Tag:

Black&White

The Former Shanghai Slaughterhouse

Shanghai (China). It’s official name is “1933 Laochangfang”, it was the Shanghai slaughterhouse and it was built – as written in its name – in 1933 during the pre-communist period. The building was expressly designed to manage the complicated logistic typical of a slaughterhouse: series of ramps, bridges, slipways and chutes were facilitating the work of men with their cattle, whereas a central atrium was the market. Visiting the 1933 Laochangfang is very impressive, even though today you can only imagine that in its original destination it was an abbattoir; and instead of cows or other animals, today the Shanghai slaughterhouse is a trendy location for events, with bars, restaurants, ballrooms and exhibitions.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Father and Son in the Mouth of the Monster (La Defense, Paris)

Paris (France). This is what happens when someone (like me) watches all the eight episodes of “Stranger Things” in two days! As I finished this series, I had to go to Paris for business, and during a pre-dinner photo-walk around La Défense, my attention was captured by this (questionable) installation, which looks like a monstrous spiral. Observing a father with his son passing through it, had triggered my fantasy and gave me the feeling that this horrible creature was going to capture two poor innocent victims, to bring them into the meanderings of the concrete skeleton.

Thankfully, shortly after I had to go to dinner…


Paris. Questo è quello che succede quando uno guarda tutti e otto gli episodi di “Stranger Things” in due giorni! Appena finita la serie, sono dovuto andare a Parigi per lavoro, e durante una passeggiata fotografica attorno a La Défense prima di cena, la mia attenzione è rimasta catturata da questa struttura artistica (di discutibile pregio) che forma una sorta di spirale mostruosa. Il vedere passare attraverso di essa un padre con un figlio, ha scatenato la mia fantasia, dandomi la sensazione che questa creatura mostruosa stesse per catturare due povere vittime innocenti per trascinarle nei meandri di uno scheletro di cemento.

Per fortuna poco dopo sono dovuto andare a cena…

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Landscape of Milan At Take Off From Linate Airport

Milan (Italy). This activity of photographing Milan at take off from Linate city airport – I must say – is going to entertain me a lot. Indeed, Linate is in my opinion one of the airports that offers the most spectacular take-offs, since after having left the runaway, the planes (at least those directed to North) usually turn toward the Alps flying over the city and therefore offering a very interesting view. In this regard, my suggestion is booking a window seat at the left of the plane (letter “A”) since the city’s landscape is mostly at that side.

Some mornings ago, while I was flying to Paris Orly (ORY) from Linate (LIN), the air was so clean that the view was reaching the Alps and I could even see their peaks with still a bit of snow. Since at take-off there was already enough light (AZ 350 flight at 8:55 AM) I decided to develop the photo in black and white. For the occasion, I used a 50 mm Summilux lens, also because the composition – with a thick window in between, “not very ASPH” – in these situations is not always very easy.

By the way, if Linate is an amazing airport for taking off, I think is worth mentioning Venice Marco Polo (VCE) as probably the most beautiful airport for landing! In this case, the best seats are the window ones at the right side (letter “F” for short and medium-haul flights).


Milano. Questa cosa di fotografare Milano mentre sto decollando dall’aeroporto cittadino di Linate devo ammettere che sta iniziando a divertirmi parecchio. Del resto, questo è a mio avviso uno degli aeroporti che offre i decolli più spettacolari, dal momento che dopo aver staccato dalla pista, gli aerei (almeno quelli verso nord) sono soliti virare verso le Alpi e passare sopra la città offrendo uno spettacolo molto interessante. A tal proposito, il mio consiglio è quello di prendere un posto finestrino a sinistra (“A”) dal momento che la città si sviluppa in buona parte da quel lato.

L’altra mattina, mentre andavo a Parigi, la visuale arrivava fino alle Alpi, tanto da poterne vedere le cime con ancora un po’ di neve. Dal momento che al decollo c’era già abbastanza luce (volo AZ350 alle 8:55 del mattino) ho deciso di convertire la foto in bianco e nero. Per l’occasione ho utilizzato un obbiettivo 50 mm Summilux, anche perchè la composizione – con un finestrino di mezzo – in questi casi non è sempre facilissima.

Per inciso, se Linate è un bellissimo aeroporto da cui decollare, credo valga la pena ricordare che Venezia Marco Polo (VCE) è forse il più bell’aeroporto in cui atterrare! In questo caso il posto migliore è il finestrino lato destro (lettera “F” per gli aerei a corto e medio raggio).

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Testing the Leica M-D (Misunderstanding at Prada Shop, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II)

Milan (Italy). Frankly speaking, although in the post title I wrote “testing”, this was not a proper test.

First of all, because who am I to test a camera? I’m just a “passionate user of photo devices” and I intend cameras as instruments for creating positive feelings – that’s it.

Second point, because there are so many official and unofficial tests on this camera around internet, that mine would be “just another one”. Who cares of it?

Third, and probably most important aspect: what’s the sense of testing a camera that is the essence of pure photography? The sensor? Well, it’s the “usual” 24-megapixel high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor. The screen? There’s no screen in the Leica M-D. The effects? Please, don’t make me insist…

So, all above considered and to be more precise, this was not a test: this was an experience.

Yes, the correct title should have been “experiencing the new Leica M-D”, concentrating the whole content on my feelings and emotions with this fantastic camera. And probably, the best feeling that explains what is photographing with a Leica M-D, is the same that a swimmer has when she starts swimming from shallow to deep water – does it give the idea? For a large number of photographers, the presence of a screen on the back of the camera (to review the captured images) represents a sort of comfort zone, given by the opportunity of instantaneously check what has been photographed. The new Leica M-D – let me be a bit “hard” – gives a kick to photographers’ backs, saying “ok, if you call yourself a photographer, demonstrate that you are confident enough to survive without the screen!”. On the other side, a photographer must love this kind of challenge – at least, I did!

So, I walked randomly around Milan downtown for more or less one hour. A sort of touristic tour around Piazza Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza dei Mercanti, capturing photos and being exclusively concentrated on what I was doing. No distractions. No feeling a sense of accomplishment, because I had no idea of what I had captured. My eye was only on the street through the viewfinder, not down on the screen zooming-in&out to see the result of my previous clicks, and potentially risking to miss another shot (I guess that film photographers perfectly understand). Yes, this is the true difference of the Leica M-D: with a screen camera, you constantly bear the risk of being distracted by the screen itself (eventually missing a better capture, the next – decisive – moment) and of feeling the sense of accomplishment that a photographer should never feel. With the Leica M-D, photography is a pure action, done straight forwardly to the subject, the scene, the situation.

This is my feeling. And I think I will experience it again, since I’m seriously considering to buy this camera. Yes, because – as clearly stated here in my blog’s manifesto – I buy the cameras I use, and I’m totally free to say what I think.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Galleria Meravigli (Perhaps One Day I Will Expose at Fondazione Forma)

Milan (Italy). I come to this place – the Galleria Meravigli – more or less every time there is a new photography exhibition at the Fondazione Forma, one of the most active reality in the Italian photographic landscape and a reference point for photography lovers in Milan. Even this year I have attended several exhibitions, including one of my favorite ever: the legendary Vivian Maier.

I have selected the Galleria Meravigli some days ago, when I was walking around Milan to test the new Leica M-D camera: It was Saturday morning and there was nobody around. I liked the feeling of being a bit suspended in the past and I took some photos of people walking “over there, out of the gallery”. This is one of them…

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Testing the Leica M-D (Milano, Piazza dei Mercanti)

Milan (Italy). Frankly speaking, although in the post title I wrote “testing”, this was not a proper test.

First of all, because who am I to test a camera? I’m just a “passionate user of photo devices” and I intend cameras as instruments for creating positive feelings – that’s it.

Second point, because there are so many official and unofficial tests on this camera around internet, that mine would be “just another one”. Who cares of it?

Third, and probably most important aspect: what’s the sense of testing a camera that is the essence of pure photography? The sensor? Well, it’s the “usual” 24-megapixel high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor. The screen? There’s no screen in the Leica M-D. The effects? Please, don’t make me insist…

So, all above considered and to be more precise, this was not a test: this was an experience.

Yes, the correct title should have been “experiencing the new Leica M-D”, concentrating the whole content on my feelings and emotions with this fantastic camera. And probably, the best feeling that explains what is photographing with a Leica M-D, is the same that a swimmer has when she starts swimming from shallow to deep water – does it give the idea? For a large number of photographers, the presence of a screen on the back of the camera (to review the captured images) represents a sort of comfort zone, given by the opportunity of instantaneously check what has been photographed. The new Leica M-D – let me be a bit “hard” – gives a kick to photographers’ backs, saying “ok, if you call yourself a photographer, demonstrate that you are confident enough to survive without the screen!”. On the other side, a photographer must love this kind of challenge – at least, I did!

So, I walked randomly around Milan downtown for more or less one hour. A sort of touristic tour around Piazza Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza dei Mercanti, capturing photos and being exclusively concentrated on what I was doing. No distractions. No feeling a sense of accomplishment, because I had no idea of what I had captured. My eye was only on the street through the viewfinder, not down on the screen zooming-in&out to see the result of my previous clicks, and potentially risking to miss another shot (I guess that film photographers perfectly understand). Yes, this is the true difference of the Leica M-D: with a screen camera, you constantly bear the risk of being distracted by the screen itself (eventually missing a better capture, the next – decisive – moment) and of feeling the sense of accomplishment that a photographer should never feel. With the Leica M-D, photography is a pure action, done straight forwardly to the subject, the scene, the situation.

This is my feeling. And I think I will experience it again, since I’m seriously considering to buy this camera. Yes, because – as clearly stated here in my blog’s manifesto – I buy the cameras I use, and I’m totally free to say what I think.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
The Lonely Passenger (Photo From Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana Station)

Reggio Emilia (Italy). A photograph quickly captured during a very short train stop at the “Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana” station. As soon as I realised that the train I was travelling with, was stopping at the high speed train station Reggio Emilia AV (AV means “Alta Velocità“, which is the Italian for High Speed), I thought it was an unmissable opportunity. Indeed, all the times I pass from this station (or close to it, such as when I drive on the A1 highway, which runs close to it) I’m really mesmerised by its futuristic architecture designed by Santiago Calatrava: the sequence of 19 modules, each of them 25 meters long and made with 25 staggered steel portals (one per meter) generates a very peculiar structure – 483 meters long – which resembles a wave and that calls to my mind the famous Bridge of Aspiration in Covent Garden – London, which connects the Royal Ballet Upper School with the Royal Opera House.

Since I was just in transit, I knew I hadn’t enough time to prepare the composition and the framing: therefore, few minutes before the train stopped, I set the camera with the settings I thought correct, and I used the available time (less than a minute) to jump down, frame the scene, focus, shoot (with the train manager looking at me doubtfully) and return on the train before it was leaving. But I must admit I had fun, so much that I hope soon I can come here again to capture photos of this infrastructure, better if with more calm and with a different light. But to be a first and faint attempt, besides with few seconds available to prepare everything, I can say that for the moment I can be happy with the final result.


Reggio Emilia. Una foto scattata “al volo” durante la breve sosta con il treno alla stazione ferroviaria “Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana“. Appena ho realizzato che il treno su cui viaggiavo si sarebbe fermato alla stazione di Reggio Emilia AV, ho pensato che si trattava di un’occasione che non dovevo lasciarmi scapapre. Infatti, le varie volte che sono passato da questa stazione (incluse quelle in cui l’ho costeggiata in macchina lungo l’autostrada A1) sono sempre rimasto molto affascinato dalla sua avveniristica architettura progettata da Santiago Calatrava: la sequenza di 19 moduli, ciascuno lungo circa 25 metri e formato a sua volta da una serie di 25 portali di acciaio sfalsati e distanziati tra loro di circa 1 metro (per una lunghezza complessiva pari a 483 m) genera una struttura molto particolare, del tutto simile a un’onda e che mi ha ricordato per certi aspetti il celebre Bridge of Aspiration di Covent Garden a Londra, che collega la Royal Ballet Upper School con la Royal Opera House.

Visto il fatto che ero in transito, non è cha avessi molto tempo per studiare la composizione e l’inquadratura: di fatto, poco prima che il treno si fermasse ho preparato la macchina con quelle che pensavo fossero le giuste impostazioni, e ho sfruttato il minuto scarso a mia disposizione per saltar giù, inquadrare, mettere a fuoco, scattare (con il capotreno che mi guardava dubbioso) e risalire sul treno prima che questo ripartisse. Ma devo dire che mi sono divertito, tanto che spero in futuro ci sia modo di tornare a fotografare questa infrastruttura, magari con più calma e con una luce diversa. Ma per essere un primo timido tentativo, oltre tutto con pochi secondi di preparazione, diciamo che per il momento posso ritenermi soddisfatto.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
(After-lunch) Sunbathing in Naples

Naples (Italy). Another photograph captured on the same afternoon and in the same place of this other one (Piazza della Vittoria, at the beginning of Via Partenope’s promenade). I must admit that Naples is a city that under the photographic point of view (and not only) offers me always so many emotions, both for its indisputable beauty, and for the people it’s possible to meet.

As I wrote in my other post, I could stay hours taking photos in these moments, which are so rich of sparks that it’s impossible not remaining completely captured by the scene and by the life happening in it. This is – I’m repeating myself – the charm of Naples, one of my favorite cities in the world.


I am from Naples so I like the mixture of drama and comedy all together (Sophia Loren)


Napoli. Una foto scattata lo stesso pomeriggio e nello stesso posto di quest’altra (Piazza della Vittoria, dove inizia il lungomare di Via Partenope). Devo dire che Napoli è una città che offre sempre tante belle emozioni dal punto di vista fotografico (e non solo), sia per la sua indiscutibile bellezza, ma anche per le persone che si possono incontrare.

Come scrivevo nell’altro post, queste sono situazioni in cui potrei stare ore a fotografare: sono momenti così ricchi di spunti che è inevitabile rimanere completamente catturati dalla scena e dalla vita che in essa si svolge. Ed è proprio questa – lo ribadisco un’altra volta – la magia di Napoli,una delle città che amo di più in assoluto.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
The Ramadan Drummer

Istanbul (Turkey). Tomorrow, June 18th, is the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan (called Ramazan in Turkey). Every night, all around Turkey’s cities – from large ones to villages – a Ramadan drummer (its name should be “Mesaharaty”) will walk around the streets to wake people up before the Sahur (or Suhoor), the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting.

I still remember the first time I was woken up by the passage of a Ramadan drummer: at that time I was on holiday in Goreme (Cappadocia) and initially I thought the drum beats were coming from a local party. Only the day after I learned about this tradition: one night I was moved by curiosity and I decided to look for – and to meet – a real drummer.

I went to Balat, one of the most conservative (and beautiful) district of Fatih, in Istanbul. I had to wait more or less till 3 am before listening to the first beats of a drum, and I was really excited to take part to that event in such a close and thorough way. The drummer was so determined and committed with his task, that he was not at all disturbed about my presence, and I was free to stay few meters behind him. When he saw my camera and understood my intentions, he even invited me to follow him: we walked together through the narrow and old streets that go up and down all around Fener and Balat, and when we were crossing other drummers doing the same, I had the feeling that “mine” was looking proud of my presence. It was a great experience, both photographically and under the human point of view – although a bit challenging for the low light conditions. I took hundreds of photographs in less than half an hour, but I selected this one posted here – which I decided to develop in black and white – as the most representative of a great experience: my special night with a Ramadan drummer.

0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest
Newer Posts