Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: photography

What are you thinking about?

The photos we take reflect the way we look at the world, which is very subjective.

Give a camera to three persons who are looking at the same landscape. They will take completely different photos, even if they have the same technical skills. The first person may want to capture the grey and threatening clouds on the horizon and take a picture in the style of Pentti Sammallahti. The second person could zoom on the thoughtful pedestrian walking with his dog, a much more humanistic approach of the kind of Susan Meseilas. The third may decide to boost the colours, emphasise the contrast between the green pullover of the pedestrian and the red house on the right, creating a magical atmosphere à la Alex Webb’s. Through a camera we decide what we want to see and how we want to portray it.

Much of this craft disappears with modern phones. Their standard images are often beautiful, but less intimate than those you can take with a normal camera by playing around with the exposition, the zoom, the focus, the width…

Itinerario fotografico a Parigi

Marais

Qui ci sono due piccole gallerie, una grande galleria, un grande museo e due negozi. Le piccole gallerie dove ci sono mostre di grande qualità sono la Polka Galerie e la Fondation Henri-Cartier Bresson. Sono poco lontane l’una dall’altra. Poco più a sud, scendendo verso la Senna, la Maison Européen de la Photographie ospita regolarmente grandi mostre. Nella stessa area, al Centre Pompidou è sempre possibile trovare due o tre mostre fotografiche. I negozi che mi sono segnato sono Images et Portraits all’interno del Marché des Enfants Rouges (per stampe e cimeli) e Comptoir de l’Image (per libri).

Montmartre

Qui c’è la sede di Magnum Photos , che è sempre possibile visitare e ha periodiche esibizioni. A Le Bal  c’è un’originale selezione di libri, e un bello spazio per leggerli.

Altri arrondissement

Vicino a Gare de l’Est c’è una libreria specializzata in fotografia: La Comete. Nella zona di Odeon, La Chambre Claire ha una selezioni di libri rari. La maggior parte delle mostre fotografiche che ho visto a Parigi le ho visite a Jeu de Paume, a Concorde. Infine, a Hotel de Ville capita talvolta di trovare una mostra di fotografia.

Different pictures

In Italian I make a picture (‘faccio una foto‘, almost a creation that we build) or we snap it (‘ho scattato una foto‘ and it literally took an instant). In French, like in English, I take a picture (‘je prends une photographie‘ – almost an egoistic gesture). In Spanish (‘saco una fotografia‘) and in Greek (‘βγάζω μια φωτογραφία‘) I take out a picture: maybe a memory of when there was still a film that you had to extract from the camera? In German (‘ein Foto aufnehmen/machen‘) I take up a picture, as if it was a flower hanging there for me.

Photos of people on the move

For the last few months I have put aside notables photos of people on the move. There are four somehow symmetrical photos that strike me more than all the others. All of them, I realise in insight, have an aura of sacrality: maybe this is why I like them so much. I post them below, in chronological order. It feels strange to look at them in these times of forced immobility.

***

Hal Morey. Grand Central Terminal of New York Central Station, 1929. It depicts the sacrality of the places that we use to move around: I had to think of Morey’s picture when reading this article, recently. Here the train station appears like a cathedral. Original here.

Hal Morey - New York Central Station - 1929

Alex Webb. San Ysidro, California, 1979. Mexicans arrested while trying to cross the border to United States. Original.

Alex Webb - San Ysidro 1979.jpg

Sebastião Salgado. Churchgate Station in Mumbai, India, 1979. Original here.

Sebastiao Salgado - Churchgate Station, Mumbai - 1979

John Stanmeyer. Djibouti City, 2013. Migrants in Djibouti searching for cell signals from neighboring Somalia. Original here.

John Stanmeyer - Djibouti City - 2014

 

2018: resolutions

Go ski touring in Switzerland. Finish the Ph.D. in style. Improve my French. Memorise twelve poems: one per month. Cook. Read one, big classic of Russian literature. Reunite Dani, Jonas and Tosan. Collect whiskey and photography books. Go sailing. Avoid developing an addiction for the pipe. Continue fencing and playing tennis. Race with the bike. Drink alcohol with Anna, visit Tirana. Hike with my parents, with Giallu, with Nicco. Travel outside Europe, meet Thomas. Spend some days with the Canadians, possibly in Istanbul. Get married. Nervous laugh: I was kidding on that last one.

On the front line

One month ago Anna and I went to see an exhibition at Palazzo Madama in Torino. This is a deeply moving collection of photographies that invites all of us to move away from our comfortable reality through the work of women reporters documenting war zones in Egypt, Syria, Congo, Libia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and more.

The photographers included in the exhibition are Linda Dorigo, Virginie Nguyen Hoang, Jodi Hilton, Andreja Restek, Annabell Van den Berghe, Laurence Geai, Capucine Granier-Deferre, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Matilde Gattoni, Shelly Kittleson, Maysun, Alison Baskerville, Monique Jaques, and Camille Lepage.

The exhibition will be open until the 16 of January.

Erwitt in Berlin

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