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Old 06-24-2011, 05:03 PM   #61
DVC2042
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori1960 View Post
what kind of nikon do you have my husband wants the nikon ps 5000
Renée has a couple camera bodies. She usually shoots with the D700, but will use the older D80 for more 'dangerous' shoots...

We'll post some camera fun here this weekend
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:06 PM   #62
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I am enjoying reading your report - thank you.

We were on this same cruise last year and doing it again in a few weeks.

It is interesting to get someone elses viewpoint on the ports and see what they did.

Do keep posting and thank Renee for the photos, stunning.

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:14 PM   #63
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Port of Call – Civitavecchia



It is the middle of the trip and we have a very early morning as you can tell from the “Ship’s Time” above. Most people aboard are getting ready to visit ROME., but not us. I had looked at this months ago and was already a bit put off by the 1 1/2 – 2 hours EACH WAY to get back and forth. There is no question about wanting to experience Rome, but a few hours on a tour bus, crammed between hours on a bus or train ride both ways wasn’t “blowing my skirt up” (and I can say that… please see “Formal Night” with any questions). We’ll come back and give Rome a few days some other time.




Here’s another reason… It's Unification Day.. their 150th… and it’s a pretty big deal. I’m told it is similar in importance to our (USA) Independence Day (Fourth of July). Later on we heard from some folks that went it that it made for easier transportation since it wasn’t a ‘regular’ business day. With officials from many countries coming to Rome for the celebration (US Vice President Joe Biden for instance) I just didn’t feel like rolling those dice.





…So we opted to go the other way (see map below). We decided to take the”Italian Countryside and Olive Oil” tour to the medieval town of Tarquinia and then off to the Tuscany region to visit an olive oil farm and enjoy fresh olives, extra virgin olive oil, bruschetta and other local foods for lunch. This should put us back aboard the Magic by mid-afternoon instead of 8PM…


This is the local map of the historical district of this medieval, walled city. I would have liked to see the painted tombs of the Etruscans from the 7th century BCE but unfortunately they are not open to general public at this time. They were recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here’s more information on that… check the very few gallery pictures: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1158/


The shot below here is by one of the seven entrances to the walled city and it right by the “You Are Here” portion of the site map above.


…and this is actually where we got off the buss… it’s right where the very tiny blue P for parking is. It gives you a sense of just how large this place is.


Our guide today is actually a resident of this town. With it being Unification Day, many things are not operating normally… lot’s of people have gone to the town hall to hear the mayor speak and there’s a parade due to go though later. Our guide asked if we’d like to see a few things ‘not on the regular tour’ as a result.
”Yes Please!”

So she went up a set of stone steps stuck on the outside of a building and knocked on a small wooden door. A bit of conversation later and a gentleman came out with her and we wen to the side door of this church.


We are told that this is no longer actually a consecrated church, but is used for many celebrations and receptions and the like.


After spending some time in here we are offered an additional opportunity to see something ‘not on the tour’ and climb up a very narrow stairway up the back of the far wall of the city and emerge on top of the city walls, looking out at what you see below…

This picture that took a bit of doing to assemble. This is a panoramic shot was actually 5 separate photos I took and then ‘stitched’ together using a photo compositing tool from Microsoft called ICE. I’ve uploaded the full resolution photo at 10,570 x 2,437 so if you click on the thumbnail below you can get the full-size picture (11MB) and visit some of the beautiful details of the this picturesque landscape… rather breathtaking I thought


If you look closely in the wide shot above on the far left you can just make out the lens hood from Renée’s camera.
I think this picture is just as breathtaking!


As a final perspective, we were able to climb one more level up a curving, narrow staircase inside a round tower on the wall to the very top. Here’s a picture, looking down through one of the crenellations onto the plaza and the church we visited earlier:


A more modern church in the main square. There’s an engraving indicating it was restored in 1930 and is dedicated to Saint Margarita


A bit more time and then it’s off to the “Canino” region of Olive Oil country and our yummy early afternoon luncheon


Another classy photo through the bus window as we turned off to the farm


Our hostess at Cerrosughero Olive Farm. She explains how the trees are developed and the olives harvested. It not in the video but I hear for the first time that green olives and black olives come from the same olive tree, just a different times of the year.


Cerrosughero Olive Oil Tour

This place was mostly about the awesome, fresh food served for our lunch. Indescribably delicious!!

I have no other photos of worth for the olive farm and Renée is still sifting through many thousands, so if she has some worthy one to post I’ll place an update.

We heartily recommend this tour for anyone not going to Rome.



We had such a relaxed and enjoyable day, saw unexpected sights, enjoyed each others company, and spent the last few hours before dinner sprawled on the deck by the pool with a nice chianti.



No port tomorrow… it’s a day floating ‘at sea’ between here and La Spezia
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #64
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Camera Pr0n OR Packing It In For Our Mediterranean Trip

And as promised earlier, all about the camera gear she was toting… a Guest Blog by Renée
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::
First, a confession: I am an unrepentant certified, chronic over-packer. I want to make sure that I have “stuff” to cover all of the myriad possibilities of what might happen. I can’t count how many times I have returned home from vacation with a suitcase half full of clean clothes that I never needed.
I’m no different when packing the photography gear. So why should this trip be any different? The only thing that kept me from taking EVERYTHING is that I had to fit all the critical bits into my carry-ons. (All the breakables into a backpack but some of the little stuff like cables, extra batteries, and such– those could go into my other rolly bag along with my extra shoes and undies!)

So here is the “stuff” that needs to go into the pack:
  • PinkPC – Too small for major post-processing work but OK for minor LR adjustments and for backing up the cards.
  • CameraNikon D700 (Considered taking a backup but didn’t think I would have the room. Did pack my little Canon Point & Shoot as a “just in case”.)
  • Lenses – Nikon 14-24mm; 70-200mm; 24-70mm; 50mm. That should pretty much cover it.
  • Flash – The pop-up on the D700 is pretty useless other than as a Commander. Figured I would take the SB-400 for “snapshots” and then pack the SB-800 in case I wanted something a bit more powerful. Oh yeah, will try to fit in a LumiQuest softbox as well – another “just in case”. Hmm… what about remote triggers or a flash cord? Probably overkill.
  • Misc “Stuff” – Lens cleaner. Card reader and cables. Wireless mouse. Battery charger. Power supplies. PacSafe55L to secure the backpack. SunSniper camera strap. Regular camera strap. Quick Release plates. Lots of CF Cards. Extra batteries. Monopod? That one can go into the checked luggage.


So let the creative packing begin!
The backpack is a basic Targus – a big main compartment with a laptop sleeve and some smaller zippered sections front and side.
Laptop slides into the back. Slip in LumiQuest. Then 70-200mm and the 14-24mm lenses share a neoprene laptop sleeve (a freebee from BestBuy!). Shove the longer lens into the bottom, fold, add the 14-24mm and we save space and offer a bit of bump protection. SB-800 in its case sidles up next to that. 50mm in a little pouch goes in next then the camera with 24-70 attached slips in with a bit of padding around that. Shove PacSafe into a side pocket for easy access, stuff all the little stuff in the other outer pockets and throw a couple of ball bungees in the top so that I can secure the backpack to my small roll-on luggage bag. The pack is now stuffed with no room to spare and I have a 22 lb weight attached to my back. UGH!





The Verdict

So after packing all of this gear, I suppose you might wonder what actually got used.
Well, the laptop was a definite must so glad that I had it. Even if I didn’t do any post processing work, it was nice to be able to look at the pics on something larger than the LCD of the camera. Not to mention, that I felt much better knowing that I had file backups of everything.
As you might have already guessed, the 24-70mm lens was the most used. It is certainly the work horse of the bunch. This was followed closely by the 70-200mm. On the tours, it was “Spray, pray and move on to the next place!” That didn’t leave much time for exchanging lenses.
The least used lens was the 14-24mm. I had just gotten this before the trip and had not had much of a chance to work with it yet. I did do some shooting around the ship with it though. Here’s one just for fun:

Had a bit of fun with the 50mm too (f1.4 @ 1/50th sec). Here’s a shot from the midnight dessert buffet. (I was tempted but took the picture not the brownie!)

Completely forgot that I had the Canon P&S. Wish I had thought to take it to Sorrento in the rain but oh well , guess we’ll have to go back!
Flashes were overkill. I popped the SB-400 on for our character breakfast pics but that was about it.
The SunSniper strap got used about half of the trip. I made the ultimate mistake of using an un-modified quick release plate as the connector instead of the swivel screw from SunSniper. Walking through Topsiders Buffet, the ring came off. (GASP!) But I had rigged a “safety strap” so all was not a disaster. Of course, without pliers, I couldn’t unscrew the QR plate and had to fall back on my Optech strap.
NEVER touched the monopod.

I have to say that for my first foray in Europe, I learned a lot!
  • I will NEVER again tote all of my camera gear in a backpack. It was heavy, hard to stuff under the seat and didn’t really have enough padding for protection. (Before we even got home, Steve had ordered the Pelican 1510 for me. It was waiting by the front door when we arrived! )
  • Tours and shore excursions are a great way to get a flavor for a place especially if you are not a seasoned traveller. BUT, the pacing is fast and it can be difficult to get unique shots. Now I have a good idea of where to go next and how to plan more shooting time.
  • I WILL carry the P&S camera with me at all times – even if I never use it. “Just in case”.
And most important….We WILL go back!
And for more pictures – Mediterranean Cruise Gallery
TTFN
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:45 PM   #65
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Can't wait to hear and see more. The pictures are beuatiful. Renee, i really appreciate your work. Catches the flavor of where you were. Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #66
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great photos
thanks for sharing
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:49 PM   #67
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Beautiful pictures and great trip reporting! Thank you for sharing your memories. Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #68
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Beautiful photos! Can't wait for more. Your TR has convinced me I must must must do a MC when they bring them back on the itinerary.
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