Another year is almost gone and is time again to evaluate if I was a naughty or nice boy.
Calm down your expectations… I will not tell here in public the personal aspects of my life and all my sins, but only the photographic part!
Anyway… Santa was pretty good with me so I think I didn’t do too bad also on the non photographic aspects of my life.
In a year a lot changed. I had some plans I had to postpone for reasons out of my control, but despite all I managed to do something I’m proud of. Steps toward my goals and great professional satisfactions.
I took some pictures that really satisfy me, even after months, reaching the end of the year, I look at them and I feel the same emotions I felt taking them.
First of all I had the opportunity to discover Levico, a city with thermal springs known from the ancient times. I knew it in name because my great grandparents were used to go there in the 1930s to take care of my great grandfather diabetes and have some vacation. At that time 500 kilometers were not an easy trip and they did it usually with train and at least once with a Fiat Balilla.
The town of Levico had another important aspect in my family life. My great grandparents met there a priest teaching in the Archiepiscopal Residential School of Desio. A great school under cardinal Schuster, Bishop of Milan, one of the greatest person we had in Italy. Thanks to that casual encounter my father went to that school and learned not only what helped him to graduate and have a wonderful career, but also the deep ethic and honesty he was able to transmit to me.
When I had an opportunity to travel in the area to visit relatives of my girlfriend I wanted to see the city that I heard mentioned in many family histories and influenced my family life.
I obviously had my trusted cameras with me and I have some pictures I particularly like. Taken on the shore of the Caldonazzo Lake with my Pentax 67.
It was a day of relax, a slow walk on the lake and just observing. Only ten pictures, lazily taken without even pulling the exposure meter out of the bag but just trusting the old sunny 16 rule, the rule printed on all the old film boxes saying to use 1/ISO as shutter speed at f16 in a sunny day. It was a nice sunny day, I did not even had the need to compensate.
The nice part was to discover how much I appreciated to have a limited quantity of pictures available. Only ten, I did not want to use more than a roll of film. That gave me the calm to study the scene before I pressed the shutter. I observed the light, how it interacted with the landscape and I observed the movement of the people. I observed for long time before I brought the camera to my eyes, composed, waited for every person to be in the right position and finally clicked. Something I always did with film, but I with digital I fell in the bad habit to click too much and think too less.
Every person in the image is exactly where I wanted them. A real moment fixed in time. The two sexy girls lying seductively in front of the lifeguard, husband and wife communicating with a short contact of his feet on her ass, 20 years of comprehension, kids playing happily and everyone enjoying a summer day by the water.
I went back again months later and I completed my photographic journey, but it will become an article and I will not anticipate it here. I just say I really loved Levico.
Something else I was very proud this year was to win an honorable mention at the B&W Spider awards. The picture was taken with my infrared converted Fuji X-Pro1 during a day of urbex. No sorry, I hate the term “urbex”, actually it was well organized industrial archaeology in a dismissed military base. A day spent with a colleague to complete the work we did years before to document the industrial archaeology in the area, it can be seen in a book you can buy here. A day with a friend who stationed there for years and told us a lot of stories and anecdotes about the base and his life. A wonderful day of friendship and photography.
I was very fond of that image. I loved the emptiness and the asymmetry of the room. The image was submitted earlier to the PPA contest and did not even got a merit, but it received an honorable mention at the Spider Award and that really was great.
I’m photographically getting far away from the over photoshopped trend that is now dominating some contests and to discover there are contests and judges that still recognize my style was a fantastic confirmation of my choice to be artistically faithful to myself.
There was another vacation I took. I went to Giulianova, a very nice harbor town in the Abruzzo region on the Adriatic sea. It was another closure of a circle, something I really needed this year.
I went to Giulianova on vacation with my parents for 27 years, since I was a kid, and I wanted to revisit it and put back in my mind some good memories to take off my brain the memories of their last days on earth.
It worked great for me. I found not only the memories I was looking for but also, unchanged, the beautiful heart of the people living in Abruzzo.
I had started my photographic journey as a kid, exploring with my first camera the harbor in Giulianova and I decided to dedicate a small photographic project to it.
The images and an article I wrote about the Giulianova Harbor, ended on the pages of FujiLove Magazine and you can see the article here and the portfolio with all the images here on my website.
The best part of it was to see the article shared by many media in the Abruzzo region and have it appreciated also for how it showed to the world a wonderful and underrated Italian region. I was able to give back to Giulianova a little, my way to say thank you for the good memories and moments the town offered to me in the years. Another satisfaction was to publish my first novel, Lasting Photographs. It was a nice challenge to pause from technical books and write a novel. Still the main subject are photographs but inside an adventure and romance through some continents and almost a century.
It was a year with good images, great food and a lot of great moments full of love I shared with my life partner. It was a good year and those moments gave me the force to go on and continue to work toward my goals despite the setbacks I had to deal with. It was a great year to heal from the loss of my parents and start to create my own memories. I learned a lot, personally and professionally and I met some great people and made new friends. A very good year.
Now it’s time to write down my good intentions for the next year and work even harder to reach my goals and realize my dreams.
A very nice project for 2020 is coming next week. Stay tuned and enjoy your New Year’s Eve. May 2020 be the greatest year of your life.