Nikon D810

Landscape of Chau Doc on the Mekong Delta

Chau Doc (Vietnam). Chau Doc is an intriguing destination on the Mekong delta, close to the Cambodian border. I definitely loved this place: I spent some hours photographing the life along the river’s banks, watching people farming fishes and moving with their boats. There’s something of magic here, it’s difficult to explain: a sort of “Vietnamese Venice” that made me thing that if Canaletto were from Vietnam, he would had painted Chau Doc.

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The Italian Stock Exchange (Palazzo Mezzanotte)

Milan (Italy). Piazza Affari is an important square in Milano, not only because it hosts the Italian Stock Exchange, but also because there is the famous sculpture named “L.O.V.E.”, crafted by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. L.O.V.E. is an acronymous: L is for “Libertà” (freedom), O is for “Odio” (hate), V is for “Vendetta” (revenge) and E is for “Eternità” (eternity). The statue represents a hand, which is making the typical fascist salutation, but with all the fingers – except the medium one – cut or consumed. It must be considered that the building of the Italian Stock Exchange is an example of architecture from the fascist period – therefore the finger can be intended as directed to fascism and, in general, to every regime. However – as the majority of people think – it’s also a clear “f**k off” to the financial world. Whichever meaning you want to see within L.O.V.E., I recommend a visit to Piazza Affari: during the day it is crowded by white collars and bankers, but by night it is surprisingly quiet and silent.

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Watching Paris From Notre Dame

Paris (France). I posted a similar photo some days ago: in that case the lens – my beloved Nikon 105 mm Defocus Control – was on the so called “gargoyle”, one of the bizarre sculptures decorating the Notre Dame Cathedral. The image posted here has been taken from the same place, but with a wide angle Zeiss lens to capture a wide landscape of Paris under a beautiful cloudy sky.

I have been desiring to go to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral for years, but every time I was discouraged by an incredibly long queue, with waiting times of some hours! When recently I finally had the opportunity of being in Paris on a Monday morning, I did not hesitate one minute and I went straight to Notre Dame around one hour before the opening. I wasn’t the first of the line – some Japaneses arrived earlier than me, of course! – but I could enter 20 minutes after the opening: still it was a success! “Such a long waiting time must be compensated by a gorgeous landscape”, I was thinking when I was climbing the tower’s steps: so getting closer to the top I was more and more nervous, because my expectations were very high and the biggest risk was to be disappointed.

However, at the end I can say that it was a successful experience: the landscape of Paris from Notre Dame is something of breathtaking, especially when the light is not too sharp. The entrance is regulated, so the downside is the long queue, but the upside is that on the top it is not too crowded and everyone can find the time to concentrate and shoot. One last but important advice: it can be bloody cold and windy over there, so bring an extra layer and be prepared…

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Fishermen’s Boats in Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc (Vietnam). I remember Phu Quoc island as an “interesting mix” of wonderful places alternated to terrible spots: the island itself is beautiful and very well positioned – just in front of Cambodia. However,there are some parts that are going to be heavily compromised by new huge touristic resorts, and this is really sad to be admitted.

I was there some weeks ago, and I wanted to explore the island; therefore I headed to north to see the beach of Ganh Dau. This beach is also an important harbor for fishermen, which leave here their boats before going for fishing close to Cambodia. The atmosphere at Ganh Dau is nice, calm, and relaxed – I took this photograph to give exactly the impression I’m saying, and I used a wide angle lens to capture as much as possible of what was in front of my eyes. However, as said, resorts are really growing like mushrooms here around, and they are creating some serious threats to the island’s natural equilibrium. One of the largest resort on the island, the Vinpearl Resort, is very few kilometers from here, and it’s a brand new huge real estate development hosting a golf club, an amusement park, pools and other attractions.

The contrast between the Ganh Dau beach and the close Vinpearl resort is quite symbolic of Phu Quoc today: I really hope that this massive anthropization will not compromise the perfect atmosphere of this island, transforming this photograph as a pure and simple postcard from my memories.

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