this stretching moment brought to you by the wonderful italians...so, we're headed to italy, and of course, i'm excited. i get to take pictures in italy, the home of my ancestors, as well as my favorite food! but i'm also a bit nervous. heck, i don't know how to shoot in the city! think about it. the vast majority of my images include neither people nor cars nor buildings - that's a lot of time energy and effort focused on avoiding those kinds of things...yikes. to make matters a bit worse, i'm pretty much a classic introvert. the idea of walking up to people to take their picture or wandering around town with a big DSLR and a 70-200 around my neck, is not my idea of being "discreet". so i figured this would be a real test of my ability to stay in the moment and trust that images would reveal themselves. to make matters more interesting, since i was going to be out of my comfort zone anyway, i decided to bring along a new camera (normally NOT the thing to do). i purchased the new panasonic gf-1 with the 20 mm 1.7 pancake lens, and that was all i brought. risky business. in the end, it solved my "discreet" problem, enabled me to have a camera always ready, and forced me to look at the world differently for 2 whole weeks. a real vacation. nice stretch.