How I had (a rough time choosing 15 pictures for) an exhibition with a friend.

Back in June 2016 me and a friend, Pietro Consolandi, decided to consider making a joint photo exposition – focusing on the pictures we took during our respective trips to Japan in that same year: I went with a friend for new year’s eve holidays while he went later in spring by himself.

We both had also previously been to Japan – my first trip was by myself, his in a group – and we shared the belief that a certain degree of knowledge of a country is required to enjoy it. I don’t mean that one has to have a complete understanding of the place one is travelling to, but the aim of the trip should not be just discovering it: it should not be solely history and social matters, but even just the everyday dimension of how the inhabitants live their own streets and country.

Speaking for myself, I tend to try being invisible – not to catch what they wouldn’t want to show a tourist, but just to be perceived as one of its own by the country itself, the shops, the streets and the poles, being given the chance to experience the same calmness and silence one feels when at home.

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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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Praticità e spontaneità dell’Iperfocale.

Tutte le immagini incluse in quest’articolo sono coperte da copyright da parte dei rispettivi autori.

Sfogliando un volume di fotografie, quale possa essere uno di Yosef Koudelka, Lee Friedlander o Alex Webb, si può avere riprova dell’uso sagace che tali fotografi facevano di uno dei due maggiori elementi tecnici della fotografia stessa: l’apertura focale e l’effetto che ha sulla profondità di campo.

Per quanto io stesso non finisca mai di rimanere affascinato dal capace utilizzo di una ridotta profondità di campo per isolare il soggetto ritratto, ogni situazione necessita di un’attenta valutazione in merito a quali parametri tecnici maggiormente arricchiscano il risultato finale. La presenza di più elementi a fuoco predispone l’osservatore a interpretare la spazialità con la chiave del formato bidimensionale su cui si trova, permettendo all’immaginazione di espandere le dimensioni oltre i confini tipici del mondo reale: il soggetto si immerge nello sfondo, incastonandovici ed arricchendolo; l’occhio non si fa ingannare, ma la prospettiva diventa secondaria alla funzione narrativa di ciò che viene ritratto.

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Mario Farina: street photographer in Bardolino.

Nell’arco di un mese dell’inverno 2013-2014 ho ritrovato per casa parti complementari di un cammino artistico, intrapreso dal mio bisnonno, Mario Farina, ed a me ignoto.

In prima istanza una scatola, la quale perlopiù conteneva fotografie scattate durante i fine-settimana trascorsi dal mio bisnonno presso Bardolino, luogo tipicamente “ameno” in cui soleva andare a perdere lucidità con l’aiuto del vino. Apparentemente era sua abitudine recarvisi portando con sé una Rollei 35 che gli era stata regalata dal figlio, il mio pro-zio. Questa stessa macchina è stata il mio secondo ritrovamento e, fortunatamente funzionante, ora si trova spesso nelle mie tasche, nella speranza che possa gradualmente abituarmi a non tralasciare determinati possibili scatti, che mi si presentano, ma che non vengono immortalati per accidia e per un’errata impostazione comportamentale; pur senza divenire un’ossessione, essendo la macchina estremamente tascabile.

Quella che in un primo momento fu una semplice divisione e differenziazione fra le fotografie che mi parevano interessanti e quelle che non lo erano, divenne in seguito un graduale processo di selezione, la cui finalità distensiva era mediata dalla ritualità con cui le foto si ripetevano in ordine sempre simile sotto le mie mani.

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