It's in my blood.
Since I was given my first camera, when I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by capturing in a shot what my eyes were seeing around me. The beauty of nature or the smile of a friend, an event or an emotion... Precious pearls to be framed in a photo. Whether freezing a movement or moving the stillness, looking at normality through a different angle or portraying the exceptional, I can choose different perspectives, I can catch reality. I think this passion is in my blood, I inherited it from my Grandpa and then from my Dad, and it has always had a great influence in my life. Come and follow me in my journey searching impressions of life.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Eggs Hatched!

With great joy we experienced the hatching of all 4 eggs! It happened when it was very dark, so it was difficult to see, and the mother was kind in the way, nonetheless we are happy we have now four little blackbirds.

They are blind, with enormous eyes but still closed, and practically without any plumes. They can't really hold their heads up, but just for a few seconds when they get food from their Mom. She brings worms and larvae and she's very careful in perfectly cleaning the nest. The little ones' droppings are immediately collected – sometimes as they come out of the little bodies – and... eaten... yes, I know, kind of disgusting for us, but not in nature. Also, she's sure all the parasites are immediately taken care of.

Well, this is exciting! Enjoy a couple of extracts from the webcam!

Check also these other posts relating to the past and current blackbird visits


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blackbird Nesting

For the third year in a row, blackbirds are nesting on our terrace. The first year they chose a pot, making the nest close to the root of the plant. The female laid three eggs and we were able to check the nest thanks to a small webcam. Unfortunately, a magpie came and stole the eggs, and the parents abandoned the nest. [you can see what happened here]

Last year they (or another couple) made the nest in a safer spot, among the branches of our jasmine, in the corner against the wall, but again something went wrong, because the female abandoned the nest and two eggs, without a reason I could understand.

I left the nest there and this year she's back again, on the same nest. She's been brooding for at least a couple of weeks, so we should be almost there. She stays most of the time on the nest, sometimes turning the eggs with her beak. But once in a while she leaves... sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes more... It helps maintaining the correct temperature of the eggs, but every time we keep our breath: will she come back? So far she has always come back. We are crossing our fingers. Still a long way to go!

P.S.: Don't worry, the birds are not disturbed. The camera is very small and hidden, and remotely controlled. :)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

To All Artists and not Only...

Hi Everybody!

I would like to share with you the book that Denise has just published. Especially if you are an artist – but also a writer or a photographer or simply a lover of illustration and the art of composition – this is a tool that could boost your creative process.

Along the years of her work in the field, Denise collected and created a bunch of useful tips and rules that allow to create illustrations in an efficient and effective way, getting to the best result in less time. For the art student as well as for the seasoned artist, this book is well worth taking a look.

Here are all the links for you to get to know more about it. Enjoy and pass it aroud!

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Brick Lane – Part1

Nature Photography, Food Photography, Landscape, Portraits, Action... I like to span across many genres, and Street Photography is another one I always look at with interest. I haven't developed this area much, so far, but I certainly want to explore it more.

During one of the recent visits to London, I was looking for interesting spots for street photography and I found an area I had never been before. It turned out to be a good opportunity to bring home some street shots – in the real meaning of the word: Photographing the streets and specifically the street art that is present almost everywhere around Brick Lane.

               24mm f/5.0 1/2000sec ISO500

               17mm f/5.0 1/500sec ISO500 +0.67

               17mm f/5.0 1/250sec ISO500 +0.67

               27mm f/5.0 1/4000sec ISO500 +0.67

               29mm f/5.0 1/5000sec ISO500 +0.67

               32mm f/5.0 1/250sec ISO500 +0.67

               17mm f/5.0 1/400sec ISO500 +0.67

               17mm f/5.0 1/400sec ISO500 +0.67

               17mm f/5.0 1/320sec ISO500 +2

               28mm f/5.0 1/250sec ISO500

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The King

The Kingfisher, a blue rocket that dives at incredible speed and precision to catch the fish. This beautiful bird is not rare but being able to see it fishing is not that easy, especially considering its speed. I have seen this bird diving from the top of a big tree, 15 meters high, into a small pond and still catch the fish, of course all in a flash.

Taking pictures of the Kingfisher is great: the shape and colors of this bird make it a perfect subject for a nature photographer. However, even if a portrait shot is already a great picture – considering the beauty of this bird – taking a shot in flight is the ultimate goal of every photographer. And considering the speed of the Kingfisher, that is no easy task. So... of course I tried to do that.

Because of how fast it is, the camera must be set on a very fast shutter time – to be sure to freeze the bird's flight 1/3500-1/4000 sec is recommended – and it must be pre-focused on the spot where we think (or hope) the bird will dive. Autofocus would be really tough and all the water drops would anyway fool the lens view and make the camera focus off the real subject. The fast shutter time often prevents the photographer from being able to use a small aperture and depth of field is critical, especially when using a telephoto.

Here are my first results in this attempt of taking a good photo of the Kingfisher either diving or emerging from the water with the catch. The light was not that much, and to try and have a good depth of field I had to raise the ISO quite a bit. I even risked lowering the speed to a value, still pretty fast, but not completely safe. However, the fact that I took the bird while exiting the water, allowed for shots with no motion blur because the bird was slowed down by the fish and by the effort of flying out of the water.

They are not perfect, but I am pretty satisfied at the moment. And of course I will try again, looking for the perfect shot... wish me luck!

               350mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO6400 -0.33

               350mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO6400 -0.33

               350mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO16000 -0.33

               350mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO16000 -0.33

               350mm f/8.0 1/1250sec ISO16000 -0.33

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Some Food Photography

During the past Christmas holidays, Denise baked some delicious cookies and I took the opportunity to take some shots.

Baked stuff is a favorite of mine when getting to food photography, and since I had bought a few different kind of breads, I shot those as well. Finally I am posting some of those pictures!

You might notice some have not been color corrected, but I liked the blue dominant and I left it. The first batch of pics has been shot in natural light, using some white reflectors in the front to redirect the back-light from the window. The last ones, on black background, have been shot with artificial light.

               85mm f/4.5 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/4.5 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.0 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.0 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.0 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.0 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.0 1/10sec ISO200

               85mm f/5.6 1/6sec ISO200

               85mm f/11.0 1/100sec ISO100

               85mm f/11.0 1/100sec ISO100

               85mm f/9.0 1/100sec ISO100

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Flower Show Magic – part 2


I had totally forgot to post the second part of the pics taken at the flower show in October...  :(
Here they are, enjoy!

               400mm f/5.6 1/250sec ISO250

                                      85mm f/2.8 1/160sec ISO200

               33mm f/5.0 1/100sec ISO800

               135mm f/5.0 1/250sec ISO250

               85mm f/5.0 1/160sec ISO400

               85mm f/4.0 1/250sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/5.0 1/250sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/2.8 1/4000sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/5.0 1/80sec ISO200

               85mm f/2.8 1/1600sec ISO200 and macro tube

                                  85mm f/2.8 1/1600sec ISO200 and macro tube

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Flower Show Magic – part 1

If you have the chance to go to a flower show, you'll discover a whole universe of opportunities for your photography. Not only flowers and plants, but also insects, objects, set ups, tools and, depending from the location, other bonus features.
In addition to my love for gardens, that's also why I like to visit Orticolario, the flower show which takes place at the beautiful Villa Erba, on the Como Lake. Anemone was the chosen flower theme for 2016.

And with this kind of subjects, I have the possibility to try my hand at one of my long-time passions, though not used that much recently, macro-photography. I am fascinated by the exploration of things in close-up, and sometimes even the most insignificant thing may become extraordinary when we look at it in the smallest detail.

Here's a first group of shots, all in natural light.

               85mm f/4.5 1/100sec ISO100 +0.33 and macro tube

               85mm f/4.0 1/250sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/6.3 1/125sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/3.5 1/1000sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/4.0 1/320 sec ISO1000 +0.33

               85mm f/3.5 1/640sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/5.0 1/160 sec ISO400

               85mm f/5.0 1/160 sec ISO400

               85mm f/4.5 1/100sec ISO100 +0.33 and macro tube

               85mm f/3.5 1/800sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/2.8 1/400sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/5.6 1/200sec ISO200 and macro tube

               85mm f/3.5 1/2000sec ISO200 and macro tube