We are back from Italy and now I am beginning the long process of using Apple Aperture to sort through my images and process the raw files. Italy is a wonderful overload of photographic inspiration - everywhere are interesting, unique subjects and landscapes that could occupy a photographer for a lifetime. It will take me a while to complete my new portfolio of images from the trip, but I have posted here one of the first images, taken on a rainy night in the Tuscan Village of San Gimignano. The Nikon D3x worked like a champ in the rain, I just used a plastic bag from the hotel to try and keep the rain off the body and lens, but that did not work to well and the camera got pretty wet and never acted up. Next time I will bring my KATA camera rain cover. I was also really pleased with how the Lowe Pro flipside 400 pack worked, it is much easier to unzip the back of the pack (opposite most packs) to access gear, and I could wear the pack and access it at the same time. The waterproof cover kept everything dry. As far as the Epson 6000 card reader / image viewer - I really liked how quickly & easily I could back up my cards with that, but I ended up filling the 80gb drive on it in about a week! It is easy to lose track of how much data space you can gobble up bracketing shots with a D3x. I will be exchanging that for a larger capacity model. The acratech ballhead and Gitzo traveller worked really well as a lightweight set up - I would not use them as a primary tripod system for car-based shooting, but it worked well as a lightweight backpacking / travel system. I will be doing some additional future posts about Italy and discussing some of the great locations we went to.