A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.
28 January 2016
With several hardware and software products we're testing simultaneously, it looks like February is going to be a big review month around here. Meanwhile, we realize, you need something to chew on.
And what could be better than a slice of fagassa? Plain, onion, pizza, raisin, garlic, rosemary, mushroom, black olive, rosemary and garlic, "jalapenos" cheese, they're all $5 at Liguria Bakery. Cash only.
No Web site, sorry. But, really, there's nothing old fashioned about what one of North Beach's oldest businesses pulls out of its ovens every day. In our family we call it fagassa, the Genovese word for it, but you probably know it as focaccia, the formal Italian word for it.
They'll slice it up for you and put it in a bag but we always buy sheets of it, stacked on top of each other and wrapped in white paper tied up with a string. When the day's bake is sold out, they close for the day.
We raised our Nikon D300 on the wide sidewalk along the bakery, zoomed out to wide angle and captured the top image just before a couple of pedestrians came into view.
We wanted the painted oven but we also wanted a slice of storefront. It's an awkward composition at 16:9, barely getting the awning and red tiles into the shot on the left but something about the subject gave us the impression that's OK.
It's the product not the packaging that matters.
The DNG conversion from NEF of the first image was edited in Adobe Camera Raw. Mostly we restricted our edits to the Basic panel in Camera Raw but we did have to use the Upright tool to square up the image. Those bricks make a lot of right angles that look funny if they aren't, well, square.
But we started by straightening the image. In Camera Raw you just draw a line to indicate what should be horizontal or vertical. No rotating by eye.
For the second image, we focused first on the prices in the store and then on the SOLD OUT sign, preferring the former to the latter because both remain legible. And you need both to tell the story.
That image was processed in DxO Optics Pro 10, whose ClearView option did a nice job on the reflections. We used DxO Optics Pro 10 for the last image, as well, where ViewPoint let us easily correct perspective.
Fagassa itself is Genovese, so we can't bring ourselves to call it by any other name. And the Genovese, being from Genoa are Ligurian. Whose poet is Salvatore Quasimodo. Who, in his poem Alla Liguria, wrote of the Genovese character:
Ma se il ligure
alza una mano,
la muove nel segno di giustizia.
But if the Ligurian
raises a hand,
he moves it in the name of justice.
Which reminds us to get back to those reviews we're working on. It's only right.