Budapest (Hungary). This is the first time I write a blog post to test something, but I just installed the new Adobe Lightroom 6 and I tried what is probably the most interesting feature: the photo merge to create stunning panoramic photos. Some years ago I was in Budapest, and I took several (eight!) photos of the Parliament, from left to right. Today, with Lightroom 6, I used this sequence to test the photo-merge function. The process is very fast (at least on my MacBook Pro 2014) and precise. The final result is a DNG file, which gives the possibility of applying non-destructive corrections. Honestly, I’m really amazed by this feature! If you want to see the same photo at high definition, you can find it here.
Cividale del Fruli (Italy). I visited Cividale del Friuli several times: first of all, because I think it’s one of the nicest town around Udine for a relaxing walk; second, because I love to visit its museums, rich of history from the Langobardic period (and recently included in the UNESCO World Heritage list).
I took this photo in December (2013, I think). I loved this scene, with the sunset (typical of cold days, and emphasized by a thick and dense layer of clouds) behind the Devil’s Bridge (in Italian, “Ponte del Diavolo”), which crosses the Natisone River since 1442 and is probably the most famous symbol of Cividale del Friuli.
The legend says that since the construction was particularly hard to complete (mainly due to the tough conditions imposed by the river below), local people requested the support of the Devil, which agreed pretending the soul of the first being crossing the bridge after its completion. The night after the completion, the villagers made an animal cross the bridge (someone says a dog, someone else a cat, others report it was a pig) and the Devil was somehow “tricked”.
Believe or not to this nice tale, do not miss a visit to Cividale del Friuli and the other local towns. You will be amazed!
Florence (Italy). Meet the city where I was born… I’m sure you already know Florence, and I guess I won’t be the one that will open your eyes on one of the most beautiful cities on earth. However, I like when I can share with my followers unusual landscapes (with “unusual” I mean not the typical postcard you can find at the top of a search on Google). This is to say that Florence is not only Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Duomo and Uffizi Museum: if you go to Florence, try to dedicate more than few minutes to a walk around the city, enjoying the sunset along the river Arno or from one of the bridges crossing it, and refreshing yourself with the breeze which blows from the sea. This is my personal tip, let me know what you think about it.
Paris (France). Everyone traveling to Paris and photographing around this fantastic location, should try to find some places from where watching the city without the usual mass of people. It can be a tough mission, but it is worth the effort.
This photograph of Notre Dame Cathedral – for example – has been taken from under a bridge on the docks along the Seine River, and it is now one of my favorite images of my large portfolio of photos about Paris.
Of course, the wide angle lens exalts the general composition and makes the entire scene more “drammatic”, but the thing that I like most in this image is the sense of “intimacy” with the Cathedral that I can perceive, and which is the same one I was feeling when I was shooting this image. The reason – as said – I think is that in the entire scene there’s no anyone: a pure and genuine sense of relationship with the subject, without any obstacle or element of annoyance.
Florence (Italy). This is the Florence Rowing Club, it’s my second home – or at least it was. I spent here the largest part of my life from 6 to 26 (before moving from Florence) and as soon as I come back home, I can’t resist from returning here. Today there was a fantastic sunset, typical of this period of the year. The sun was going down behind Ponte Vecchio and its rays were partially hidden by the blade of one oar left on the rack. I thought it was a great set for a photograph…
Hiroshima (Japan). Today it’s the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, that destroyed more than two thirds of the city killing 70,000 people instantly, with an unknown final death toll.
I visited Hiroshima exactly five years ago: I arrived there very few days after the 65th year celebrations, and I was honestly surprised by this place, which was the protagonist of one of the most horrible episodes in the world history. I was – as said – surprised because I realised that everything in Hiroshima was talking about “peace”: the most famous landmark is the Peace Memorial (commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome), which is also part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, memories are conserved at the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Flame of Peace (designed by Kenzo Tange) burns continuously days and nights since it was lit in 1964 and it will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Yes, “peace”. Walking around Hiroshima – one more time – the most common word is “Peace”. I found in it a very strong message for all of us: a message of hope and forgiveness, something that will be inherited by future generations, something that is difficult to imagine normally, and for this reason it is even more special considering – again – the history of Hiroshima.
When during a night walk along the Ota River, I saw this young Japanese girl playing a song with her guitar, with still the word “Peace” echoing into my mind, I immediately stopped and I stood up listening to her. It was one of those moments that make a trip, and still today – when I think about Japan – the first episode that comes to my mind is this one.
I took this photo (and few others more) because I found the entire scene very symbolic: a peace song played in front of the Peace Memorial (which is mirroring itself on the river’s water surface), in the heart of a city which became an example of “pacific pride” for the rest of the world. It was a perfect moment, no need to explain more.
Today, 5 years after that my personal experience (which is still incredibly vivid in my mind and in my heart) and especially 70 years after that tragic day – when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” killed hundreds of thousands of people – I like to think about Hiroshima in this way, and like its citizens I want to share my humble but heart-felt message of hope and peace.
Florence (Italy). This is the unique landscape from the jetty of the Società Canottieri Firenze (Florence Rowing Club). Have you ever thought about rowing under Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Museum? Is there any more exclusive place in the world for rowing?
Chau Doc (Vietnam). This is a slum – a very poor and overpopulated urban settlement – along the Mekong Delta, in Chau Doc. I went through it directly from the river. As I saw it, I was impressed by the colours of some clothes and towels hung out to dry. However, as I walked along the narrow pier connecting the river to the main street, I remember I could not believe how dark was that path – my eyes were blind and even my camera was not properly set for those conditions of very poor light. I found these two aspects quite symbolic of life in that place…
Pontremoli (Massa Carrara – Italy). “A River Runs Through It”, but it would be more correct to say “Two Rivers Run Around It”, since the old city of Pontremoli is characterised by two rivers (Magra and Verde) surrounding it.
Chau Doc (Vietnam). Another daily life scene from the Mekong Delta, in Vietnam.