Saturday, September 7, 2013

Genova

I love this city in Liguria; I have many fond memories and I have many friends  and relatives here also. This shot looks up to Granarolo a small hamlet above the city. I also like the two pigeons silhouetted.


You old miss-able you





Truly miss-able and I'm unable to stay away for  very long. What can I say; it's a lovely addiction.
A few shots that show how one can climb from the marina to Piazza Petrolo. These stairs under the oldest bridge have just been renovated.

Friday, September 6, 2013

News from Fuji

From the looks and performance of the Fuji so called retro X system, it may be the Leica for the rest of us.
The system is of very high optical, electronic and built quality. The lenses are just gorgeous.

Fujifilm Announces Premium Wide-Angle Lens for X-Series



 Fujifilm_Lens_23mm_Black_Front.jpg

Fuj has introduced a new premium wide-angle lens for its X-Series line of ILC cameras, the FUJINON XF23mm F1.4 R. At a mere 10.6oz and 2.85-inches long, the XF23 is the most compact / lightweight lens in its class. Its boasts a maximum aperture of F/1.4  that is great   in low  light  and will deliver super shallow depth-of-field. Of course this lens is made to perfectly mate with the X-Trans CMOS image sensor found in all X-Series Fujifilm cameras. There's also a camera-to-subject distance indicator and depth-of-field scale on the lens barrel to aid manual / pre-focusing. It looks wonderful.

The XF23 has a 35mm-equivalent focal length, and its internal structure is made up of one lens group, "consisting of three cemented lens elements and one aspheric lens element. These elements are treated with Fujifilm's multi-layer HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating).  This last paragraph from the press release should warm the hearts of all you techies out there. Just remember to take pictures worthy of this lens.

Have a peaceful weekend



Now this is more like it

I hate to focus through an those silly LED screens that are useless in bright lights. The optical viewfinders on the better small cameras are useless for accurate composition so I have been using the micro four third cameras with EVFs for general travel use. This news from Nikon is indeed welcome. I hope that Canon will soon follow suit.
Nikon has introduced the Coolpix P7800, their premiere compact camera  that replaces last year's P7700 as their flagship zoom camera. The P7800 is very similar to its predecessor. It's most striking and welcome change is the addition of an electronic viewfinder. Other specs are more or less similar. The camera has a 28-200mm (equivalent) F2-4 zoom lens, and sports a fully-articulating rear LCD screen, and plenty of manual control and exposure options, at an expected MSRP of $549.99.  Nice, very nice.

Paris, the left bank at night




These photos were shot on the left bank near Cite' the large island on the Seine that was busy and touristy area.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The old crane at the banchina

This now useless and rusted winch was the focal point of the banchina, the old pier. Kids used to climb on it and  dive off into the deep water. It is now only a curiosity piece.
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Musical duo in montmartre




This gorgeous young woman and her musical partner were entertaining passers by in Montmartre. Paris today is incredibly saturated with tourists. The lines for the Tour Eiffel was so long that it took about two hours of waiting while the line to see the Louvre was also interminable. There seem to be more people looking at maps than actual Parisians.  It's also, a super expensive city where if you are not careful 2 cappuccini and two croissants can cost 18 Euros. I paid 4.99 Euro for band aids. Even in the less touristy places like Les Halles a dinner for two will cost about 45.00 Euros. Mais, c'est la vie.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It was still smoking

Way back in 1972 we climbed Mount Etna on a Fiat 850 on roads that had practically disappeared as a result of an earlier eruption. Mount Etna, is Europe's most active volcano and the Vulcan from Greek mythology. A red spot can be seen in the photo where some lava was still coming out. It was a great experience but I have never repeated on the countless times I have been in Sicily. Once is enough. This photo was shot with the Canon FT and the Canon 28mm F 1:3.5  FL, a real gem. The film was Kodachrome II.


New from Corel

There are other alternatives to Photoshop and Corel has always been there as an alternative that is priced at a sane level. The name Paint Shop has always seemed strange for a photo program.

Corel has just released  Paintshop Pro X6 'Ultimate', it improves on the earlier version of PSP X6 with the addition of built-in automatic image correction by Athentech Imaging. This update to 64-bit architecture swill produce better performance on the modern operating systems. 
They researched the market and determined that users wanted more power. Users always do.

Ready for renovation

I like these run down buildings in the centro storico not too far from my house. They have an old charm and character. Soon they will be renovated to look like what people here think  tourists believe Sicily to be. Too bad. The high contrast filter on the E PL-2 gave nice results.




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Peonie


Something relaxing


Back to the future

Ilford expands black and white facility in USA. We are talking "real" photo paper here and  "real" chemical processing. And Kodak had to fade away. Sad.
Nevertheless, in the old days, I liked many Ilford papers. Their Multigrade Pearl was fantastic.

Even though digital has truly killed film for most common purposes, demand for black and white film development and printing is sufficient that ILFORD has expanded its processing and printing service to include a mail-order lab in San Clemente, California. Unlike most local labs, ILFORD's service offers black and white printing on  the real stuff, silver gelatin photo paper.

I balconi di Trapani

Trapani as well as any other Italian city boasts great balconies in their buildings. They are a must. In Trapani they range from the baroque to the modern utilitarian and make nice shots. These were all shot with the Canon G-11.






Monday, September 2, 2013

Arrivederci Parigi

Purtroppo oggi si parte per ritornare  alle vecchie routine di New York. Continuero'  a postare foto di questa magnifica citta. Aurevoir Paris.





Unfortunately we are leaving today to return to New York and to the old grind. We will continue to post photos of this marvelous city. Aurevoir Paris.

Some of my dear friends

I want to share some of my dear Sicilian friends whose kindness and hospitality knows no bounds.


Signora Aluzzo

Tonino

Lilla

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Parigi, cortile

One of an endless number of alleys in Paris that have arches. they make this a lovely city.   But when it comes to an espresso no one here knows how to make one. All cafe's have the latest Italian machines and apparently espessi and  cappuccini are in great demand but although one can get a decent cappuccino, a decent espresso is  still impossible to get.  But the croissants are so delicious. The Italian cornetti cannot hold a candle to them. C'est la vie
Also since the last time we were here, there has been a proliferation of Italian restaurants and pizzerie. Panini are sold everywhere along with  gelati, tagliatelle, lasagne and spaghetti that may or may not be al dente. I do not dare try them here.
After all food is one of life's greatest pleasures.  I come from a country where eating well is it's official religion.  I do not mean  eating nouvelle, I mean  eating well. Nevertheless, the food is very good if one goes to typical  French restaurants and bistros but there's no fish to speak of.  Eating out is very expensive, especially in the more touristy areas. We have been eating in the Les Halles area where prices are more reasonable. But how I miss the fresh fish of Sicily.



La marina

A few shots of Castellammare's marina  but shot on an unusually cloudy August day.