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By TheophileEscargot (Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 08:08:44 AM EST) Me, MLP (all tags)
Me: Naples. Web.


Naples
Took a holiday in Naples. No Girl B this time: she doesn't have much holiday time left.

Booked five full days which proved to be a mistake. The guidebook oversold the indoor attractions a bit, and bad weather and transport problems meant I couldn't get out and enjoy the countryside. Thought about flying back early but got misled by weather forecasts of airport-threatening snow in London, and sunshine in Naples, neither of which showed up.<p> Even so enjoyed some of it. The good side of out-of-season travel is that things are very quiet. The museums were quiet: found the busts of stoic philosophers Zeno and Chryssipus I was looking for. At Pompeii and Herculaneum was able to wander the streets and even sit in the amphitheatres without another tourist in sight.

Also had some very good food: was staying in the Spanish Quarter near lots of tiny local restaurants and pizzerias.

Downsides: hotel Il Convento was pretty noisy with honking scooters till late and convent bells from early, though they thoughtfully provide daily earplugs. Also to get to most places had to trudge along via Toledo which is roughly the Neopolitan Oxford Street, and got quite wearing after a while. Nice old wooden doors and fittings though, it's in an old palazzo.

Overall, I'd say Naples is good for a couple of days in winter, probably longer in summer. Lessons for the future: when you start to get bored/stressed on holiday, jump on the next flight home.

Pics here but I'm not very happy with them. Contemplating getting an SLR sometime, the low light levels on cloudy days would have made a bigger aperture more help,

Me
After a couple of days back in town, tomorrow going back to see the parents for the holidays. Girl B is also off to see her mother in Germany till 8th January, so we're going to be apart for a while. Hopefully she won't dump me for some Teutonic hunk in the meantime.

Reading
About 2/3 through "Infinite Jest" now, but haven't finished anything since last time. I'll probably have more time over the holidays though, not many distractions there.

Web
Sci/Tech. Selfless rodents.

Articles. Phronesis: practical wisdom being eclipsed by rule-following.

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That skin without a ripple | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Contemplating getting an SLR sometime by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:25:04 AM EST
You can get a good one fairly inexpensively new, or even less so used. Get the kit with the decent zoom lens at first. Later, if you get really serious, you can buy a prime lens and better zoom lenses. Be advised that good lenses often cost as much, or more, than the body. Also, if you do any indoor shooting, get a Real Flash. Which will also cost more than you'd think.

You're going to spend $800 to $1000 upfront for new, maybe half that for used.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Lenses by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 11:19:18 AM EST
I had a complete disaster recently when I got drunk and lost my main lens. Not going to be able to afford to replace it for a long time yet.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Oh, you're nailing a GERMAN chick? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 10:13:14 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Not exactly by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 10:27:41 AM EST
She's of Polish ancestry, but her family settled in Germany and she grew up there.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Loveliest of the Slavic ladies. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 06:38:26 PM EST
PLACE HAND HERE

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Parents went to Naples in the summer by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 04:41:02 PM EST
Best holiday they reckon, got a bargain on 5 star hotel. Think time of year makes all the difference. Even southern Europe isn't that marvellous weatherwise at this time of year.

SLR by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:34:00 PM EST
SLRs are great. They're also freaking enormous, are you going to lug it around?

If I had to buy right now I'd strongly consider a Sony NEX. They've got the same sensor size as an APS-C SLR but they're wee and the lenses are also small.

The decently big sensor helps make high ISOs look better, and there are primes available with nice large apertures.

I do love my Canon DSLR. If I'm going out just to take pictures it's the SLR. If I'm going on vacation, the kids are enough of a handful that I sacrifice photo quality and bring the wee P+S that slips in a pocket.

Just a thought.

I agree by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 11:20:53 AM EST
I love my SLR, but you meed another camera as well, they're not practical in all situations.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Naples by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 11:17:50 AM EST
That's a shame, though I'd argue maybe it was worth it to wander round Pompei alone.

Camera - might be worth having a look at a four thirds camera, which is somewhere between a compact and an SLR. The newer ones take fantastic photos. A big problem with SLRs (aside from the price) is how conspicuous they are, and also how much room they take up in your luggage.

I don't know enough about four thirds to recommend any, but a friend who is a semi-pro photographer has abandoned his SLR for his four thirds when he's taking digital pics. I think only Olympus do them. Don't know much about the technology, apart from that it's a different sensor system that doesn't need a mirror.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

EVIL by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 02:53:51 PM EST
The new hotness is EVIL cameras, electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens.

Really it's just ditching the mirror + optical viewfinder. Saves a ton of space and mechanical complexity. Now design a new lens mount that sits close to the sensor, giving a compact form-factor.

I think micro four thirds are made by Olympus and Panasonic. The NEX is similar but the sensor is much bigger, same as a crop sensor DSLR, so you've got better noise control, higher ISO, etc. etc. The new Nikon 1 in the ads is similar but has an even smaller sensor then the micro 3/4 cameras... pass.

Really it's all about the glass and sensor size, and there's nice m4/3 and nex lenses available. If you're really perverse you can get adapters and scrounge yard sales to buy old film camera primes for pocket change. 

[ Parent ]
That skin without a ripple | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback