concept to publication

Category: travel (Page 1 of 2)

Fun with panoramas

Stitching together photos can be great fun in the proper context. I think the Piazza del Duomo in Milan counts as one of these. This photo was taken 5 April 2013 with an Olympus E-Pl2. I stiched the images together with Olympus’s own photo software, called Olympus ib, but I’ve uploaded the result to a new service I found called Dermander, because I like its scrolling and embedding functions. Its a bit bare-bones (I wish it had the capability of selecting where to begin the scroll), but in contrast to Clevr (a service I’ve used before), it does allow full-screen panoramas (click the play icon and then the full-screen icon at upper right).

This version is downsized for web viewing. The original comprises seven large images.

panorama of piazza del duomo, milan

Travel photo: Castel Vecchio Museum courtyard, Verona, Italy

castel vecchio museumcourtyard, verona, italy

While we’re in Verona, here’s a picture from the courtyard of the Castel Vecchio, which is a handsome museum indeed. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect they slyly chose the planting to coordinate with the banner for the Maria Morganti show.

Travel photo: Venetian gondolier

gondola on a canal in venice, italy

This photo amuses me because the gondolier reminds me of the Eric Blore role in the Astaire/Rogers film Top Hat.

eric blore (manservant in top hat)

Travel photo: a street in Verona

Please bear with me while I post a few photos from my recent trip to the Veneto and Upper Adige.

I travel with a little (maybe 12-inch) tripod, but for photos at dusk like this one I usually just set my camera on something steady, like a trash bin or fire hydrant, in order to get a longer exposure. Usually I’m able to hold the camera steady for quite a long time in such situations.

It’s a small world aperol

spritzes in trento, italy

Spritzes al fresco in Trento, Italy.

During our recent visit to the Veneto I developed a taste for spritzes, which were being drunk everywhere. When we checked into our vacation rental in Venice our host took us out for spritzes, which was the beginning of the end for me (Carol never got hooked). We spent about a week in Venice and Verona, and then several days in Trento, where I was press checking a book, and everywhere all sorts of people, from ladies in heels to laborers in boots, were knocking down the same bitter, fizzy, rosy concoction. The image above was taken in the central piazza near the Duomo in Trento — you can see about six spritzes on the tables.

The main ingredients in a spritz (pronounced “spriss” in Venice) are white wine, aperol, and bubbly water (“acqua frizzante”). In place of aperol campari can be used, but aperol is the more common ingredient. (I tend to favor campari; aperol is used in the Sir Oliver Skardy video, “Fame un spritz.”) Both Aperol and Campari are amari, which is to say bitter aperitifs that can be drunk on their own, as opposed to “bitters” proper, which are used as flavorings. BevMo, where I picked up a bottle of Aperol (just now being made available in the U.S.) says that its unique flavor and color is acheived [sic] through a subtle blend of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and an array of herbs and roots, using a secret recipe that has been unchanged since 1919.”

Although variants abound, the basic recipe is pretty simple:

3 ounces white wine (preferably something like a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
1-1/2 ounces aperol
1-1/2 ounces soda water or prosecco

At least, that’s more or less what I read in the New York Times, which says the drink is catching on in the U.S. The Times advises to garnish the drink with a green olive (“Gently stir all liquid ingredients over ice in a tumbler and add olive”), but all the ones I saw on this visit were garnished with slices of orange (I don’t remember seeing so many spritzes on three previous visits). The Times also says to use prosecco instead of plain white wine, but if you used prosecco it doesn’t seem to me you would particularly need the soda water. The ones I saw made used white wine from the Trentino region.



Motorized paraglider

I don’t know what you call this — it appears to be some form of motorized paragliding. There were a couple of guys taking off from Anna Maria Island when we were there in Florida during the biting cold spell this January.

Whatever it is, like jet skiiing, off-road biking, and similar activities it’s probably fun to do but seems a little noisy for the context.

The video was taken with a Kodak EIS camera that my sister gave me. It shoots high-res videos, is slim enough to fit in your shirt pocket, and includes a built-in usb connection.

BTW, if a youtube video does not appear to be high-definition you can force the issue by appending &fmt=6 &fmt=18 or &fmt=22 after the url. But I think that soon most or all high-res videos will have an option at the bottom to simply select high definition. (Or, you can go to your youtube account page and tell it to always show high definition.)


This brief video is for James Higham, who loves thunderstorms. It’s a glimpse of a monsoon thunderstorm seen from my guestroom at CS Graphics in Singapore, where I am press checking the Asian Art Museum’s new art of Shanghai book. There has been some pretty spectacular thunder along with the rain, but I didn’t succeed in capturing it. (I haven’t actually viewed this, except through my camera, because the computer I am using doesn’t have flash installed — hope it looks like rain!)


When this post publishes I will be on  a plane to a distant press check. I will miss being with family, who will keep the home fires burning (literally, since we seem to be in for a long wet spell). In fact, I will be traveling through much of the next few weeks, and posting may well continue to be light until about mid-January (after several years of pretty regular posting I have scaled back during the last couple of months for a variety of reasons, but this is temporary).

Goatherding in Agerola

Recently we stayed in Agerola in the Lattari Mountains overlooking Amalfi. Our place was down a narrow, semi-dirt road that wound around the side of the mountain above the hamlet of San Lazzaro. Twice a day a goatherder would drive his goats down the road. We would hear them coming by the pleasant jingling of their bells, a sound punctuated by the sharp whistles of the herder as he kept the goats on path. This video was taken as we were leaving our house to head out for a walk.

Driving from Furore on the Amalfi Coast to Agerola in the Lattari Mountains

While driving the Via Amalfitano has its motoring excitements as well as its famously spectacular views,

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Ten tips for visiting Rome

1. At the airport, do not wait it the long queues for train tickets. Instead go to the tobacconist’s and get your ticket without waiting.

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A universal story

As I have mentioned, I’ve just returned from a vacation in Italy, and some posts will be a little off-topic for the next few days. Somewhere along the line I acquired Italian phrasebooks by the Rough Guide and by Langenscheidt, and we took these with us as a hedge against pointing in the supermarket and babbling “that one.” The Langenscheidt got no use, except for one evening when I pulled it out and soon found myself convulsed with laughter.

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The Path of the Gods

Okay, I guess I’m still a little jetlagged — or maybe just worn out from coming back to an office in crisis mode. Anyway, too tired to do more than post another couple photos (click through for larger versions) from the Sentiero degli Dei — the path of the gods — in the Lattari Mountains overlooking the Amalfi coast.

Gathering storm clouds over Amalfi

This photo was taken from the spectacular trail in the Lattari Mountains overlooking the Amalfi Coast called the Sentiero degli Dei — the path of the gods. A few hours after the photo was taken a fierce storm hit the coast. (Click through for a larger version.)

I’ve just returned from a trip to Rome and the Costa Amalfitano and will return to blogging. I’m processing my photos from the trip and sorting them into smaller and more manageable sets and hope to post them to Flickr over the weekend.

In this blog I try to mostly focus on issues of print and electronic publication, from concept through distribution. But I am likely to be off topic for a bit as I share some Italiana over the next week or so.


Sure, it’s a little overcast, and it rained a bit earlier. But wouldn’t you expect there to be someone on the beach at 1:00 in the afternoon?





sling chair on white sand beach, anna maria island, florida

I guess this week I’ve got a sort of travel blog — a bit bare-bones since for some reason I’m feeling a little lazy. (Although I did write a guest blog for Foreword Magazine today–more on that when the post goes live.)

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Overwrought iron

elaborate ironwork is an architectural feature seen in charleston, sc

Cities on the southern U.S. seaboard feature a lot of what I call “overwrought iron” work. The image above is from Charleston, South Carolina,

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Barrier Islands in January

I mentioned I’m on the road. Soon we’ll be heading down to Florida, where I guess it’s in at least the mid 70s, but for the moment we’re enjoying Beaufort, South Carolina, home of grand houses set on big lots full of live oaks that are draped with Spanish moss.

a historic house in beaufort, south carolina

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An e-book from blog archives

buenos aires e-bookJeff Barry has completed an interesting project of culling his blog archives to produce a free e-book, called Buenos Aires, City of Faded Elegance. He explains:

Whenever I come across a new blog I read the latest postings and, if I like those, I add the site to my news reader. I always intend to go back and browse the archived postings but I rarely do so. Figuring that a lot of visitors to my site also never make it too far into the archives, I decided to pull together a selection of postings from my archives and create a free e-book.

It’s a handsome book in a narrow vertical format (a format often used in travel publishing). The Bodoni face seems a good choice for the subject. My only regret is that there are not more images, which would surely bring value and add appeal, considering the subject.

buenos aires e-book, a spread

The immediacy of blogging may cause us to forget that the process is also a way of preserving content and building on it. I think this project is an excellent example of utilizing and repurposing the results of sustained, focused blogging.

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