Category Archives: Zen

Do you like a threesome?

A good exercise for street photograpy is to take an argument, also a little or, at the first sight, meaningless topic and develop it. In this case I chose the number 3…that is to say…a threesome 🙂

I saw three windows and I waited for three persons

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Some tips for successful Street Photography

Use wide-angle lens: like 28mm or 35mm: in order to get as much as possible in the frame ( and you’ll be more discrete and “hidden” )

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Camera Settings: the camera must be ready in any moment to take a shot quickly

  • Set it to “Aperture Priority” or “Program” ( both in Automatic ISO )

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My ‘photoblock’ notes

I admit: I cannot lost any pictures, I must capture every interesting scene that can happen in front of me…so, as many other photographers, I have always with me a little compact camera with a 1” sensor, my personal ‘photoblock’ notes. One of the winning picture of the last World Press Photo (2016) was taken with a little GoPro camera. So my little “note” can reach high levels! There are very short poems that are masterpiece, aren’t they? But to get the most from that camera I have to know its limits. Some days ago a find some differences between a semi-professional camera and my compact….the first one can give me an idea of what I can obtain with a different’ camera 🙂

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Back to the silver halide (to await a pleasure is itself a pleasure )

Black&White or Color films are dead? Luckily no at all!   On the contrary  now there is revival. But..but…there is a “but”: for Black&White is very difficult to find a laboratory that is able to develop your films, so you have to develop and print them by yourself..and this is a very good new! Yes because, as you can see in the slideshow, the “come out” of the photo in the development is truly magic! If you cannot arrange a dark room in your house, you can develop the films and scan them.

For Color Films: there are always a lot of laboratory ( I mean in Italy ) that  are able to develop the color film, but the prints are not so good ( generally speaking ) and, in any case, they scan the films and print them as a standard digital photo. So it’s better to ask only for scanning.

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Recently I bought a Nikon F5 camera. On the 90’s it was the analogic top camera and it costs about 2.500$ (only the body!!). I found it at 400$ ! And it’s and incredible camera.

See this pictures: only a minimum of post production ( levels and contrast ) .. I waited 3 days for the develops…but to await a pleasure is itself a pleasure..

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Great camera means Great photo?

You don’t need a great camera to take a great photo as you don’t need a big paintbrush to color a big painting. I have a question: “how was the giant Goliath killed?”, with a big cannon? No, with a little rock. Last sunday I took the following pictures with a little compact camera, a Sony RX100M3, not with a Nikon D5 or a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

I had a big help: the morning lights! 🙂 But I had to wake very early in the morning..and the “good light” last few minutes… In the evening I edited the RAW files them with Lightroom.

“Take the rose when it’s time, that the time, you know, flying and the same flower that blooms today, tomorrow will wither” ( Carpe Diem, italian poet Orazio)

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Reflection in the lake

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Landscape in the morning

Old analogic photography could help actual digital photographer … ?

How can a very old technology help a modern photographer in the digital world? First of all I’m talking about the composition of a picture: the way to take a “good shot”. Ok, there is not a true procedure, but some tips and advices to try to reach our target in the most of cases (almost!). From the past we can learn something for our future.

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Limited resources: think that you don’t have in your SD a lot of free space for your shots. But consider that you can take only 36 pictures… the number of shots of an “old” analogic camera roll. If you have limited resources you’ll use them at the best you can! 30 years ago Personal Computers had only 1 MByte of RAM, despite this I remember very amazing games or other fantastic softwares run on them…and they run with only 1 Mbyte ( or less ) of memory! Computer engineers and software programmers optimized the little resources of the hardware for their softwares, and they did great works! In the same way you cannot waste films for your pictures…snap only in the right moment: in this way you can concentrate on the scene and on the composition. A common error is: “I take a lot of pictures and I’ll edit with Photoshop”. But why do you waste your time to choose 1 picture on 20/30 very similar?  It’s better to use your time at the moment of the shot: take 1 picture, change your position..try to search for a better composition/lights contitions.

No display: old cameras of course had not the display to see our pictures. Think in “analogic way”: power off your display ( or change the visualisation on camera settings only ) , so you will not loose a good shot while you are watching your last picture. You must be concentrate on the scene in front of you. Technologic tips: your battery will last longer.

Lens: once you have choosen your lens, don’t change it ( in that day or photographic session). Choose the lens that, on your opinion, is better for that day: if you go for street-photography take a wide lens; for nature’s pictures take a zoom. The philosophy is always the same: use your time on the scene and not on changing the lenses every 30 minutes ( or less). If you are on a street with a wide lens and you need a zoom, use your legs as a “natural” zoom! Go back and forth, as a photographer did in the past time: little number of lens zoom and high cost of them, so the photographer had only one lens.

Very useful help from the past: go to see the photo exhibitions of the famous master of photography … but also of the master of painting! Yes, we can learn a lot about composition ( and lights ) from ancient painters: Leonardo da Vinci, Paolo della Francesca, Raffaello.  Caravaggio is very important for a photographer:  the use of the lights in his paintings is Amazing!

A little tip..

One of the way to learn how to take a good shot is the following: look for a very bad, ugly, nasty, unsightly, foul, unpleasant place ( in your home too , or in another place ) and try to make it beautiful 🙂 In every place there is a hidden nice, lovely, little side…it’s a very good exercise of composition to find it.

I found in my garden some flowers…Ok, they are not very unpleasant..but I think that they are quite meaningless. So I tried to “transform” the picture in a “pictorial” photo, in a “sort of” painting.

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More contrast, more light and a lot of color saturation ( and a little crop )…Now they are very beautiful flowers 🙂

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