Palermo Walking Tour

This article features a selection of photographs captured handheld with Nikon 1 gear while on a Palermo walking tour. I’ve always found it fascinating how people can be in the same place at the same time, and see the world around them so differently.

No doubt the other folks who were on our Italy tour captured images that were much different than the ones included in this article. Everyone has their own creative instincts and interests!

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 76 mm, efov 205.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-400

As part of our guided tour of Italy we took an overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo. While I captured a few images around the harbour in Palermo, I find that I tend to be drawn to create images where I get in tight to subjects.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 72.9 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-800

Colours and shapes, like the cart in this image tend to catch my eye as I walk by. Grabbing very quick images when part of a guided tour is always an interesting experience. I enjoy the challenge of creating photographs when my time frame is very compressed. It reminds me of my newspaper days.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-800

My wife often teases me when I create some of my ‘weird stuff’ as she likes to call it. If something catches my eye and intrigues me for whatever reason I find that I can’t help but press my shutter release.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70.2 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-800

Some subjects attract my attention because of bright colours. Sometimes they also have an interesting historical or sociological context.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 35 mm, efov 94.5 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-800

Patterns and geometric shapes jump out at me regardless of where I happen to be. I love to find balance and eye flow in these opportunities.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/60, ISO-800

As photographers we all have our own approach to street photography. During our Palermo walking tour this scene looking down a narrow side street presented itself. Unlike other photographers, I purposely avoid including people that I don’t know in my street photography as I find them distracting.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 64 mm, efov 172.8 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-800

Unusual signage, advertising and street art jumped out at me throughout our Palermo walking tour. I find these to be interesting expressions of local culture.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70.2 mm, f/6.3, 1/60, ISO-200

These examples of ‘urban art’ are encouraged in some cities, and are a bane in others.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14 mm, efov 37.8 mm, f/6.3, 1/125, ISO-200

These creations are often easy to miss as they are frequently located in alleyways and on narrow streets off the main roads.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 30 mm, efov 81 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-400

The names and signage of various retail shops can cause me to pause to capture a quick photograph.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 64 mm, efov 172.8 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-800

I include typical architectural images during walking tours, but will often focus on portions of a building that are away ‘from the maddening crowds’ below. Note the use of a corner exit as well as equidistant composition technique in the image above.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 48 mm, efov 129.6 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-800

The symmetry of repeating patterns has always appealed to me. Whether they manifest themselves as stacks of hats outside of a small shop…

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 76 mm, efov 205.20 mm, f/8, 1/800, ISO-400

Or displayed as colourful brochures in metal racking.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-800

High contrast colours in very simple geometric shapes grab my attention.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 41 mm, efov 110.7 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-800

I look for the unusual… the bizarre…

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/1600, ISO-400

The delicate…

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 78 mm, efov 210.6 mm, f/6.3, 1/400, ISO-200

And, occasionally the macabre.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 69 mm, efov 186.3 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-200

Sculptures are often found in urban settings, and our Palermo walking tour revealed many to our group. I seldom create images of entire sculptures as I usually find the emotions captured in specific details to be especially poignant.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/6.3 1/50, ISO-3200

I always take time to glance down when on a walking tour. There are so many visual treasures beneath our feet that are so easy to overlook.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO-200

The simplest of subjects can have their own sense of power and balance in a composition.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/6.3, 1/1250, ISO-200

I love finding everyday objects to photograph, and the immediate creative challenge that they present. Like imagining an empty beer bottle in a magazine advertisement.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 52 mm, efov 140.4 mm, f/8, 1/25, ISO-400

Or finding the symmetry, balance and eye flow in what first appears to be just a jumble of melons.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 82 mm, efov 221.4 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-400

Capturing the reality as I pass a fishmongers stall… complete with flies and a pinkish red colour cast from a sun shade overhead.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-1600

Our Palermo walking tour revealed so much about this fascinating city. It is easy for us to only see a display of ties for sale, neatly placed on a sidewalk display. We risk missing the fact that this is someone’s livelihood, and how they provide for themselves and their family.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

How you can help keep this site advertising free

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article is Copyright 2021 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *