Bottom-Up View of Milan

Milan (Italy). Last Sunday the weather in Milan was simply perfect! It was a typical day of September, with fresh air and a blue sky. I had a walk around the new district called “Porta Nuova”, one of the most interesting real estate development in Milan in the last times, thanks also to the involvement of prestigious architects such as Cesar Pelli and Stefano Boeri.

Of course, I had my Leica Q with me…

I captured this photo from Piazza Gae Aulenti: it’s a nice bottom-up view of the UniCredit Tower, which is now shaping the skyline of Milan. Something a bit different from my usual photographs, maybe for this reason I liked the final result.

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Ortisei Chill Out

Ortisei (Italy). Walking on the mountains and, at the same time, photographing is something that I really love. The landscape that some places – like for example the Dolomites, in Italy – offer is something of unique. And if on your way you gonna meet nice cows relaxing on a soft green grass, the scene is complete!

Days ago I was enjoying a walk at the feet of Sasso Lungo mountain (or “Langkofel”), one of the most beautiful of the Dolomites group in Gardena Valley (which are included in the UNESCO list, by the way). In front of me there was the Sella Group, another wonderful peak. I was not alone…

Lying down on the meadow, chillin’ out in front of that spectacular landscape, there was a large group of cows. They were eating fresh grass, relaxing, watching people like me (apparently smiling at my camera) and completing that wonderful scene. I could not resist of course, and I captured this image thinking that it was perfectly giving the idea of peace, tranquility, silence and calm that I usually have in mind when I think about mountains and – more specifically – Dolomites.

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Parisian Sky

Paris (France). “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky”. Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet (1861 – 1941). This is how I’m trying to feel today.

This photo has been taken from a building’s courtyard at Le Marais, in Paris. Time ago.

Parigi (Francia). “Le nuvole giungono fluttuando nella mia vita, non più per portare pioggia o per annunciare la tempesta, ma per aggiungere colore al mio cielo al tramonto”. Rabindranath Tagore, poeta indiano (1861 – 1941). Oggi cerco di sentirmi così.

Questa foto è stata fatta dal cortile di un palazzo nel Marais, a Parigi. Tempo fa.

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If Photography Is Freedom, Photographing a Prison Is…?

Milan (Italy). Last Saturday – after visiting the World Press Photo 2016 exhibition – I spent the evening at a friend’s home for his housewarming. I did not bring my Leica Q with me, but in my pocket there was room enough for the Ricoh GR. And I was happy to use it in front of this interesting urban landscape, glorified by a very intense sunset.

When I was preparing the camera to capture this image, I was becoming more and more thoughtful about the sharp contrast in front of myself: photography, for me, is the quintessence of the sense of freedom; so, what can be the sense of photographing a prison?

Yes, the large building photographed here is the San Vittore prison, located in the heart of Milan (it dates back to 1872) and hosting more than 900 detainees: it was a bit impressive watching its tall walls, and the two different sides of it. On one side, there was the city, its traffic, people: in one word, there was freedom. On the other one, nobody – except some guards monitoring the situation and a sense of discomfort. The sunset was painting this strong juxtaposition with a gentle tone of blue and orange, and the clouds were making the sky agitated and a bit restless. Like myself, thinking about what at the end became the title of this post.

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Paris Sky

Paris (France). One of the never annoying things to do in Paris is simply watching its sky! Clouds, sunsets, colors… they always mix themselves up, creating often unique and impressive landscapes. This picture was taken last Saturday from Place de la Concorde (Tuilieres Garden); a dark, thick and threatening cloud was coming above my head, but at the same time a warm and reassuring sunset was coloring the sky behind the Tour Eiffel. The entire contrast was pretty exciting and impressive: from one side there was an “Armageddon style” situation, from the other one something more romantic and calm. I guess you want to know what happened at the end: you won’t believe me, but yes – it did not rain! I told you: watch the sky of Paris, you won’t get annoyed easily…

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French Ministry of Culture and Communication

Paris (France). The French Ministry of Culture and Communication is located in the heart of Paris (just behind the Louvre, and close to Rue Saint Honoré) and is a very interesting example of contemporary architecture. The façade was designed and realized by Francis Soler in 2004, but what few people know is that the design was freely inspired by the painting of Giulio Romano at Palazzo Tè in Mantova: the architect said that he used the computer to deform people in Giulio Romano’s paintings, transforming each human being into a sort of arabesque. The name of this modern sculpture is “The Silver Net” (in French, “Résille argentée”) and the entire façade has been made of laser-cut stainless steel sheets.

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