Before and after the barber: choose the right moment

Some time ago I was in the city of Genova ( Italy ) for some street photos. During my walks I noticed a man near a poster at a bus stop:

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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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It’s coming back…are you ready?

Film photography is coming back, it’s not dead. An increasing number of people are starting to shoot again with analogue machines. Maybe you can also have a little interest on it…so what’s the situation today about film-based cameras?
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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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Traveling light!?

1996 : Holidays! A good chance for taking a lot of pictures with my camera, some camera rolls and a little battery:

 Canon FT                                                                   Camera Roll

So I have a lot of space in my bag for a sandwich too! There were a great kinds of films: Color, Black&White, Slides…but they were ‘standard camera rolls’: I could put them in every film-based camera. Returned home I brought my films to a laboratory for developing them…and after 2/3 days I had my holidays’ printed pictures!

2016 : Holidays! A good chance for taking a lot of pictures with my camera , my memory cards, my batteries, my Laptop ( or a lot of memory cards  ), my card reader, my usb cables and a battery charger..ehy! in my bag there is no space for my sandwich!!

Today I need ( almost ) 2 batteries for my camera if I want a take pictures for all the day, 2 memory cards (almost, specially if I use Raw ). Returned to the hotel I have to remember to charge the batteries and, if I have no more space in the memory cards, I have to upload the pictures to my Laptop. Today is (quite) impossible traveling light…I think that the technology is getting worse our ( photographic ) life! But the worst thing is that we don’t print our pictures!!! We post them on Internet…in a space where there are millions of picures…and so they will lost in that infinite ocean of pictures… On my humble opinion we’d start to print them again..in a big format and to hang them in our house.

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The two bikes

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The two bikes

Amarcord Photography: Nikon FM3A

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To take a picture (technically) we need only three small things: aperture, shutter speed and focus. Three simple choices that today we don’t do anymore : it’s the camera that chooses for us . But to take a picture in that way, I mean automatically, is not the same: we don’t think over on what we are doing … and we do it in a hurry. We carry the viewfinder to our eye (maybe) and we click: the camera will choose the “best” exposure; of course we will get a photo , but it could be a better photo, but how? With that three small choices I told before. In the analogic “world” ( a lot of years ago ) we were obliged to set manually the exposure and focus … because there weren’t a lot of automatism in our camera. So I ‘d like to speak  about a very nice camera the Nikon FM3A … one of the last analogic film-based camera.

It was produced in 2001 when the digital cameras had spread like wildfire and everybody said that analogue was dead and criticized the choice of Nikon: why does it insist on an outdated technology? Often we need some time to get an answer to a question. I don’t know the answer, but I see that  the analog film still lives.


So pick up this piece of “antique” and we notice immediately by its weight that there is a substance! 570 grams (without lens) made of silicon alloy and aluminum with brass caps (as the cameras manufactured in the 70’s) : not plastic! This substance is not a quirk: it means good healthy and robustnesswith the added bonus that with this Nikon I can do even small household maintenance like drive nails or pulverize the coarse salt. I owned the FM3A since 2001 … and after many paintings on the wall, it still makes his jobs … taking pictures.

The first time I had in my hands the Fm3A, I tried to power on it… ACC! But where is the power button? I was not able to find it! Simple, just pull the film-advance lever!

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In any case that lever must remain slightly open for shooting and so it can be use as a power button. Very simple!
Well, once powered on, I looked into the viewfinder and what I saw? Hundreds of figures that only hide what I wanted to capture? Nnnnooo! Only few informations … let’s see: shutter speed display with the exposure-meter indicator, exposure compensation, flash lamp, aperture indication and 12mm-diameter reference circle (  for focus indicator).
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Now I’m ready to take a picture ( after I inserted a film into the camera )… how !? Very simple again: I can use the “priority aperture” by
setting  “A”  in the shutter-speed dial
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then I choose an aperture on the lens
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I compose the image and I press lightly the shutter button: if the exposure-meter indicator in viewfinder is in the range of the shutter speed display then I can press fully the shutter button
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otherwise I have to change the aperture ( remember that we set “A” only once and to find a good exposure we have only to change the aperture on the lens ).

To be continued…