Saturday, February 9, 2013

Erice's castles

By now you are familiar with this enchanting medieval town located smack on the north western corner of Sicily overlooking Trapani. I have posted many "inside" shots pf streets both crowded and deserted but now I want to post some of it;s castles and towers that render this place really enchanting. These photos are from the summer of 2012 and were all shot with the Olynpus E PL-2.

What a beautiful town

Another rather dramatic shot of the castle of Castellammare shot this morning before a hailstorm. I got totally wet afterward but I got the shot and that all that matters.

One to warm you up

Dedicated to all my visitors in The North East of the USA who are battling the blizzard. Stay warm. I hope this helps. It will be spring soon.

Friday, February 8, 2013


What was once an industrial and very ugly area, has now been renamed DUMBO and has been hipsterized and gentrified. These shots are from the time the area had barely become as hip as it appears to be now. The camera was the Fuji S1-pro with the Sigma 15-30mm zoom.

Buon appetito

Nothing better for lunch than octopus salad, Naturally, fresh octopus out of the Mediterranean is the only way to go. Not to mention the sublime Sicilian olive oil.
This was shot with the Olympus E PL-2 and the zoom that comes with the camera. I still consider this micro four thirds the best all around travel camera. The LX-7 is great especially in portatility but the IQ of the Olympus is way better,

One of my better photos

Shot a long time ago in Tangiers with the Leica M-4 and the 35mm Summicron F2 on that superb Panatomic-X developed in Agfa Rodinal at 1:75 dilution. It's worth posting again.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Healer, Union Square, NY / Olympus E-10

These shots go back to May of 2002. Shot at the farmers market in Union Square that attracts all sorts of interesting characters. From the look on the subject face, it's easy to see that he was probably putting you on.


The beach called Guidaloca on a winter day. The seas assumes hues of greens and blues and the sky is also laden with very colorful clouds.

A comment to an item on DPREVIEW.COM, is a very important source of information and a place to interact with fellow  photographers. Blow is my comment on an interesting article highlighting the work of a so called "conflict photographer" who uses a smaart phone. A very sobering article.
I have mentioned this trend many times in my blog sort of  as a way to tease those of us who crave billions of pixels and super huge cameras but also as a way to presage where we are headed. I believe that with improvements for most people a smart phone will replace the camra.  It  has already begun. I have seen incredible smart phone and ipad images. I know that bigger is better but I remember that as films got better and better, the 135 format became king. Surely the  same film in larger formats gave better images but the usability of the 135 format made it more useful. The same will happen with digital cameras. OK, we cannot shoot serious assignments with phones but for most purposes a phone will do.  What this will cause the camera industry is a serious crisis. This would, in the end be bad for all of "us."

I love this city

As most of you know by now, I absolutely love Madison Square Park in Manhattan but more than this it's the glorious Flat Iron Building that one can enjoy seeing from this lovely park.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hold on it will look like this soon

Here in Sicily, it's already spring and flowers bloom all yearr long. However, in the colder climates, the coming of spring is really a big deal. It's an event one waits for and, sadly, it soon passes.

Just another flower

I just love this flower that I shot indoors by the window.

One of my all time favorite flower shot

Shot as usual at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on a sunny early summer day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crocche di patate

These are potato dumplings that are fried and are delicious. They are used as a side dish. A very popular accompanient in Sicily during the winter months.

Jen's photo shoot [part 1]

Jen at work

Way back on a cold December day in 2006, my daughter had a very interesting photo shoot at the car repair shop of my friend and then  great mechanic-sadly he sold the shop -Vito  Oliveri, who is also a paesano being also from Castellammare. My daughter Jennifer, wanted to use a car shop so Vito was very gracious to open his place on a Sunday. I tagged along as an observer but did take some photos. Jennifer's photos won first place in  Digital Photography magazine in a contest open to new up and coming photographers. A photo shoot is a very confusing  and hectic event but it went very well.
I take no credit foe these shots as all the lighting work and setting up was done by Jennifer and her crew.

Cameras as toys?

I think that this is really ridiculous.

Pentax Just Announced  2  Super-Niche Evangelion Themed Cameras, Just for You Fans. 

Evangelion.jpgI'm not an anime fan, so camera probably isn't going to interest me. BUT  If you are into  'Neon Genesis Evangelion' - and why you  would be beats me- and feel  that it's a cool show, then this super niche camera is your cup of tea. By all means be my guest and enjoy.
Pentax  now has 3 custom versions of the Q10 available, known as the TYPE00, TYPE01 and TYPE02. As you might imagine, each is designed with the same color scheme as the EVA that it's named after. Shinji and Asuka's cameras are fairly bold as you might expect, but the TYPE00 Rei Ayanami camera is fairly subdued and stylish. All of the cameras sport the NERV logo when they're turned on. It may be that my age or dare I say maturity that is showing but I do not get  any of this.

A very limited run of 1,500 of each camera will be manufactured and they're only being released in Japan.  TOO BAD. The price is  around $660, or around $100 more than a standard Q10.  Not cheap but then look at the nice colors. Give me a break already.


These  flovering clover plants are everywhere in Sicily in the winter and are very pretty. These were shot with the Panasonic LX-7, my current travel camera. It is great and small but I still prefer the Olympus E PL-2. It's a little larger but the image quality is superb.

The Sicilian Cuisine Blog: "Panelle & Kitchen qb": Sicilian street food introduced by our first guest of the year

The Sicilian Cuisine Blog: "Panelle & Kitchen qb": Sicilian street food introduced by our first guest of the year

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Old Coney Island in winter / Leica M-4

These shots, both with the Leica M-4 and the 50mm Summicron on Tri--x date from the early seventies. I used to go to Coney Island often during the winter when it was deserted.

Filter news

In the days of film, filters were absulutely necesary to balance light. This was true in color where cooling, warming or light balancing fiters, as well as conversion and skylight filters  were used   and in black and white when red, green, yellow and orange filters were used to get special effects. Of course there were  also the neutral density and polarizing filters. Today most conversions and color balancing can be done using the on camera white balance so only polarizers or skylight filters are used.  There are programs used in black and white conversions that emulate not only different films but different filters. Today the  shylight filter is essentially used for lens protection. I have always been critical of filters  attached to the lens permanently as they do impact on optical performance. These new ultra thin filters should be less harmful but I feel much more delicate.

Cokin's New Lens Filters Are the World's Thinnest

Cokin-pure-harmoniea.jpg Cokin have releases a new line of lens filters named Pure Harmonie, that claim to be the World's thinnest form factor. The thinness of the filter reduces the potential for flares and vignetting.

The tiniest of their lineup is the UV filter which comes in at just 3.3mm thick. Not much larger than that is the 4.5mm thick polarizing filter that Cokin says is also the best in its category.  Lastly there's a variable density neutral gray filter what's 9.5mm thick and goes from ND2 to ND400.

All of the Pure Harmonie filters are available now. Pricing starts at around $50 for the UV filter and scales up from there. Visit Cokin's website for more details.

 The prices appear to be somewhat steep for a filter

Lu beddu paisi / Panasonic LX 7

I cannot get enough of this place. Here is a classic photo os the castle ftom the marina.