One week sailing Croatia.

As many people who travel know, a one-week trip can be filled with adventure and emotions.  But what I didn’t know is that it can also give you a chance to learn and gain experience, laugh out loud all day and see the another side of each person who made up our group of five.

Our travel adventure was based on the idea that sailing around the Croatian island would be the best way to emerge into the Croatian lifestyle, and it did not disappoint.

The only way to explore the islands of Croatia is by boat.  The islands have remained steeped in history and rich in Croatian culture.  Settling sail the first day we embarked into an unknown world and a wonder filled adventure.


Day 1: Andorra / Dubrovnik / Split

 

Our trip started in Andorra (a small country between Spain and France) we all met up and drove down to the airport in Barcelona. Our flight left early in the morning and landed in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik: Although we did not have much time to visit, Dubrovnik is a spectacular little town surrounded by a fortress right on the seaside. All the little houses and buildings are basically made a like, that’s what makes this town so amazing.

We spent some time near the port, where we encountered a really nice food market. They were cooking entire pigs on a stick (amazing).

After a short time in Dubrovnik we took a 3-hour bus ride to Split. The bus ride was really nice, it went alongside the coastline and at one point we crossed through Bosnia.

We arrived in Split in the afternoon, where we had a 30 min. drive to the port of Kastela (where the boat was waiting for us). After a few moments in ‘’ panic mode’’, since we could not find the charter company and were starting to think we would not get a boat, we finally got everything in order and were united with our lovely boat: RAVA. It was bigger than expected and looked just right for our trip. With three cabins, a bathroom, an open kitchen and lots of on deck space. We were ready to roll. 

After a long day traveling we decided to spend the first night in the port and set sail the next day.

 

Day 2: Split / Blue Lagoon / Paklinski Island                 

 

Since the hole crew was exited to set sail, we woke up early to get a fresh start on our second day. We prepared everything, and were up and running in no time.

As we left the port, we could see the sunrise just appearing behind the port. That sunrise immediately set us in a relaxed mood and our vacation mode was ON.

Sunrise Over Split

Sunrise Over Split

We set sail to Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon is nestled between the two islands off Krknjasi. Krknjasi, is the perfect place for snorkeling or swimming because of its amazing crystal clear waters. We spent most of the day there, as we explored the area and just chilled for the rest of the day.

We set sail again, direction the Paklinski Island, that’s when the real sailing experience started. It took a couple of hours to get to Paklinski, but seemingly our crew was already in expert mode. Everybody pitched in and were attentive to the captain’s instructions.

The peacefulness felt as we sailed the ocean was mesmerizing. I could see the whole crew was getting used to this sailing life.

The Paklinski Island is an Island in a zigzag form and so it was perfect for us to try our freshly learned anchoring technics. As we entered the creek we saw quite a few boats parked for the night and that was exactly what we were looking for, that kind of raw sailing experience. Although it was everybody’s first time anchoring a boat, I must say we did a pretty good job at it. And so there it was… our boat was anchored and prepared for our first night in the open waters.

We all prepared the outdoor table and got ready for super. With a home cooked meal and quite a lot of wine, we where all set. We spent hours talking, laughing and enjoying the peace and calm that we could feel. There was no city lights, no car noises, no loud talking, just the sound of the waves and the wind blowing through the trees.

 

Day 3: Paklinski Islands / Vis / Stiniva beach

 

We sailed off into day 3 at about 7am in the direction to the island of Vis.

The Island of Vis is the farthest inhabited island on the Croatian mainland; it ‘s not a very big island and has two main towns: Vis and Komiza.

When we got to the island we quickly filled up the gas tank and then decided to walk around the town. It was quite a fun moment as we walked on ancient cobbled roads and took pictures of almost everything as the entire island was still beautifully preserved. We found a surprising amount of cats hidden inside the town. We stopped for a much-needed beer and relaxed as we talked about the first moments of the trip.

After our visit to the town and our much-needed pint of beer we made our way back to the boat and set sail for Staniva Beach. We had read that it was one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and boy it did not disappoint.

As soon as we anchored the boat we went on to explore this little piece of wonder. The beach is situated between two cliff walls and is about the size of a pool. The most amazing thing was sitting on the beach and staring into the emerald green water that opened up into the sea. It was like a magician had sprinkled fairy dust all over the beach and transformed it into this magical wonder.

We then headed back to the boat and enjoyed another great meal. We talked about our deepest thoughts, told a few funny stories, drank more wine but mostly enjoyed the great music coming from the next-door boat it was a great evening.

It was a really great place to spend the night, the boat was hidden from the wind and water currents, so we had a good night sleep.

Day 4: Stiniva beach / Blue cave / Komizca


On day 4, we could already feel the fatigue come knocking on our door, but even fatigue couldn’t dampen our spirits we were motivated to continue our journey and we prepared to sail into day 4 in the direction the Blue Cave. The blue cave is one of the most visited destinations is Croatia, it is located on the Island of Bisevo right next to Vis, and its total population is about 12 people (I’m not kidding).

We anchored at a beach near the cave where someone came and picked us up in a little motorboat to take us to the cave. The entry fee was about 70 kunas’’ which is about 6 euros.  The boat ride wasn’t very long and the guide was very friendly. We entered the cave through a small man made opening and suddenly appeared on the other side where we could see this very bright blue water and as you put your hand in the water it glowed a bright bluish color. I have to admit it would of been fun to be able to swim in the cave, but due to mass tourism and the caves fragile eco system you can only enter with a guide and cannot swim in the waters of the cave.  But it is still worth it.

We took a group decision and decided to stay in the port of Komizca for the night. Unfortunately the port was full and we had to anchor right next to the port, this turned out to be rather fun. As a treat for surviving 4 days on a yacht as novice sailors we decided to eat in the town of Komizca. After a much needed on land shower, we were lucky to catch what I would consider the most beautiful sunset of the whole trip. The sun was this bright orange and the moon was a opaque white; it was amazing.

We had supper in a lovely seaside restaurant, where they served all kinds of Croatian seafood, it was splendid.

After supper and a drink, the whole crew ended up at this seaside music festival. The beach was covered with all these lights, which formed different shapes on the floor and walls. The music playing was a relaxed indie kind of music. We had a great time dancing around, and the people there where really nice.

Coming back to the boat we lost our annex boat and practically spent the whole night and early hours of the morning looking for it. At sunrise the next morning our tired crew made their way onto the deck for breakfast where on of the crew spotted something floating in the water in the distance, turns out it was our annex boat, which we had not tired up securely at the port the night before. We couldn’t stop laughing as some of the crew had to return the other boat, which we took because we assumed someone had taken our boat. I have to say it was really funny to watch, the scramble to get the (stolen) boat back to shore before anyone noticed it was missing. The crew were great in this little moment of crisis.

Day 5 : Komizca / Scredo island

 

Although day 5 started with all of us being pretty tired it was still a fun day.

We got some breakfast, filled our boat with much needed supplies and got in motion. We where headed in the direction of Scredo Island. Even if I slept most of the way, the few moments I was awake and on deck I was lucky to see what must have been the calmest sea ever. The water looked like a silky bright blue, not a cloud was in sight and not the slightest breeze. It was picture perfect.

After stopping at a small port around the island, we anchored in a small creek. After a nice supper we were all completely out of it and headed to bed early.

Day 6 : Scedro island / Hvar

 

Day 6 started strong, we woke early enough and prepared everything to visit the island of Hvar. The island is famous for its important strategic and nautical position and has a rich history marked by its culture and natural monuments.

The village of Hvar is not very big, but it has a lot of monuments such as churches and other historical architecture.

It was quite nice to walk through the ancient stone roads as we passed by these different stores selling mostly local made products. The village was bustling, not only from tourist visiting but also the locals. We visited the fortress at the very top of the village, where you can see the entire village and have an amazing view of the Paklinski Island and a few other islands.  The sea was calm with the sun shimmering on the water, it was breathtaking.  We stayed there all morning and into the afternoon and left the island quite late.

After a long day sight seeing we did not travel very far before we anchored the boat since it was getting late. We anchored in a quiet little creek and visited the beach which was really nice and peaceful.

 

Day 7 : Hvar / Bol / Split

 

As we woke up to start day 7 we all had a bittersweet felling in our stomach. We knew it was our last day on the boat, but we also new how lucky we were to have lived this experience.

We decided to spend our last day on the Island of Bol where the Golden Horn is located. The golden horn is a beach that extends into the ocean like a horn on the Island. This was the first sand beach we encountered the entire of the trip, since all the other beaches were just big rocks next to the sore.  We visited part of the Island, and it looked like a great place to spend on another trip to the Islands.

We spent most of the day on the beach, until it was time to return to the port were it all started.

The sail back to the port was great. We had the music on, we were all giving our thoughts on the trip, and there again was bright orange sun set and just when we thought we had seen everything two dolphins appeared out of nowhere. It was honestly the best way to end this sailing trip.


 

Day 8: Kastela / Split center

 

We had an early wake up on day 8, since we had to do the check out of the boat.

After getting everything ready, there we stood, in front of what had been our home for 7 days, our little piece of paradise. We said goodbye to RAVA and left the port.

After a 30 min taxi drive to the center of Split, we left our luggage and went to visit the little town of split.  Split is quite commercial, but architecture wise it is the same as Vis and Hvar.  It had lots of little shops everywhere but the best part of the town was the ancient ruins in the center of the town.  Although half destroyed, what was left of the ruins was kept as a main feature of the town and that made the town rather special for us.

We had a nice dinner in the town, after that we went for drinks in another part of town which came to life at night. The bars were filled with young people ready to party. Although we are quite the party type, we ended up going strait to bed because we had an early flight to catch the next day. That was our wonderful last night in Croatia.

 

Day 9: Split / Milan (Amsterdam) / Barcelona / Andorra

 

Day 9: Our last day.

 

It was with a heavy heart that we got ready to go to the bus station. We all got up and packed our stuff and headed to the bus, after a 30-minute ride, we arrived at the airport in Split. I must say, I have been to my fair share of airports, but nothing was quite like this airport. As soon as the bus dropped us off, we had to do our boarding and baggage check, at the outside of the airport (it was quite strange), after waiting in a long line, we finally got to the front desk.

To cut a long story short.  We had an overbooking problem on our flight and one of us had to fly via Amsterdam and arrived a few hours later that us. Even if we had that little hiccup, the flight back was quite fun, we were sending pictures to our friend so he could follow the trip with us.

All in all, it was an intense trip. We learnt a lot sailing skills and what it was like to travel a country by sea.  What I will keep from this journey is that Croatia is a wonderful place to visit, with its spectacular views and historical landmarks, with its breathtaking sea points and its beautiful architecture.

Also, I was very happy with the travel team (my friends), and still to this date remember the awesome moments spent with that bunch of weirdo’s.

So if you want my advice, sailing through Croatia should be a must on everyone’s bucket list

15 Basic Photography Composition Rules: improve your photos!

Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you should display main points of interest.

There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

In this tutorial, I’ve listed 15 of these guidelines with examples of each. I’ve started with the most basic ones and finished with some of the more innovating composition techniques.

Before all, I need to define the word “composition”. It refers to the way the various elements in a scene are arranged within a frame. They aren’t rules for this but guidelines as I’ve mentioned already. But we need to remember that they’ve been used in art for thousands of years and they really help us to obtain more attractive results. I always keep in mind some guidelines when I’m shooting as an instinct thinking.

#1. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is very simple. You divide the frame into 9 equal rectangles, 3 across and 3 down as illustrated below.

I wrote about this basic rule in my previous post. you can follow this link for more deep information:

https://www.migueldasilva.net/blog/rule-of-thirds-start-taking-superb-photographies

#2. Balacing elements

Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You can achieve a balanced composition and even out the main subject's "visual weight" by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.

Copyright Jason Row

Copyright Jason Row

#3. Centred Composition and Symmetry

After the first and second guideline where I’ve told you not to place the main subject in the centre of the frame, I’m going to tell you to do the exact opposite! There are times when placing a subject in the centre of the frame works really well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centred composition.

#4. Fill The Frame / Cropping

Sometimes, leaving too much empty space within a photo can make your main character appear smaller than you’d like. Of course, this can come in handy if you’re trying to capture how small your little one is next to a particular person or thing. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to zoom in close on your subject or “fill the frame.”

#5. Frame Within the Frame

Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject.  It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway like in the picture at the top of this page.  In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don’t only focus on what’s framing your subject.  Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field.  It also wouldn’t hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.

#6.  Leading Lines

Leading lines help lead the viewer through the image and focus attention on important elements.

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place these leading lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey "through" the scene.

There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc - and each can be used to enhance our photo's composition. Anything from paths, walls or patterns can be used as leading lines.

Take a look at the examples below.

#7. Simplicity

Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple.  If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions.  You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what’s important in the frame.  Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.

#8. Change your Point of View

Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.

#9. DEPTH

Having fore-, middle- and background detail will add depth to your image as well as draw the eye through the picture. Compositional elements that compliment each other, for example with colour or by association, work well but do be careful with the size of objects you use and how you place them as you don't want the shot to be thrown off balance. You don't want a rock in the foreground of your landscape shot, for example, drawing the eye away from the hills and mountains in the background. Adding water to the foreground can also lighten your shot as well as adding an extra element of interest as it reflects the sky back out.

#10. Colors Combination

Choosing colors and color combinations for photography requires planning if not effort. Use of color in photography is an Art as old as photography itself but most of us don’t realize the importance of co-ordination and planning. In this guide, we will consider some tips to get the best color combinations when posing for photos. But first: we will consider the best color combinations for decorative landscape photos especially from the point of view of wall art and interior design.

As you can see in the portrait below, the green color of the dress meets perfectly with the tulips by intermediate colors.

#11. Foreground Interest and Depth

Including some foreground interest in a scene is a great way of adding a sense of depth to the scene. Photographs are 2D by nature. Including foreground interest in the frame is one of a number of techniques to give the scene a more 3D feel.

#12. BACKGROUND

How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, only to find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busy background? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foreground and background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfully this problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look around for a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that it doesn't distract or detract from the subject.

#13. Patterns, Textures and symmetry

Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture.  When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what’s in the picture.  Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone’s hands, or leaves.  In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Human beings are naturally attracted to patterns. They are visually attractive and suggest harmony. Patterns can be man made like a series of arches or natural like the petals on a flower. Incorporating patterns into your photographs is always a good way to create a pleasing composition. Less regular textures can also be very pleasing on the eye.

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made. They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

#14. Diagonals and Triangles

It is often said that triangles and diagonals add ‘dynamic tension’ to a photo. What do we mean by ‘dynamic tension’ though? Look at it this way, horizontal lines and vertical lines suggest stability. If you see a person standing on a level horizontal surface, he will appear to be pretty stable. Put this man on a sloping surface and he’ll seem less stable. This creates a certain level of tension visually. We are not so used to diagonals in our every day life. They subconsciously suggest instability. Incorporating triangles and diagonals into our photos can help create this sense of ‘dynamic tension’.

Incorporating triangles into a scene is a particularly good effective way of introducing dynamic tension. Triangles can be actual triangle-shaped objects or implied triangles.

#15. EXPERIMENTATION

It exists so many different composition guidelines or rules in art and photography that it only depends on you to search, follow them or simply try and experiment by yourself.

With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worry about film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimenting with our photos' composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tons of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Take advantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.

Rule of Thirds: start taking superb photographies

Rule of Thirds: Composition Photography

The rule of thirds is an essential photography technique. It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance your images.

This technique is a basic rule for artists, not only for photographers. This Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition.

It's an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and better balanced. If you take an introduction to photography class, more than likely, one of the very first things you will learn is the “Rule of Thirds”. Even if you haven’t taken a photography class, you have still probably heard this term.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

Rule of thirds

Rule of thirds

As you’re taking an image you would have done this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your shot.

With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.

Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

When taking your photo, you will want to ask yourself:

  • What are the most important elements of my photo?

  • Where should I should I place them within my photo?

Realize that your subject doesn't have to be exactly on the hot-spot, just near to it. You may have to movearound when shooting to make this happen and get best composition.

The Rule of Thirds states that a photograph has the greatest impact and ability to capture a viewer’s attention when your image subject and important foreground and background elements are placed in the composition near the junction of these lines. Horizons are best placed along one of the two horizontal lines, rather than in the center of a photo. Vertically oriented subjects, like people standing, are best placed along one of the vertical lines, with the person’s back closest to the edge of the photo, leaving room ahead of them in the direction they’re facing.

Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

New landscape photographers often mistakenly place the horizon right in the middle of the photo.  This tends to give the feeling of the image being split in two - which is not generally pleasing to the eye.

Knowing the rule of thirds is very helpful here, as placing the horizon on one of the horizontal lines will naturally balance the image and allow you to highlight the area of the photo that you want.

For example, you should place the horizon on the bottom line if you’re trying to highlight a beautiful sky or sunset. Alternatively, if want the focus to be on the land, you would place the horizon on the top line.

Rule of Thirds and Directional Movement

When you’re photographing a moving subject pay particular attention to the direction they are traveling.  You will want to place them near the hot spot or line on the opposite side from where they are going.

For example, if your subject is a jogger who is running from right to left, make sure place them on the right vertical line or hotspot.  This will give the appearance your subject moving forward and also show where they are headed.

Rule of Thirds and Where Your Subject is Looking

If your subject is looking in a particular direction, make sure to place them on the opposite side from were they are looking. This will leave empty space ahead of them and prevent the appearance that they are looking off into nothingness.

For example, if your subject is looking to the left, place them on the right vertical line.  This will provide more natural balance and allow the viewer to understand what they are looking at.

If you find that there are no determining factors on which side is better for placement, choose the right.  Because we read from left to right, our eyes will naturally focus more strongly on the right side.

BREAKING THE RULE

The Rule of Thirds is not an infallible law, but it is a good point of reference to keep in mind, just as artists have done for hundreds of years. Excellent photos can certainly be taken with your subject or horizon centered in the middle of the frame, but generally you’ll find that the Rule of Thirds really does improve the composition and balance of a photograph.

However, learn to use the rule of thirds effectively before you try to break it - that way you can be sure you're doing so in order to get a better composition, rather than just for the sake of it.

A few examples of when breaking the rule of thirds can make for a better photograph include:

  1. Highlighting the symmetry of a subject or location by centering the photo.

  2. Making a subject appear larger and more intimidating by placing them in the center of the photo.

  3. If you want to draw the eyes inward - perhaps a photo of a narrow pathway that you want your viewer to focus on.

  4. The subject is nicely framed and centering makes for a stronger photo.


EXTRA TIP

You can easily apply the rule of thirds to existing photos by cropping them. This allows you to reposition the important subjects in your image, moving them into more pleasing positions.

If you don’t get your perfect positioning in camera (and who does), you can use Lightroom and Photoshop, they includw a rule of thirds overlay to help guide you.

Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

I was invited to this event in Netherlands in 2017 and It was also my first time in this circuit. But I didn't realize how my passion it has this country for motorsports. People loves and takes care so much about their beauties that it's easy to feel it. After some hours expended around the circuit I could take some great pictures about rare and precious Italian cars. A long list can be done: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maseratti, Vespa, Ducati... But also, you can see , smell and hear the italian passion, culture and habits. This was a great day with great pictures and nice vibes. Finally, after all the cars I could take on picture, I wanted to make a blog about these reasons: Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB. For 2 reasons, the quality of pictures and because I loved to shoot those cars. The lines and curves are perfect for my point of view as photographer. I really enjoyed to see and shoot them in a few minutes.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia, the latest V8 Ferrari, the licence to move into more serious territory. There is nothing remotely junior about 562bhp or a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Any observations about the Ferrari 458 Italia’s styling are, of course, entirely subjective but, in our office, the consensus is that it marks a return to sensational-looking Ferraris.

With a flat undertray, but without any obvious aero aids, the 458 generates more downforce than the F430 (360kg flat out) and yet it is also more aerodynamic.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Finally, there is a touch of Enzo in the 458’s overall design, particularly in the shape and position of the rear lights (although the Enzo had twin units). Vents below the rear lights are for radiators to cool the gearbox and clutch.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari's 458 has extensively restyled, given a turbocharged V8 with more power and loads more torque and a new name. Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Ferrari that makes a 458 Italia look slow...

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

 

While the looks of the 2015 Ferrari 488 are not entirely different, it's actually an almost entirely new car, with 85 percent of its parts changed from the 458, and the roof the only external panel retained. The engine has shrunk slightly in size but grown vastly in power and new aero innovations, combined with some superior software, are claimed to make it handle better than ever. It is overwhelmingly, however, a Ferrari built for speed.

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

It's the kind of performance that mounts a serious case for turbocharging (although Ferrari admits that engine response time at 2000rpm is now 0.8 seconds, at 2000rpm, compared to 0.7 in  a 458, but still well-ahead of “our turbo competitors − McLaren, Porsche etc”, which it says are closer to 2.0 seconds).

 

But is it a sound argument? Well, no, because despite the engineers repeatedly promising us that  they’d tuned the car to deliver the “sharp and loud, unmistakable Ferrari sound,” it takes less than two minutes in the 488 to realise that the screaming, operatic exhaust-asm that has defined the brand − and the 458 in particular − is gone. 

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

Choosing between the two comes down to what you are looking for in your Ferrari road car. If you love the roar of a naturally aspirated Ferrari engine, you might want to explore the 458 Italia. If speed is your true desire, the Ferrari 488 GTB will delight. Which will you choose?

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

And Suddenly, when I was going home, in the last moment:

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Car comparison test of Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB compare Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB sounds, revs, acceleration 0-300km/h, power, sprint and exhaust sound. Send me your car videos here: slizo3310@gmail.com We do NOT own the video materials and all credits belong to respectful owners.

Nissan 350Z

I was a owner of one Nissan 350Z some years ago, a red unit. Pretty rare in europe, the color isn't very common I can say after visit some Z meetings around Spain or France. Firstly, I want to advise that I can't be objective in this review as this car was and is my favourite daily car.

Nissan 350Z 2005

Nissan 350Z 2005

The Nissan 350Z recaptures elements of the original Datsun 240Z. It's fast, it's fun, it's pure sports car. And, like the original Z, it's affordable, or at least attainable. 

In 2005 Nissan commemorates 35 years of Z production with a special anniversary edition coupe, and there's much more to the model than just the unique badge. A significant dose of performance has also been added, including a bump in engine output to 300 horsepower, big Brembo brakes, 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and improved aerodynamics. There's also a new, very special high-chrome pearl Ultra Yellow pigment on the colour chart. 

The coupe, introduced as an all-new model for 2003, and the convertible, which debuted last year, get important upgrades, new features and revised transmissions. All 350Zs share the same sports suspension and Nissan's superb V6 engine, which punches out 287 horsepower and strong torque. Both models come standard with racy hardware: a six-speed manual gearbox, carbon-fiber driveshaft, drive-by-wire throttle, anti-lock discs vented front and rear with electronic brake-force distribution. Add the convenience features that come standard, such as automatic temperature control and a premium stereo, and the price of the Nissan 350Z is compelling. 

Nissan 350Z left side car

Nissan 350Z left side car

Coupe or roadster, the 350Z delivers racecar handling, rear-wheel drive, and thrilling acceleration performance. The suspension keeps the tires glued to the road through fast chicanes. Bounce over the curbs on a road racing circuit and the Z will hold its line. Styling details like the controversial industrial-design door handles ensure this car will never be called bland. 

Nissan says the 350Z was designed to be a sports car an enthusiast can live with every day. While its firm ride, abrupt throttle response, and awkward cup holders don't make it a great place to drink coffee, eat doughnuts, and make phone calls on the way to work, it is a comfortable car with usable cargo space, and getting in and out isn't impossibly awkward. Order a version with the excellent five-speed automatic, and you'll have a better commuter for the daily stop-and-go. But,..., we all know what we are searching with this kind of car.

Bottom line: The Nissan 350Z is no poser. It's a real sports car with serious GT performance. 

The 350Z looks aggressive with its bulging front fenders and fast back. The shape of the Z suggests a mid-engine design. The engine is in fact in front of the driver, but it's behind the front axle. That's why Nissan calls it a front mid-ship placement (somewhat similar to the Mazda RX-8 design). 

The Z shares its under-body architecture with the Infiniti G35 coupe and sedan. Moving the engine rearward evens out weight distribution, which improves handling balance. The Z Roadster adds more than 80 kg to the hatchback's 1630 kg, but the weight front/rear weight split remains at 53/47 percent. It's balanced well for accelerating out of corners. 

An extremely short front overhang and a short rear overhang make for agile handling. It also means you don't scrape driveway transitions like you do in a Corvette. Bulging fender flares make the Z look like it's ready for the racetrack, which it is. 

The hatchback's shape helps the Z slice through the air with a minimum of drag (0.29 on the Track model). The Roadster's more traditional coupe outline isn't quite as slippery, attaining a drag coefficient of 0.34. (But what do you care when you've got the wind in your hair?) Underbody airflow is managed well, with zero lift on the front (and zero lift on the rear of the Track model). All this math adds up to relatively low levels of wind noise, even in the Roadster with the top up, and a stable sports car at high speeds. 

Nissan 350Z Roadster

Nissan 350Z Roadster

With the top down, conversation in the Roadster required only slightly raised voice levels; the stereo did, however, have to be cranked up a bit. 

Inside the 350Z is a cockpit designed for driving, helping the driver quickly become one with the car. The carbon-fiber colored cloth seats are form-fitting, supportive and comfortable, made of a soft material that grips the body in the corners. The driver's seat bottom features a mound in the center at the front to restrain the driver from sliding forward under deceleration. Aggressive side bolsters grip the waist to hold the driver in place. The leather seats in the Touring model feel a little firmer than the cloth, and are available in charcoal, burnt orange or frost. Either cloth or leather are good choices in this car. The supportive seats and a driver's dead pedal mean you never feel like you have to hang on. 

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

The seating position should be good for drivers with long legs, though the steering wheel felt a little close when the seat was adjusted for the legs of a six-footer. It's worth noting, however, that this feeling went away the moment the key was turned in the ignition. The Roadster boasts an inch more headroom than the hatchback, thanks to the articulation of the top's various mechanicals. 

Tilt the steering column and the main pod of gauges moves with it, ensuring a clear view of the instruments for drivers of all sizes. The instruments consist of a big tachometer and flanking speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges. Reminiscent of the original Z, nestled in three pods on top of the dash are a voltmeter, an oil pressure gauge and a digital trip computer. They look retro-cool, but reading them requires more than a glance. 

Two toggles to the right of the steering wheel operate the trip computer, used to check outside air temperature, distance to empty, speed, average mileage, and average speed. It has a stopwatch function (to check out those 0-60 times), and a tire-pressure monitor for 18-inch wheels. With the Trip Computer, the driver can program a shift light to come on at a certain rpm. The small red indicator on the tachometer begins flashing about 500 rpm before the preset engine speed is reached, whereupon it comes on solid. You can program it for the ideal shift points for acceleration or fuel economy, then let your peripheral vision pick up the indicator. We've seen race cars with this feature (though the red shift light is sometimes as big as a golf ball). If you don't like this feature you can turn it off. 

Nissan 350Z gauges

Nissan 350Z gauges

The interior of the Z seems to suggest a carbon-fiber race car tub. The material surrounding the shifter and forming the centre dash looks like carbon fiber. Likewise, the large expanse of grey material lining the door panels suggests carbon fiber in appearance. The quality of the materials is okay, though some of the pieces would never be allowed in an Audi. It looked austere at first, but grew on us. Stylish interior touches, such as the inside door handles integrated into aerodynamic pods for the side vents, give the Z a racy, modern look; with the AC at work on hot days, the handles chill to fit their frosty look. Passengers often grope for the door release the first time they try to get out, distracted by the big grab handles adorned with genuine aluminium and relieved by the Z's dot motif. 

Stylish audio controls include a big volume knob, clearly marked buttons for channel seeking, and six station buttons that can be preset simply by holding them down. Below the radio are three large knobs for the automatic climate control system, which comes standard. 

Nicely designed wiper and headlamp controls are mounted on short stalks. The leather-wrapped steering wheel looks and feels great, and comes with cruise controls. Overhead are well-designed map lights and a bin for sunglasses. Power window switches are auto-up/auto-down. Two power points are available, one in the center console, the other in the bulkhead between and behind the seats (but neither is conveniently located for radar detectors). 

The Z is not the best place to drink things.

Turning the key and hearing the engine roar to life is the first indication the Nissan 350Z is no poser. Turning onto a winding road proves this beyond a shadow of doubt. Sharp steering, terrific handling, and excellent grip make it a real driver's car. This car is very fast with brilliant acceleration. The Roadster's additional weight, a result of the platform strengthening to increase rigidity, no doubt adds a tick or two to the 0-60 measurement but isn't noticed in everyday driving. 

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Mounted longitudinally and driving the rear wheels is Nissan's excellent VQ V6 engine. It's smooth and sounds like a big sports car engine. It generates lots of torque at low rpm, pulling smoothly from about 2000 rpm. Maximum torque of 274 pound-feet comes at 4800 rpm, tapering off as 287 horsepower is reached at 6200 rpm. The engine is still pulling smoothly as the rev limiter steps in somewhere just north of 6500 rpm, but this engine is more about low-rpm torque than high-revving horsepower. Nissan's Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System helps the V6 produce a nice, linear band of torque. Drive-by-wire technology reduces mechanical weight and complexity. 

The short-throw shifter feels good and it's effective. The six-speed gearbox shifts quickly and deliberately. It feels perfectly synchronised, making shifting easy and enjoyable. Clutch pedal effort has enough heft to remind the driver that this is a serious sports car. With the Roadster's top down, the exhaust tone is music to the driver's ears, rising and falling melodiously and crisply as the gears are worked through the turns on a twisty road. 

Nissan 350Z interior

Nissan 350Z interior

The automatic transmission works great, really smooth and responsive, and it didn't leave us feeling like we were missing out by not having the manual. With manual mode selected, the automatic holds lower gears right up to the rev limiter, upshifting only when the driver desires. Downshifts are electronically managed to ensure an overly rambunctious pilot doesn't over-rev the sweet V6. The delicious exhaust tone is wasted on Roadsters fitted with the automatic, though, when it wanders almost aimlessly up and down the scale as the engine slips seamlessly amongst the gears. 

Handling feels taut and well controlled in both hatchback and Roadster. These cars really stick through fast sweepers, allowing the driver to keep the throttle down. The steering is sharp and accurate and the Z changes directions brilliantly in transient manoeuvres, without excessive understeer turning in or sloppy oversteer coming out. Cornering is flat, without much body lean.  The ride gets jouncy on bumpy roads, most noticeably when cruising slowly, but it doesn't beat you up and we expect a firm ride with a sports car like this. 

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Buffeting at highway speeds with the top down was much less than we expected, thanks to the tempered glass deflector mounted between the rollbars behind the seats and to racy body panels tapering back from each of the seat positions. Anti-flap seatbelt retainers further reduce the perceived buffeting effect. Rear side vision loses little to the convertible top, as the hatchback's quarter panel already blocks a sizable area of blind spot. 

The brakes are easy to modulate, fun to use, and do a good job of stopping the car. Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist come standard on all 350Zs. Just like it sounds, electronic brake-force distribution improves stopping performance by dynamically balancing front and rear braking forces. Brake Assist is a mechanical system that appli. 

The Nissan 350Z stands alone in its price class. This is the car for drivers who want serious sports car performance in a GT body without shelling out the big bucks. And Nissan has added a truly sporty variant to the mix with the 35th Anniversary Z. 

Its rear-wheel-drive chassis is rigid and its suspension is taut for excellent handling. The V6 engine delivers lots of torque for strong acceleration performance. Whether you opt for the six-speed manual gearbox or the five-speed automatic, there are no dogs in the lineup. The interior is the weakest link here, but it grows on you with a little time spent living with it. 

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RWB Porsche 964

The first time I listened about RWB Porsche, I was in France some years ago. I had seen images floating on the web prior to seeing one in person and always thought "that's a huge work and job!", but after seeing a couple of them, seeing videos of different variations, and reading about Akira Nakai (the founder/creator of RWB) this build has made its way to the top of my list of dream cars.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

There's a lot of controversy around these cars, much like most tuning scenes there are always going to be people that just hate the idea of taking a very well-engineered performance car and cutting the fenders, putting a wide-body, and lowering the car on some aggressive looking wheels.

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

Stanced cars get shitted on all the time by people. I personally wouldn't "stance" my car but I do have respect for people that want to enjoy their car and be creative with it. Yes, some builds go too far, but I don't think this is the case with RWBs. 

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

Some purists, like Jack from the Truth About Cars, argue that it's pretty much garbage to do this to a Porsche, especially with a limited supply of air cooled engines (see his take here). I see both sides of the coin, that of the purists and that of the tuners.

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

Honestly, I think Jack's fear of losing all air-cooled Porsches to Nakai's RWB is unrealistic. I think RWB tuning is desired by a small population of Porsche enthusiasts and owners. I don't have any data to back this up, unfortunately, but from an anecdotal standpoint I see more stock/original 993s and other Porsches than I do RWB modified ones. I only see RWB Porsches at shows or shops. I wish I had some stats on how many RWB 964s or 993s there are, but I would suspect that the percentage is really low given that Nakai works on every car himself, hardly scalable by any means.

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

I would argue the vast majority of Porsche owners probably don't want to go to that extreme of tuning for many reasons. First, not every Porsche owner wants to tune their car, they're perfectly happy with their car being stock, after all Porsche engineering is impressive right off the dealer lot. Second, if they do want to tune their cars it's probably not to the extreme of going with the RWB approach, perhaps new rims, ECU flash, or some other basic mods. With that said I don't think we'll ever come to a point where we rarely see the original air-cooled Porsches. In fact, I argue that it will be more likely we hardly see RWB Porsches in person, which is a different reality than seeing "many" of them online or in magazines. 

RWB Porsche 964 back

RWB Porsche 964 back

Now in regards to it being considered hideous, this just comes down to preference and you can't really argue on this. One person thinks a piece of art looks like shit while another considers it a master piece, you can't win a debate on what someone prefers. So with that said I'm going to move on from the controversy and go into what is RWB.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

What is RWB?

RWB stands for RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF which in German means "Rough World Concept". RWB started in the mid-to-late 1990s by Akira Nakai in Japan, and is still based in Japan.. He started tuning cars when he began driving them. Originally starting as "Rauh-Welt" he eventually started driving and tuning German cars and ended up as RAUH-Weld BEGRIFF. This video by Fatlace gives you a peek into who the man behind RWB is, kind of like a mini-documentary.