Yesterday, all my trouble…

Early in the morning there was a strong wind from the Sahara, Paola’s car had sand in the windshield and rooftop, and the day was cloudy ( and very windy).

I am in Sicily, and yesterday I went to two beautiful places in Catania, well worth visiting: the Istituto de Incremento Ippico and its farm, Ambelia. It was a great morning and a great afternoon. The photos are by my friend Salvatore, who helped me a lot all day along, as did the staff of the Istituto, whom I thank a lot for their hard work in such a hot day ( 32 C ).


at the Istituto de Incremento Ippico, shooting an Oriental Thouroughbred horse, a breed very close to the Arabian

After visiting the Istituto, where I got photos of some Oriental Thoughroubreds, we had lunch and then drove to Ambelia, the property where the mares are kept, along with some stallions at stud.

I am thinking about planning a workshop/photo trip here, Sicily is beautiful, a bit too warm during the summer but perfect in the Autumn.


Oriental Thouroughbred mare at Ambelia, beautiful farm

So, tired and happy I returned to Messina, where I am based while in Sicily, and all was well when my ipad died, dead, kaput. BAD feeling. No Internet connection anymore except in some places with wifi, where I can use my computer to check the mail, etc, like I am doing now. I felt lost, but only for a short moment, as the bad news were not finished. My flight home was canceled due to a strike, and the only flight available will be late at night tomorrow.

So, here I am in Sicily, for two more days, and without Internet. I will survive, hopefully 😉

Traveling to Iceland with my Personal Viking

by Ann Vassey

I have had the opportunity to travel on a couple of photography tours but my Viking, alias my husband, Bud Vassey, has always elected to stay at home.  However when I told him about the visit to Iceland, he decided that he would love to come also.  Of course he needed Paula’s approval.

images from Ann Vassey

my husband and personal Viking

Traveling with your spouse is a bit different than going alone.  Initially you have to remember to double all the planning that you do in advance.  While one could say that the responsibility is extra work, you also have a known companion when you arrive at your destination.  Sometimes you have a ready consultant on how best to make that shot.


Bud helping me with a long exposure photo



Bud is an excellent photographer on his own.  In fact he was the key person in getting me started in photography with a gift of my very first film Nikon.  He  continues to be my most constant photography companion and my person to discuss techniques when I need some ideas and assistance.

Bud 3.jpg

Bud loves photography

It was good for me to also have someone to help me to walk up & down those hills and to continue on some longer walks.  I also enjoyed seeing that he was having a good time with the group and taking his own photos.


Now that we are home, we can talk about our experience, how much we both love Iceland.  We also have a larger group of mutual friends.  Now when I talk about Paula, Susan and the other photography friends, he gets it.

Ann Vassey


The weather in Iceland, and more

The weather in Iceland can be notoriously variable, but we were quite lucky as we got mostly sunny days, but sometimes the wind asked for neck warmers and gloves, and we were glad to have lightweight and warm windproof jackets.

Even in good weather you can expect that there will be wind, Iceland is a windy place. And the wind will always have the effect that it seems colder than the actual temperature.


Bud during the whale watching tour, wearing alpaca gloves, hat and neck warmer

There was no real night time as the sun pretended to go down but got up after an hour or so, making it unreal to see that there was no real “night” darkness outside. Curtains in the rooms helped a lot to achieve some sleep, together with eye masks, as our brain tends to keep us awake if it there is no “night”.


Above a photo of myself trying to keep warm after a shoot, the win made us feel like if it was colder than it really was, and after shooting Icelandic horses for a couple of hours when the adrenaline decreased I started feeling the wind gusts.

We dressed in layers and sometimes we would wear just the base layer and a short sleeves shirt, while other times we were glad for three layers, one of them water and windproof.

I wore alpaca socks, I got them from this site – I love them as my feet are always warm, comfortable and never get humid:

and RR514 Boho Cable Cowl RG513 Boho Cable Wrist Warmer

I also got gloves and neck warmer from that same site, and so did Bud and Ann. Lightweight, easy to pack, easy to wash and dry and very very warm. For the first time I didn’t feel itchy from the direct contact with wool, I am in love with those alpaca products.

I thank Manuel Buzio for all advise about what to wear in Iceland.


Bob Marley and the Icelandic lupines

​​There was a line to eat at the restaurant, so we decided to have a picnic. We stopped by a glacier’s lagoon and it was a wonderful leftovers picnic 😉 and it was followed by a party, obviously. Only some of us took part to it, Mary picked the best music, Bud and Terri and Ann decided for the choreography and IT WAS PURE JOY! I hope you enjoy our moments of happiness

PS: no alcohol envolved! 

It was complicated to post the video, Internet fails every few moments


Today we….

Today we walked and walked and walked, from our apartments in the downtown Rejkjavik ( I surely misspelled it) to the port, to lunch at a very special restaurant which our cultural mediator Francesco advised us. Well, we had the best lobster soup ever, and it was well worth walking all that way.

After lunch we had a briefing in the house and after that some of us went to sleep and are still sleeping, while others went to a wine store and they were not seen again, and a small group stayed awake and took the sun in the balcony, and  lots of talk going on…

Tomorrow morning early our guide is joining us, along with our driver, and the plan is to go south east.

The sun over here stays up for 22 hours the day, or more, so I will just put on my sleeping eye mask, after closing the black curtains and finishing preparing the table for our breakfast tomorrow 🙂  The word “night” has now a new meaning 😉