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Street Decoration (via Ricci Armani)

Pontremoli (Italy). Just another image from a night photo-walk around Pontremoli with a Leica Q camera, shooting at f/1.7 and high ISO values (I must say that this is a wonderful camera with a great lens!).

Well, honestly I don’t have too much to write this time… except that I liked to see how even a simple small plant hung on a wall along a street, can be a nice way to decorate it. So the minute(s) you are saving with a short post to read, can be used to watch the photo longer and maybe to surf more my photo-blog 🙂

Ok, I need a holiday… (few days more!)

 

 

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The Lavender of Piazza Cadorna

Milan (Italy). I took this photo today, during lunch time. I was inspired by a woman that I crossed on my way back to the office. She was most probably a tourist, and I noticed her taking a lavender’s flower and smelling it. From her face, I could clearly get her enjoyment. If you know Milan – and specifically Piazza Cadorna, a very crowded hub for commuters, with lot of traffic – you can probably get the sense of contrast given by this scene, and more specifically generated by the way that woman was enjoying the situation, and the general context in which she was doing it.

Therefore, I thought it was a nice idea trying to extrapolate myself from that place, and recreate a sense of enjoyment through my camera. The key element of course was the lavender’s flowers, which became the main subject of my composition. Behind them, a bit blurred, three symbols of Piazza Cadorna: the TreNord train station, the ATM tram (I had to wait for some minutes) and the “needle and thread” (Ago & Filo), a famous monument in the middle of the square designed by by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

This is the final result: I don’t know if it gives the sense of enjoyment that I was trying to recreate, but for sure it was a nice challenge that made my lunch break definitely more pleasant and “creative”!

I want to add a very special thanks to my friend (and colleague) Irene Salerno for her kind support in taking this photo: she has been the one that informed me when the tram was arriving, and without her help I would have inesorably missed it! 

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Azulejos at Sintra National Palace, Portugal

Sintra (Portugal). The Sintra National Palace (or, in Portuguese, “Palácio Nacional de Sintra”) is a very popular destination located 25 kilometers west from Lisbon. For this reason, it’s easily crowded with tourists (in my case, it took 30 minutes to reach this place with a car, but more than an hour to find a parking lot) and I can’t say that I was particularly pervaded by the atmosphere of the place – unfortunately.

Except when I entered into the dining room, characterized by fantastic azulejos (painted tin-glazed ceramic tile-works) decorating the walls – reminding me the Cloister of Porto Sé Cathedral visited few days earlier. I found this scene, with the armchair in the corner and light filtering from the window, very nice and worthy of being captured (and shared here of course).

I prepared this photo yesterday, almost one year after I went to Portugal. The reason is because at the beginning I was not finding it so interesting, probably because it was mixed with ordinary (for me) images of a place with many tourists. But whereas I was working on it, I thought that travelling to a popular destination can be challenging for those, like me, who live their trip as something beyond the simple “visiting a place” and – as written here above – try to be pervaded by the atmosphere of a place. For this reasons, sometimes, I think it’s a good idea to dedicate more time to observe details, than to waste minutes waiting for remaining alone and finding the right “isolation” from the mass.

It’s my personal opinion (feel free to write yours) but in my case it works!

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Fall Is Not Only a Matter of Death Leaves and Grey Colours

Somewhere in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy). A yellow flower surfaces from a foliage in a wood of poplars. Because fall is not only a matter of death leaves and grey colours…


Da qualche parte nel Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Un fiore giallo spunta dal fogliame in un bosco di pioppi. Perché l’autunno non è solo una questione di foglie morte e colori grigi…

 

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Love is a Padlock and a Bridge (Pont des Arts)

Paris (France). Once upon a time there were serenades and love letters. Today, there are padlocks and bridges’ fences. I don’t know honestly what brings couples to demonstrate their love each others in this bizarre way – locking a padlock to a fence. But it seems that municipalities are not accepting it, because the extra load of hundreds of locks is causing the fences’ collapse. Paris – for example – is replacing the fence of Pont des Arts with a Plexiglas panel. What will people invent? We will see…

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The Arab Room at the Palácio da Bolsa in Porto

Porto (Portugal). Let me be very frank and honest – this time I quote myself:

if there’s anything I’ve been loved more and more since I started my deep and intense relationship with photography, it is the feeling that I’m capturing photos more often for myself instead of for the others.

Why I’m saying this? Let me go back with my mind… In the past years, especially at the beginning when I started taking photos, the final step of my workflow was just uploading and sharing my captures on social media such as Facebook and Flickr: the purpose, for each shot, was raising the largest possible number of “likes” or “shares”. And as such, my opinions about my photos were strongly conditioned (if not even determined) by their “popularity”, something now I can’t even think about…

Year after year, increasing my self confidence with the camera(s), I implicitly began to be more “neutral” on what the others were saying about my captures. I don’t want to say that I’m more clever; but for sure, I don’t care about receiving lots confirmations on social media… As said, I take photos for myself, for my personal, intimate pleasure of doing this, without any economic reason, without any interest in selling any book or promoting any service. I’m totally free, and I love it.

For this reason, I decided to close my “fan-page” on Facebook (yes, I had a fan page) and I dedicated much more time to this blog. Furthermore, I started not uploading original photos on Facebook, but posting directly only their link. This has reduced my popularity – Facebook discourages this way to share contents, and the visibility is very limited by the social media’s algorithm – but of course I do not care at all.

Well, just to avoid any possible misunderstanding: it does not mean that I don’t like interacting with my followers of course! And as the manifesto of Photographing Around Me clearly statesif you leave your comments (including negative critics) I will be happy of caring about them!

I will probably return on these thoughts, since I’m thinking frequently about these things and I have something else to add. But it’s time to talk about the posted photo: I took it at the marvellous Palacio da Bolsa in Porto, Portugal. It’s an interior capture taken at the Arab Room, completely decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style, fashionable in the 19th century, and used today as reception hall for personalities and heads of state visiting Porto.

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National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York

New York (USA). I visited the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in 2012. It ‘a place that should be visited in absolute silence, not only in respect to the many people that have lost their lives here, but also meditating on how that day changed the world. Today, on the 15th anniversary of that tragic September 11, I decided to prepare and post an old photo taken during this visit. While developing it, many things experienced during this visit came to my mind: the engraved names of dead people, the flowers left by their family, the incredible number of people – of all races and religions – walking silently around the huge fountains built in correspondence of the Twin Towers. It was my way to commemorate that tragic unforgettable day.


New York. Ho visitato il National September 11 Memorial and Museum nel 2012. E’ un posto che va visitato in assoluto silenzio, non solo in rispetto alle tante persone che qui hanno perso la loro vita, ma anche in meditazione su come quel giorno ha cambiato il mondo. Oggi, nel 15esimo anniversario di quel tragico 11 Settembre, ho deciso di riprendere una foto scattata durante tale visita. Mentre la preparavo per postarla qui sul blog, mi sono tornate in mente tante cose vissute durante quella visita: dai nomi incisi delle persone morte, ai fiori lasciati dai loro familiari, alla incredibile quantità di persone – di ogni razza e religione – che camminavano silenziosamente intorno alle enormi fontane costruite in corrispondenza delle Torri Gemelle. E’ stato un modo – per me – di commemorare quella tragica indimenticabile giornata.

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Turkish Coffee

Istanbul (Turkey). Turkish Coffee (Turk Kahvesi) is not simply “a coffee”… it’s a tradition, it’s a religion, it’s a ritual made of moments and that go well beyond simply the gesture of “drinking a coffee”. You have to wait, because when it comes served on your table it’s too hot. You have to drink it carefully, otherwise your mouth will be filled by the sandy coffee powder. You have to read its ground, so that you can learn more about your future and take the right decisions. For me – Italian – coffee is no more only “espresso”. A good Turk Kahvesi is a perfect boost to start the day!

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