How I managed to print pictures in my bathroom (against all odds).

Feel free to advance any critique, as all the images included in this article are taken by me. Only two are not, and the author is cited.

It’s been more than two years since I first decided to only shoot film [ITA], and things are yet to be completely mastered. On my way to pursue a personal creative style, I started developing film in bigger batches, and on a steadier routine. I experimented with more developers (i.e. HC-110) – and more will come (i.e. Caffenol C-H) – while I moved to another home. Until the day one thing came: a Durst M605.

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How I have been experimenting with (and through stashes of expired) instant film.

I recently bought the ImpossibleProject I-1 camera, the company’s attempt to provide an instant camera updated to 2010s’ technology: a Bluetooth-connected app can give access to manual controls over an otherwise extremely simple and fully automated handheld camera.

Although having some minor technical issue – it doesn’t expel the black cover, so I have to remove it myself – I am genuinely loving this camera. Such issue is restricted only to my camera, and the customer support has proven kind and available at all times.

UPDATE (July 13th 2016) The customer support had me send the camera back and immediately sent a new one. As expected, they are extremely keen and competent.

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How I ‘hiked’ (but mostly ate) my way through Japan in 15 days.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique.

I first went to Japan in 2012. It was by myself and some of the trips I had were part of organised tours: I deeply enjoyed my experience, but also felt that I failed to get the whole experience that the country had for its visitors.

Last summer I finally managed to organise another trip to Japan: I wouldn’t have been by myself, it would have been for 15 days – instead of just 10 – and we would have also visited Hiroshima – other than Tōkyō and Kyōto which I already stopped at in 2012.

Me and a close friend of mine wanted to get in touch with the rather subtle realm of what we think Japan is like. Such an idea usually involves mostly food and temples, while it rules out the imagery of Japan as a land of dark ages’ warriors, modern buildings and anime. Speaking for myself, the country lays between those extremes, and it resembles what’s depicted by photographers such as Moriyama Daido, Shomei Tomatsu, Nishimura Junku and Hashiguchi George. I think of Japan as a land of narrow alleys, unglorified open spaces and publicly open people.

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How I sailed (and slept) through a storm in Croatia.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique. The photos can also be found on behance.

I have longed to make a boat trip with my friends since I got my sailing license in 2011, but my desire wasn’t accomplished ’til this summer. A good friend of mine was already used to spending his holidays with his childhood friends and his parents while growing up, and he spent even more holidays with such peers once he became an adult: most notably, they drove to Cape North in 2009. Even I went by car with the same group of friends to Corse in 2012. We spent an entire week going around the island clockwise and they proved to be amazing travel companions. One complained about the other’s snoring, the other slept on the beach and woke up drenched, but we all camped together and shared the experience.

This once, we all decided to organise a two-boat sailing trip across the Croatian islands: me and four more people booked Orion – a 37.9 feet boat suited for six people – while other eight people went for  Klementa – a 41.9 feet one for eight people. They were just two random boats given us by the cheapest charter that we managed to find, but gave us no problem and just  pleasant memories. We left from Sukošan on August 15th and got back there in seven days.

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How I drove to (and through) Istanbul with two friends.

All the images included in this article are taken by me, therefore feel free to advance any critique. The project can also be found on behance.

Back in August 2014 I was in either London, Brugge or Strasbourg with i Birbanti – the amateur theatre company I work for as a technician – and my friend said “Let’s go to Istanbul for New Year’s Eve”. Either, as I cannot recall exactly where and when he made such a proclama, since it was not indeed considered much weighed as a proposition; it is even hard for me to locate ourselves through our trip to London for the Camden Fringe Festival when my friend foresaw what he would have then neatly planned once the state of soberness had welcomed him back in Milan, as such an exclamation sure seemed an ideal mind image of his, depicting what would have been our ‘next breakaway from ordinariness’. Nevertheless it first grew to be a desire – contagious among the three of us, who grew together for almost twenty years – and then a proper plan.

We would have driven through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria to land in Turkey, resting online twice – in Zagreb and Sofija. We longed to visit hammams, the Grand Bazaar, hooka bars and any place that could provide us with food, but I myself mostly wanted to roam the streets with my camera.

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Convenience and spontaneity of zone-focusing.

All the images included in this article are protected by copyright on behalf of each respective author.

Many thanks to Gillian Bowman, who reviewed this article.

When turning the pages of a photography volume, whether it is by Yosef Koudelka, Lee Friedlander or Alex Webb, one can immediately identify how these photographers have made sapient use of the two major technical elements of photography itself: focal apertura and the effect that it has on depth of field.

Although I am fascinated by the expert use of a shallow depth of field to isolate the portrayed subject, every situation requires a careful evaluation of the specific technical settings that might harm the final outcome. The presence of several elements in focus predispose the viewer to interprete the space within the bidimensional medium in which it is located, enabling the imagination to expand the dimensions of such space beyond the physical limits of the real world: the subject is plunged in and absorbed by the background, embedding itself within in and enriching it. The eye is not fooled, but the perspective is only secondary to the narrative function of that is portrayed.

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Ritratti: isolamento del soggetto e contesto.

Tutte le immagini incluse in quest’articolo sono coperte da copyright da parte dei rispettivi autori.
La pratica della fotografia ritrattistica si fonda sull’enunciazione del soggetto fotografico in quanto oggetto accentrante, a cui l’attenzione dell’osservatore si concede completamente.
L’immagine delle persona impressa sulla fotografia diviene bidimensionale e si immerge nello sfondo che la circonda. La si può definire univoca ed equivoca nell’atemporalità che la rende strumento storiografico e di finzione: ciò che è su carta potrebbe essere vero o manipolato, ma in entrambi i casi mantiene il valore datogli dai canoni estetici e dall’istinto emotivo dell’osservatore.
Che la persona sia in posa o ritratta nella sua spontaneità, non si può dire che non rappresenti una differenza, ma tale discernimento non è sostanziale. L’immagine di una persona che sorrida, pianga, mostri disrispetto o sorpresa è espressione di una storia a cui si dà ascolto senza distinzione a priori.
Gli approcci possibili sono innumerevoli, ma quasi sempre sono basati sul rapporto che vi è, o che viene ricercato ed imposto, fra soggetto ritratto e sfondo. Quest’ultimo può variare radicalmente nella sua forma e nella sua presenza di contesto o astrazione generalizzante (i.e. uno sfondo monocromatico, modulare o sfocato), sempre però al fine di isolare il soggetto ritratto.

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