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Nikon Df

The Haunted House at Fondazione Prada in Milan

Milan (Italy). Time ago I visited the Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation): I wrote some posts about very interesting exhibitions hosted at that time (Thomas Demand, Tom Friedman, Pino Pascali and Damien Hirst), but I didn’t say too much about what is probably the most capturing aspect of this place: the architecture of its spaces.

So, I decided to expand the tag “Fondazione Prada” with some photos focused exclusively on the architectures – with the intention of going there again and taking some more shots.

The Fondazione Prada is a very interesting example of conversion and reutilization of a former and abandoned industrial space into something of completely different. The architects of OMA Studio leaded by the Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas worked to keep the original structure – possibly adapting the existing spaces to the needs of a museum – but still giving the feeling to visitors of being in a place totally new, as if it had been built from scratch.

While I was walking around pavilions and photographing around me (this sentence sounds familiar) I was noticing that the majority of structures was not totally new, therefore I still could imagine the site “as it was” in the past, functioning for its original scope (a distillery). But at the same time, some elements – such as for example the “Haunted House” – were bringing me to another dimension, both temporal (for the modernity of their design) and architectural (for the striking contrast of colors and materials). The result, for me, was a sort of “temporal confusion”, something of very intriguing, and that made me conclude that a visit to the Fondazione Prada is absolutely recommended.

Some more photos will follow. Here I used the Nikon Df (the only reflex I still have, and I love it!) mounted with a wide angle Zeiss Distagon ZF.2 18 mm lens.

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Postcards From Istanbul: The Blue Mosque at Night

Istanbul (Turkey). Istanbul (and Turkey in general) are living very tough times in these days; and life seems not being the same as usual. Newspapers and blogs are full of articles, opinions, analysis, stories and – I guess – even some legend about the recent (failed) military coup. However, this place is not intended to talk about things that are not photography and emotions.

For this reason, in the past days I realized that what I can and I want to do is remembering the happiness, the beauty and the carefreeness of Istanbul – as I love(d) to photograph it so many times! It’s a task, at least I live it as such; and to accomplish it, I need to start from images like this one posted here. Why? Well, the reason is quite simple: I’m spending most of my time following the situation in Turkey since last Friday (also for reasons related to my work) and I feel I’m really bombed by photos of Istanbul so terribly different from the “typical images” I’m used to see. What I want to say is that usually, writing “Istanbul” on search engines, the typical image that comes out is something like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Bosphorus or the markets; but in these days Istanbul is associated to tanks, protests and masses – even with some photos taken from others stages (Egypt, for example) and reused to create confusion!

So, sorry for being probably stereotyped and for recurring to a cliché, but I can’t resist anymore. Istanbul (and Turkey too) is not the mess we are watching in these days, and I want – googling “Istanbul” – to see again its postcards of landscapes in the top ranking. I think that only in this way it will be possible to re-establish the right order of things; and only in this way Istanbul and Turkey will return to be the same amazing destination they have been since ever.

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The Coconut Guy (Along the Mekong Delta)

Mekong Delta (Vietnam). I met this guy during a tour along the delta of the Mekong River, not too far from Can Tho in the south of Vietnam. We stopped our boat to meet a small community of locals, which were basing their economy on coconuts and related products like milk, oil, candies and many types of handicrafts.

Of course, the entire process must from the preparation of the harvested coconuts, and this guy was so fast and precise to cut and clean them that I was hypnotized by his gestures and his ability.

The amount of coconuts he had been able to prepare was clearly visible from the huge number of shells in the background, which were forming a sort of brownish wall. I found his half-naked body emerging from this “sea of shells” a very interesting subject for a portrait photograph, and he did not look annoyed or distracted by my camera.

One final comment: I used the 105mm f/2 DC Nikon lens for this photo. The more I use it, the more I love it (especially for portraits, usually mounted on a Nikon Df camera). This lens is a perfect travel mate, I can’t leave it at home!

 

 

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Paris (France). I’m not a photojournalist (I barely consider my self even a photographer!), but yesterday I was walking by chance close to Pont des Arts in Paris, and I remembered what I had read on newspapers the day before: a team of maintainers was there to remove thousands and thousands of padlocks – so called “love locks” – which were locked at the bridge’s railing by lovers from all around the world, putting their initials on the lock itself, and throwing the keys down into the Seine river.

Being there in the middle of a large group of photographers (professional ones) and video-makers was very exciting, and moved by enthusiasm of being in the right place at the right time, I took several photos. This first one published here is probably the most “symbolic”, with a last couple of lovers on the bench watching sadly all those love locks – probably included theirs – removed from Pont des Arts’ railing. Other photos complete the gallery.

 

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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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Alfama District in Lisbon from the Pool at Memmo Hotel

Lisbon (Portugal). Alfama is the oldest and probably the most characteristic district of Lisbon: it goes from the Tejo river up to the Sao Jorge Castle, and it is today a very popular touristic attraction. Every day, thousands of people come here – most of them with the popular tram number 28 – and walk up and down this picturesque labyrinth made of narrow streets, small squares and cozy restaurants playing fado.

The thing that impressed me most, and that I tried to capture when I was contemplating the landscape of Alfama at the beginning of sunset, is the perfect coexistence of sumptuous and elegant churches emerging from a dense jumble of roofs and terraces (the typical “miradouro”). This strong contrast in my opinion represents the true essence of Alfama, a sort of DNA of this district, which went – in the years – through opposite periods. In fact, if during the Moorish domination the Alfama was corresponding with the whole city, with the later expansion to west the district started its decadency and became inhabited mostly by poor people and fishermen. With the devastating earthquake of 1755, the Alfama was not affected and it was therefore preserved by any activity of reconstruction, keeping its original urban texture. With the recent renovation of old houses and with an activity of deep restoration, the Alfama is today one of the most vibrant part of Lisbon, populated both by locals and by foreigners.

I captured this image from the poolside on the roof of the Memmo Alfama Hotel, the first boutique hotel in Lisbon: a perfect terrace where to enjoy a drink watching one of the most popular and spectacular view of the Portugal’s capital.

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Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari

Venice (Italy). Photographing Around Me was created to show what can capture my attention: there isn’t any clear intent of describing a place under the touristic or the didactic point of view, unless I have some information that can be interesting to contextualize the posted photo. I say this because sometimes I’m requested to add information like address, opening hours or the story of a certain place, but I’m quite sure that all these info are available and easily findable on the web.

It sounds like a disclaimer, doesn’t it? However, that said, I’m posting another photo that I captured some months ago during a walk of few hours around Venice, which besides the traditional and most typical landscapes (yes, you can find even them in this website), offers an incredible set of glimpses, hidden corners and special places to capture the real essence of this magic city. This one, for example, shows a side street close to Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, one of the most prestigious church in Venice, and therefore one of the most crowded places in town. For this reason – as it happens frequently – I liked this non-conventional view made of a façade, few people and a “minor” canal. But also the decadence of the façade itself, which is contrasting with the magnificence and the splendor of the mentioned church.

All these things were contributing to make special the moment when I captured this photo. A usual, I do not pretend to transmit these feelings to my readers, but I’m afraid that otherwise it’s just a click and not a full and complete emotion. .

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