Nikon 55mm f/1.2 AI

The Hay Bale Field Under the Piagnaro Castle in Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). I’m spending my weekend in Pontremoli: it’s always a “back to my roots” experience and I enjoy walking around the town shooting photographs. On Friday, I went along a field: there were some round hay bales and the sun was going down creating the perfect light conditions. The gold of the field was perfectly contrasting with the green of the wood in the back and the blue of the sky. On the top, the Medieval castle (Castello del Piagnaro) dominates the city with its massive presence.

For this photo I have chosen an old – but legendary – Nikon 55 mm f/1.2 lens: I love its manual focus and I think it’s a perfect companion for this type of situations, thanks to its versatility and quality.

I’m sure those who know Pontremoli will understand the point where I captured this image. To all the others: why don’t you come here and discover this place with your own eyes?

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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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Landscape of Milan from the Terrazza Triennale

Milan (Italy). Some days ago I finally could go to the Terrazza Triennale – the terrace of the Triennale museum – a very popular place for an aperitif, with a great view on the park (Parco Sempione) and the new skyline of Milano (which I described here in detail).

I was not so impressed by the place itself: to be honest, the drink was nice but the Terrazza Triennale it is not the best “aperitivo in Milano”. A very nice list of gin bottles (it’s going to be a standard, but it’s good since – if you follow my posts – you should know that I’m a gin lover) with many top labels, and used not only for the classic gin tonic, but also for more elaborated cocktails. I was a bit annoyed by the waitress and by their inefficiency, probably due to a bad management of the bar (for example, first they served cocktails and after long time we received something to eat). I even gave a look to the menu for the dinner, but it was quite unappealing (and I heard bad comments about food).

What made this place special to my eyes is its view – and thank’s God I was back from the Fondazione Prada, so I had my camera with me! The sunset was P-E-R-F-E-C-T and while the sun was going down, its rays were coloring the facade of buildings at Porta Nuova. The trees of Parco Sempione were adding something to this fantastic landscape, giving the feeling that the skyline was de facto emerging from the forest in a very impressive contrast.

To capture this photo I used one of my favorite lens, an old glorious Nikon 55 mm f/1.2 Ai, which was badly damaged few hours earlier falling on the ground when I was at the Fondazione Prada (look here: I posted a photo on Instagram…). A bitter-sweet landscape…



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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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The Largest Free Pool in Paris

Paris (France). Here is how Parisians – and of course tourists – fight the heat wave striking Europe in these days of July 2015: transforming the big fountain at the Jardins Du Trocadero into the largest public (and free) pool in town. For sure, given its position and the view of the Tour Eiffel, this “pool” can be considered as probably one of the most exclusive in the world!

I have my personal concerns about the general hygienic conditions, but it seems that people are not particularly worried.

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A Bottom-Up Approach

Paris (France). I cannot imagine how many people every day take this photo, probably thousands. However, it’s a very challenging shot, since you must find the exact symmetry point, stand well stable and keep the camera on a perfect horizontal plane.

In my case, it was even a bit more tough, because I was testing using the manual focus lens Nikon 55mm f/1.2 AI. It’s an old Nikon glass (it dates back to 1977, almost like me!) but I found it quite impressive in terms of sharpness and precision. And – no need to say – shooting in manual focus is something different, difficult to explain!

I’m confident this will be one of my favorite lens in my bag! I have some more shots from the same photographic tour, I will post them within the next days!

Ah, maybe you are still wondering what is represented here in this photograph: it’s a bottom-up view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris…

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Love Locks (at Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor)

Paris (France). Paris is widely recognized as one of the most romantic cities in the world, and this is something of easily understandable. What I honestly still do not understand, is why people declare their love putting a lock on the railing of a bridge and throwing the key into the river

Some months ago, Pont des Artes was temporarily closed to go under maintenance and to remove tons of so called “love locks”, which were compromising the stability of railings. Now, the new place where to hang love locks is the Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor. It’s the same situation: locks sellers all along the bridge (they also offer to their customers the possibility of writing their initials with a pen) and thousands of locks all along the railings.

My question is still the same: if love ends, does one of the two come, find and remove the love lock?

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