I have put together 2 new portfolios of my images from Italy. This is just the first group, I will be adding more throughout the months as time permits. All these images were taken with the Nikon d3x. The first portfolio is titled "Tuscany I", and I have put all the images from my previous trip to Tuscany in a portfolio titled "Tuscany II". On this most recent trip I had a chance to spend more time in the scenic Val d'Orcia, where the hill towns of Montepulciano and Pienza are located. The light is constantly changing on the beautiful landscapes in this area; scenes never appear to look the same twice. As with any location photography, the best landscape shots were in the golden hours around sunrise and sunset. I experimented with doing some HDR images using Photomatix in Aperture. I have found that sandwiching images together with Photomatix does not work that well for shots with moving foliage, since it leaves a little halo around the leaves. It works wonderfully if the subject matter is not moving, but alas that rarely happens in landscape photography.
I have also put together a portfolio of images that are more retouched and stylized (Stylized Italy). For this collection I used a series of filters in Nik Color Efex Pro. I also experimented with the Lucis pro filter but then discovered that the Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex does almost the same thing without bleaching out the color. These images were taken throughout Italy, and include some from Rome and Amalfi. I will be adding more shots to this portfolio when I get around to processing my images from Pompeii, which truly is the singular most impressive historic ruin I have ever visited. This is a must see for everyone, and photographers will be especially delighted with the wonderful compositions that are everywhere among the ruins.