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Zeiss Distagon T* 3.5/18 ZF.2

Thomas Demand – Grotto Process at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here represents the Grotto Process (Processo Grottesco): in order to realize the photographic work “Grotto”, Thomas Demand studied and reproduced a 3D model of a grotto using many layers of cardboard, which “simulate” the geologic stratification, including stalactites and stalagmites (in the lower left corner of the image, the stratification of cardboard layers is pretty evident). The final photo (displayed at the entrance of the room) demonstrates how something perceived as real, at the end is unreal and artificially reproduced.

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Watching Paris From Notre Dame

Paris (France). I posted a similar photo some days ago: in that case the lens – my beloved Nikon 105 mm Defocus Control – was on the so called “gargoyle”, one of the bizarre sculptures decorating the Notre Dame Cathedral. The image posted here has been taken from the same place, but with a wide angle Zeiss lens to capture a wide landscape of Paris under a beautiful cloudy sky.

I have been desiring to go to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral for years, but every time I was discouraged by an incredibly long queue, with waiting times of some hours! When recently I finally had the opportunity of being in Paris on a Monday morning, I did not hesitate one minute and I went straight to Notre Dame around one hour before the opening. I wasn’t the first of the line – some Japaneses arrived earlier than me, of course! – but I could enter 20 minutes after the opening: still it was a success! “Such a long waiting time must be compensated by a gorgeous landscape”, I was thinking when I was climbing the tower’s steps: so getting closer to the top I was more and more nervous, because my expectations were very high and the biggest risk was to be disappointed.

However, at the end I can say that it was a successful experience: the landscape of Paris from Notre Dame is something of breathtaking, especially when the light is not too sharp. The entrance is regulated, so the downside is the long queue, but the upside is that on the top it is not too crowded and everyone can find the time to concentrate and shoot. One last but important advice: it can be bloody cold and windy over there, so bring an extra layer and be prepared…

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At the Parc du Palais Royal in Paris

Paris (France). When spring comes, people leave their homes and populate parks and gardens. This happens more or less everywhere in the world (at least, in those places with a certain difference between seasons), and I think this is something that goes far beyond the simple need of sun and fresh air. There’s a sense of “sharing a common place” in it, something that brings people closer, reducing their distances and – at my eyes – creating a better environment. This photo has been taken in Paris, at the Parc du Palais Royal, but it could easily be a park in London, Milan or New York. This old woman was so concentrated on her book, that she even did not notice me (and my camera). And I think that this photo, without her reading a book on the bench, wouldn’t have been the same.

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Pino Pascali – Pinne di Pescecane at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Pinne di Pescecane (Shark Fins) by Pino Pascali: five shark fins made of painted canvas on wood. A pillar of his “finte sculture” (fake sculpture), where the term “fake” invites a more nuanced reading, with the animal shape intended always as part of a concealed whole which is left to imagine.

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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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Damien Hirst – Lost Love at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Lost Love by Damien Hirst: it’s a cubic submerged gynecologist’s office transformed into an aquarium populated by colored fishes.

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Tom Friedman – Untitled at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Untitled by Tom Friedman: a scattered motion of plastic pictograms.

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What’s Currently in My Bag?

Milan (Italy). Sometimes I receive message from people that are curious to know what is in my bag. They are confused – and I can understand them – because I frequently post photos taken months, if not years, before. And this contributes to their curiosity.

I’m just back from summer holidays, which is the period of the year when I stress use my cameras and lenses most. So, it is also an opportunity to test them and develop my opinion about what I have in my hands.

This blog – let me just remind it one more time – has not any purpose to test, promote or review photographic gears. There are excellent (and definitely much more popular) blogs that do it excellently. This is a blog to show and share my photos, but I understand that sometimes it can be interesting knowing what camera or lens has been used to capture a determined image.

This summer I decided to travel a bit lighter than I did in the past. While in January – during a trip around Vietnam – I brought one Nikon D810 and one Nikon Df, with only prime lenses (24, 35, 58, 105), this August I brought only the Nikon Df with one Zeiss 18, one Voigtlander 40, an old glorious Nikon 55, a 105 and a 180 together with a Leica Q. Basically, i was walking with the Leica in my hand, taking the Df out of my bag for some specific situations…

Will I remain with this configuration? Who knows… I must admit that I’m quite curious to see what Leica is doing and preparing. Some rumors talk about a new system, and I’m quite excited about this idea. At the same time, I think that the Nikon Df is still the only DSLR that can stay in my bag, and I will not replace it for another camera with the same technology.

Let’s see…

Ah, this photo has been taken with an iPhone 🙂

 

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Notre Dame from the Docks Along the Seine

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.

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