Author

Bernardo Ricci Armani

Landscape of Kotor, Montenegro (Just After a Rain Storm)

Kotor (Montenegro). It’s always a nice achievement when I can add a new country to my list of visited places. I went to Montenegro for the first time this summer, and of course I could not miss the possibility of visiting the old town of Kotor (Cattaro). If you google “Montenegro”, one of the first and most popular results is more or less the same photo posted here. This does not mean that Montenegro does not have anything else to offer to tourists, of course! Simply, this is one of the most iconic landmark in the Country.

I arrived to Kotor during a very heavy rainstorm: it was not the best possible welcome, let me say. However, when the rain stopped and clouds moved away, I immediately took my camera, wore good trekking shoes and went along the 4.5 km track (it’s along the upper town walls, and has stairs on its side) which starts from the town and climbs up to the top of the mountain, where – from the abandoned St. John Fortress – it is possible to enjoy the amazing landscape of the town and of the fjord.

However, in my opinion the best landscape was more or less at half of the walk, with the Our Lady of Health church, with its bell tower, dominating the view of the town and the fjord. In my case, moreover, the thick clouds were moving toward the open sea making the scenery even more intense. I decided to climb the rest of the path: it was quite tough – let me say – but it was a very enjoyable walk…

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Cena Con Me

Milan (Italy). Imagine… thousands of people attending a dinner without knowing anything – really anything, including the location – since few hours before the scheduled time. Only few rules, being the most important one on the dress code.

White!

Yes, this is the spirit of Cena Con Me, an event I already photographed a couple of years ago, but that every time is a surprise. The organizers create the event on Facebook and collects the requests. Then, it communicates the location (in Milan) 5 hours before the time. Since that moment, people start collecting all the items prepared in the past weeks and gather to the selected place.

It happens therefore that a pacific place suddenly becomes a mess: a “white wave” made of people, tables, chairs, plates, glasses, balloons, candle holders, flowers, accessorizes… everything is rigorously white.

Beyond the color, there are few more basic rules: respecting the location leaving the place as it was before the event – therefore carrying away any sort of garbage; and closing the event at midnight.

Under the tag “Cena Con Me 2017” I’m posting some photos of the event. The location is Piazzale Giulio Cesare, the heart of City Life, a very interesting new development, with the amazing skyscrapers of Zaha Hadid and Arata Isozaki in the background.


Milano. Immagina… migliaia di persone che partecipano a una cena senza sapere niente – ma veramente niente, compresa la location – fino a poche ore prima dell’orario programmato. Solo poche regole, tra cui la più importante riguarda l’abbigliamento.

Bianco!

Si, questo è lo spirito di Cena Con Me, un evento che ho già fotografato in passato un paio di anni fa, ma che ogni volta è una sorpresa. Gli organizzatori creano l’evento su Facebook e raccolgono le richieste di partecipazione. Successivamente, comunicano il luogo di svolgimento (a Milano) 5 ore prima l’orario programmato. Da quel momento, la gente inizia a prendere tutte le cose preparate nelle settimane precedenti e a ritrovarsi presso il luogo stabilito.

Succede quindi che una piazza tranquilla diventi improvvisamente un caos: una “onda bianca” fatta di persone, tavoli, sedie, piatti, bicchieri, palloncini, candelabri, fiori, accessori… tutto è rigorosamente bianco.

Oltre al colore, ci sono poche regole di base: rispettare la location lasciando il posto come lo si è trovato prima dell’evento – quindi portando via ogni tipo di rifiuto; e chiudere l’evento a mezzanotte.

Con il tag “Cena Con Me 2017” posto alcune foto dell’evento. La location scelta quest’anno era Piazzale Giulio Cesare, nel cuore di City Life, un nuovo sviluppo urbano molto interessante, con sullo sfondo i bellissimi grattacieli disegnati da Zaha Hadid e da Arata Isozaki.

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Giardino dell’Orticultura (Interior of the Greenhouse)

Florence (Italy). I was a baby when I used to spend part of my afternoons at the Horticultural Garden (Giardino dell’Orticultura) in Florence. At those times, two things were capturing my attention – so much that I still clearly remember them. The first one was an old parked locomotive: I cannot count how many hours I spent climbing it and dreaming of being a railwayman. The second one was the huge and abandoned greenhouse, with broken glasses and in very poor conditions.

Time ago I passed in front of the Horticultural Garden (I already posted a photo about it) and I noticed – what a beautiful surprise! – that the greenhouse had been perfectly renovated and is now brightly illuminated. While I was capturing this image posted here, somehow it was for me like jumping onto a time machine: my mind was brought back to those times when I was playing there with some other children (so many years ago) and I realized that photography is a great tool to surf the time back to old memories…

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Sold! (Venduta) – How To Reuse Your Old Camera

Milan (Italy). Photography lovers, are you inseparable from your old, broken, unusable camera? Do you want to keep it but you do not know what to do with it? Here’s a nice solution I have seen yesterday at the East Market – a very popular event hosted in a former factory located in Milano Lambrate (the same location of “Fuorisalone“, the “unplugged” side of the Salone del Mobile).

With a simple (but fashionable) bulb, a coloured wire, and some “electrical engineering” skills, here it is shown how easy (but nice) can be to recycling your old unusable camera, transforming it into a lamp to be hung on the wall and to make it live a second life.

I think it is great, isn’t it?

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Naples Beach Resort (la Spiaggia di Piazza della Vittoria)

Naples (Italy). There are situations that can not be illustrated, because everyone sees in them what she wants. Others that are so dense, that explaining them would be cloying.

The photo I’m posting here above was taken exactly in one of these situations.

I could write a lot about this photo, on how the experience of being on a tiny plot of sand was, holding a camera surrounded by people – friends with each other – which were doing the most different things; on the speeches that I have listened to; on questions that I was asked; on curious welcoming – but warm too – that I received on that occasion; and why not, on the social environment so rich in terms of human diversity, in which I found myself.

This is Naples: one of the city I love most (and of which I love people in almost an unconditional way). It was mid-August, it was hot, and people were going to sea looking for a little coolness. But obviously, not everyone can afford the prestigious seaside resorts such as those ones in Posillipo and Marechiaro, and for this reason they choose to come to this small sandy portion formed probably for the effect of the breakwaters in front of it. This place is few steps down of the central Piazza della Vittoria, where the promenade of Via Partenope begins, close to the famous pizzeria Sorbillo (with the queue of people waiting to sit down). The bathers bring here their umbrellas, chairs and tables from home, to eat (so much, and about everything!) all together, and to spend the day together, freshening up in the sea, whereas kids build sand castles and teenagers play with the inseparable smartphone. In the background, Castel dell’Ovo and the Vesuvius.

These are situations in which I could spend hours not only photographing; indeed, probably if I could stay a bit more I would have laid down my Leica camera and I would have started talking to people, listening to their stories and eliminating the unavoidable distance between the photographer and the subject. These are situations that must be lived, to be observed to understand the sociological context in which they are developed, and then eventually to be photographed – but always with the utmost respect.


Napoli. Ci sono situazioni che non possono essere raccontate, perchè in esse ognuno ci vede quello che vuole. Altre che sono talmente dense, che spiegarle sarebbe stucchevole.

Questa foto che propongo qui sopra è stata scattata in una di queste situazioni.

Potrei scrivere parecchio su questa foto, sul come sia stata l’esperienza di stare su un fazzoletto di sabbia tenendo in mano una macchina fotografica circondato da persone – amiche tra loro – che stavano facendo le cose più diverse, sui discorsi che ho colto, sulle domande che mi sono state fatte, sull’accoglienza curiosa – ma anche calorosa – che ho ricevuto in quella circostanza; e perchè no, sul contesto sociale così ricco di varia umanità in cui mi sono trovato.

Questa è Napoli: una delle città che amo di più in assoluto (e di cui adoro la gente in maniera quasi incondizionata). E’ metà agosto, fa molto caldo, e le persone giustamente cercano un po’ di refrigerio andando al mare. Ma non tutte evidentemente possono permettersi i prestigiosi stabilimenti balneari di Posillipo e di Marechiaro, e per questo scelgono di venire in questa piccola porzione di sabbia formatasi probabilmente per effetto delle barriere frangiflutti antistanti. Siamo all’altezza della centralissima Piazza della Vittoria, dove inizia il lungomare di Via Partenope, proprio sotto la celebre pizzeria Sorbillo con la coda di persone che aspetta di sedersi. I bagnanti che vengono qui, si portano da casa gli ombrelloni, le sedie, i tavolini, ovviamente da mangiare (tanto, e di tutto!) e si ritrovano per trascorrere la giornata insieme, magari rinfrescandosi in mare mentre i bambini fanno i castelli con la sabbia e quelli un po’ più grandi giocano con l’inseparabile smartphone. Sullo sfondo ben visibile c’è Castel dell’Ovo e oltre il Vesuvio.

Queste sono situazioni nelle quali personalmente potrei trascorrere ore intere: non solo a fotografare, anzi – probabilmente se fossi rimasto un po’ di più avrei posato la mia Leica e mi sarei messo a parlare con le persone, per conoscere le loro storie e per eliminare l’inevitabile distanza tra fotografo e soggetto. Sono situazioni da vivere, da osservare bene per capire il contesto sociologico in cui si sviluppano, e poi eventualmente da fotografare – ma sempre con il massimo rispetto.

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