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  • 29 gennaio 2010


    beethoven, beethoven, beethoven!!!!

    Beethoven is another level. Everyone, obviously, knows the ninth symphony, which is mad to think that he completed it when he was already deaf (the music, like all the rest, is in your head, not in the ears!). Legend tells that at the first one (triumphant) they made him turn around so that he could at least see the people that where applauding him. He could only see the applause, not hear them…

    One of my favourite pieces is concert number 3, for the piano and orchestra. It is something out of this world. More rock than the rolling stones, more romantic than air, more jazz than petrucciani, more poetic than de andrè, more symphonic than pink floyd, more more… in short, the top. Listening to the piano and the orchestra chase each other like two lovers, adorable and strong, happy and angry, it is an incredible emotion. An unbelievable crescendo until the explosive ending.

    I fear I am doing something highly illegal, like throwing toxic waste in the sea, like trading anti personnel mines, like breaking into isolated houses violently… in short I am going to post the link through which you can download and listen to the concert for piano and orchestra number 3 opera 37 first part allegro con brio, pollini at the piano, and abbado as director of the orchestra: download it, put it into your iTunes and blast it at full volume! your lives (or at least your weekend) will definitely change.

    I will be jailed, punished and sanctioned for this serious illegality: to spread as much as possible old ludwig.

    Seeing that I am risking a lot, the link from which you can download it should be a little bit difficult to find…


    25 gennaio 2010


    On the latest issue of vogue bambini, there is my miss blumarine campaign, which I shot a few months ago during a beautiful sunny day in cape town.

    As well as the double spread for the campaign I have also included a few which are only present on the catalogue.

    You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them


    22 gennaio 2010


    It is probably a little overboard to come out in the same month on two photographic magazines: the thing is that I did the one interview not too long ago, and the other a little time ago and I would have never thought that they would have been published at the same time. As well as similar photographs and even same opening articles!

    Anyways: we are still in the month of January so you will probably find them in the current issues of photocult and photoprofessional at your local newspaper stand.

    In short, excuse my excessive and invasive presence, which it is compensated for by the excellent writers that signed these two articles: ed prando (with the help of marina macrì) and his friend mosè franchi.

    You can see and read the complete PDF here for photocult and here for photoprofessional

    1 Comment »

    19 gennaio 2010


    I have signed the contract with MAX magazine for another year for my column MAX CASTING.

    To celebrate this I have dedicated the BEST of my website to more than forty women I have shot for this column in the past year.

    They might appear simply as photographs of young girls, excuse the extreme simplification, with their tits out: in reality it is not like that. As always and as I will never get tired of repeating, you have to have a precise concept when you do something, and you have to have it even more when, as in the case in question, the project lasts for more than a year.

    I will try to explain the “concept” behind MAX CASTING:

    When this task was given to me I had only one thing in mind, what I DID NOT want to do: I didn’t want to simply take glamour photographs, as you can see thousands everywhere. namely I didn’t want to take fake images, with young ladies that were simply and finally showing their nice little asses and their perky tits.

    So I gave myself some very precise rules and boundaries, which I am going to list schematically:

    -the models must not have anything fake: no fake breasts, no fake hair, no fake nails, no contact lenses… all real. Already this would have taken us far away from most of the glamour shots you see around

    -through the images I wanted to tell who are the models, creating above all a portrait. Therefore before the photoshoot I have always taken some time to talk to the girls to decide WITH THEM, how to take the pictures. Actually, I was stimulating the girls so that they would decide on how to do the editorial! In short I have always tried to make way so that they wouldn’t undergo the photoshoot, as it happens often, but that they would become the creators: it wouldn’t have been MY editorial, but THEIRS.

    -on this perspective I wanted that the clothing that they would have been wearing (many or few…) would be their clothing. You do understand that a magazine loves that the models wear the clothing of their various advertisers, but I thought that the brand new prada shirt would have surely been nice but also very fake.

    -i have always had “hair&makeup” on set, but I have always wanted the model to choose how the hair and make up had to be done: first of all I wanted the model to like herself.

    -i always wanted the technique to be as simple as possible. This year I have never used any professional equipment: never used a studio flash, never a bank, no infinity curves… I wanted to shoot like any amateur photographer would have photographed his girlfriend.

    -i always wanted the poses not to be poses. I didn’t want the model to act shit hot (excuse me) in front of the camera. I wanted a normal girl, with a normal attitude.

    -i always showed the photographs to the model before sending them to the magazine, to have their approval: if they didn’t like one or more pictures I’d toss them without saying a word.

    -i always used photoshop in a very light way, only to give tone and contrast to the images, never to twist the physique of the girls, never to stretch the legs for kilometers, never to give curves that didn’t exist.

    -in short, as I was saying to my models, I wanted a copernican turnaround to happen (really!) of the usual roles: the true boss was the model, I was only the one doing click on the photographic camera. I wanted each editorial to differ from the other, because in each photoshoot different was the fundamental thing: the model. sure some editorials look similar, but, deep down, none is the same as another. As I always say to the models I want to cancel myself, I want to disappear. I am proud of the fact that, in the end, it looks like forty editorials done by forty different photographers: as once was said “looks like is an other photographer, but it is just an other model!”

    This is it. Try now to go and look at images of young sexy girls that you see all over through the filters and boundaries that I’ve conceived for MAX CASTING: you will see images that, maybe they are more beautiful than mine, but that they’ll never be able to become a MAX CASTING.

    allow me the presumption and my need to be didactic, but I invite you once again to have a solid concept before you get down to do a photoshoot: each single MAX CASTING editorial could look good or bad, but it definitely goes back precisely to the concept that I had in my head since the beginning.

    Alas I want to thank all the sweet young ladies that they have kindly let me photograph them in the past year: julie, inna, martina, laura, sarah, xenia, daphne, mathilde, vicki, anna, ausra, mandy, francesca, elinska, amanda, simona, lauren, eva, ella, ani, paulita, daniela, yulia, anni, oksana, jill, valentina, bianca, victoria, giselle, caitlin, pille, julia, cassandra, valeria, catherine, beatrice, tanya, gertrud, ida, julia, brooke, ines, kamila, danielle, rithina, anelly, margot, giuly. THANK YOU!

    As I said in the beginning I will at least go on with the same project for another year: if a model (with the characteristics I mentioned above…) would like to propose herself she can write to


    19 gennaio 2010


    Here is the new website of a great (italian!) photographer: chico de luigi

    Chico, you are really good: congratulations

    (ok, he’s my friend, but he is really good…)


    17 gennaio 2010


     As a respectable magazine would say, “we receive and publish with pleasure”:

    “Hello Settimio…

    My name is Simone and I have written to you already a couple of months ago, with my great surprise after just a few days I received a reply from you to my questions which left me astound… I honestly didn’t think such a fine, busy, engaged person such as yourself would dedicate some time to a perfect stranger…

    Therefore first of all I want to thank you…

    I also am a photographer (even though when I see your work I ask myself if I can call myself that)… therefore I often look at your photographs and I read your blog daily and I consider it simply fantastic (that is given by your vast culture and curiosity in confronting things).

    I’ll get to the point so that I won’t waste too much of your time…

    It has nothing to do with photography… but I’ve read that you have as a cellphone the iphone… I wanted to ask you a few questions…

    I have received a 32gb as a gift… and I’ve asked myself:

    –  the battery doesn’t last that long… how does a person like you that travels so extensively not have recharge problems?

    –  Some tips on how to get a nice photograph with the iphone?

    –  Which applications in your opinion one must have on the iphone?

    –  How do you feel about the iphone?

    I know this has nothing to do with your work… but I really admire you as a photographer and above all as a person that is able to become curious in front of anything… as a person that really uses his head… as a person that has ideas… so that is why I had to ask you things that perhaps do not pertain to your line of work.”

    I take this opportunity to speak about the iphone but above all about its capabilities as a photographic camera.

    The iphone (as all things MAC…) is extraordinary, not just a cellphone, but truly a computer that is able to do a thousand things: I couldn’t be without it.

    Amongst all its qualities it has also a camera, which is not amazing, but it has two great merits: one always has it with and, thanks to a few retouching programs, it is possible to retouch the images, and use them immediately.

    Below here you will see two screen shots of my applications dedicated to photography on my iphone.

    Camerabag: I use it a lot, used in a simple and swift manner it often gives great results

    Air photo: it is used to print directly from the iphone, through wifi

    Ps mobile: light version of photoshop. I seldom use it

    Vintage maker: not for photos, but for videos. Just for fun

    Tiltshiftgen: to create a blur effect

    Shakeitphoto: It creates a sort of a polaroid by shaking the iphone. Useless

    Bes camera: application by the photographer chase jarvis. Pretty cool. Smart  possibility, which I actually do not use, to share the photographs taken with others

    Dsl remote: to control your reflex through your iphone

    Fototimer: timer, for self portraits, for example

    Pano: to take panoramic photographs. I use it often enough, excellent

    Photophorge: perhaps the most complete, maybe even too much. It even has a logo similar to photoshop

    Photogene: I have to say that this is what I use the most. Simple and swift but complete

    Color expert: to “encrypt” colours.

    Strobox: a sort of a notepad where you can write down your own lighting scheme. Never used

    Ieasy camera: to take a picture with the full screen. Never used

    1shoot: never used

    Photofx: thousands of filters in the palm of your hand. Interesting

    Gorillacam: various utilities to shoot with. Never used

    My pantone: pantone colours!

    Pic posterous: to upload your images in the homonymous gallery

    Hipstamatic: sweet effects

    Lo-mob: sweet effects, I use it often

    Autotimer: the name says it all

    Pro hdr: it absolutely doesn’t take photos on hdr effect (which by the way they have abundantly busted my balls…) but it lets you take photographs with two very different areas of exposure

    Retrocamera: sweet effects

    Often and willingly I use different programs on the same image, starting with certain things on one application and then proceeding to others, mixing a bit of everything…

    Here below two of my photos, the original and then the final one after a few retouches:


    12 gennaio 2010


    seeing that in the previous posts we spoke about workshops I’ll end the subject with THE workshop: also this summer, like last year, I will be in tuscany for a week, for my workshop with TPW.

    I fear I have already praised enough the whole thing, but I’d like to say one last, final thought: go, come to my course, don’t come to my course, do what you want, but go to it… I say more,,, knowing and appreciating my photography… not knowing anything about photography… has nothing to do with it… but do it… why?

    Because, after, nothing will be the same…


    9 gennaio 2010


    the weekend organized by TPW here in milan (which was supposed to happen halfway through December) has been moved until the end of January and it is dedicated to whoever wants to expand the more concrete aspects of the photographic profession. All the info is here.

    (it’s true, I’ve written this post to advertise this thing a little, in which I am obviously also involved, but above all it is to answer alan messo’s comment in my previous post: there is a bit of chaos, but don’t fear, everything is under control…)


    6 gennaio 2010


    for many reasons people often ask for my biography. Up to now I’ve always got upset and written shabby lines, in a quick and superficial manner.

    Now that the new website is up I have to get serious and write a serious bio, which is always useful: so I sat in front of my mac, quiet and at peace, concentrated.. And realised that I have already written a biography.. Two to be exact!

    Here they are:

    -i was born in the province, under the gemini star sign. I spent my youth fucking around in an irresponsible and empty manner, taking advantage of the economical boom of the 60s in any way, which allowed me to live a good life, even though I wasn’t doing much to deserve it. I pull myself through various schools, trying to obtain results for survival, with the least effort, I read here and there, giving myself a vague idea about everything, without ever deepening anything. I got given a camera, through which I thought it would make my adolescent days less dull: and so it was. Unwillingly, around my twenties, I dragged myself towards studying law, I move to milan, trying to make photography my profession. It’s the mythical eighties, and even a moron finds it easy to do something: in fact I did as well. First I was an assistant, then, since 1990, photographer by myself. A series of fortunate events made sure that I’d find myself in the right place at the right time, so I managed to do a little something here and there. After doing a few jobs as a photographer for some newspapers and thanks to the fascist era corporative system, I manage to get the journalist press card, therefore acquiring unreasonable privileges. I tour the world, presumptuously convinced that I am doing something dangerous and innovative, meanwhile being taken around like a milanese yuppie, which by the way I really am. For yet another stroke of luck in 2003 I start a blog on my website, where, using words like sincerity/truth/sharing, I make myself continuously look good with the undeserved success that keeps landing on my lap. I manage to create some hype, they call me (me!) to lecture in prestigious places (before I even get there) such as the european institute of design or the toscana photographic workshop. I keep on taking pictures, copying here and there, and confusing my indolence and laziness with speed and efficiency. Sooner or later my luck will run out, and my photographs will end up where they deserved since the beginning: in the oblivion. In the end there is very little to say: I am a dick.

    -i was born across from the sea, under the gemini star sign. Curiosity is one of my first memories, which I satisfied by going to the cinema (the cineforum with debate!), reading (steinbeck, andrea pazienza, calvino…) and listening to music (de andrè!) like a madman. I attend classical high school, having near me in class an insane genius, who is now a maths professor at the university. Thanks to my dad, at twelve years old (I remember as if it was yesterday), I become bewitched by photography: since that day forth I wasn’t going to think about anything else, reading and looking for everything that regards it. Even though I was attending a law degree at the university towards my twenties I left dropped everything and, without knowing anything or anyone, I move to milan, in jeopardy. The beginning years are difficult, but with constance and tenacity I managed to become first an assistant and then (finally!) a professional photographer. from the beginning I managed to publish for magazines (to better my portfolio), and do some commercial jobs (to maintain myself). Because I was working for the magazines of all the major publishing houses (mondadori, rizzoli, rusconi, condè nast…) I managed to subscribe to the journalist guild. Thanks to the passion for writing I have a highly followed blog, since 2003, on my personal website, and another on the corriere della sera website, the most important italian news-magazine. I participate for seven consecutive years and the only italian at the production of the very renowned swim suit magazine sports illustrated.  I take portraits of the whole italian gotha. Thanks to this positive frenzy I extend my activity well beyond the simple profession, teaching at the IED, holding workshops at TPW, hosting exhibitions (in the dark!), holding conferences, participating to television programs… trying to share this way with others the little or more that I know, convinced that “everything you give, you will receive”. While taking photographs I had the privilege to tour around the world, living it in a way that it would have been impossible for me if I would have done it as a simple tourist. I am very happy with everything I have achieved up to now, and I hope that my photographs will remain as a testament of my point of view on the world and the people. I love summing up the thousand characteristics of a person with a tiny detail. I would like mine to be this: I never throw paper on the ground.

    Ok, now you can choose the one you prefer: they are both true…


    2 gennaio 2010


    I pinch myself and make sure that I am awake and not dreaming: I am awake!

    If it wasn’t such a tragedy we would be pissing ourselves with laughter.

    So: let’s leave out right wing and left wing, of which their definition I do not think they make sense anymore, but we simply think that these people are the ones that should lead us, that is they should tell us what to do and what not to do.

    Already in the past I had a lot to say on the delirious political campaign of the democratic party, here e here. But this one beats them all.

    Size six by three billboards with a picture of a gear stick!

    “are you subscribed to autosprint? Change! Subscribe to donne&motori!”. Instead it’s not, it’s for the democratic party, a movement presupposed as eco friendly, aware of pure and simple values…

    Enough, next time I am voting for the illinois nazis (I am joking, “I hate illinois nazis”)