Vernazza afternoon

Looking down on the Cinque Terre town of Vernazza on a stormy afternoon. The harbor would normally be full of small boats at this time of day, but they were all pulled out of the water due to dynamic sea conditions.

Vernazza afternoon

Earlier this year, we were able to spend a bit of time in Italy. Out of this, we had three days to rattle around in Cinque Terre — a group of 5 old fishing towns. They’re quite a photogenic group, although I’d vote for Vernazza as the prettiest. They’re all also connected by both a seaside hiking trail, and shuttle service on the local rail line — so you’ve got multiple options for getting around to see the sights, as a function of your schedule and exercise tolerance. I took this shot from the trail on the north side of town — not terribly far to go for a “postcard” view.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 lens
8mm, f/11, ISO 200, 1/200 sec

SmallRig cages compared — Olympus E-M1III vs. OM System OM-1

Like many photographers in the Olympus / OM System world, I’m in the process of upgrading my photography gear from the E-M1III to the OM-1. Fortunately, SmallRig just started shipping a camera cage for the OM-1, since their long-unavailable cage for the E-M1II (which also fit the E-M1III) does *not* fit the OM-1. Before I sell off the old cage, I thought it might be helpful to compare the two models for anybody that may be in the market for one or the other.

At a high level, there are some key changes: some mounting points went away, or moved; the overall shape changed just slightly (in the process, access to body-front buttons is improved); and the new cage has a built-in Arca-Swiss mounting plate and captive attachment tool.

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Just a little walk in the woods

A calm, yet colorful scene in Keukenhof Park, Netherlands.

Just a little walk in the woods

What can I say about Keukenhof….? Well, it’s a big flower garden / park outside of Amsterdam, that’s only open to the public for 2 months out of the year — and during those two months, it’s covered in mind-blowing levels of floral color. We were able to visit it this year, and it’s got to be one of the most amazing visual experiences that I’ve ever had.

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The Philippeion

The ruins of a tholos (circular memorial) in Archaea Olympia, Greece.

The Philippeion

The Philippeion originally had 18 columns supporting its roof, sheltering 8 half-columns holding 5 statues of the Macedonian royal family. Built to honor and on behalf of Philip, it was not completed before his death, and was likely finished by his son (and designated heir) Alexander.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4.0 lens
14mm, f/11, ISO 200, 1/500 sec.

The new OM System OM-1 — a few scattered observations

Back in February, I preordered one of the new Olympus OM System OM-1 camera bodies, and after a few weeks of waiting, it arrived at my local camera store. There are plenty of full reviews of the camera available for your perusal online, so I won’t attempt to compete with / duplicate them.

Just the same, I’ve spent a few weeks traveling with the OM-1 (using it daily), and I’ve got some thoughts:

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Unseen giants

The Temple of Poseidon (foreground) and Temple of Hera (background) in the too-seldom-visited site of Paestum, Italy.

Unseen giants

Paestum is in Italy, and was once a Roman city, but it started out as the Greek colony of Poseidonia. The Temple of Poseidon (built around 460-450 BC) is the largest and best-preserved of Paestum’s temples. But in actually, nobody knows for sure which god / goddess it was originally dedicated to; given the city’s original name, it may well have been dedicated to the city’s namesake — but maybe not.

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Long view to the Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens, as seen from the top of Lycabettus Hill:

Long view to the Acropolis

I don’t seem to see this perspective of the Acropolis very often online, but it turns out that it’s pretty simple to achieve. Lycabettus Hill is in the middle of an urban park in Athens, and while you’ve got some walking to do at first, a funicular can get you the last steep stretch to the top. Or, you can walk the whole way, if you have the time and fortitude to walk the trail up the hill.

Get up to the top with a reasonably long lens, and you’re ready to go. This is an afternoon shot (with light overcast); the lighting should be more-dramatic on a clear day near sunrise.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 lens
f/8.0, 106mm, 1/640 sec, ISO 200

Looking a bit quiet

Santorini is an awfully popular place, but even it can be quiet during the off-season.

Personally, I really preferred it quiet and nearly empty (late February). No trinket shops were open, the open restaurants were ones the locals liked, and we had no crowds to deal with.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm Pro lens
f/11, 8mm, 1/320 sec, ISO 200