Every year for Christmas I dedicated time and efforts to create a Christmas image. Usually a still life with plenty of symbolic contents and often references to the year main events. If you are curious to check them, last year I posted on my blog all the images I made in the last 20 years. This year I kept it very simple, with a winter picture I took few days ago with a Pentax 67 with a 45mm and an Ilford FP4 film. A landscape, less then a mile far from my Italian home. I’m in a kind of sabbatical period, staying at my 91 years old father home taking care of him, and I dedicate myself to photographic personal research and books writing when I have the time. Obviously he is my priority and in December I simply had not the option to subtract time from him to create a Christmas still life. Mentally, staying far from the professional duties, I also started to look for simplicity and film photography is part of this research for a simple way to photograph, far from hours of retouch and the computer. A slow method, perfect for the rhythm of life I […]
I was reading on Swissinfo.ch, the article The breathtaking photos that showed Switzerland to the world by Marguerite Meyer (Writer), Ester Unterfinger (Photo editor) I was impressed by this picture: The picture in itself is just a good documentary photograph but what I noticed is the dynamic range (or latitude of exposure as we called it before we were trendy…). We can easily see details in the dark areas inside the gallery and we can see the details in the panorama toward the arches. Some burning was made in the darkroom and the effect is visible, but all the details were in the original plate. This was for sure a large format plate made before the industrialization by Kodak, so there was no need to save on the quantity of silver in the emulsion. You can see the same latitude of exposure in almost all the old professional pictures well exposed and developed. If you are in Italy there are some good places to watch the impressive quality and dynamic range of old films the Alinari Archive is one of the best and has a lot of publications. The rule in film was to expose for the shadows […]
Or… How to have some photographic fun without technology. Digital photography created a wonderful new world of opportunities but it also changed the way we photograph, instilling in us a lot of bad habits. One of the worse effect of digital photography is to make us shot too much and post process even more. It’s kind of strange, but also with a strong film background, when we use digital we forget to have a slow approach to our subjects. Sometime to remember what make me take great pictures I have to immerse myself for a day in some sort of cathartic experience that will force me to the basics of photography and forget the digital world and the infinite possibilities to post process my images. Those cathartic experiences are not intended to take great pictures, but simply to clear my mind and have some fun far from a computer. The most basic way to photograph is with a pinhole camera. I suggest to every beginner to try the pinhole to understand deeply the basic concepts of photography, I even created a full chapter about it in my book “Photography: The f Manual”. The simple idea is to […]
Every year, since 1995 for Christmas I created a card to send my best wishes to friends and clients. I always went in to the effort with the idea to create a real Christmas card and not a commercial work and I think I succeeded most of the time. Here my cards from 1995 to 2016 with the explanation of what I did, how and why. Obviously my wishes for this year are at the bottom of the post… so if you want a nice year… read it all!!! 😉 1995 This was my first year as professional. I opened my studio in July 1994 and I started to really work and promote myself in 1995. I always had a passion for reconstructing ambiences and mood so also for Christmas I went in that direction and realized a model of a mountain lodge. It was all made in 4″x5″ film with a Cambo Master Plus. I printed the picture to attach to the card in 4″x5″ and you can see here under the black shade the original image and, clear, the crop I used. The reason to realize a larger image and then crop was to have more depth […]
Do you want to have a solid base to understand the photographic process? This book is for you! You can be a beginner amateur or a professional photographer but if you want to easy understand what is involved in the photographic process to make the correct decisions you need to have strong and clear basis. The book contains the essential basic concepts to understand the photographic process. The author is explaining all the concepts and rules photography is based on, giving a general theory. Luigi’s book talks about everything from f stops to file formats, the difference between JPG and TIF and how image scaling and DPI relate. His section on how camera, computer monitor and printer color calibration works is explained so well, you’ll never forget it (just think toast). It even has in-depth explanations on photo composition, HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, depth of field, printing your images, publishing, and more. Luigi’s English is pretty good yet his lovely Italian flavor and sense of humor still come through. You can buy the book on Amazon or directly on CreateSpace
Sometime we are so busy taking pictures with our digital cameras that we forget to actually look for the right moment. A roll of expensive film, a simple camera without displays, histograms, 10 frame per seconds, auto focus and we can free our mind again from the tool and concentrate to the moment. Yes, I love digital photography and all the opportunities that it offers to us just, once in while, is worth to create a cathartic experience and relearn what is really important. Only 36 frames, a day to spend in a place. I had to walk around and really look for an interesting subject and avoid to waste a picture opportunity on something not worth. Walking around, looking around and, once I found a nice scene with a good composition, just wait for something to happen. In this case was a storm with a lot of rain and the sun appeared illuminating the rain with its rays. Sometime we must think film also with our digital camera, be patient and take the one good picture instead of thousand of mediocre images.