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AF-S Zoom Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

City of London at Sunset

London (United Kingdom). The last time I visited London was in September 2013: “The View From The Shard” – the popular observation deck on the (currently) tallest building in the European Union – had opened few weeks earlier, and I could not miss the opportunity of shooting landscapes of London from this privileged point. When I arrived there, it was few minutes before sunset and the light was simply perfect: warm and clean as it can be only in late summer. At the end, it was a great photographic experience, despite the fact that The View From The Shard is not an open air place (but thanks God, glasses were quite clean). The City of London, at that time, was growing with some new buildings, which today are part of the skyline: one is called “The Cheese-grater”, for its shape resembling the typical tool for grating cheese on top of spaghetti; another one is called 20 Fenchurch Street and today it’s famous because it hosts the Sky Garden London.

Today, almost two years after that experience, I’m reconsidering and re-editing one photo from that day. Why today? I don’t know… Why this photo? Again, I don’t know… Simply, I was surfing into my photo catalogue, and my attention was captured by this specific one. I’m remarking this aspect because – one more time – it helps me to explain the rationale and the philosophy of Photographing Around Me. I know that today the City of London is different: I guess that buildings are completed and operative, and that cranes are over. But my memory – together with my photographs – is still at that September 2013. Next time I will go to London (I hope it will be very soon) I will capture and share an update. Promised!

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Sunset in London

London (United Kingdom). A warm autumnal sunset is colouring London, with its landmarks as Canary Wharf, the Thames and the Tower Bridge. The photograph has been taken from the Shard – the tallest building in the European Union – which offers a great point of view to capture stunning landscapes, despite its protection glasses. Highly recommended to all photographers and to London lovers – of course!

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Thinking About My Beloved Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkey). It was a sad day, today. A kind of “day after” feeling is all over Istanbul, as well as pervades medias and social networks, which are populated of hastags such as #PrayForIstabul or #JeSuisIstanbul (why in French, by the way?). However, the city slowly tries to find its new equilibrium, but probably nothing will be the same anymore (or at least for a long time).

The word “violence” comes from from Latin “violentia”, which is the combination of the two words “vis” (strength) and “-ulentus”, adjective-forming suffix meaning “abounding in, full of”. And this is what is hurting me, and I guess million of people like me, from citizens to expats to just Istanbul lovers: the idea that Istanbul, and more specifically Sultanahmet, has been targeted for a violence or, in this case, has been the place chosen to demonstrate an excess of strength.

By who? This is not a blog about geopolitics: it does not matter “by who” – not here at least. As everybody, I’m following news to understand more and, of course, I hope that the all those behind this terrorist attack will pay for their responsibilities. However, what counts is that what happened yesterday – 12th of January, 2016 – is really shocking. And not because “I was there many times” or “it could have happened to me”. No, this honestly does not make sense, at all. But because, hurting Istanbul – and more specifically its heart, Sultanahmet – meant hurting a city that was founded in 660 B.C., which since its foundation has been teaching to the entire world what is “being an eternal bridge between continents, cultures and religions”; hurting Istanbul is hurting all of us – violently.

Napoleon once said: “If the world was only one country, Istanbul would be its capital!”. This is not the world I want: I hope from here now – from Istanbul today – we can start changing the world and make of it a better place for everybody.

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Devotion (at the Sukawati Market in Bali)

Bali (Indonesia). The sense of religiosity and devotion is something that everyone experiences even as just landed in Bali. Travelling around the island is a continuous discover of temples – large and sumptuous, as well as small and humble – and it’s impossible to remain indifferent to it. Furthermore, it’s not only a simple visual experience (meaning, something that you can simply see); flowers and incenses are largely used in rituals, and it’s quite frequent smelling their scent along the streets.

However, although Bali hosts some thousands of temples all around, every place is suitable for devotion. Every shop has its private corner for praying and giving offers to God. Same is for private houses, where women daily prepare a basket of fresh products, fruit, flowers, biscuits and some money. The photograph I post here comes from the Sukaweti Market, not too far from the central town of Ubud. It’s a large market, which sells different products, mainly fruit and vegetables. I was walking around, and I noticed this big stack of bananas with the typical small basket on it, containing another banana, frangipane flowers and some incense to be offered to God. I found this scene very peculiar of the Balinese religiosity, and I did not hesitate one second to take my camera and capture it.

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