Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pretty in pink canon / 5-D

Shot last spring at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with the Canon 5-D and the Sigma 50mm F 2.8 macro lens. Spring fever shows its beautiful head, It will be like this soon. Hold on.

New monitors

On enduring problem is that while we calibrate and go nuts in getting the best possible displays that we can afford, when we send out our images to clients, they usually look at them on cheap business flat screen displays bought at Staples. Yet it's great to have nice monitors at least for our own gratification.

Dell Introduces Their New UltraSharp  High End Flagship Monitors

Dell-UltraSharp.jpg As we all know, colors must be accurately represented on our screens, or  our final results will be all wrong. Dell promises incredible accuracy and plenty of power their latest  high end monitors.
The top of the  line UltraSharp is the 3014 that costsin at $1,499 and comes in 30 inch  screen with a 2560x1600 resolution. It has the same 14-bit look-up table and 12-bit processor as the 24 inch version and 27 inch version, but with the extra real estate.
Dell claims that their monitors come with certification reports of exact color calibration and   also support 99 percent of AdobeRGB and 100 percent of sRGB color gamuts. The $999, 2560x1440 U2713H and $599 1920x1200 U2413 are on sale now; the 3014 should be here soon.

Fun shot

Shot on a Saturday afternoon in early June at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's rose garden with the Olympus E-300.


Photoshop is one of those milestones that sort of divide our life. There's the time before PS and the time after. As they say, the rest is historyHistoric version I of PS code given to museum

Adobe Photoshop Source Code

  Software Gems: The Computer History Museum Historical Source Code Series

pho·to·shop, transitive verb, often capitalized \ˈfō-(ˌ)tō-ˌshäp\
  1. to alter (a digital image) with Photoshop software or other image-editing software especially in a way that distorts reality (as for deliberately deceptive purposes)
– Merriam-Webster online dictionary, 2012
When brothers Thomas and John Knoll began designing and writing an image editing program in the late 1980s, they could not have imagined that they would be adding a word to the dictionary.

Thomas Knoll

John Knoll

Thomas Knoll, a PhD student in computer vision at the University of Michigan, had written a program in 1987 to display and modify digital images. His brother John, working at the movie visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, found it useful for editing photos, but it wasn’t intended to be a product. Thomas said, “We developed it originally for our own personal use…it was a lot a fun to do.”
Gradually the program, called “Display”, became more sophisticated. In the summer of 1988 they realized that it indeed could be a credible commercial product. They renamed it “Photoshop” and began to search for a company to distribute it. About 200 copies of version 0.87 were bundled by slide scanner manufacturer Barneyscan as “Barneyscan XP”.
The fate of Photoshop was sealed when Adobe, encouraged by its art director Russell Brown, decided to buy a license to distribute an enhanced version of Photoshop. The deal was finalized in April 1989, and version 1.0 started shipping early in 1990.
Over the next ten years, more than 3 million copies of Photoshop were sold.
  That first version of Photoshop was written primarily in Pascal for the Apple Macintosh, with some machine language for the underlying Motorola 68000 microprocessor where execution efficiency was important. It wasn’t the effort of a huge team. Thomas said, “For version 1, I was the only engineer, and for version 2, we had two engineers.” While Thomas worked on the base application program, John wrote many of the image-processing plug-ins.
With the permission of Adobe Systems Inc., the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use, the source code to the 1990 version 1.0.1 of Photoshop. All the code is here with the exception of the MacApp applications library that was licensed from Apple. There are 179 files in the zipped folder, comprising about 128,000 lines of mostly uncommented but well-structured code. By line count, about 75% of the code is in Pascal, about 15% is in 68000 assembler language, and the rest is data of various sorts. To download the code you must agree to the terms of the license.
The 1990 version of the Adobe Photoshop User Guide is at
and the 1990 Adobe Photoshop tutorial is at 

  Early Photoshop screenshots*

The home screen, showing the available tools.

Photoshop allowed you to select brush color as well as size and texture. (The first color Mac was the Macintosh II in 1987.)

There were some sophisticated selection tools, and a good assortment of image filters. One important missing feature, which came with version 3 in 1994, was the ability to divide an image into multiple layers.

The preferences page allowed for some customization of the features.

There was a limited choice of fonts, font sizes, and font styles. The text was entered into this dialog box, then moved into the image.
*Screen shots courtesy of creativebits,


Indifference / Leica M-4

An old shot with the Summicron 50mm F 2  at Madison Square Park. It shows how in a city, as a defense mechanism of sorts, we can become totally indifferent and unaware of our surroundings.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Museo antropologico Buccellato / LX-7

Wool processing machine

Shoemaker's work bench

Baskets used for wheat

Forms for shoe making

Textile machine
This anthropological museum is smack inside the castle and it's one of the better features that came out of it's  recent restoration. It has a collection of old artisan tools,and other fascinating items. A visit to Castellammare must include a visit here and admission is free.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Le cale / Panasonic LX-7

Shot from above Cala Rossa looking west

Cala Rossa with Cala Bianca in the Background

  Cala Rossa
Has noted in the post on Guidaloca Beach, west of Castellammare are many coves. This type of coastline includes the protected natural reserve of Lo Zingaro end continues all the way to San Vito lo Capo, the westernmost point of the Gulf of Castellammare. The Italian for a cove is cala and we see the two closest to the town, Cala Bianca and Cala Rossa named for the respective colors of the mountain soil, white and red.

One of my all time favorites / Canon 30-D

Shot at the New York Botanical Garden on a sunny fall afternoon with the 50mm Sigma 50mm F 2.8 macro lens.

Hey, you never know

Go to  another great source of camera news to enter this give away. Give your dreams a chance etc. You can use our link  down below on the left side. It actually good news that Rokinon lenses are back. We need another independent lens makes to keep the level of competition up.

Win a Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Aspherical Lens!

rokinon-lens.jpgSteve's Digicams and Rokinon are partnering up this month to bring you a chance to win a 85mm F1.4 Aspherical Lens that's compatible with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony dSLR cameras! More information on the company site can be found here and the Amazon reviews for the lens can be found here.

For over 30 years, Rokinon has been well known for producing the highest quality and best performing lenses in the industry. They have a well earned reputation to deliver innovative and highly engineered products at value prices.

Rokinon is proud to introduce its newest lineup of premier Cine Video Digital SLR lenses. The line consists of an 8mm T3.8 Fisheye, 14mm T3.1 Aspherical Wide Angle, 24mm T1.5 Wide Angle, 35mm T1.5 Aspherical Wide Angle and an 85mm T1.5 Aspherical Lens. Rokinon plans on releasing even more lenses in 2013. 

The giveaway starts on February 8, 2013 at 2 p.m Pacific Time and will run through next two weeks. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guidaloca beach on a wintry day / LX-7

This beach is situated west of Castellammare where the coast is mauntenous with a number of coves. This is the largest cove and it has a pebbles instead of sand. Est of the town is the main beach called la Plaja from the Spanish word for beach and it's made up of sand. This is a very long beach and one of the main summer attractions.

Here on a January day with the sea unusually calm, we can enjoy long walks and admire the gorgeous sea with it;s many subtle hues.

Canon 6-D review

Our friends at have posted an in depth review of this wonderful new camera. Click on our link below on the right. You will find it fascinating and very complete.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Road side wares / Olympus E PL-2

When you stop to view the panorama of castellammare, there's a space that has many vendors from items to delicious food. The old brass and copper ware items make for eye catching images. The wooden spoons, not only make for a nice photo but are very interesting in themselves. Made a Sicilian Tunisian couple from nearby Salemi, these spoons and utensils are made from olive wood. They are great to look at but are also very useful in the kitchen. They last for a very long time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Castello da Verrazzano

This is the castle where Giovanni da Verrazzano [2 z's] was born and where they have been making superb Chianti for over 1000 years. It's located in Greve in Chianti smack in the center of the Chianti DOC region.
There are accommodations and superb dining and luncheons. I can attest to this by personal experience. A visit to Tuscany should include at least a visit. What makes this an ideal place to stay is that it's located almost equidistant from Florence and Siena and a public bus runs that takes you to both cities.

One more from the carnevale

Something to gladden your heart

Gladden your heart, indeed. One of my better examples of trowing the background out of focus. Enjoy, spring should be around the corner for all your northern hemisphere visitors, at least

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Maybe they do not have this in Rio

This evening, the Carnevale parade concluded with a large parade of  beautifully attired horses and their drivers. It came down the Corso Garibaldi, the main street of Castellammare and concluded at the Quattro Canti, the town main square. The horses actually danced to music. It was absolutely wonderful.

Carnevale, well it's not Rio but it's something

Carnevale in Castellamare del Golfo is different. In the old days people went dressed  in costumes from house to house to dance and make merry. This is no longer the case so a parade of  floats and dancers makes the  round in the main streets of the town. Better than nothing.