Blognotes from a photographer life...

Sep 23, 2010


In 1977 I wandered the roads of Spain with friends on a old Renault 4. When we sow the industrial-smog-blackened roofs of Bilbao we just kept going: it was a dreadful nothingness. In 1997 the local government, induced by the industrial crisis, had invited Guggenheim to open their European landmark museum in the city. In 1998 I came to shoot a story on positive change: how the dreamy shapes of Frank Ghery were attracting visitors, educated ones. It was incredible how this single landmark was already redefining the perception of this unknown industrial city to the whole continent.
Today I'm back here, to shoot a story on a city that did not stop at that successful step but kept investing on art and architecture as a meaning of development. And I'm astonished again. So many famous architects have been invited to work here that is difficult even to give a serious panorama. Spain has changed as a whole, it's true, and Spanish people are perfect Europeans nowadays, but this city is really special.
Just think of the Alhondiga. An old building whose redevelopment as a public space was assigned to a visionary like Philippe Starck. An amazing concentrate of dreamy design and useful utilities: a pool on the roof (transparent from below the building) with a gigantic open air platform that becomes a beach in summer; a mediateca large like a whole museum; a gymnasium as wide as a stadium, and so on..
Among so many negative stories of bad government and corruption is refreshing to see something so promising and enriching for the people. If, as I said in a previous post, Europe is a living museum, this place is the avantgarde of it!

Sep 14, 2010


The iPad introduction to the media market has started a veritable revolution in the communication world. Many will dislike what the new media represents, but, like every technical instrument, the way it is used will determine it's true value.
The iPad, and the other tablets that will follow, have changed the concept of how the media contents will be created, distributed and consumed. More multimedia platforms will give more freedom of expression, more space (written stories are already longer then on printed newspapers, more images will be visible). Publishers jumped to ask money for content (a step that was necessary to keep the industry alive) but will need to offer quality to justify this request and beat the very large competition. Content consumers finally will have a huge choice, easy interaction with authors and producers, and will become more selective.
But what I find really exciting is a completely new opening of the creative to the public. Publishers will be important for aggregation and focus, but will not be an indispensable gate. We can offer our productions directly to the public, and bet only on our quality for acceptance and diffusion. This is challenging, but a fantastic opportunity.
I'm working on such a way, and will keep you posted on progress. But rest assured, a great revolution in publishing has started, and you may be part of it!

Sep 3, 2010


I have friends that fear my analysis of the actual professional situation may sound too pessimist.. People who knows me know very well that my attitude is quite the opposite. Sure, I tend to criticize what I see, an ancient Tuscan attitude, but I mean this as an incentive to myself as well as to others. Self satisfaction is deceiving and dangerous, although we certainly need gratifications. But I well aware of being part of that lucky portion of humanity that can express itself with no real limits, with plenty of freedom, with great instruments of expression.
Facing the reality is not pessimism: it is, or wants to be, a push toward change. Change for good!
Therefore, my message to all people is: keep making photos to express yourself! But think a lot, face realities, catch something that is good for others as well as for yourself.. If you are a pro and/or a photojournalist taking photos is also a social responsibility.. But keep shooting, shooting, shooting...