Jan 18

of Bobore Frau



A book of the Ortobene mountain Wildlife, wrote from the friend Salvatore Frau well-known as Bobore.

The book is a personal view, from the author, of the Wildlife in the Ortobene mountain,near Nuoro (Sardinia), a life characterez by raptors, mammals, reptils and amphibian, even if there aren't all the species that we can found in this mountain, as the author write. Bobore write about his personal view of that animals and how was be able to catch these beautiful photos and the effort, fatigue and costancy to obtain so much. In fact in the book we'll can see the Golden eagle, a raptor that in Sardinia is difficult to see, the fox, an other animal very shy and elusive, and many Others that I don't want remove the pleasure to discover youself.

Personally I found the book very well done, with a text that explain in some cases how the photo was taken and the personal consideration of Bobore about the situation of the animal, like the danger of extintion or the hunting. The reading is fast, smoth and always enjoyable, so if you love Nature and in particular mode Sardinia Nature, you have to buy this book 

The book is published from 13 Lab Edition for a cost of 25 euro.

Jan 18

For traveling a light tripod is essential if you don't need big load capacity, in fact this Rollei C5i Carbon is very ligth (only 1,34 Kg), compact and versatile.

The technical characteristics are:

Material: Carbon


  • Weight (excl. ball head): 1.03 kg
  • Weight (incl. ball head): 1.34 kg
  • Min height: 2.5 cm
  • Max height: 157.5 cm
  • Base width: 11 cm
  • Tripod load: 8 kg
  • Segments: 4


  • Weight (excl. ball head): 0.34 kg
  • Weight (incl. ball head): 0.65 kg
  • Max height: 164.5 cm
  • Min height: 34.3 cm
  • Load: 10 kg

Ball head

  • Controls: pan, tilt, lock
  • Height: 9 cm
  • Base width: 4.2 cm
  • Weight: 0.31 kg
  • Load: 8 kg


The tripod is sold with a bag for the transport and it's very useful:


 and it contains the tripod and some accessories:



a little bag for the monopod, two Keys for the head, spare rubber tips, a hook and an arca-swiss plate.


Opened the tripod is little but it's very sturdy and despite the dimension can load until 8kg of camera system. How you can see from the photo the head has the classic regoulations, like many other head balls. Two of the three legs have a neoprene cover, useful during utilization.


the central leg can be stopped with a screw to ensure a strong tightenig



For the opening of the legs there are a simple button, in every leg, that pushing down allow to change the inclination




until you can have the minimun distance from the ground



but if you want to take some photo near the ground you can invert the legs like this


An other very useful feature is that a leg can be converted a monopod simply unscrewing it

and attaching it the head ball: time for doing this operation is only about two minutes!!

 and after you'll be alble to use your camera easily during a trekking or a walking. The capacity load of the monopod is 10kg, so you'll can load also a light telephoto lens, like a 300mm f/2.8, without big problems. 

For the moment I have used in some photos and I have found the tripod very rigid and stable despite its lightness, and I can advise you to buy one: for the characterics is unique and on the net you can easily find many special price, like on Amazon.


Oct 17


By a good passion for birds of prey I can't not have this book in my personal bookstore. The author presents with his book a complete study, which lasted ten years in Devon Country (UK), but also with the support of other enthusiasts in Northern Europe, about the life of the buzzards. The book is divided into two parts, where in the first it highlights, throughout the year, the various aspects of the life of a buzz, such as for example the search for food:



or nest construction:



or indicates the stages of chicks growth by highlighting morphological changes:



In each case there are some beautiful photographs, and some graphics that help the reader to better understand the data provided by the author and this can understand us the great work done.


In the second part, instead, six aspects of the poan's life are thoroughly examined: territory, energy and food requirements, predation, nutrition and breeding, demography and population dynamics, and finally changes in 'abundance of poiana in the territory.



The book contains a lot of information, including techniques and statistics, and goes beyond the mere zoological description of the species described, so I consider it an essential guide for those who want to study and understand better this beautiful raptor .

Dec 17
In nature photography, an often crucial aspect in the success of a photographic session is silence.
Many times we focus on what is the best focal length to use or how to hide, inside a shed, with a camouflage net or behind some bush, or to stand upwind, but often we forget not to make noise and our equipment produces noise !!
In fact, many times the subject ran away as soon as he heard the sound of the shot, nullifying the efforts of the setting.
So not being able to buy the latest technology, the fantastic Sony A9 with the electronic shutter that allows 20 silent shots per second, I studied to reduce the shooting noise of my A99II, which will not be a nail gun in terms of noise, but it isn't even a feather that falls.
So what to do if not a nice silencer box to be applied to the camera body !!
At the moment I have two versions, one with a rigid box and one with a soft self-built box.
Rigid box
This box is nothing more than an Amazon Basic version, and therefore low-cost, one of the many sealed boxes for the transport of sensitive equipment, as they can be our cameras and that we can buy on many internet sites at costs not really content. On average, a box the size of what I got is around 60/70 euros, but the Amazon is about 30 euros and with the same technical characteristics: watertight up to 1 meter depth for 30 minutes (IP67), impact protection and falls and interior customizable to accommodate various types of instruments (in practice, the foam is precut, then easily shaped).
In order to use it as a silent box, I first had to drill two holes, one for the telephoto insertion (with a diameter of 10 cm) and one for inserting the remote control, essential to shoot when you close the box.
Then I slowly removed the foam blocks to form the shape of my camera to be able to easily insert and use.

In this photo you can see how it all turns out once mounted and put on a tripod
Soft box
This box instead has been self-built using mainly two components: a camouflage sheet in neoprene of about 2mm thick and two different types of panels adhesive sound-absorbing: one of the two panels being shaped in the non-adhesive part I put it as the last layer, as you can see from the picture.

It too has a hole to pass the lens and closes around the camera with velcro, which were glued with hot glue, and always with hot glue junctions were made to make the small camera housing pocket. In this box it was not necessary to make a hole for the remote control because you can easily pass it between the various moving parts, while instead I made a small hole for the electronic viewfinder, so once closed with the Velcro the set can always look from the viewfinder unlike instead of the rigid box that, once closed, does not allow any type of control.
Soundproofing sheet
As a part of the shooting vibrations are transmitted to the lens, I realized, with what remained of the camouflage neoprene and the sound-absorbing panels, a cover to be blocked always with the velcro and to wrap on the telephoto lens, which also offers some protection from the rain (even if I have to work on it, being at the moment too big...)
Both boxes reduce the noise of the shot of at least a 40/45%, and given the costs I would say that is not bad.
I made 4 videos, two with the rigid box and two with the soft box, and for both a test was done with the soundproofing sheet and one without.
Here you can see the difference:
test 1 (without soundproofing sheet)

test 2

test 3 (without soundproofing sheet)

test 4

Beyond the results obtained that I find are quite similar in terms of noise, especially when the boxes are used in conjunction with the unsuspecting towel, I can definitely say that the soft box offers a slightly better soundproofing than the rigid one, as perhaps it wasn't predictable, and also on the front of the practicality wins, both for the greater lightness and then for the possibility to use at least the viewfinder, which instead in the box is not possible (and that I did not to increase too much  channels" of escape for the noise). Furthermore, the rigid box increases much the weight of the system making it difficult to balance it on the head to balance (perhaps with a sledge ark longer than the one I own on could do, but it is to try), but against in real conditions of use the rigid box, which I also tested in the field, is really very quiet, thanks to the presence of ambient noise, while the soft box I still have it test, even if I believe that I will get performances not much different from the rigid one. A final consideration on the soft box is that I think it can be improved, both as performance and as practicality of use, maybe creating a rigid box, but light, which contains the sound-absorbing material and that I think I'll just have time.
As always if you have some comments and / or suggestions are welcome. Thank you
See you soon.
Oct 17


A book edited by Reed New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd on 2016, where the author, a famous Finnish ornithologist, show us the life of the birds of prey.

Forsman is known for being a scholar of birds, and specifically of the birds of prey, even as an artist, in fact on his site you can admire some of his works, such as aquarels or other paintings.
This book, Raptors in focus, is a very good book with a beautiful photos. Every section is accompanied by an introduction where it often indicates how photos were obtained, and every photos
has a short caption but alway useful.
The photos taken by Forsman highlight the behavior of birds of prey in their daily lives and at particular moments such as the period of mating or during predation. As he himself writes, the most
photos are taken in nature, trying to approach as much as possible to the subject or by accepting it in time, but sometimes he has the necessity to use some hides for a particular species very shy
like golden eagles.
The book is very well done, with a good paper and well done bindig; the cover is stiff and has a overlayof the book, so I think the price is very honest and I recommend without reservation.

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  • Shooting live music with the Panasonic Lumix GX9


    85mm | ISO 200 | 1/2000 sec | F2.8

    The South Lake Union Block Party is pretty standard as far as block parties go these days; loud music and expensive beer in a vacant lot in the heart of Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Over the course of putting the finishing touches on our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, I wanted to get some real-world autofocus experience to put our more formal testing into better context.

    So, on a hot and hazy Seattle afternoon, I took the GX9 and Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F2.8 lens down to see the band Acid Tongue, and exclusively used Touchpad AF and Tracking the entire time. Here's what I found.

    All images in this article were shot with the GX9 and Lumix 35-100mm F2.8 and are processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

    Tracking technique

    47mm | F2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F2.8

    Touchpad AF on the GX9 allows you to drag your finger around the screen to move your AF point while the camera's viewfinder is up to your eye. This is great for quickly moving around a single area, but I also found it's a great way to take advantage of the sticky AF tracking that the GX9 is capable of.

    Firing off single shots, I was really impressed at how consistently in-focus my images were

    If you're using tracking while composing via the rear LCD, you simply tap on what you want to track; to disengage tracking, you have to hit the 'Menu / Set' button, or you can tap elsewhere on the screen to track another subject instead.

    When you use tracking with the electronic viewfinder, you can use Touchpad AF to move the area over the subject you want to track, and half-press to initiate autofocus. You can then re-compose at will, with an AF box tenaciously tracking your chosen subject. Firing off single shots, I was really impressed at how consistently in-focus my images were.

    100mm | ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F2.8

    Since you can't simply tap the screen to change subjects when using the electronic viewfinder, I found another way of working: dragging on the rear screen automatically disengages tracking, and once you place the area over a new subject and release your thumb, it begins tracking that new subject. Pretty neat.

    While you may be able to get similar results by just moving a single area around with the Touchpad and ignoring tracking altogether, I tend to like using tracking in these scenarios to allow me more compositional freedom - and if the subject moves erratically to another point in the frame, the camera will help me keep up and get more images that I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

    It's not perfect

    51mm | ISO 200 | 1/1300 sec | F2.8

    As always with autofocus tracking, there are times when it doesn't quite work. When subjects move from bright light to shadow, the tracking algorithm can sometimes get tripped up and shoot off to the background, or simply fail to focus on anything at all. Additionally, there is some shot-to-shot lag in the GX9 that can make it difficult to follow your subjects.

    The GX9's keeper rate is significantly higher if you shoot single images as opposed to bursts

    So why not simply shoot bursts then? Well, we've found in our testing that the GX9's keeper rate is significantly higher if you shoot single images compared to bursts (stay tuned for the autofocus page in our full review for the details). So I made a call to take the shot-to-shot lag and impressive focus accuracy over shooting bursts with a lower hit rate.

    The wrap

    100mm | ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F2.8

    The GX9 was a really good companion for this type of event. Paired with the Lumix 35-100mm F2.8, I had a compact, responsive package that wasn't all that conspicuous, but I had plenty of reach and ended up with far better image quality than, say, a 1"-type superzoom. Of course, this combo can't quite match up to a full-frame DSLR and a 70-200mm F2.8 lens, but that's not really the point here.

    Sure, the GX9 wouldn't be my first choice for critical, action-oriented work (and Panasonic makes higher-end models for that sort of purpose anyway). But for the casual user who wants a small, stylish camera and wants to occasionally photograph a concert or sporting event for fun, the GX9 is easily up to the task.

(C) 2018 Giuseppe Gessa