Andøya

Andøya, Norway, 19.-20.03.2017

Lomozia

Merry Xmas

BIRD

R0012942-e

WINTER – II. Largo

“Passar al foco i di quieti e contenti, mentre la pioggia fuor bagna ben cento”

(Before the fire to pass peaceful and happy days, while the rain outside soaks everyone)

Abstract

Iceland. September 2016.

After the storm

Iceland. September 2016.

SUMMER – II. Adagio e piano – Presto e forte

“Toglie alle membra lasse il Suo riposo Il timore de’ Lampi, e tuoni fieri..” (His limbs are now awakened from their repose by fear of lightning’s flash and thunder’s roar..)

SPRING – II. Largo e pianissimo sempre

“E quindi sul fiorito ameno prato Al caro mormorio di fronde e piante…” (On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead…)

SPRING – I. Allegro

“Giunt’ è la Primavera e festosetti La Salutan gl’ Augei con lieto canto, E i fonti allo Spirar de’ Zeffiretti Con dolce mormorio Scorrono intanto….” (Springtime is upon us. The birds celebrate her return with festive song, and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes..)

Любитель (3)

Любитель

Look again

Ryokan light

Hawk

Sick & tired

That’s what I am. Sick & tired of all of this, that you may find so charming since you don’t have to live with it for 6 months a year.

A Saturday

Boat trip from Kvaløya (in Norwegian, “the whale island”…), near Tromsø, 16.1.2016. Thank you Stefano!

Shadows of the past year

Tokyo, December 2015.

REBUS

Frequent flyer

Bench

walking the dog

Trondheim, 5.11.2015 – Polaroid Land Camera 250 / Fuji FP-3000b

Shadow

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind” (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Godøya

Godøya, Norway (Pinhole).

Sea

Totem

Diana’s thoughts

Gothic Oslo

Psychiatric Centre at dawn

Me and Holga at Østmarka psychiatric centre, Trondheim.

Diana F.

Meet the beautiful Diana F.

Almost home

Near Ferrara, Italy. January 2015.

Card players

Shattered sky

See you

The geese and I share an inextinguishable, almost compulsory need to cover great distances, never settling down completely, commuting between opposite corners of the world.

These days they’re flying southwards. In 36 hours, I’ll be heading eastwards, leaving for THE train journey. See you.

Grenoble 8.10.2013

08.10.2013

Sofia’s love for pigeons

Bologna, Italy. T-Max 400 developed in Rodinal. Scanned, uncropped.

Mourn

Young owls. Kodak TMax 100.

The Tokyo post

My notes from a recent trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. Written on Kodak Tri-X.

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A penny for your thoughts

Girl in a coffee shop, Kyoto, June 2013. Kodak Tri-X 400.

The blue of Afghanistan

A number of you, after seeing my previous series from Afghanistan, noticed (and commented on) the absence of women.

Well, with this post I focus exactly on the women of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, photographing women there is rather problematic. Just about everyone will strongly advise you against doing so: Photographing a woman (even one in a chador) out in the street may result in you being confronted by angry men or, worse, in her being beaten up. The sad reality is that there is barely worse place in the world to be born as a woman than Afghanistan, with the country’s rural areas being worst.

Here, a woman is a man’s property just like a donkey. Failing to accept a husband’s authority (even when imposed with violence) can result in jail, or in the worst case in a new, more terrible life begging in the street, stripped of all dignity.

Not many women in Afghanistan get married because they’re in love. Most of them are married off, meaning that at an age of 15 – 20 they are sold by their own parents to the best offeror, a man who not unusually is 20 or 30 years older. A more fortunate girl may stay home a little longer, study and even get herself a job, as long as each step is discussed with – read decided by – her parents. She may not exactly get married off, but will be engaged to and eventually marry the first man who proposed himself (to her parents) convincingly enough. Once engaged, she’ll even be allowed to date her fiancé, in her mother’s or aunt’s presence, of course.

Women here are generally not supposed to work, but I hear that an increasing number of men now allow their wives to do so, at least in the cities. However, a number of professions that require contact with male strangers or public exhibition (e.g. flight attendant or singer) may still give a woman a social status that’s barely better than a prostitute’s. Things are changing, however. Women condition is slowly improving, starting from the cities. But the process is slow, particularly in the most remote rural areas.

To foreign visitors, the women of Afghanistan are melancholic silhouettes of an intense blue moving along dusty road sides, alone or a few steps behind their husbands. I wish I had had the opportunity to talk to those women, to ask them about their lives and dreams or wish them a brighter future. I couldn’t. That chador of blue polyester, worn every single day from their puberty on, is an impenetrable barrier, and not only for the relieving breeze in the intense summer heat..

Pervomayskiy market (sequence I & II)

Murmansk (Russia), 16th March 2013. Temperature -25 C.

Back to Russia

I just came back from yet another fantastic journey through a remote region of Russia. Remote because it lies almost 2 days by train from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but in fact it’s pretty much around the corner if you enter it from northern Scandinavia. Yet, the landscapes and especially the cultural landscapes that meet you as you travel the Kola region of Russia are very far away from those of the Scandinavian countries.

For this trip, I chose to use trains, and this series is about exactly that. Outside the dirty windows, in the cold autumn air, endless forests only interrupted by industrial settlements; towns having the extraction of minerals as their only reason of being; low, timber houses with their Siberian mood. Inside, in a overheated train car, many human stories I got the privilege of sharing a few hours of. When language was a problem (my Russian is still rudimentary), concepts as complicated as the social situation in the country could be illustrated by means of countless pieces of paper scattered on the seat, representing the government, the police, the rich business men, the poor people, the mafia.

So this one is about the train. You may also see the first and third part of my trip here: Part II and Part III.

What to do with critique

I’ve been active on street photography forums and critique groups lately. Photographers seem to have different opinions on pretty much, but they all seem to agree that we learn from critique. Both from giving and receiving critique.

Sometimes critique makes us think about aspects of our photos that we hadn’t thought about, or makes us aware of distracting elements we hadn’t seen or technical aspects that the viewer feels make our photo week. That’s supposed to teach us to take better photographs. Surely true.

But how about negative critique of photos that we like just as they are? What do we do with that?

Example: Last night, in a rather poorly lit street, I saw this couple hugging, I reacted quick and, without stopping to frame precisely, got the two photos below. I bet most people will say they are too dark, too blurred, not perfectly composed and that the burned highlights behind are distracting. I very much appreciate all of this and the time you spent looking at my work but, honestly, there are times where I just don’t care about critique: I love these shots just like that.

It’s possible that I’m the only one liking my stuff, or that only one of ten viewers does. But should I change my photos (or even worse, my photography) to please as many viewers as possible? I won’t.

Feel free to share your thoughts, or to keep them for yourself..

The guide

Brunico, in the Italian Alps, early afternoon of a summer day. A little but noisy group of tourists walk along the main pedestrian street. Their guide, a man so elegant that he seems jumped out of a movie, captures my attention. He must be a very charming guide, as none of his clients seem bored or distracted and at times he works hard to moderate questions and comments from the most “interactive” ladies…

Streets and roads of Afghanistan

What defines street photography? And what defines a street? Asphalt? Shiny skyscrapers? Street lights? Busy people rushing in or out of a subway?

In this case, doing street photography in Afghanistan (and much of the world) might be hard, as you find none of that.

Whether they qualify as street photography or not, the pictures below are all taken on the streets and roads of Afghanistan.

You may also want to check the color gallery with more images:

Steep lives of the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan

The bill

This post, the last one before my trip to Afghanistan, is about being old and alone, about loneliness.

You figure out a story behind this shot.

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