Featured in the Leica Master Shots Collection on LFI

Hooray! My picture has been favourited by the editors of the Leica Fotografie International and ranked among the very best photographs in the Leica Master Shots collection! So proud about it!

About the picture

This picture is part of a reportage I took at the local camel market in Al Ain, in the Emirates.
The complete series is here:

Camel market – Al Ain

ūüĎȬ†https://lfi-online.de/ceemes/en/gallery/sl-mastershots.html

To take this candid portrait I used my LEICA SL camera paired with the VARIO Elmarit SL 24-90mm f2.8, a great combo for these kinds of situation.

I’m so happy about it, as it is also one of my favourite shots I’ve taken recently.

 

Thanks,

Sab

Fun at Madame Tussauds in London, with a Leica Q

Last week I was in London for a pleasure trip with my sister and my nephew who had never been in the city before. Of course, it’s been a touristic stay, visiting the classic sightseeing, including the famous Madame Tussauds, where¬†the waxworks of famous and historic people and also popular film character are exposed. I was not planning to do serious photography there, I mean, with my Leica Q, but only souvenirs snaps with the iphone. But, wait a moment…
Once in, I realized that this place could be a good gym where to train a kind of street photography, where the subjects,¬†does’nt move at all!!
And having my nephew and my sister role playing with the statues, well, I realised I could make some nice photos.
Read More

Milano, street life – A collection of pictures, with a Leica SL

Milano, here we are! It took me almost 13 years before I could come back to the city where I’ve studied and lived for three years, from years 2003 to 2006.

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of this city, but I cannot ignore the fact that is the only real big city in Italy, undoubtedly, the only city with a vibrant and dynamic life that flows between its streets.

Comparing to 13 years ago, Milano has grown and changed a lot, and even though it is not the place I would love to live in, it is for sure a great playground for street and travel photographer, like me.

Unfortunately, I had only 24 hours to get the most out of it, and, of course, my Leica SL and the two great lenses I always carry along. the Summicron M 28mm f2 ASPH and the Summicron M 50mm f2.

24 hours is not too much¬†but can be a lot, If you stay around until 5 am… ūüôā

Go to Duomo in the middle of the night!

Visiting the area of¬† Duomo, the Milano’s gothic cathedral, at night, totally empty from tourists, is a unique experience that I highly¬†suggest you.

There is a kind mystic atmosphere, where the magnificent Duomo dominates over everything making you feel a tiny ant.

But one of my requirements, for my photography, is to always add a human being element to the scene, so I had to wait a bit for someone to cross the empty square, and it happened just very few times.

This is one of my favourites:

A city full of tourists, a challenge for myself

About my street photography, the challenge was to capture a candid moment of life, trying to avoid the tourists as much as possible and, mostly, avoid being trivial and obvious.

That was not easy at all.

To achieve that, giving the fact that I could only be in the city centre, I had to walk continuously and obsessively observe everything to find the perfect moment. And there were few captured moments, I’m quite proud of:

1. Love has no gender.

Maybe an obvious shot, but to me, it isn’t. These two girls were passionately kissing each other, ignoring everyone else all around. Pure love.

They grabbed my attention and so I’ve tried to approach discretely while¬†contextualizing the scene adding the dominating Duomo in the background and the small pigeon in the foreground.

2. The smoking lady

Here, I like the way the light is somehow shaping the scene, guiding your eyes from the bench to the cigarette, and up toward the castle.


And here is the rest of the pictures… I hope you will find something interesting…

Milano, street life – Series of 20

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– 2 –

– 3 –

– 4 –

– 5 –

– 6 –

– 7 –

– 8 –

– 9 –

Р10 

– 11 –

– 12 –

Р13 

– 14-

Р15 

– 16 –

Р17 

Р18 

Р19 

Р20 

See you soon Milan, I hope to come back soon as there is still a lots of life to photograph!


Useful links:

To buy as prints or digital high resolution files, please go to my official porfolio page here:

[mks_button size=”medium” title=”Buy Milano street life pics” style=”squared” url=”http://www.sabinoparente.com/p1062112127″ target=”_blank” bg_color=”#5dacd3″ txt_color=”#FFFFFF” icon=”fa-picture-o” icon_type=”fa” nofollow=”0″]


 

Cheers,
Sabino

 

Sneak preview of my photo shooting in the forest of Luxembourg

A sneak preview of the photo shooting I had today, totally immersed in a beautiful forest somewhere in Luxembourg. A very special place that seems to be coming out of a fairytale.

Autumn is definitely the best time of the year to enjoy the green areas all over the country. The nature shows so many shades of warm colours and the underwood is full of different types of mushrooms.

Guess, where am I?

[momentopress url=https://momento360.com/e/u/642984540a034523aa1356194a17ad53?utm_campaign=embed&utm_source=other&utm_medium=other]

You will discover it soon, in the next few days I will upload the final pictures out of my wonderful Leica SL camera.

For now, just enjoy these few pictures I took with the iPhone 8Plus that demonstrate again to have a very good camera!

Thanks for reading, and please, come back soon for new pictures!

A presto,
Sabino

I traded my Leica lens for another…Leica lens

A new lens is in my bag as for today, but this time, for the sake of my bank account, I’ve not spent any cents. Yeah, it is possible, even for a Leica lens. How can?

Easy peasy, I traded one of my Leica lenses¬†for another…Leica lens. An M for an R. Bad or good deal? mmh, to me, for now, very good, but will see in the future…

Anyhow, one of my trusted shops here in Luxembourg, Fototrade, showed in the shop window, a very interesting second hand

Leica APO Macro-Elmarit-R 100mm f/2.8

and the monkey on my shoulder, started screaming out loud…

The reason for the switch

Since I’ve bought the Leica SL, I’m trying to build the perfect set of lenses for all my needs, travel, street and still life studio photography. The only lens I was missing, or better, the option I was missing, is the close-up or macro photography,

But not because I want to see which pant is wearing a micro mosquito.

Usually, I use the macro lens for my food photography studio shooting, where I need to have a sharp image to sell on stock agencies, as¬†Fotolia or Shutterstock. And so far I’ve always used the CANO EF 100mm f2.8, a gorgeous lens.

But I want now to have this option also on my Leica SL camera, and there it comes to the trade.

On the other hand, I had the Leica M Elmarit 90mm f2.8, a lens that over a year, was barely used on my cameras, SL or Leica M. The market value of the M 90mm was exactly the same as the price of the second-hand R-100mm so, I had not so many doubt to trade them, even after reading very positive review around some forums and websites.

And there it is, the new lens on my Leica SL.

(using the Novoflex adapter, LET/LER)

I will be in Puglia, very soon, and I’m planning to do another genuine food photography session in my parent’s farm.

So, stay tuned, keep following me because lots of new pictures are coming veeery soon ūüôā

Thanks for reading,

cheers, Sabino

My new old lens, promising a special bokeh: the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8 (test image gallery)

You know, I have a true passion for old vintage lenses and one of the reasons why I recently switched to the Leica SL is because this camera allows me to use almost any existing lens from the past.

I own already several vintage lenses, but not only for collection purpose. Anytime I prepare my bag for a trip around the world, I open my box and I chose one or two vintage lens to carry with me.

The advantage of a vintage lens is, most of the time, the size and the cost, as they are usually very compact and cheap.

But I love exploring the different characters and styles that each of these old pieces of glass brings with it.

The Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8

  • Format:¬†35mm SLR
  • Type:¬†Prime lens
  • Focusing:¬†Manual Focus (MF)
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.33 m
  • Lens mounts:¬†M42
  • Focus lenght: 50mm
  • Max. aperture: 1.8
  • Aperture blades: 6 elements in 4 groups
  • Filter diameter: 49mm

Meyer Gorlitz was a German optical company, founded by an optician, Hugo Meyer, in Görlitz, in 1896. The company made a key business decision in 1920 when decided to work with former Zeiss developer Paul Rudolph, who was previously significantly involved in the success of the Protar, Planar and Tessar lenses. (Source: Wiki)

In 1990 the company was liquidated, but then, in 2014, they have been back, producing new re-designed lenses, combining the background of a long history and modern innovations. Their vintage lenses are now quite popular among the photographer enthusiasts.

By the way, their vintage lenses are now quite popular among the photographer enthusiasts.

In particular, this 50mm f1.8 lens is known for its very unique “soap-bubble” bokeh rendering, warm colours and a distinctive vintage look. You can see some amazing example here and here.

Another very interesting Pros of the 50mm f1.8 Meyer’s lens is the minimum focusing distance of 33 cm that makes it handy for portraiture and close up shots, despite is not so sharp at f1.8.

A complete review of this lens can be found here:

http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/meyer-optik-gorlitz-oreston-1-8-50/

The lens I bought

Usually, I buy second-hand stuff at the flea markets around Luxembourg and France, but this time, as I knew what I was looking for, I bought it from eBay, winning an auction for a reasonable price, around 60‚ā¨.

The¬†Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8 I’ve just bought and received is in mint condition, I was not expecting to be so clean and as new. Looks like has never been used before.
It has an M42 mount so I can use it together with the Novoflex adapter LET/CO (M42 to Leica SL)

A quick test

Thrilled to test, it I’ve quickly done few shots down the street, nothing special but still a good preview of what this lens can achieve.

And here comes the test pictures, all hand held (thanks to my yellow special model…)

N1 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/400sec – ISO 100

N2 –Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/400sec – ISO 100

N3 –Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f5.6 – 1/100sec – ISO 100

N4 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2.8 – 1/250sec – ISO 100

N5 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/640sec – ISO 100

N6 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f5.6 – 1/125sec – ISO 100

N6 –100% Crop

N7 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/800sec – ISO 100

N8 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/600sec – ISO 100

N9 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/600sec – ISO 100

N10 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/125sec – ISO 400

N11 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/200sec – ISO 400

N12 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/160sec – ISO 400

N13 –¬†Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/200sec – ISO 400

Conclusions

Well, I knew already, the lens lack a bit of sharpness when shot wide open at f1.8, but stopping down already to 2, the quality improves.

To me,¬†the most intriguing application would be a more creative shot playing with its dreamy “soap bubble” bokeh.¬†In this test, the bokeh is not yet so “bubblicious”, but I also like the shapes in picture N3, at f5.6
And the relatively close focus of 33cm it’s a very good added value.

I’m curious to use it on a nicer set¬†and for portraiture. Stay tuned…

Thanks for reading,

cheers,
Sabino

 

 

15 photos of the amazing Mezquita de Cordoba, Andalusia (with a Leica SL)

As already mentioned in my earlier post about Cordova, the Mezquita is the most famous spot of this nice city in Andalusia, other than being the most important testimonies in Islamic culture in Europe.

In this post, I show you my best 15 photos I have taken with my Leica SL

15 Photos of the Mezquita de Cordoba

– 1 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 2 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 3 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 4 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 5 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 6 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 7 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 8 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 9 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 10 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 11 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 12 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 13 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 14 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

– 15 –

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8

Conclusions and photography reflections

The Mezquita is a very nice spot for photography, full of interesting details. I had the chance to visit the inside of the ancient Mosque, but I could not enter the tripod so all the photos have been made with the Leica SL, hand-held, and ISO 800.

The main issue I had, other than the very low light, it was the presence of tourists scattered all around and, you can imagine, invading any framing I tried to make. I love placing a human being in my pictures, but It should add value to the shot.

To make some nice pictures I had to really move a lot and act very quickly, shooting as soon as I had no people walking in front of me.

At some point, I thought that the only way to get rid of the tourists was to have long exposure time, but I had no tripod!

So I found a nice spot, placed my leather bag on the floor and stabilised the Leica SL on it.

That was a good idea though, the final photo was indeed very good. (picture nr. 1 of this series)

 

About you, which picture from this series do you prefer the most and why?

I would highly appreciate your comments.

Thanks for reading,
Sabino

Discorvering Cordova, photos and useful tips – Andalusia on the road

The third stop of my trip on the road to Andalusia is the historic city of Cordova, serenely lying along the Guadalquivir river and at the foot of the Sierra Morena.

In contrast to the most dynamic Granada and Seville, Cordoba is in fact very quiet. Life around the majestic Mezquita and in the alleys of the Jewish quarter of Juderia, named World Heritage by Unesco, runs at a mild and quiet pace.

Cordova in one day?

Yes, the city of Cordoba could be visited even in one day, as it is not too big and everything can be reached in a few minutes walk. But the serenity that transmits this place invites you to spend much more time, because, I assure you,

stroll along the Guadalquivir shore or cross the beautiful Roman bridge at sunset and then dine at the tables of one of the many great restaurants in the historic center, is a regenerating experience.

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

The Mezquita

Built by the Omeya princes, between the 8th and the 10th centuries, this mosque is one of the most important testimonies in Islamic culture in Europe as well as an extraordinary example of Moorish architecture.

As happened to other mosques in Andalusia, the Mezquita was converted after the Christian conquest, in the Cathedral from 1523.

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Free admission at the opening!

Being the most popular and visited site in Cordoba, I planned to visit and photograph it as soon as it was open to the public. The cost of the ticket for a visit without a guide is 8 ‚ā¨ but, with pleasure, once on the spot, I found out that the entrance is free for those who access the opening, so at 8:30.

Unfortunately, though, there was already a fair group of visitors so my enthusiasm dropped instantly as soon as I got in. The inside of the Mezquita is very beautiful and impressive with this set of columns and bows but as soon as the visitors are scattered, it has become very difficult to make decent photos. Also, it is not allowed to enter the tripod so I had to hold the ISO high and hand-held.

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

At some point I sat on the ground and placed the Leica SL on my bag to give it stability, and took some photos with slow exposure time to try to somehow eliminate the tourists presence.

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 Asph

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

The Juderia and some street photos

Juderia is perhaps the most famous Jewish quarter in Andalusia. Losing yourself in its white lanes is the best thing to do to enjoy it at best. But also here, as in Granada, there is not much life around, everything is static but clean and finely decorated. For a street photographer like me, it is almost boring.

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Plaza de los Capuchinos

This was for me one of the most striking and photogenic spots of Cordoba, for its mystical atmosphere. A small and cute little square with theCristo de los Faroles, a crucifix illuminated by eight lanterns, and the convent of the Capuchin friars.

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2.8 ASPH

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2.8 ASPH

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2.8 ASPH

Plaza de la Corredera

This square, have a very similar architectural style than the one in Madrid, and is the most extensive portico of Andalusia. A large rectangle enclosed by three-story residential buildings, in which hundreds of balconies are aligned. Very beautiful and photogenic.

iphone 6s

iphone 6s

Hotel in Cordova

My accommodation experience in Cordova was fantastic because the hotel I chose turned out to be really great in all aspects, so I highly recommend it:

Hotel NH Cordoba Guadalquivir (Esperia )

Strategically located, just a few steps from the Roman Bridge in an area with free parking and a beautiful view of the Mezquita. Large double room and huge bed. Nice also the rooftop pool, small but very pleasant.

iPhone 6s

My photography, in Cordoba. How did it go

To be honest, nothing special and memorable. Street photography opportunities were very rare. I alternated all the lenses, trying to stimulate the look with different focal length, but in the end, the subjects were almost always architectural.

I may say that, speaking on photography, Córdova, it is not a place that has stimulated me particularly.

The most beautiful photo opportunity?

Definitely the panoramic photo at sunset on the Roman bridge and on the Mezquita, from the roof of the hotel NH Cordoba Guadalquivir, from which I had a privileged and unique view. Although this is not my favorite type of photography, at least I justified bringing the tripod with me, as this is the only place I used it.

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

 

Conclusions

Did I like Cordoba? Yes, much, especially for its quiet and relaxed atmosphere. As in Granada, I was disappointed by Juderia’s Jewish quarter for the same reason: I expected a more genuine and loud life. Maybe I still have in the eyes and in the heart the life in the Moroccan Medina, and this influences my expectations a lot. But certainly the global vote on Cordoba remains positive.

Vote: 7

If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to answer you.

Thanks for reading,
see you soon,

Sabino

 

 

20 street photos of the lovely Hoi An, Vietnam

Today I take you outside for a pleasant walk through the elegant and colorful streets of Hoi An, Vietnam. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site as a well preserved southeastern commercial port, this small city has been subjected to influences by foreign settlers such as Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese.

In fact, the delightful historical center, in addition to having a strong Vietnamese atmosphere, shows a unique fusion of local tradition and foreign influence.

Chilling around with a Leica M

Obviously photographic opportunities are many, though the streets are invaded by tourists any time of the day. I photographed it with a Leica M, alternating the lenses like the Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH e Summicron 50mm f2.

20 street photos of my lovely Hoi An

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– 2 –

– 3 –

– 4 –

– 5 –

– 6 –

– 7 –

– 8 –

– 9 –

– 10 –

– 11 –

– 12 –

– 13 –

– 14 –

– 15 –

– 16 –

– 17 –

– 18 –

– 19 –

– 20 –
(selfie time ūüôā )

Which of these photos do you like the most?

Many thanks for,
a presto, Sabino

25 photos that brings you inside the stunning Alhambra in Granada

After telling you about my experience in Granada, today I bring you into an authentic wonder of architecture and history, declared Unesco’s Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1984: the Alhambra.
(I will not write here the history of this place as you can easily read it on Wikipedia.)

Instead, I want to describe it through the photos I took with my Leica SL and consequently through the emotions I felt, the environments, atmospheres, and details that struck me most.

Most of the photos were taken inside the Royal Palace, Palacio Nazaries, the most beautiful Islamic building in Europe, a series of rooms and patios in the most classic and sophisticated Moorish style. A real wonder.

Unfortunately, I can not write the aperture value for each shot because I used old and uncoded lenses, so the camera doesn’t show it.

The following first picture was taken by Mirador de San Nicolas at sunset, on a tripod, with an old Pentacon 135mm f2.8 with M42 mount, a lens that gave me amazing results on Leica SL.

– 1 –

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8 

– 2 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 3 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 4 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 5 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 6 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

 

– 7 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 8 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 9 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

 

– 10 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 11 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 12 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 13 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 14 –

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8 

– 15 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 16 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 17 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 18 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

 

– 19 –

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8 

– 20 –

Leica SL + Pentacon 135mm f2.8

– 21 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 22 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 23 –

Leica SL + Summicron 50mm f2

– 24 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

– 25 –

Leica SL + Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

Conclusions and photography reflections

With so many tourists around, it is very difficult to take special pictures. Even wanting to insert the human element, which I usually love to do, I can not isolate it from others, aside from being, the tourist, not especially photogenic.

In this case, the only way to make the photo interesting is to use the cinematic technique of the “fifth”, a predominant element set in the foreground but out of focus, as in photo N.11, where the child makes almost unnoticed the presence of other people in the background.

Photo N.5, on the other hand, is the one where I managed to get what I wanted, that is to isolate and insert a distinctly human element in a frame that characterizes and identifies the place. I saw the image as soon as I entered that room, but I only had a few seconds to shoot, because then it was a continuous flow of tourists passing by, outside and inside.

For the rest, I have focused more on the beautiful architectural details, often placed above me and thus free from other disturbing elements.

About you, which picture from this series do you prefer the most and why?

I would highly appreciate your comments.

Thanks for reading,
Sabino