi'

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to Castellammare del Golfo

Some photos of my beloved town until I return to the archives and can post some vintage stuff.

These are of  the Piazza Europa area that has become  rather trendy. This area had  many warehouses one of which was used by my father who was a cooper  to work on  large wine barrels.

Have a nice Tuesday / Buon martedi'

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Santa Margherita del Belice

This small town in the  Sicilian entroterra, is famous for the fact that it's present town hall il municipio, or municipal building is the one that was owned the prince in  Il gattopardo, The Leopard,  the famed historical and autobiographical novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa who used it as his summer palace when he came to Santa Margherita. In the novel  he names the town  Donnafugata.  As a result several literary conferences are held here. It is a pleasant agricultural town that produces much olive oil. It was ravaged but not totally destroyed by the earthquake of August of 1968 and some buildings were never been rebuilt but much rebuilding and restoration has taken place. Behind the municipio lies a nice park with a space for public events. It is worth a visit although it is somewhat far from the nearest autostrada, the A-28.

Have a pleasant new week / Buona nuova settimana 

And now this

The death of photography as we know it and have practiced for years has occurred some time ago; just that we were in some sort of denial. With the advent of the photo sensor the paradigm shifted but we tenaciously held on to the notion that we could go on as before. Many of us did to our detriment since we did not realize that digital offered many more possibilities. We just shot as if we had film in our cameras. We bought more and more expensive stuff that looked like film equipment and shot away with abandon. Our happiness was augmented by the fact that we didn't have to buy film anymore. But we were fooling ourselves. We belittled the smaller cameras that we deemed  derogatorily as focus and shoot and lauded our large sensors. This sensor pride reached it's peak when cameras with so called full size sensors became  commonly available. Actually Kodak, the inventor of the photo sensor and of it's own poison, has come out with a full sensor cameras at the dawn of digital but it was plagued by weak bodies and other early problems that plagued the field. Just the name full sixe, i.e 24X36 mm is size, exactly that of a 35mm frame is an acceptance that film was still the determining factor. Actually, every size sensor is full size.
What ensued very quickly was a slide to the abyss of traditional photography and a reluctantly acceptance by many of us that things had changed. Not only did things improve with small cameras but now phones have incredible photo taking abilities. Naturally the expensive gear will produce better images but there's such a diminishing return in price versus quality that one has to wonder. Sure one cannot shoot as a pro using a small camera or a cell phone but the video capabilities and frame rates of newer cameras are such that the creative moment itself is becoming a thing of the past and is in danger of dying. So what is left then other that traditional photography's funeral? Not much I'm afraid. The fact that I have been using my E PL-2 as an ideal travel camera sort of proves my thesis.  So now this, a fun system that allows not only direct access to social media but prints a  images as the old Polaroid did.  Photography should be fun and easy. It's the end result that counts. There are those who still shoot at brick walls to test how sharp their very expensive lenses are and if this makes them happy who am I to criticize them. I think that many of us understand where I'm heading so this announcement doesn't worry me. As my old and great teacher Josef Breittenbach used to say, when talking about  photography getting easier" "you can still count the great photographers with the finger of one hand." He had the class to exclude himself from that august hand but I include him. I will never think of being in that small club, however.

The Instagram Socialmatic Instant Camera is Coming in 2013

Socialmatic.jpgA few months back, a concept camera dubbed the Instagram Socialmatic was getting quite a bit of love from the internet. It's a cool idea, essentially combining the convenience and customization of Instagram with the instant printing of a Polaroid.  Using it, you can share photos you take online or print them out for instant appreciation.

As it turns out, the Socialmatic has made it to production.  The new camera boasts 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi and even a pair of lenses. It's definitely something that's unique to the market, and could see a lot of love when it comes out.

The release date is slated for mid-2013 at the moment, and a price has yet to be announced.