Flying Over the Alps (From Milan to Paris AZ 350)

Omegna (Italy). Being a commuter between Milan and Paris has its advantages. Days ago I left Milan with a very thick fog onboard of the usual Alitalia flight AZ 350, but once I was flying above the Alps (more or less I appraised I was flying over Omegna) I noticed this landscape out of the window. The fog is still there covering the Po Valley, whereas the Pre-Alps and the Alps are sun-kissed.

I love photographing from an airplane. It’s a bit annoying when the internal glass is dirty, but fortunately almost every carrier gives some wet wipes, which can be perfect to clean the internal part of the window.

To take this photo I used the fantastic Leica Summarit-M 1:2.5/90.

Omegna (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola). Essere pendolare tra Milano e Parigi ha i suoi vantaggi. Giorni fa ho lasciato Milano sotto una nebbia molto fitta con il mio consueto volo Alitalia AZ 350, ma una volta sopra le Alpi (più o meno ho calcolato che stessi volando sopra Omegna) ho notato questo panorama fuori dal finestrino. C’era ancora la nebbia che copriva la Pianura Padana, mentre le Pre-Alpi e le Alpi erano baciate dal sole.

Mi piace molto fotografare dall’aereo. E’ un po’ fastidioso quando il vetro interno è sporco, ma per fortuna quasi tutte le compagnie aeree offrono delle salviette umidificate che sono perfette per pulire la parte interna del finestrino.

Per scattare questa foto ho usato il fantastico obbiettivo Leica Summarit-M 1:2.5/90.


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Istanbul Under the Snow (Welcome to My World)

Istanbul (Turkey). This end of 2015 has been magic for those who were in Istanbul! Since December 30th, a generous snowfall has been covering the city with a thick white layer, changing completely the landscape – and not only, considering that even the “city’s sound” is different. I was walking around Istanbul with some friends and of course my camera, and the last day of the year we took the advantage of not too many people around visiting Sultanahmet to head – in my case one more time – to one of my favorite places ever: Hagia Sophia.

As written in one of my previous posts, there is a small window at the first floor of this wonderful Church Mosque Museum: from there, the view is breathtaking because it’s possible to admire both the domes of Hagia Sophia and those of the Blue Mosque with its minarets; such a perfect postcard of Istanbul! But this time was different: everything was so incredibly white, magic, poetic, muffled. It is impossible to described this situation with words, I wish I could do it with this image.

And for photography geeks, this photo made me also reach the conclusion that “my world” is more and more at 28 mm… What does it mean? Since July, I’m travelling and using almost always my Leica Q camera, with a fantastic 28 mm Summilux lens. There’s nothing to do: this is MY LENS, this is my focal distance, this is the perfect extension and the ideal angle of my eyes. So, like it or not, if you wanna follow me, you must get prepared to see more and more the world – my world – at 28 mm! Oh yes, welcome to my world!

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Couple At Suleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul (Turkey). In the past days, Istanbul has been interested by an exceptional wave of bad weather, with very severe snowfalls. I wasn’t there unfortunately – and it’s a pity because Istanbul under the snow is something of unique – but I remember when exactly one year ago I was walking around Suleymaniye Mosque, and I noticed this couple through a window. It was a very romantic scene, with snowflakes falling down and the man protecting his lady on their way to the mosque…

Istanbul. Nei giorni scorsi Istanbul è stata interessata da un’eccezionale ondata di maltempo, con forti nevicate. Non ero lì purtroppo, e mi dispiace erchè Istanbul sotto la neve è un qualcosa di unico; ma ricordo quando esattamente un anno fa stavo camminando attorno alla Moschea di Solimano e ho notato questa coppia attraverso la finestra. Era una scena molto romantica, con i fiocchi di neve che cadevano e con lui che proteggeva la sua signora mentre si dirigevano verso la moschea…


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Istanbul Under the Snow (Walking Around Sultanahmet)

Istanbul (Turkey). After the landscape of Istanbul from Hagia Sophia posted some days ago, here there is “just another” photograph taken the same – unique – day during a nice walk under the snow around the garden in Sultanahmet.

One of the things that impresses me much – every time it snows in Istanbul – is the sound of the city, which is normally noisy due to its intense traffic. Believe it or not, the snow therefore does not change only the landscape: Sultanahmet becomes somehow quite, silent, muffled.

I’m still developing some photos of Istanbul covered by snow: stay with me!

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Photographing Galata from Eminonu

Istanbul (Turkey). This is one of my favorite places in Istanbul, and I could stay here for many hours watching and photographing the city around me. This photo has been taken at Eminonu, just at the end of the Galata Bridge (or at the beginning, approaching it from the old city of Sultanahmet) and where – in a ray of few meters – there are so many things to see and to do!

Take a map, pin this place (here you are the exact coordinates: 41°01’05.6″N 28°58’15.7″E) and follow my virtual tour: at south-east, there’s the “Yeni Cami” (or New Mosque, definitely one of my favorite one); proceeding clockwise, there’s the “Misir Carsi” (literally, the translation is “Egyptian Market”, but it’s mostly known as “Spice Market” – although spices are not so good anymore in my opinion); just on the top of the hill, it’s possible to admire the stunning Suleymaniye Camii (Mosque of Suleymaniye) dominating large part of the city; continuing to move, at my left there’s the most popular (and commercial, though) place in town to have a typical “balik ekmek” (in English, fish burger); few meters after, there’s another jewel, the Rustem Pasha Mosque; and – finally, in front of my eyes – there’s this nice view of the Golden Horn (Haliç) and Galata, with its unmistakable tower.

And I could not find a better moment to capture this image: it was at the beginning of the year (probably the 1st or the 2nd of January 2016), it was cold, snowy and cloudy. Being at mid-afternoon of a day without the sun, there were very few colors: but some rays of light – the last ones of the day – suddenly illuminated the district of Galata, its tower, its roofs covered with snow, and made more “gentle” the contrast between the old traditional houses against the modern buildings. All around my viewfinder, seagulls were flying begging fishermen on the bridge for some fresh fish.

These are the moments that confirm – as if it were necessary – my deep love for Istanbul.

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Landscape of Istanbul from the Suleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul (Turkey). I’m a bit worried: maybe I’m sick?

Ok, let me serious, since my parents and relatives could read this sentence and get scared… I’m joking of course! And I’m perfectly healthy – I have some kilos to loose though, perhaps I spend too much time blogging my photos and I do not run enough. Anyway, the point is that out of 8 posts in January (including this one), 7 (some 90%) are about Istanbul! So, the conclusion is only one: I’m sick of Istanbul, meaning that I’m totally crazy for this city and I’m loosing control in photo-blogging about its places, landscapes and situations… This is my problem, and I do not want to find a cure 🙂

Probably the two snowfalls that hit the city this January are responsible for my situation, but I found that everything – including places where I have been several times before – when covered with snow was irresistibly beautiful!

This one posted here, for example. I have seen this landscape of Istanbul from Suleymaniye Mosque an uncountable number of times: I love these small domes of the former “preparatory school” (in Turkish, mülazim) gently degrading down toward the sea; and I could stay hours watching the Galata Tower dominating the Golden Horn (Haliç) and the Karakoy peninsula. But the scene is covered by the snow, it’s completely different – not to mention the fact that all around is silence (but – I’m sorry – photography cannot represent noises yet).

The weather forecasts bulletin says it’s going to snow again: I recommend all photographers to prepare their cameras and lenses, and to include the Suleymaniye Mosque in their photo-tour around Istanbul…

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Landscape of Istanbul Under the Snow

Istanbul (Turkey). It’s snowing again over Istanbul. After a magic white New Year’s Eve, another snowstorm is currently hitting the north-west of the country, causing some problems to the circulation, including ferries and airplanes (Turkish Airlines is cancelling several flights, internal and domestic).

Istanbul covered with a white layer is amazing: I know it’s pretty “normal”, and that it snows average once or twice per year, but still this event captures completely my attention and shows to my eyes a completely different city. Somehow, I have the feeling that the snow “cleans” everything and makes the city landscape more “uniform”, more regular, normalizing its irregularities and exalting the old city’s skyline with mosques and minarets.

I took this photo from the SALT Galata in Karakoy at the beginning of this year: at the top floor there’s a window with this amazing landscape. I guess it’s pretty much the same right now…

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Life Along Camondo Stairs

Istanbul (Turkey). There are so many stories around Camondo Stairs! Every time I have the possibility, I love standing in front of them and watching the life around: every time there are people walking up and down between Karakoy and Galata, photographers (it’s a very popular spot, I guess thanks to Henry Cartier Bresson) trying to capture “the perfect moment”, selfiers (it’s a neologism!) playing with their cameraphones, architecture lovers finding their inspiration and simple curious being attracted by their unusual shape.

Days ago, after an abundant snowfall on Istanbul, I came to this place to shoot some photos. I was not expecting so many people, but at the end I was not frustrated by their presence. Camondo Stairs are probably much more beautiful with people using them, making them alive many years after their construction.

Karakoy is a lovely area: if you know Istanbul I guess you understand what I’m writing about. But if you are a newcomer or a tourist and you landed on this page via google, do not forget to include this district in your tour and do not be scared of getting lost here.

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