Train Station

Garibaldi Station (Back to Milan)

Milan (Italy). Here we are… holidays are over (you will see some photos taken during my summer vacations here soon, don’t worry!) and I’m back to Milan.

Maybe you noticed a low activity on my blog during the last three weeks: only three¬†posts… it’s a shame! I will do my best to remedy ūüôā For the time being, let’s warm up with a new – albeit taken some weeks ago, in July – photo of Milan. It’s the new skyline with the Porta Garibaldi train station, taken from the bridge of Via Farini at sunset. Here, you can see some of the newest architectures characterizing Milan: from the “Bosco Verticale” to the “Unicredit Tower” and the new “Lombardy Tower”. If you are interested to know something more about the new skyline of Milan, you can read this post here.

So, nice to see you here again! It will be a very intense year, with many new posts to be shared!

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Photographing Milan (Taking Off From Linate Airport)

Milan (Italy – but on the way to Paris, France). I’m a frequent flyer to Paris from Milan: usually, mine are just business trips, and unfortunately they are too short to let me walk free, photographing around Paris (the “Ville Lumiere”). For this reason, I normally don’t bring any of my cameras with me – except the Ricoh GR, which is always with me in my suit pocket.

However, some days before Рwhen I was visiting a photographic exhibition РI noticed an old black and white picture of Milan, taken (I guessed) from an airplane. I thought at the end, that landscape deserved to be photographed, even for the simple purpose of documenting the urban development of probably the most vibrant and dynamic city in Italy.

So, while the plane was moving from the parking area to the take-off strip, I prepared my camera expressly brought to capture this image (for the occasion, I decided to use a Summarit-M 1:2.5/90 mm lens) and a few seconds after leaving the ground, I was at the to take aerial photos of Milan under me. And frankly speaking, considering the window (and the glass, which is not the highest quality one Рin photographic terms), I think I can be satisfied.

Milano (Italia – ma sulla rotta per Parigi, Francia). Mi capita spesso di volare da Milano a Parigi: di solito si tratta di viaggi per motivi di lavoro, e purtroppo sono sempre talmente brevi da non darmi modo di farmi un fotografico per la Ville Lumiere. Per questo, evito di portarmi la macchina fotografica (giusto la Ricoh GR che ho sempre con me nella tasca della giacca).

Tuttavia, alcuni giorni fa mentre visitavo una mostra fotografica, ho visto una vecchia foto di Milano, in bianco e nero, scattata dall’alto (presumibilmente da un aereo). Ho pensato che alla fine, quel panorama meritava una fotografia, anche per il solo fatto di documentare il cambiamento urbanistico di quella che forse √® la citt√† pi√Ļ dinamica d’Italia.

E cos√¨, mentre l’aereo muoveva dal parcheggio alla pista di decollo, ho preparato la mia macchina fotografica appositamente portata per scattare questa immagine¬†(per l’occasione ho deciso di usare un obbiettivo Summarit-M 1:2.5/90 mm) e pochi secondi dopo aver lasaciato terra, ero al finestrino che scattavo foto aeree di Milano sotto di me. E sinceramente, nonostante appunto il finestrino (il cui vetro non √® certo della miglior qualit√† – in termini fotografici) penso di potermi ritenere¬†soddisfatto…

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The Sunset at the End of the Rails (Stazione di Portogruaro)

Portogruaro (Italy). This post finds its inspiration from a very nice quote I have recently¬†read. It comes from Russel Baker, an American writer¬†known for having won a¬†Pulitzer Prize with his book “Growing Up”.

It says:

‚ÄúA railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn’t have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Russell Baker

“Sort of a primitive airport”… This is probably the reason why I’m loving more and more train stations! In this period I’m catching a couple of planes per week. Flying itself is not a problem: I find it¬†very relaxing, and with the perpetual lack of time due to “business as usual” activities, when I fly I have finally the possibility to write¬†some posts for my blog or to read a book. But the real problem are airports!

I’m going to hate more and more today’s airports, especially when security reasons force you to arrive more than one hour earlier than your flight departure, you stricter and stricter checks (in some of them such as Munich or Frankfurt, I’m required¬†to open each of my lenses and to wait for an inspector watching through them), and make¬†you stand in line for a lot of time waiting for documents control. Going through an airport is so complicated and frustrating nowadays! Not to mention that if you catch your camera at an airport and you shoot a photograph, it takes very few minutes to security guards to come and ask you questions about what you are doing… Of course people get nervous when they have to fly, I perfectly understand them!

But rail stations … they are so different!¬†Especially small stations¬†such as this one photographed here Portogruaro – Caorle). I took this photo on a Sunday afternoon: people were mostly returning home (Venice, Milan?) after the weekend, some couples were saying good-bye each others, waiting for the following weekend to come and stay together again. ¬†The atmosphere was so different compared to the one even of a medium-size airport! And of course, nobody came to me when I unfolded my camera and I took a picture of the sunset at the end of the rails…

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Our Life Is Very Much Like the Movie Playing On the Screen

Naples (Italy). Life can be lived in many different ways. Mine is watching – and photographing – around me.¬†Because wherever I go, there’s always something interesting to observe. Here I was in Naples, at the Montesanto train station. My attention was on the train waiting to leave at the opposite platform of mine: just few seconds to take the camera, focus the scene and capture this image. That’s it.

Napoli. La vita pu√≤ essere vissuta in diversi modi. La mia √® vissuta guardando – e fotografando – attorno a me. Perch√® ovunque io vada, c’√® sempre qualcosa di interessante da osservare. Qui ero a Napoli, alla stazione ferroviaria Montesanto. La mia attenzione era sul treno che aspettava di partire al binario opposto al mio: sono bastati pochi secondi per prendere la macchina fotografica, mettere a fuoco la scena e catturare questa immagine. Tutto qui.


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Paris Gare du Nord Train Station

Paris (France). I have always had a special feeling for train stations. It’s a feeling coming from a mix of interests: I like trains, I like watching people, and I like observing the architectures. For this reason there are some places that I consider “magic”. One of them is the train station “Gare du Nord” in Paris. Although its architecture comes from mid of the 19th century, this place is still one of the most crowded station of Paris (well, to be honest with its 190 millions of passengers, it’s the most crowded station in the whole Europe and the second one in the world after Japan!). High speed trains (the international Thalis and the national TGV) depart from here to many destinations, including the north of France but also London, Amsterdam and Cologne.

When I took this photo it was Friday afternoon: I guess that the majority of people going to jump on the train were¬†commuters going back home for the weekend. I liked to stay for quite a long time with my back leaning against the lamppost, trying to be invisible and – most important – sturdy in the middle of this people’s “flow”. I used a wide angle lens (at that time I was travelling with a Fuji X-T1 camera coupled with a 10-24 mm lens) to¬†emphasize the beauty of the large truss sustaining the ceiling.

Now, every time I go to Paris (especially if I catch the RER B going from CDG Airport to Chatelet) I consider to stop at Gare du Nord. Beyond the perfect mix of interests mentioned at the beginning of the post, this place is also a great location for street photography – although the recent terrorism alerts (vigipirate) are creating some problems to photographers…

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Hope (Canzo-Asso Station)

Canzo (Como, Italy). Hope was¬†the first word that came¬†to my mind when I saw this yellow flower coming out from the rails of the Canzo-Asso train station. For this reason I decided to lay down on the ground with my camera putting my lens at the same level of this flower, and capture this photo. Now that I’m watching it (without post-procession, just very little adjustments) I can only confirm the same word: hope. Because when you see what the nature can do – such as¬†creating a flower from the arid and hard soil of a railway – you understand that beauty can be every where. And this is what hope means to me, not only as a photographer but also as a human being.

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Erode (Heroes of the Chennai Central Railway Station)

Chennai (India). Let’s step back to 2012! Photography is a sort of time machine for me, and surfing through my archive is an incredible source of memories…

Some 4 years ago I was in Chennai, a large Indian city on the east coast of the country (the name of the region is Tamil Nadu, to be more precise). It was Sunday morning, I had just finished an intense week of studies (I was in Chennai because at that time I was attending an executive MBA, which was including modules from different cities around the world) and my flight was scheduled for that night. So, I was completely free for some hours: what a fantastic opportunity for taking some photos!

I immediately started thinking about a possible destination for an interesting shooting, and – damn! – there wasn’t any better place than the train station!¬†When I asked to my tuk-tuk rider to bring me to the Chennai Central Railway¬†Station, he was a bit surprised of the fact that I was travelling without any luggage (only my camera backpack) and I guess he did not understand my intentions. After I paid him, he showed me the main entrance smiling at¬†my excitement. In few minutes, I was in the station’s main hall, consulting the train table to choose the most “inspiring”¬†platform for my photo-shooting session.

My straightforward decision was for the most crowded platform, where there wasn’t the train yet: I supposed people were waiting for boarding, and I was right. When “Erode” (this is the name of the train, I guess from the namesake Indian city 400 km south-west of Chennai) arrived, people started pushing each others to board, in a very disordered but nice situation.

I took this picture in that exact moment…

Interestingly, the name “Erode” comes from Greek, and it means “descending from heroes”: to be honest, I think that the true¬†heroes here are those¬†travelers who are boarding on what apparently will be a¬†very crowded train!

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