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  • 30 Giugno 2009

    zanzibar #01

    I am in zanzibar shooting.
    I have to admit that this is a beautiful place: I can certainly say that it is one of the best places I have ever been around the world.

    In all honesty the trip was a bit complicated: I did everything I could to buy a flight ticket that would take less trips possible, to avoid doing a trip around the world to arrive here. So we managed, after many difficult searches, to find a flight from Milan to Frankfurt/Frankfurt to Zanzibar: perfect!
    We left Frankfurt, the flight went well and we landed.
    My seat was in the first row, therefore as we landed I shot out of the plane, wanting to avoid all sorts of cues.
    I get out, entering some sort of milanese indoor swimming pool atmosphere, hot and humid, and I start to fill in all various papyruses of the flight/customs/airport african bureaucracies…
    Already everything was strange, one being that all the personnel I was having a conversation with were wearing a little white mask on their face.
    Also it was 6 o’clock in the morning, 5 o’clock for me.
    In short everything, between the hot/humid, the early morning and the lasked people, was a little strange.
    But the top still had to come: I finish with the bureaucracy and I get out.
    I look around.
    I see no one waiting for me.
    I look around.
    At the end I decide to ask about zanzibar: “zanzibar sir!?!?” “yes!” “I am sorry sir, but we are not in zanzibar”
    “we are not in zanzibar?!?! Where are we?!?” “in kenya! Sir” “IN KENYA?!?!?!?”
    I was in kenya!
    At this point, even warmer, sweatier and disorientated, I managed to get back in and get back to my plane.
    I get into the plane and I find it completely empty. Deserted.
    In the meantime the personnel had changed, so there weren’t even “my” hostesses.
    They looked at me with a look mixed between flabbergasted and disgusted when, by this point in a bath of sweat, I desperately asked “where is everyone?!?!?”
    Excuse me? Everyone who?!?!?

    At the end I found out that there was a pre scheduled stop for the airline but not scheduled for us and that after me everyone was made to get off the plane to wait for the crew to change over to then take off (finally!) for zanzibar.

    There are huge risks for a fashion photographer that travels around the world, ehi?!?!?

    At the end everything went ok, everyone lived happily ever after and finally I landed in the paradise you see here above.

    A lot of news and stories coming up in the next few days, which I have already here ready to cook… stay tuned!


    27 Giugno 2009

    amnios on radio deejay with viC

    Let me show off a little!


    18 Giugno 2009


    I am having an exhibition: LINK

    The likeable guys in san felice sul panaro (luca and roberto), prodded by mosè of canon, invited me to the fotoincontri festival LINK to expose my photographs.

    To tell you the truth I never liked the idea to expose photographs in a room, boasting that they are paintings: I always feared that the bar/restaurant effect with the photographs hanging on little chains was there by the hand…
    Therefore when it was proposed to me to to do the exhibition I thought it was very important to come up with an idea (THE IDEA!) which would give a sense to everything.

    The images that I am going to exhibit are nine photos in sequence, a female body that comes out of the water.
    A birth.
    We called the exhibition AMNIOS, referring precisely to the amniotic liquid, in which we all are before birth.

    Amniotic liquid

    I printed the images 70X100 in a room completely sealed by black cloths and in the darkness.
    A small torch will be given to the people visiting before entering the room, so that they can look for, light up, “photograph again” (photo_graph: write with the light) and therefore give birth to my images.

    An active presence of the spectator.

    A catalogue will also be made, in the same spirit.
    Although about this I will speak about it another time.

    For the ones who will come to the exhibition there will be another surprise.
    In short: I’ll be there!


    12 Giugno 2009

    Strange objects

    what are these strange objects that have been brought outside my studio?!?!
    They have a strange name.. Now I don’t remember very well.. Something like “yellow pages”, maybe they are pages for the chinese community, who knows!
    I tried to go through one of these objects, inside there is a strange list of names, shops, companies.. And with each name there is a telephone number and an address.
    I do not think that they are a very useful object, because I’ve seen most of the people throw them straight away in the garbage.
    If I don’t get quickly how to use them I will end up doing the same: but obviously I feel bad about it, thinking about the trees with which these things have been made out of.

    Who knows?!? Who knows what is their purpose, these strange, old things..


    7 Giugno 2009

    IED conference

    a few days ago I was kindly invited from roberto tomesani to hold a “conference” at IED, the institute of european design.
    Honestly it is always a pleasure to speak, not only to “teach” something to someone, but above all because talking you clarify things especially to yourself.
    It was a pleasant evening, between one thing and another it ended up later than we predicted: better that way!

    I would like to sum up what I tried to tell during that evening, maybe even for those who weren’t present:
    I started the evening with a little “”performance””. I brought from home a small camera, a G10.
    It’s the smallest and simplest camera I have, but thinking about it I could have done the same thing with a cell phone.
    I brought with me the G10, I was saying, and I prepared a MAC laptop connected to a projector.
    At that point I asked a random lady. The case I have to say was benevolent, because the lady was very pretty and kind. So kind to lend herself to my little experiment: I grabbed her (thaqnk you!), I made her rest against a white wall and I took a few pictures, with the little canon flash. I didn’t do more than five or six photographs. Everything didn’t take more than two minutes.
    Then I downloaded the pictures on the laptop and I started working on them with photoshop, while everybody was looking.
    In spite of the fact that the “volunteer” was very pretty, the initial picture obviously wasn’t much, actually a little ugly.
    So I started retouching her in photoshop, sparing none of those tacky effects that make a picture better (lens reflex!). Retouch here, retouch there, add this, add that.. And came out a photo, let’s say, ok: the lady had a perfect skin, the various effects gave her a sort of emotion to everything.. In short the image at the end could have very well been in a photographer or a model’s portfolio.

    I thanked the “model”, and I said, more or less, this:
    “you see, nowadays, with a digital camera and photoshop, it’s really easy to take a “nice” picture! A long time ago, with the slide, you had to find the right light, the right exposure, and then develop it very well.. Etcetera etcetera.. And at the end maybe, eventually a good photograph came out.
    Now all this, with the digital, it doesn’t matter anymore!
    Anyone who knows how to use photoshop (and whoever knows how to use photoshop!) can take a picture without any great defects and, talking about models, with the perfect models, without any defects.
    Too many times, actually! Almost every time, I see, in the portfolio of young photographers, portraits and full body photographs of models absolutely perfect: smooth skin, long legs, thin hips..

    To take a “nice” picture is not enough anymore!
    Actually, it is totally and absolutely irrelevant. In the outmost manner!

    One thing is unique and fundamental, put it well in your head: behind a photograph there must be an IDEA. A STORY.
    Nothing else matters.
    Remember that it is a thousand times better a bad picture but with an idea, rather than a nice photograph without an idea!”

    Then I, presumptuously, brought some of my photoshoots as examples where there were, and they were ugly and nice, ideas.
    And there we got lost in the milanese evening.

    Therefore, if I can give you a hint: stop taking nice photographs, the world is full of them, start to think about IDEAS.
    It is really the only thing that counts, believe me..