Tuesday, December 25, 2012

This is not a real post, not as my latest. I don't have a picture to post, I left my PC at home and took with me just a tablet. For you I have today only few words. I'll keep my headache for me.
I've just spent one of the cruellest days in the year: Christmas. I've swang between my parents' apartment and the one of my parents in law. Little time for thinking or doing anything else but eating and talking out loud to make myself heard in a crowd of shouting people. This is my typical Cristmas day, I can't help it. Everything happens quickly. Yet everything seems to last an ethernity. I would rather have spent it in several different ways, not least walking around my parent's old town with my gears in the hands. There will be time: that's what I say myself. But time goes by and you can't recover it.
I doubt there will be anyone out there reading these words. In case, I wish you had better holidays than mine.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Time for retrospectives

And ... of course, it's about time to make some stats, to count our numbers, to look behind our shoulders and see all that we've been able to do. It's the simplest way to look at the glass and see it ... half full, instead of half empty.

Time to rest

Few hours more and this year, this long, hard, extenuating working year will be gone for ever. One more day and I'll disconnect, putting my tools back in the drawers for a short, well deserved break. I must confess to feel like a long distance runner who has patiently run for long before getting to the end of the track and, once there, looking far ahead, realizes there's still a lot of road to walk. The last mile is by far the longest one. In the  meantime my goals have changed, as almost everything else. One of the only fixed points, my polar star is photography that keeps me on track.
There's not so much time to stop but it's worth and necessary. I'll sit on a bench for a while and soak into the low winter sunlight.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In wait ...

These are frantic days. A lot of work to be carried on before the year ends. Leftover to be put in place and scored as "done". Introspective thinking to this year results. Short term plans, long term plans. Christmas gifts to look around, strategic decisions to be taken about where to spend the following days, when to move across the land, what to be done before getting back to work. And yet, there's a long term trust that moves us on. A never ending wait for something we're not sure what it is and how will it ever come up. Feels like we're always in wait.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shadow Days

One of the most exciting and interesting exhibitions ever organized by 591 Photography Blog is now on display. Treat yourself with a tour into the gallery, click on the exhibition poster.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What remains of the glorious days

Some pics from the open fields, some time before the gloomy days and snowfalls of the winter season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Les Alpes de Doisneau

I've had the chance to visit, for the first time in my life, the town of Grenoble, in the center of the French Silicon Valley (I guess here people in Sophia Antipolis, Nice, might disagree) and afoot of the Alps at the border with Italy. It's been a bad weather outside, no chances to roam around for taking pictures. I can say I've been lucky: I realized that my pocket camera is not working properly anymore: it complains all the time that batteries are low and switches itself off. Christmas is close, I have to write a letter to Santa. I don't know if he would ever read it: I just treated myself with a splendid toy, a tablet.
I arrived in Lyon with a blanket of snow covering the whole region, then we had heavy rains and this evening, after a short pause, snow has started falling down again. I fear for tomorrow morning, when I'll have to take my flight back to Milan. Yet, it's not a weather report I was wishing to write about.
Walking around the narrow streets of the downtown, I came across a museum and saw a poster advertising an exhibition of photograph from the famous photographer Robert Doisneau, one of the inventors of photojournalism, and I made my way in: to my surprise, for free!

I'm not saying that the exhibition is worth a travel to Grenoble but, if you had the chance to pass from here till next April 13th, don't miss a short stop at the Musée.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fantasmagoria II

Last posting for this month. November has been the most fruitful since this blog was born. I'm really satisfied and confident to have done a good job. I'v never been so present before. This is the first rule of any good blog in the World: catch the audience, keep them warm, feed them something new everyday. I shall probably get tired (or bored) of this one day. For the time being, let's play.

Fantasmagoria I

Stockholm, October 2008, a fantastic installation at Kulturhuset. A big surprise for a passer by as I always am. Young people were dancing in a tempest of words projected on the walls from several different points.
I thought I had lost forever these digital negatives, my first attempt to shoot in RAW mode with my (at the time) brand new camera. Indeed they were well stored in a folder I had forgotten. It was to like finding exposed films inside an old metal box taken at a flea market.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Permanent wanderers

I think this picture has nearly ten years. I can't recall exactly when. In my early digital times as photographer I was not so scrupulous as today. Some bad accidents to the disks and CD:s were I used to backup my images have made me a little more careful about the way I manage my personal files. At the time I remember I still had a cranky and bulky Kodak that wasn't unable to store information on the images capture time. For sure I took the picture in a small park, not far from where I live. At the time I probably already had my son born and I "had" to carry him around with the trolley during the last warm days of his life's first autumn.
Looking back at this one, now, I can't help but thinking to the hunger of pictures I had in those years. I used to shoot at almost everything and everyone, being in a permanent transport (or wandering) state. This man might have probably been sitting and thinking a little back to his life. I was doing more or less the same, without looking ahead.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Two steps around, outside the box

Time is always short. Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote in his "De brevitate vitae" (On the shortness of life) that we should consider how much of it we waste, instead of complaining about its scarcity. I basically agree with him but not always. This happens to me when I'm far from home, abroad for business (as they say, even though I'm everything but a business man). Customer first, of course, then leisure. First comes your job, the one that pays for you, then your curiosity, your anger of experience and knowledge.
When I have the chance to spent some days in another town time seems to be vanishing in my hands or, to use an abused metaphor, like sand flowing through the fingers. I'm always on the run and it happens that professional and personal goals can't be achieved at the same time. In these cases the second, having lower priority, are inevitable overlooked.
These are pictures taken on the top of a hill in Molndal a couple of years ago. I'm here again in these days but the weather and my schedule don't allow me to step out of the office during the day. So I went looking into my hard-disk and found some good pictures of some very intelligent lunch breaks I had spent in the past time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On the sky ways again

Time to move again, time to fly, to spend endless hours waiting for your flight or running frantically from one end to the other of an airport. Time to move among new people and observe.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Phaedrus' lesson

Rana rupta et bos

Inops, potentem dum vult imitari, perit.

In prato quondam rana conspexit bovem,
et tacta invidia tantae magnitudinis
rugosam inflavit pellem. Tum natos suos
interrogavit an bove esset latior.
Illi negarunt. Rursus intendit cutem
maiore nisu, et simili quaesivit modo,
quis maior esset. Illi dixerunt 'bovem'.
Novissime indignata, dum vult validius
inflare sese, rupto iacuit corpore.

Phaedrus, Fabulae, Liber Primus,  XIV

Leafing through the pages of an on-line Latin library, this evening, I found this short, simple and meaningful Aesopian style fabula  from Phaedrus. Beside taking me back to the time of my early Latin studies (which, to be honest, were not so brilliant until I understood its universal beauty and started devouring stacks of Latin writers' books), it makes me think to the recent evolution of my professional career. In these days, I'm spending eight hours a day delving into thousands of code lines, pulling and connecting thousands of virtual wires and writing more and more text lines every day.
This is not exactly what I've been aiming at in the recent years. Yet, I must confess that I find this "practice" somehow comfortable, as it's been the kind of work I've been doing for more than ten years, before. I'm used at it, in some extent I'm a master (a "specialist") at doing it. But this doesn't necessarily mean that I should do it for the rest of my life. The underlying risk is to give out the message that this is the kind of things I love to do and excel.
No. It is not exactly like this. I can do more (and I demonstrated it several times) but, probably, I aimed at the wrong direction or with the wrong weapons.
I think I've already written something about, here, so I won't linger too much on this again. If anyone wants to know some more, then it's the right opportunity to read some of my recent posts. This short poem from Phaedrus injected (or refreshed) me the doubt that I was not simply felt as "not-ready-yet" but rather as "unable" (inops). I don't find this frustrating, as someone dared and tried to convince me, I find it ... irritating, a real dive into disillusion. Feels like I was certain having passed the shadow-line, turned back to see what I was leaving back and ... found myself in the dark again.

For the very first time I'm feeling the need for a big change.

No pictures today.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mnemosyne by Anita Balogh

Anita is an old pal of 591 Blog Photography living in the area surrounding Budapest. She's just delivered this still movie with an impressive sound-track.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Aker Brygge

Oslo, when a shallow pool is all you need. This place was once a shipyard where old sailing ships used to dock and drop their loads of good from the rest of the world. Now it is an expensive district made of glass, concrete and steel stretching into the harbor along the Oslo fjord. Even though the district around has abundant stretches of land these modern heirs of the vikings still look into the sea the only option to grow and evolve. Magic of water.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dinner at Christiania

Oslo, enough years ago not to remember exactly when it was. After a couple of hours spent walking around the downtown and the restyled and tourist populated shipyards of Aker Brygge, searching for a good place where to sit and eat, I stumbled upon this high-street restaurant standing close to the Parliament House of Norway. I had seen this place all the times I had been in Oslo before but, always being alone, I never had will and courage to enter and sit among tables filled with people happily celebrating some recurrence, business men perfecting a deal with a good glass of wine and couple of lovers having one of their life best moments. It must have been the summer light or ... I don't know. This time I went in, took a seat and treated myself. A sublime experience, I recall.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Re-entering Kymlinge

Four years ago, on this same day, I entered for the first time the Stockholm underground "ghost" (never opened) station of Kymlinge on a personal assignment I had taken with Ulf for the opening of 591 Photography Blog. This station is ten minutes walk away from Kista, a Stockholm northern district where my company headquarters are. Four years after I'm still here, 591 is growing every day, Kista ... well, concrete and charcoal are growing as well but, just two days ago, more than 1000 people were announced to be laid off. The ghost station could be crowded all at once.

Kista Science Tower

Entering Kymlinge

Where the Ghosts live

A last look at the train line 

Back in my hotel room

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shooting Stars

There are some who look constantly forward for something to aim at, without  necessarily understanding how to get there and some others who say that "the route and the time spent to walk it, not the goal, is the most important part of a journey". And, finally, there are those who answer back that "without a goal no one would ever start any journey ... ". They're all right.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Cycling Word Championship 2009, Mendrisio (CH)

I've had a unique chance to attend, as cycling fan and practitioner, the Road World Championship race not far from where I live for two consecutive years: Varese 2008 and Mendrisio 2009. In both cases I was there with my son, Flavio, who I hope will keep the memory of such events alive with him. Two unique events, people coming from everywhere in the World and melting aside the streets with their colorful jackets and flags, drinking, singing out loud, dancing, enjoying this side-show more than the same race.
At the end of the event I spotted this Norwegian guy happily saluting the mass from the roof of an hotel reception. If I well remember their prominent athlete had won the silver medal. Now, "Belvedere" in italian (consider that Mendrisio is in the southern border of Ticino, the Italian speaking Swiss canton) stands for a "nice panorama". When I see this picture I still can't help but lough.
I realize just now that I never showed it to one of my friends in Norway. :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The biscuits factory

The are pictures from the Museum of the Industries of Saronno, the town where me and my family have been living in the last twelve years. There was a reknowned biscuit factory in town till few years ago. From here cardboard and tin boxes used to start their travel to the tables of kids and others lovers of cakes in the World. Then someone decided it would have been better to move the whole somewhere else, where making biscuit is by far less expensive. What remains now of the old glory of the town are just few machines perfectly maintained but no longer able to make a single biscuit.

The hangman

This muppet was made by my son Flavio, who won the Halloween homeworks contest held  yesterday in his primary school.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Steam & Steel

This is the last post of October 2012. The counter reports 22. And it looks quite impressive to me. I've never managed to be so constant in posting as I've been in recent times. On the other end it is a challenge: a record to be passed, along with the number of visitors I've had so far. I must confess that it is pleasant: it gives you the impression that there are some people out there, looking constantly at your work. Good.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Leader's retreat

Villa Adriana, Tivoli: the so called Maritime Theater, one of the most interesting building of the old roman Emperor'd Villa. It is reportedly the place where this philosopher Empire Leader used to retreat himeself apart from the crowd that used to follow him till to this complex that he built with the aim to spend some time away from Rome. This small "island", indeed, was connected by a removable bridge that his servants used to lift where he entered it.

Unfortunately, I cannot afford to have my own island were to easily ... isolate (sorry for the pun) myself from the ordinary things. When I need to unplug I rely on my ability to stretch my wake time over human sustainable limits, on the time "wasted" while commuting to work or traveling across Europe and, not to forget, on my family patience. Photography is one of my other "islands", riding my bike is yet another one. I spent two hours under heavy freezing rain, today, just to switch myself off for a while and regenerate some kind of batteries. I wonder if this is all worth.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The rest of the heroes

The picture below is from Villa Adriana, a UNESCO World Heritage site standing close to my youth town, Tivoli. I won't spend many words, here, to describe what this nearly two thousands years old villa means to me, as well as to the whole World. If I was some kind of an enlightened mind coming from another planet, though, I would put this place in the top-ten list of the sites to visit on planet Earth before going back home. I've been lucky enough to be grown few hundreds of meters away from there and still I think I haven't seen most of the thousands things to discover, after several walks through what remains of Adrian Emperor's retreat. Yet, it's not about the artistical meaning that I'm lingering upon, now. Rather, it's some kind of analogysm that I feel between the greeks' heroes statues surrounding the Canopus and myself.

Now, I think I'd better explain what I mean with my last words above, without crossing a limit: it is something relative to my current professional status.
I've been - or simply I felt I was - some kind of a princeps, a specialist in my role as digital design team leader for a while. Five years are quite a long time in the modern professional world. After such a time frame anyone would aim to make a change, to walk out of its "comfort zone" and try something else. So I did after an even longer time: I dared to step up and apply for a manager's position, to compete with my previous promoters, to point a finger and tell what I didn't like of the previous management behaviour and ... having dared to fly, I fell.
There's nothing better that a good walk in a forgotten place to restore ourselves and make order in our thoughts. Villa Adriana is not really a forgotten place. Yet there are days when the only people walking in are closed in their own worlds and the Villa looks like being yours.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heavy weather

Strange clouds over our head. The sky looks like a brain. Or is it maybe the under-view of a soft sea turmoil up above?

Klippan on ebook

On my way to get started with a new PhotoBook, while I was upgrading Blurb's editing tool, BookSmart, I realized it is possible now to turn, push-button, every uploaded book into an electronic version and make it available off the shelf. So, needless to write, I pushed the button and there it is!

Additionally, once made this step I learned it was possible to submit the e-book to Apple iTunes. So there it is again on a different shelf:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tivoli - VII

Still another picture from last summer raid in the old town where I spent my youth. The boy sitting in a spot of light filtering through the high windows of the town's main church (Il Duomo) is my son. He's just nine and he's getting every day more curious about the mistery laying behind religions, all those people crowding these public places, the ceremonies, the icons and their meaning. I'm not the right person to explain him all these things. I'm a scientist and my explanations would be biased. So I decided not to tell him anything. He'll attend a course in the next years and will be free to make his choices.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vivian Maier

Autoritratto, giugno 1953
Self Portrait: Vivian Maier, 1953

Part of the huge recently discovered work from "nanny" Vivian Maier's (1926 - 2009) is on display in Brescia, at "Galleria dell'Incisione" till November 15. Click on the picture above to get access to some of her images or read about her life. A daily source of inspiration for everyone of us.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frau "Solida" visions

''It took me more than a while to recover the lost tracks of such a mysterious - and lately disappeared - old German camera, Frau Franka, the "Solida". I had taken my rolls to a couple of photo-shops in town, as being a digital born pictures maker I don't have much experience with either and wanted to experiment different ways to get to the final digital scans. Yesterday I received a call from one of the two, saying that the roll was waiting for me and that they weren't able to make the scans: the impressions were overlapped and no one in the lab was able to take decisions about were to crop.''

He silently smiles at me and, casting an eye on the big watch hanging on the wall, adds: ''Looks like none was able to say whether this overlap was an artistic decision of mine or ... a terrible mistake! Someone from the lab had written *overlapping frames* on the envelop.'', this time he laughs, rapidly shaking his shoulders.

''So I came back home with a yellow plastic box in my hands and and made my way to my kids' room to attempt some scans by myself using my purposely cheap and unprofessional gear. The results are there ... let's drop it.'' Handing me a print, he nods to the tea pot still smoking on the table and asks: ''Milk or lemon?'' I look at a print of an roman temple standing in bright sunshine and say: ''Just a bit of sugar, thanks.''

- The 591 Italian reporter

Antica Osteria "Al Tempio di Ercole"

Summer 2008

A look inside

A look outside