Frank Petronio photographer

Cutting Room Floor


Here’s an image I wanted to include in my Italian portfolio but I gave up after trying multiple edits. This is just me being fussy but I have a hard time with the mottled skin texture on her legs not jiving with her face, as well as the overall weird color cast (probably time of day, color of skylights, weird reflections from the floor… I’ve gone up and down with controls and specific colors but I’ve never found a pleasing balance.) Still I could apply brute force and “paint” her legs and everything else for that matter but then I ask myself whether it’s worth the time? It isn’t.


I have issues with magenta and since the stone was magenta I didn’t know which way to go.  

Farm in Tuscany

Should have been bold enough to remove that draping rubber molding. I’m too timid.

Milan, white Kydex and Beretta 92s with anodized blue baseplates

The Zeiss 35/1.4 Milvus is superb, the best 35mm lens ever, but manual focusing for street photography was not its forte. The focus throw is an entire revolution and it’s heavy (2.5#). Rapidly swinging the camera to sneak a grab shot rarely works, even @ 1/250th. Almost…. 

Illegal Photo


Hare Krishnas piggybacking off the Catholics, lol

Again, not quite working but perhaps some Magnum hack can swipe them? (birdie finger emoji)


Doing the classic Italian tour (and we were on a tour) you can’t help but spend a lot of time in dark churches and museums. Lighting is marginal and this image needs judicious rather than blanket noise reduction. But then I ask myself why? It’s interesting but not that much so. As for artwork, I did snap a few of details I liked but if I was really a fan I’d buy a book with quality reproductions… there is no way my handheld ISO 6400 images are ever going to compare.  

Venice Lagoon


There are many leaning towers besides Pisa

Milan Duomo


Hilton Stucky Venice Pool


I’ll take the tourist photos like everyone else: the beautiful but seen-before villas along the Venice canal, the dimly lit statues and paintings, walking around the colosseum in very harsh sun. Came home with 1200 photos. It took a couple of days to delete all the worst ones. Then I spent a minute or two (per image) editing the rest, putting 322 total on Flickr to share with family (not you. I keep a barrier up.) Then I went back and further edited another 40-50 and finally picked those that you currently see on the home page. Check back in a year or ten and perhaps I’ll have found a few new ones that resonate but it’s more likely I’ll have deleted several instead. 

The idea is that you make so many good photos that you can afford to delete a few nice ones for the greater good. I want to be so admirably ruthless in all ways! (Watch your back!)

Standing on my tippy toes

Finally, to explain better, this was a trip meant to educate and benefit our teenage daughter. We’re fortunate to be able to do this and we booked a quality (expensive) group tour and went on auto-pilot. Peer pressure forced me to “do it all” even though I would have preferred a Noon start followed by siesta then wine. Instead we walked 5-7 miles per day which was great PT for my leg. (I do not recommend going in Summer but that’s the school vacation schedule’s fault, not Italy’s.) All in all we saw far more than most tourists and had a memorable, satisfying time. 

That said I much prefer staying in one place for a week or two and quietly exploring around base camp. I’ve done that in Tuscany and would love to do it again, albeit next time I will bring a small step ladder as almost every landscape photo would benefit from a slightly higher perspective. I’d also like to spend serious photographic time in the Dolomites as I think they are the prettiest mountain range. For a pure vacation I’d like to try the coast (although it looks crowded). And even though I am most of Sicilian heritage (with Greek DNA) I prefer the North and want to avoid the cities.

(Bravo Matteo Salvini! Every young Italian I spoke to was supportive of the Right. All of the busy tourist areas were cleansed of migrants other than a few gypsies. It’s wonderful to see Europe finally develop some backbone as Nationalists triumph.) 

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