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AF-S Prime Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED

What’s Currently in My Bag?

Milan (Italy). Sometimes I receive message from people that are curious to know what is in my bag. They are confused – and I can understand them – because I frequently post photos taken months, if not years, before. And this contributes to their curiosity.

I’m just back from summer holidays, which is the period of the year when I stress use my cameras and lenses most. So, it is also an opportunity to test them and develop my opinion about what I have in my hands.

This blog – let me just remind it one more time – has not any purpose to test, promote or review photographic gears. There are excellent (and definitely much more popular) blogs that do it excellently. This is a blog to show and share my photos, but I understand that sometimes it can be interesting knowing what camera or lens has been used to capture a determined image.

This summer I decided to travel a bit lighter than I did in the past. While in January – during a trip around Vietnam – I brought one Nikon D810 and one Nikon Df, with only prime lenses (24, 35, 58, 105), this August I brought only the Nikon Df with one Zeiss 18, one Voigtlander 40, an old glorious Nikon 55, a 105 and a 180 together with a Leica Q. Basically, i was walking with the Leica in my hand, taking the Df out of my bag for some specific situations…

Will I remain with this configuration? Who knows… I must admit that I’m quite curious to see what Leica is doing and preparing. Some rumors talk about a new system, and I’m quite excited about this idea. At the same time, I think that the Nikon Df is still the only DSLR that can stay in my bag, and I will not replace it for another camera with the same technology.

Let’s see…

Ah, this photo has been taken with an iPhone 🙂

 

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Young Monks at the Thien Mu Pagoda

Hue (Vietnam). The value of some photos is in remembering a special moment. I met these two young monks at the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue while I was walking and admiring this wonderful place. They were praying, but they made me understand that they were not disturbed by my presence. I staid in a corner, without taking photos but simply watching them and letting the peace generated by that moment pervading myself. When they finished, before closing the room where they were praying, they made me understand that I could take a photos of them – it was like a remuneration for my silent respect of their activity. At the end, I had the feeling that they were even happy to be photographed: as said, it was a special moment…

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Landscape Of Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). This is a landscape of the popular Ha Long Bay, in the northern part of Vietnam. Visiting this group of islands – which is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth – is a “must-do” for travelers. Unfortunately, it seems there’s a sort of “ships’ lobby”, which forces visitors to come here with two or three days cruises on expensive boats. What is frustrating – at least, to me and to my way of travelling – is the fact that every single action is determined by a rigid time schedule, which does not leave too much freedom for “doing something different” from what has been planned by organizers, like for example changing the itinerary, or staying some more minutes in a specific place.

To better explain, I took this photo of Ha Long Bay from the entrance of a very large cave (I will post some photos of it in the next days). I could spend several hours here, watching this landscape, the activities of small boats all around, or even simply the clouds moving on the sea. There was something of magic for me here, probably because I had dreamed this view for a very long time before – finally! – capturing it. And leaving this place without the feeling of having taken the image I had in my mind, was making me getting nervous, to be honest. Luckily, the final result is not so bad. But still I feel a sense of dissatisfaction watching this picture. It’s hard to explain, but “photographing around me” is not just clicking: it’s also taking my time to do it in the way I want.


Baia di Ha Long (Vietnam). Questo è il famoso panorama della Baia di Ha Long, nel nord del Vietnam. Un’escursione per vedere questo gruppo di isole – considerato da alcuni come il posto più bello del mondo – è doveroso per chi fa un viaggio in Vieetnam. Purtroppo, una specie di “lobby” delle barche costringe i visitatori a venire qui tramite costose crociere di due o tre giorni. Ciò che maggiormente mi ha infastidito, per quello che è il mio modo di viaggiare, è il fatto che ogni attività è rigidamente scadenziata, per cui non rimane molto tempo libero per fare “qualcosa di diverso” rispetto a quanto programmato dagli organizzatori (come ad esempio modificare l’itinerario o restare in un determinato posto un po’ più a lungo).

Ad esempio, ho scattato questa foto della baia di Ha Long dall’ingresso di un’enorme grotta (della quale posterò qualche foto appena possibile). Sarei stato ore a guardare questo panorama, le attività delle varie barchette, o anche solo a osservare le nuvole nel cielo. C’era qualcosa di magico qui per me, forse perchè ho veramente sognato a lungo di vedere questo posto prima di poterlo fotografare!. E andar via da qui senza la senzazione di aver scattato la foto che avevo in mente di fare, mi ha sinceramente un po’ innervosito. Per fortuna il risultato finale non è così male, ma ho ancora un senso di insoddisfazione guardando questa foto. E’ difficile da spiegare, ma “photographing around me” non è solo “cliccare”, ma anche prendersi il tempo per farlo nel modo in cui voglio.

 

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