Today I found online a short movie that I really loved. “The boy with a camera for a face” directed by Spencer Brown. This 15 minutes short movie tells perfectly the problem of watching vs living. I consider this a must for every person in the image business. Enjoy it!
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 […]
It’s Christmas, time to buy gifts and nobody deserve gifts more than photographers! So here my personal list of the 10 best gifts, from $0 to a lot of money. A free gift that you can give to your photographer friends is to give them time: your time as subject, patient partner to explore the world with them or simply time to review their pictures and be honest. Honesty is the key for the gift, tell them if their 5000 pictures of a yellow lemon are boring or exciting, tell them why you like or dislike an image and tell them why. For few dollars you can handcraft a visualizer. Years ago, in the film era, it was a very common tool, specially for view cameras, and was ready to buy in the shops. Now is not possible to buy it but very easy to build. Take a piece of black cardboard, cut a hole the size of the sensor in it and attach, close to the hole, a piece of measuring tape in millimeters. The visualizer can be used to evaluate the scene looking thru the hole and the distance between it and the eye will correspond to the […]
OVF vs EVF! Let’s the bloody war begin 😉 The world is divided in two… always, that is why there is people making a lot of money selling t-shirts for opposite points of view! The users of mirrorless camera are not different, photographers loving the optical viewfinder and photographers loving the electronic viewfinder and hating each other. Since Fujifilm introduced the hybrid viewfinder with the X100 and the XPro we can have the best of both worlds and decide what to use for every picture. It is surprising for me to see, on various blog posts and comments, Fuji users hoping to have a future release of those cameras without one or the other option when Fuji made the most intelligent move leaving the choice to us. But this is not the point of this article, here I want to concentrate on what I think is the philosophical difference between the OVF and EVF. Personally, on my Fuji XPro1 I use both but mostly the OVF. When we look at an EVF we look at the camera representation of the subject on a display, when we use the OVF we look at the framed reality. Basically people that […]
Photography is not rocket science and we need few simple essential tools to learn how to make good pictures. Few days ago I wrote an article on my blog, and it was kind of viral in the photography world. Many FaceBook pages and websites re-posted it and, out of curiosity, I went to explore who re-posted my article. Some of the pages were for beginners and others for a more general public and in both categories, and specially the beginner side, I noticed that most of the articles were about cameras, software and gadgets. The idea is “what a camera with what new tool and that software can do”. Nothing bad in this but I was attracted by the comments, specially from the beginners. A lot of people asking questions like “How do I expose for portraits?”, “How do I expose for weddings?”, “What lens is best for X or Y?”, ”I’m experimenting with manual, what settings I have to start with?” and so on. I learned photography with film, mostly large format view camera and medium format Hasselblad, and every time I read questions about how to expose for a particular subject I think in the digital […]
A love story with a little hate feeling. Last year I bought a new Fuji X-Pro-1, it was a great deal few days before the XPro2 was on the market, I bought it as a camera to keep in my pockets not really as a serious option but I loved it since I started to take the first pictures. I even bought a second one used and converted it to infrared. The quality of the RAW file is incredible and so the quality of the lenses. I really enjoy the OVF and the option to switch to EVF sometime. Low or high ISO the quality is superb and I started to bring the camera with me always, something that I was not doing with the much bigger and heavier Canon 1DSMkIII I own. Every single time I develop the RAWs I like it a little more. So I cannot be happier and I hope I will get the X-Pro-2 very soon. But… I hate absolutely all the buttons and wheels that get pushed and moved anytime I take the camera in my hands from the bag. The macro function seems made only to make me worry that the OVF/EVF switch […]
I always enjoyed infrared photography, starting with the Kodak Infrared film I always had great satisfaction exploring the infrared part of the spectrum. When I switched to digital photography I forgot infrared for a while until I got my Canon 5D converted to infrared by LifePixel. The conversion was great, the support was perfect but when the camera was sent back to Italy the italian customs asked me to pay the taxes not only on the modification but also on the value of the camera. At the end of the game I had to spend around 700 Euros for a conversion that costs usually $300. I decided to convert a Fujifilm X Pro 1 to infrared and this time I decided to try to do it myself buying the filter directly in Italy from Adriano Lolli Costruzioni Ottiche Meccaniche and avoiding all the import costs. The choice of the X Pro 1 was very simple. I had bought a new X Pro 1 with the 18mm when the new model came around, I did it because was really a great deal (450 Euros included an extra battery, a memory card and the leather bag, since than the price […]
The case of the evident modification in the prints by McCurry exposed at an exhibit in Italy had created a big debate online between photographers. I don’t know McCurry and I’m not evaluating his work or his “right” to do what he wants with his pictures. I want to be more general and answer to the questions posed by the recent debate about his modifications. The article that made me write is the recent article by Alex Cooke I read on Fstoppers. Alex Cooke arrives at the point to tell there is not the truth and using a physicist like Richard Feynman as “master at deconstructing the idea of the absolute” to confirm his relativism, an interpretation of Feynman absolutely absurd and wrong since in the posted video Feynman does exactly the opposite: he simply state that to explain a truth you must keep at the level the audience can understand, not that there are no absolutes. The electric force is an absolute! To get back to photography we must first of all understand that the relativism is a wrong concept, in communication and in life. The truth exists and the only problem, eventually, is the limited view of the […]
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.