Polenta e Salsicce

Here are some pictures from a couple weeks ago taken on a hiking day-trip with Alessandro in my favorite place near Rome.

It was actually more like a night-trip as the whole goal of the journey was to shoot some stars in the mountains with the whole new moon phase going on; we ended up leaving quite late, getting there at about 6pm to start the short 1 hour-ish hike up to the plateau.

Being underdressed while having ice cold glacier wind blowing on you was not that fun but by moving around a lot and eating snacks we managed to keep warm.

I'm terribly unlucky with weather: when I want to shoot landscapes I'm hoping for clouds and I don't get any, when I want to shoot stars I'm hoping for clear skies. I always get the opposite of what I want, despite checking the weather forecast...

So yeah, there were clouds, covering the sun during the sunset and the sky during the night.

After running around until after sundown we headed to the closest mountain hut to have some supper, we had polenta with sausage and it was awesome. Tackling the night portion of the hike with some much needed warm calories made one heck of a difference.

The way down the dark mountain was the last excitement of the day, I got home quite late and exhausted I dove into bed.



Wind condition

I went to the beach yesterday... a pretty annoying experience I must say.

Ok, so I found a new cool place to shot that is close-ish from home (if you call 1h car ride close anyway...): just after Santa Severa, a small summer vacation village along the coast just north of Rome, the plain and boring sandy beach is briefly interrupted by a small patch of rocky coast line. The rocks here are very smooth and shiny, making them particularly beautiful as a foreground element in seascape pictures.

Why was the experience annoying? Because of the shooting conditions! There was so much mother****ing wind that the whole experience was stressing and frustrating beyond measure. I had to keep whiping off the ocean spray and drops from the lens and the filters! Literally between every shot I was pulling out my microfiber cloth to clean off the layer of salt from the front of the filter.

I love shooting landscapes because of how calm and relaxed it makes me feel... just waiting for the moment... taking my time to adjust my tripod, filters etc...

Yesterday I felt everything but calm and relaxed, I didn't even feel like changing filters (I was using a 3 stop reverse grad which was too strong and would have liked to change it to a 2 stop hard edge) because of all the salty spray, and I ended up fixing the picture in post. This is not how I like to work, the pressure makes me miss opportunities while I get unconfortable and lazy.

Enough being negative, good lanscape photography is made from persistence (or luck), and I plan to persist (since I'm not lucky).


Now, just to top it off, a quick tech sidebar:

As you may know, my current tripod is a carbon fiber Feisol ct-3442, at the time it hit the perfect balance between price and performance. After using it for 2 years now, I felt some pieces needed to be replaced as I would not lock in place properly.

I emailed Feisol and, after a quick conversation at midnight ( ! ), they quickly sent me the parts I needed for a very reasonable price. Yesterday, after replacing everything my tripod feels like new.

I am really pleased with Feisol, they have exceptional customer care and their products are good quality without breaking the bank.