Ho scambiato la mia lente Leica per un’altra lente…Leica

Una nuova lente è da oggi nella mia borsa, ma questa volta, per il bene del mio conto corrente, non ho speso neanche un centesimo. Ebbene si, è possibile, anche per una lente Leica… Ma come?

Facile, ho scambiato una mia lente Leica per un’altra lente….Leica. Una M per una R, Pazzia? Ottimo o pessimo affare? Questo lo vedremo in futuro… ma per me ora lo considero ottimo.

Dunque, uno dei miei negozi di fiducia qui in Lussemburgo, Fototrade, qualche giorno fa ha messo in vetrina un interessante Leica Elmarit-R Macro 100mm f2,8 di seconda mano.

e la scimmia sulla mia spalla ha cominciato ad urlare impazzita…

Le ragioni dello scambio

Da quando ho acquistato la Leica SL, sto cercando di costruire il perfetto set di lenti per ogni occasione, dal viaggio alla strada, fino allo still life di studio. Ed era proprio per la foto di still life e macro che non avevo ancora nessuna opzione di livello

ma non perchè voglio vedere che mutande indossano i moscerini

Di solito, utilizzo la lente macro per i miei scatti di Food e still life, dove ho bisogno di avere un’ottima nitidezza per poi mettrerle in vendita nelle agenzie di Stock, come Fotolia o Shutterstock. Fino ad oggi, ho sempre utilizzato il Canon EF 100mm f2.8, una lente fantastica,

ma il mio scopo è di avere tutte le opzioni anche sul sistema Leica SL, per non dover ogni volta utilizzare macchine diverse. Ed è da qui che nasce lo scambio.

Dall’altro lato invece, avevo il Leica M Elmarit 90mm f2.8, una lente buona si, ma che in un anno, ho usato molto raramente, se non per cercare appunto di fare fotografia di food.

Il valore di mercato del 90mm “M” era esattamente uguale al prezzo del 100mm “R” che ho trovato dal mio negoziante, percio’, non ho avuto molti dubbi, soprattutto dopo aver letto tante recensioni positive su forum e siti, riguardo a questa lente.

Ed ecco qual la “nuova” lente, sulla mia Leica SL

(montata con l’adattatore Novoflex, LET/LER)

Sarò a breve in Puglia e sto programmando un altra genuina sessione di Food Photography nella campagna dei miei genitori.

Per cui, stay tuned, continuate a seguirmi perchè tante nuove foto sono in arrivo mooolto presto 🙂

Grazie per la lettura,

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 🙂

Thanks for reading,

cheers, Sabino

Food Photography: Zeppole, St. Joseph’s Day Traditional Italian Pastries

The subject of this new photo shooting is a dessert that takes me back in time to my childhood, when the days leading up to Father’s Day, the house was filled with a sweet scent of hot beignets and custard. I’m talking of “Zeppole di San Giuseppe”, delicious baked buns (also fried), filled with custard and decorated with icing sugar and cherry.

A pastry for daddy

According to tradition, these creamy donuts, are served on St. Joseph’s day, when Italy is celebrating Father’s Day. The days before this celebration, in my native village, Mola di Bari, in almost all the houses are already beginning to prepare the donuts, and local bakeries are full.

I’m lucky to have an amazing chef, my mom, and for my photo shooting I used the Zeppole di San Giuseppe prepared right from her.

The photography set

I made this photo shooting directly at my parents’ house, so in a situation of natural light coming from a window door and using, as a support, the dining table.

No flash, no artificial light have been used to achieve these shots.

The background

The basic idea was to get a natural shooting and warm, rustic, simple, home-style atmosphere. So I have used as the background of a beautiful texture of aged wood panel, and a cutting board, also old and with many cuts and signs of wear.

The light

As said before, I do not like artificial light, especially for the food, because it would make it cold and not appealing.
As the main source I used the wonderful natural light through a glass door and,  to open the shadows, in the opposite position, an A3 panel covered with aluminum foil.

The equipment

The camera used is a Canon 5D Mk III and as lens, I used always and only the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro, being the subject small and full of texture and details. I prefer to use the tele objective also to flatten the perspective and have a more ‘pleasant blur.

And here is the final result:


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Food Photography: Le zeppole di San Giuseppe

Il soggetto di questo mio nuovo photoshooting è un dolce che mi riporta indietro nel tempo, alla mia infanzia, quando, i giorni che precedevano la festa del papà, la casa si riempiva di un dolce profumo di bigne caldi e crema pasticcera. Sto parlando delle Zeppoline di San Giuseppe, deliziose ciambelline al forno (ma anche fritte), ripiene di crema pasticcera e decorate con zucchero a velo e amarena.

Un dolce per papà

La tradizione vuole che queste ciambelline cremose, vengano servite il giorno di San Giuseppe, quando in Italia si festeggia la festa del papà. Nei giorni antecedenti questa festa, nel mio paese nativo, Mola di Bari, in quasi tutte le case si cominciano gia a preparare le zeppole, e i panifici ne sono pieni.

Ho la fortuna di avere una mamma cuoca straordinaria e per il mio servizio ho utilizzato le Zeppole di San Giuseppe preparate proprio da mia madre.

Il set fotografico

Ho realizzato questo photoshooting direttamente a casa dei miei genitori, quindi in una situazione di luce naturale, proveniente da una porta finestra, e utilizzando, come appoggio, il tavolo da pranzo.

Nessun flash, nessuna luce artificiale sono state utilizzate per realizzare questi scatti.

Lo sfondo

L’idea di base era quella di ottenere uno scatto naturale e caldo, rustico, un’atmosfera semplice e casereccia. CosÌ ho utilizzato come sfondo la texture di un bellissimo pannello di legno invecchiato, ed un tagliere, anch’esso vecchio e con molti segni di tagli ed usura.

La luce

Come detto prima, non amo la luce artificiale, soprattutto per il food, perchè lo renderebbe freddo e poco invitante.
Come fonte principale ho utilizzato la meravigliosa luce naturale attraverso una porta finestra e, per schiarire le ombre, in posizione opposta, un pannello A3 ricoperto di carta alluminio.

L’attrezzatura

La macchina fotografica utilizzata e’ una Canon 5D Mk III mentre come lente ho utilizzato sempre e soltanto il Canon EF 100mm Macro  f2.8, essendo il soggetto piccolo e ricco di texture e particolari. Preferisco utilizzare il tele anche per appiattire la prospettiva ed avere uno sfocato piu’ gradevole.

Ed ecco il risultato finale


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My top 10 pictures sold in October 2016

October is already behind as well as autumn, my favorite season together with Spring and Christmas is already approaching (time runs sooooo fast!) so it’s time to check which pictures had best sales in the previous month in this top 10 chart (over the following agencies: Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Depositphotos, Bigstockphoto, Canstockphoto, 123RF, Photodune, Alamy, 500px. )

Overall, October sales have been in line within the last three years, bit less than September, but still very good numbers together with direct requests for assignments or image sales that are not counted in this balance.

But let’s unveil the top 10 sales of October 2016. ( data from Microstockr Pro)

10.

My bestseller ever picture had lower amount of sales on October, but still in the top 10…

Taken with a Fuji X-E1

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

9.

Food. This is a very old picture i took many years ago during a food exhibition in Luxembourg and it sells very good over the years.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk II

8.

Making of cuban cigars, taken in Vinales during my wonderful trip to Cuba, last year. This subject is selling quite good.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Making tobacco cigars in a typical farm in Vinales, Cuba

7.

Another picture from Cuba and again, tobacco. Very good!

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

6.

Puglia, olive trees, my home, my soul. This picture that i took long time ago with an humble Canon Eos 450D, discovered just couple of months ago, is selling more and more and i expect it to grow in the future.

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

5.

Another relatively young picture (taken 4 months ago)  that is increasing the sales week by week, I was lucky to be at the right time in the right place because i had only that evening in Siena and the sunset was just amazing… Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

4.

Paris est toujours Paris! Iconic image taken with a Fuji X-E1 during the new years eve, some years ago.

The beautiful Eiffel tower in Paris at night

3.

Third place, as previous month, selling good.

Taken with a Fuji X-E1

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

2.

Another everyday selling picture, always stable on second position.

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

1.

Another month, same results, so i copy paste the text from previous month:
“And here is the top seller, since December 2015!!! in the last 10 months this picture is always the one i sell most… Incredibly simple but iconic, this picture taken last year in Trinidad, Cuba, is selling every day and i’m finding it very often in the internet, even used as a cover for an e-book. If you find it somewhere, please let me know. And i well remember the moment i took this picture, it was a very hot afternoon in Trinidad, i was having a relaxed walk and i was attracted by this vibrant yellow wall with a simple door and a cuban flag hanging and waving smoothly. No other disturbing elements around so…clack! The simpler the better…and this is the proof.”

Taken with a Canon Eos 5D Mk III

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

 

My top 10 pictures sold in September 2016

Another month has passed and it’s time to check which are the top 10 sold images over the following agencies: Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Depositphotos, Bigstockphoto, Canstockphoto, 123RF, Photodune, Alamy, 500px.

September has been a good month but surprisly the lowest so far (in 2016), even lower than August, but at the same time i’ve received more direct requests for assignments or image sales that are not counted in this balance.
I’ve also produced a lot of new pictures, mostly food but also still life and travel,  around 700, so i expect  to see a sensible increase of sales in the next months.

But let’s unveil the top 10 sales of September 2016. ( data from Microstockr Pro)

10.

This is a photogenic subject that is selling good, a beautiful landscape from Japan. To take this picture i had to climb a very steep and long stair, but it was worth it, now is paying off 🙂

The wnoderful Fuji mountain in Japan

The wnoderful Fuji mountain in Japan

9.

This is a relatively new entry. This picture was taken long time ago, but i just made it available for sale less than one month ago and it seems it will became one of my bestsellers. It’s from my hometown in the beautiful Puglia region, south of Italy, so i’m very proud of it!

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

The beautiful and colorful landscapes in Puglia

8.

Finally a food picture. I’m investing more and more in this type of subjects, just using a very simple set, natural light from the windows and a reflector and i may say that works very well.

Delicious fresh kiwi fruit on a chopping board

Delicious fresh kiwi fruit on a chopping board

7.

Another food picture, with an interesting top view that i will try to use more in the future. You may spot this in some food blog or magazine… if so, please let me know 🙂

Assortment of fresh green beans on wooden background

Assortment of fresh green beans on wooden background

6.

Here is a subject that is trending so much an so sells very well: CUBA.

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

Tobacco plantation in the Vinales valley, north of Cuba

5.

Another relatively young picture (taken 3 months ago)  that is increasing the sales week by week, I was lucky to be at the right time in the right place because i had only that evening in Siena and the sunset was just amazing…

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

The wonderful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany region, italy

4.

My topplayer! Istanbul is another trend subject that sells as hell and this picture is my bestseller picture ever and was taken with a vintage 50mm lens bought at the fleah market for just 4€… And i’m selling this every day since months…can you believe it? incredibile!

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

The beautiful Süleymaniye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

3.

Another top-player, but from Morocco. This is another picture that i sell almost every day. It comes from the beautiful blue village of Chefchaouen. Oh how i miss Morocco, one of my favourite countries in the world!

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

The beautiful blue medina of Chefchaouen in Morocco

2.

And again Cuba, Trinidad within its unique architecture style.

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

Iconic and beautiful Tower in Trinidad, Cuba

1.

And here is the top seller, since December 2015!!! in the last 10 months this picture is always the one i sell most… Incredibly simple but iconic, this picture taken last year in Trinidad, Cuba, is selling every day and i’m finding it very often in the internet, even used as a cover for an e-book. If you find it somewhere, please let me know. And i well remember the moment i took this picture, it was a very hot afternoon in Trinidad, i was having a relaxed walk and i was attracted by this vibrant yellow wall with a simple door and a cuban flag hanging and waving smoothly. No other disturbing elements around so…clack! The simpler the better…and this is the proof.

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, Cuba