Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

As  most of you have already gathered, I simply love this place. I do decry the apparent decline in the architectural quality of the place. The new structures have gone from the industrial look of the new green houses erected in the eighties  and that appear dated, to the airline terminal look of the latest additions: the entrance, welcoming area and gift shop. To bad. If this is supposed to be progress, it has no staying power. The new structures pale in comparison to the majesty of the classic original structures. The public areas and the flowers and trees remain absolutely first rate and make this one of the best venues in New York.
All shots made with the Olympus E PL-2

Friday, October 25, 2013

Have a sweet weekend

News from Sigma

I always loved and still appreciate Sigma's ability to create lemses that rae at time ahead of the curve. Even more advanced that the big manufactures' optics that tend to be more conservative.

Sigma Corporation announces pricing, timing for new 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

NEW YORK, NY — Oct. 25, 2013 — Sigma Corporation of America (, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today from PhotoPlus Expo 2013 announced the pricing and availability of its new 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens.
This new Art lens was developed as part of the company’s Global Vision and will be on shelves next month, starting with Canon mounts, for the street price of $899. The full frame lens, which will also work with APS-C sensor cameras with an effective increase in focal length, will be available in Nikon and Sigma mounts in December, and Sony mounts will soon follow. All but the Sony mounts will incorporate Sigma’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology to compensate for camera shake. This functionality is omitted from Sony mounts to accommodate for that manufacturer’s in-camera image stabilization system.
The 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM covers the basic shooting range from wide to medium tele with an inner focusing system that eliminates front lens rotation, enhancing the lens stability and allowing the use of circular polarizing filters. Moreover, it was designed to surpass the required quality inspection of every Global Vision lens with Sigma’s own modulation transfer function (MTF) “A1” measuring system to create a new optical standard to align with the high-spec cameras on today’s market.
“This is a top-notch lens in its design and image quality. Our engineering team in Japan continues to wow the industry with the caliber of the new lenses we’re producing and we expect Sigma users to be just as pleased with this new 24-105 F4,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America.
The lens offers the largest possible fixed aperture to zoom ratio that will maintain optimal integrity for many kinds of photography, including landscapes, architecture, portraiture and still-life. With a minimum focusing distance of 45cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.6, this lens is also excellent for close-up photography.
High-performance glass elements, including SLD and FLD, which is equal to fluorite, and glass-molded single- and double-sided aspheric lenses have been included into the optical system to prevent aberration, field curvature, distortions and color aberration. The 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens is also able to suppress chromatic aberration very effectively at the telephoto-end, and can achieve superior image quality throughout the zoom range. Unlike lenses with similar specifications, this lens overcomes low peripheral brightness. Although it is designed for full frame cameras, it also works with APS-C sensors, giving an increase to focal length.
The lens’ Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures a silent, high-speed auto focus function and enables full-time manual focusing capability. The 24-105mm is also compatible with Sigma’s USB dock allowing photographers to update its firmware and change focus parameters using Sigma's Optimization Pro software. It is also compatible with Sigma’s recently announced Mount Conversion Service.
Above courtesy of Sigma Corporation.

Old Lafayette, NJ

I always stop here when I return from Pennsylvania; a lovely spot that has a plethora of so called antique store. Stuff from the fifties are considered antiques. Go figure. At any rate the spot is lovely and my Catahoula Leopard Dog loves to walk here. What's better than that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

For those who crave status symbols your new Leica is here

  Do not get me wrong, I love Leicas. I  had 4 M models at one time, and still have 3 that are not used much because they are the film models. But when one can get the same camera for less, in this case the Panasonic LX-7 that my son permanently borrowed which is a fantastic camera and for much less, I have to say that those seeking the one branded as a Leica are just in for the status. Both cameras are made by Panasonic and are almost identical. But nevertheless,  the new Leica D-Lux 6, Silver is here at a higher price so enjoy your status symbol.

Back to Erice

I never get tired of photographic this exceptional Medieval hilltop town in North Western Sicily. Here are some side streets  alleys off the beaten track.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New raw conversion software

DxO Labs claims a new and better noise reduction algorithm in its new offering

DxO Labs has announced the release of it's Optics Pro 9.0,  claimed to be a major update to its RAW conversion and image correction software. It offers improved highlight recovery, adds  new creative visual presets known as 'Atmospheres', and adds  an all new 'PRIME' noise reduction technology that claims to offer much better image quality results at high ISOs. The software is ready for download now, with a special introductory price to November 20th.  Go to the DxO site and you will be pleasantly surprised at the low price.

Enjoy the autumnal colors, they will soon disappear.

    And now it's RAW for cell phones

    Raw shooting with the Nokia high megapixel phones is now possible.

    Along with the announcement of three new mobile devices today, Nokia is  raising eyebrows by offering Raw photo support for one of those Lumia models, the new 1520 'phablet.' The oversized smartphone will have the option to save uncompressed Digital Negative (DNG) files. This ability  will also come to the 41MP Lumia 1020 early next year.

    Fall colors

    I just returned to North East Pennsylvania where I shot the dying of the foliage, sort of. But the colors are still engaging. I used the Olympus EPL-2 with the Lumix G Vario 14-45.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Diffcult light

    Nothing is easy and at times when they are difficult the yield the best results. These shots made during a trip to Segesta show that tiring from the good light that results in the prosaic, one can always try the hard stuff. These  were shot  against a very  brilliant sun. See if you like them.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Have a wonderful and peaceful week

    I just want to share some pleasant images I shot i  my backyard with my Olympus EPL-2 with the soft focus setting.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    The Isaiah Jones Homestead [ part 2]

    Exterior of typical window

    Common area

    Our room

    Table for complimentary afternoon Port or Sherry

    A few more shots of this wonderful place. In the near future we will features photos of the superb breakfast dishes.
    The contact info is