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AF Prime Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED

Fishermen Putting Out to Sea At Sunset

Dubrovnik (Croatia). Is there a word – in any language – that describes the sense of summer given by a winter day exceptionally warm? I’m thinking about a possible neologism able to summarize this feeling, which more or less has been experienced by everyone as soon as daylight becomes longer, winter moves closer to the end and, most important, temperatures become more acceptable, almost pleasantly mild. “Summarization”? Not yet; damn, it will be summer in so many months… Dewinterization? Neither, it sounds ugly… Animals have “to emerge from hibernation”, which could fit with what I want to mean: definitely they are one step ahead us!

However, I think it’s pretty clear this was my feeling yesterday: in fact, with a nice sun shining and a perfect temperature (considering it was the last day of January) I had in my mind and in my body the feeling it was finally time of “emerging from hibernation” And apparently I was not alone, since there were all around a lot of people walking, jogging or simply enjoying open-air time: so nice!

Once back home after a healthy run around the park, my positive mood brought me to surf and explore through my photographic archive, just to find an unpublished photo from the last summer and to prolong the nice feeling described above. As I always like to realize, watching my old photos is somehow like re-living the moments when I captured them. And I perfectly remember the situation behind this photo…

It was during last summer: I was going to Dubrovnik – a lovely town in Croatia and one of the top ranked places to see in 2016 according to many travel magazines – and a wonderful sunset was coloring the sky with a warm mix of orange and pink. As I was approaching the harbor, I crossed this fishing boat putting out to sea. I have always had a special interest for fishermen: even when I was a baby, one of my dreams was spending one night on a boat watching fishermen pulling the nets out of the sea. However, it remained a dream, but maybe one day it will become a nice reportage.

With this photo, I try not only to extend the nice mood I have been having since yesterday – although today it was foggy and cold, unfortunately – but also to spread out a bit of optimism saying to all my followers that, sooner or later, summer is definitely coming and this is one of the few certainties I can count on.

 

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What’s Currently in My Bag?

Milan (Italy). Sometimes I receive message from people that are curious to know what is in my bag. They are confused – and I can understand them – because I frequently post photos taken months, if not years, before. And this contributes to their curiosity.

I’m just back from summer holidays, which is the period of the year when I stress use my cameras and lenses most. So, it is also an opportunity to test them and develop my opinion about what I have in my hands.

This blog – let me just remind it one more time – has not any purpose to test, promote or review photographic gears. There are excellent (and definitely much more popular) blogs that do it excellently. This is a blog to show and share my photos, but I understand that sometimes it can be interesting knowing what camera or lens has been used to capture a determined image.

This summer I decided to travel a bit lighter than I did in the past. While in January – during a trip around Vietnam – I brought one Nikon D810 and one Nikon Df, with only prime lenses (24, 35, 58, 105), this August I brought only the Nikon Df with one Zeiss 18, one Voigtlander 40, an old glorious Nikon 55, a 105 and a 180 together with a Leica Q. Basically, i was walking with the Leica in my hand, taking the Df out of my bag for some specific situations…

Will I remain with this configuration? Who knows… I must admit that I’m quite curious to see what Leica is doing and preparing. Some rumors talk about a new system, and I’m quite excited about this idea. At the same time, I think that the Nikon Df is still the only DSLR that can stay in my bag, and I will not replace it for another camera with the same technology.

Let’s see…

Ah, this photo has been taken with an iPhone 🙂

 

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A Luz De Lisboa (The Light of Lisbon)

Lisbon (Portugal). This is a photo from my recent trip around Portugal. I’m particularly attached to this shot, since it’s the first one I took as soon as I arrived to Lisbon. It was late afternoon, the sun was going down in front of the city and I was drinking a beer at Praça do Comércio, probably the most important city’s square and – for sure – one of the most beautiful ones, surrounded by wonderful buildings and with the end of Tejo river (Tagus, in English) meeting the Atlantic Ocean in front of me.

What captured my attention was the light: it was incredibly brilliant and clean, and the sunset was perfectly colored with a warm orange tone. I immediately understood it was “The Light of Lisbon”, and – interestingly – in front of me there was the banner of an exhibition exactly with that name: “A Luz de Lisboa” (translated, The Light of Lisbon).

Behind the building’s corner there is one of the symbols of Lisbon, the April 25th Bridge, whereas people are walking around, probably going back home or preparing for Lisbon by night.

 

This is my first photo of Lisbon and Portugal. Many others will follow in the next days…

 

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Contemplating Paris from La Défense

Paris (France). The initial idea was giving to this post a title such as “why I love shooting landscape photos with an old inexpensive 180 mm prime lens”, but at the end I thought it would have been a bit irrespectful for the old inexpensive 180 mm prime lens, which is- by the way – one of my favorite lenses for shooting landscape photos …

OK, let’s try to be serious now. I have taken this image yesterday early morning on my way from the “Esplanade de la Défense”, a large square perfectly aligned with the Arc de Triomphe and the Grande Arche, to my office. The sunrise was simply perfect, with a soft and gentle light colouring the sky with a warm orange tone. Photographing a landscape like this is more than just composing the frame, focusing the scene and clicking: the situation is at the same time calm (given by the sky) and chaotic (with the traffic along the Avenue de la Grande-Armée and the Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle at Neuilly-sur-Seine), and what I try every time to do is balancing these two opposite aspects, so that the observer can find indifferently one of them.

And for me it’s the same: I can observe this photo and think about the sense of calm I had yesterday morning at sunrise, but at the same time I can concentrate my eyes on the central stripe of traffic and be more distracted by the chaos. And – back to the beginning of the post – I believe that this perfect balance of feelings is given by a(n old inexpensive) 180 mm prime lens, which compresses the scene and puts the detail on the same plane of the general context. Here’s why I love shooting landscape photos with my amazing 180 mm tele lens!

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