Just a street snapshot taken with my iPhone last night while taking The Significant Other and Big Boy to dinner in Genoa’s Porto Antico. The vendor of illuminated balloons waiting for the last customer at the end of the day.
Post processed with the iPhone photo app.
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The last day of 2022 is upon us. With all that happened, it was a difficult year for the world. And for sure it was a busy and special year for us as a family. But as every year, new years eve is the time to look back and reflect on my photographic journey 2022. Did I grow as a photographer? No, not really. It felt like „more of the same“. Due to various reasons, photography (as well as this blog) took the back seat of life in the past 12 months. My own perception was that I didn’t even made half as many images as usual. But as I looked at my Lightroom archive of 2022, I discovered that I took just as many photographs this year as I did in 2021. Noteworthy was the shift of the used tools, from mirrorless camera to my iPhone. I just didn’t have as much time to venture out with my camera as in the years before. But seemingly I compensated with many snapshots I took with my ever present iPhone 12 Pro Max and its truly good camera. Contributing to this shift was also the fact that during our only real vacation this year, our trip to Israel, my then new Leica SL2-S broke on the second day, so I had to shoot the whole trip on my iPhone.
So it was, photographically, a difficult year. But going through this years archives, I still found 15 photographs that triggered remembrances about places, moments and emotions that made my 2022. And that I’m truly happy about. Spoiler: My photograph of the year isn’t among them. For my „POTY“ and the story behind check back on January 2nd ;-). My second favorite image of 2022 is the one above of the Dome of the Rocks in Jerusalem. For me, this is as close as I probably will ever get to emulating a shot of Steve McCurry, one of my photographic heroes. For the rest of the gallery, continue after the jump….
I really don’t know why Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” came into my mind when passing below medieval Mauterndorf Castle during a little afternoon stroll earlier today. But somehow it got stuck in my brain, so I keep singing it silently….
“I’m on my way Driving at 90 down those country lanes Singing to Tiny Dancer And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real When we watched the sunset over the castle on the hill”
Actually the 11th century castle is on hill above the old mountain town of Mauterndorf in the Austrian Alps, but you realize it only when looking at it from down below (see image after the jump). But I liked the black and white version (doesn’t the iPhone take awesome monochrome photographs?) better for the title image of the post 😉
Going through some street photographs from earlier this year I noticed this image I took with my Leica SL2-S and the Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8/24-70 ASPH just before the camera suffered a terminal shutter failure on the second day of my Israel trip. What is still clearly visible here is the incredible dynamic range of the Leica’s full frame sensor. I just love the soft tones on the face of the little girl, the triangular spot of light on her cheek. Given the fact that here is brightest sunlight in the background behind her face, it is amazing the sensor still captured these subtle details of that beautiful little smile.
Exif Data show 1/160 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | 70mm. Black&White jpg out of camera.
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This weekend, The Significant Other and I headed to Italy’s Lago Maggiore to visit friends who are spending their summer vacation in Viggiona, a little village in the hills above the lake. This weekend, the normal pretty sleepy Viggiona is hosting its annual “Viggiona by Night” festival, where bands are playing, all different kinds of street food and drinks are offered and the little alleys are full of people having a great time. For me a great opportunity to once more enjoy the low light capabilities of the Leica SL2-S.
Darkness and light – on the same day. After visiting the Holocaust museum of Yad Vashem in der morning (see yesterday’s post), we continued on to Bethlehem to visit the site of Jesus’ birth inside the Church of Nativity. Read about it in this episode of “Israel Explored – Bethlehem”….
Visiting the world’s central Holocaust Memorial in Yad Vashem was one of driving goals for me to visit Israel. For some photographs and a bit of history enjoy this episode of “Israel Explored – Yad Vashem”
The days of our trip to Israel are filled with sightseeing, stressful things like lying on the beach and evening activities like dining and a enjoying some after dinner drinks with our friends we’re travelling with. At least I find time to dump the days images onto the computer, but not enough time to edit and post process. So I’m seriously behind creating new episodes of “Isreal Explored”. But no worries, they will be published eventually 😉
When my Leica failed me on day 3 of our trip, I basically turned exclusively to my iPhone 12 Pro Max to capture the sights and sounds of this beautiful country. When looking at some of my street photography shots from today, I seriously ask myself why I need a camera…these images are a mix of action shots, closeups, wide angle images, photos in bright daylight, at sunset, after sunset and at night. Shooting into the sun and with it…the iPhone handled them all pretty well, I would say. Camera? iPhone! But see for yourself…..there are more images after the jump….
The latest episode of Israel Explored talks about our transfer day from Northern Galilee to Jerusalem took us along the Jordan river towards the Dead Sea. Highlights of the day were visits to Jesus’ baptism site, iconic mountain palace Masada, the discovery site of the Qumran Scriptures and finally a bath in the Dead Sea. For the images and a bit of history continue after the jump.
We have made it to the Holy City of Jerusalem, at last. And for sure this is a dream come true for The Significant Other and myself. After the joint dinner of our tour group, the two of us headed out of the hotel and took a city tram to nearby Mahane Yehuda market. Every Thursday evening is the night market, which turns the place into a giant party zone, a giant melting pod of people. A perfect place for street photography. Come along for a trip across the market….
Sometimes the worst case happens. You are on vacation, bringing your best gear to capture all the magic of the places you visit. And then disaster strikes. My Leica failed me. My brand new SL2-S decided to stop working while we visited Jesus’ baptism site on the River Jordan this morning. “System Error” was the bright orange message on the display. Switching on and off, removing and re-inserting battery, changing SD cards and lenses. All the tips I googled in the Leica forum, nothing helped.
I send a message to the Leica store where I purchased the camera, pointing out that I was three days into a once in a lifetime vacation and I needed help to reset the camera (the SL2-S seemingly has no hard reset) or with whatever trick they have up there sleeves to somehow overcome the failure.
Well…I even got a return message two hours later. They wrote that they talked to Leica Service and they indicated it most likely is a shutter failure and they need to resend the camera to the factory for repairs.
Leica, in case you read this: My Nikons never ever failed me like this. My Olympus workhorses never ever failed me like this, whatever I did to them. This Leica SL2-S is a brand new camera that costs triple what I payed for these other cameras. And it simply stopped working, without warning, being handled and operated with care. Shutter Failure. Are you kidding me? And I’m simply being told I will have to send in the camera for repairs. No apologies, no nothing. A suggestion that I might want to look for a retailer in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that maybe can take a look. Not even sending me addresses or phone numbers. Not even a simple sorry for having a new high end 5000 Euro camera fail on vacation.
Leica, your customer experience sucks! I would have at least expected some kind of “sorry”. Or a proactive suggestion how I could get it looked at here in Israel. And even when I get this thing repaired within warranty…how can I ever confidently take this camera on vacation again or use it on a wedding gig? So disappointed…so disappointed….
Now the old M240 and my iPhone 12 will have to cover the rest of the vacation. At least I brought a 10 year old backup and some vintage primes. And the iPhone camera is also quite capable. I’m looking forward to the challenge to get the best of the failed SL2-S luxury camera. To still capture all the memories of our trip to beautiful Israel.
Day 2 of our Israel Trip started with a visit to Safed. Then wir continued to the source of the River Jordan in the Tel Dan Nature Reserve and onto the ancient Israelite city of Dan. For more photographs and history continue after the jump…