Blognotes from a photographer life...

May 28, 2011


Bangkok is saying goodbye with rain and sun.. The first is telling me it's time to go west, the other is reminding me that is only for some time.. Yes, another winter has passed and I can gladly say I have no regrets of the time spent in here.
In this city I really feel like I cannot escape living my life. While back in Italy everything seems to be in a limbo, awaiting for what the rest of the world will decide to do, here the pulse is regular. Not crazy, not Japanese or Newyorker: people here are very simple, easy going, passionate and direct. I could say Thai are the Italians of Asia, if Italians were not lost in a dramatic telenovela.
What a winter has been. I was regretting that I have not started my professional revolution, the new way I'm still envisaging. Then I reflected that things have happened without me noticing, like real life is. I've been shooting videos for two months, like a game in the beginning, may be different in the near future. I was searching ideas for stories, then I realized that I was photographing what I wanted, not what I supposed "they" could want.. Maybe it's my silent change taking shape..
And before work, yes, before, there was life. I've lost a friend under a truck in Sukhumvit, I lost love and find others, I met new friends.. From Sri Lanka to Seoul I met wonderful people, I appreciated the differences and, above all, the common humanity and the positive response you always get when you smile..
Now the rain has stopped and the sun is setting.. It's time to go to the airport..

May 22, 2011


A few years back, during a presentation of my NAG (Not Yet Global) book, a gentlemen pointed out to his impression that I still had an exotic view of the world. With an opposite view others are suggesting that too much and too long traveling have made me disenchanted in front of the world wonders. Contrasting reactions to my work are not surprising: I struggle to find a personal vision of the contemporary world, and I may be as confused as everybody else living these times of global transformation.
Everything is changing fast these days. The world wide web has destroyed the previous communications system and has not created a new one, yet. So the speed of globalization is faster then how a human being can adapt and develop ideas in this unstable cultural environment. What is left to us to tell? To show in images? To interpreter with a personal vision?
The obvious answer would seems to be the evolution itself: the changing, the consequences on society, on individuals. In the travel photography field of expertise, we should probably show not what is left to see of the traditional (exotic) world, but why is still worth to fly hours to understand the underneath cultural differences in a world that may seems already flattened. To be in the streets of Seoul, Singapore, Sao Paulo or New York may seems no different, and in fact the visual impact is the same, but the life is not. Is a subtle difference, much more difficult to render through images then what it was to show costumes and villages. But this is the challenge for the contemporary photojournalist, and the public will be interested, at least a part of it.
I will not surrender to the idea that the forthcoming world for travelers will be composed only by beach resorts, cities for shopping, a few museums. Culture is inside the human being, and is expressed not just by it's dressing and tech gadgets, but also by ideas, behaviour, ancestral inheritance.
So much for my exotic vision of the world, that would be just ridiculous. And about enchantment.. well, I have developed an high threshold to achieve it, but I long for every opportunity to find it.. even if it is a sunset that let me put down the camera and enjoy it just to myself, just for the sake of it.

May 1, 2011


It's time for the TPW 2011 workshops... As usual you can get more info on the TPW website. And here below are the presentations.

June 28 - July 3, 2011

This workshop will take place during the famous Palio of Siena in July. It’s not easy to describe what the Palio of Siena is, and a workshop on this subject is equally complicated! But let's try.The Palio of Siena is the most ancient horse race (and here is the first error because it is much more than just a race) in the world it began in 1644.Of all the popular manifestations that have remained in the world, the Palio of Siena is one of the truest, most passionately-lived, and most influential on social life: it is not folkloristic, and it is not for tourists. It is quite the opposite.
It is the fruit of life for the contrada (a clan, community, or neighborhood within Siena) that takes place all year long and has been going on for more than 400 years.There are 10 horses with riders (and the rule is that it is the horse that wins the race, with or without its rider) that represent different contrade. They must complete three laps around the perimeter of the spectacular Piazza del Campo and the first to finish wins the race. Three minutes. This is the short version of the story.
The long version is infinite. On Google there are 2,570,000 results.We need to begin by speaking about the 17 different contrade that divide the territory of the city of Siena. Then, there is the passion of the people of Siena for the Palio, which is their life. Finally, there are the fantini (riders), berberi, capitani, cavalli scossi, mossa, berci, canape; Casato, cencio.The only thing that everyone agrees on is that, in order to enjoy the energy of the Palio to its maximum degree, you must experience it for the entire four days that it goes on, following a contrada, if possible, and having a contradaioli (a member of the contrada) as your guide. You should stay with the contrada until the day of the Palio and celebrate the victory with them, or suffer the defeat, or even worse, suffer the victory of the contrada’s adversary!If you don’t come from Siena, or you don’t have friends that are loyal to a particular contrada, choose one to your liking, because you like the name: there are many to choose from and any of them will be fine.Nicchio (Seashell), Valdimontone (Ram), Leocorno (Unicorn), Civetta (Owl), Torre (Tower), Onda (Wave), Chiocciola (Snail), Tartuca (Turtle), Aquila (Eagle), Pantera (Pantheress), Selva (Forrest), Drago (Dragon), Bruco (Caterpillar), Giraffa (Giraffe), Oca (Goose), Lupa (She-wolf), Istrice (Porcupine).In the days preceding the Palio, there are two trials a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. You will have the whole day available to live the life of the contrada, to get to know the people around you, and in the evening, to eat dinner in the streets together with the true members of the contrada in the most beautiful city in the world. Maybe one day you can also take advantage of visiting the surroundings of Siena: but I doubt that you will be able to distract yourselves from the fever of the Palio.Our point of view will be a privileged one from the inside. We want to make you understand the mechanisms of the Palio, have you participate in the life of the contrada, and immerse ourselves in this atmosphere, the only one like it in the world. We will not be tourist spectators, but instead we will engross ourselves in the spirit of this experience that must not be missed. Every day, we will meet to critique the photographic work but also to discuss the correct strategies for making the most of these days.

July 24-30, 2011

The photographic profession is a balanced combination between creativity, craft and commercial strategy. Making a reportage cannot be pure artistic exercise, but must take into consideration the needs of the person who will have to publish the final work. The visual language, the making and diffusion of the images change; the media have to adjust to all this, so even the creativity and productivity of the artist must evolve.
Our workshop is dedicated to the philosophy of trying to find a visible compromise between the market needs and the work quality. In the first place there is the making of a photo story: the style, the contents, the ideation and definition of the assignments, the making of complex projects; then, also important, is the trip organization, the photographic shoots, organizational methodology once on the field. In one word, the actual photographic work.
Then the boring but necessary phase comes in: the digitalization of the work intended both as dark rooms work (on the computer) and as the preparation of images to be easily filed and ready for high quality diffusion. This is the workflow, which has become an important moment in the life of the photographer as means between the shooting and the publication. We will also dedicate much attention to the methods of presentation and diffusion of the images.
Finally the image marketing, the phase from which of a professional photographers survival depends upon: how to make and present a first portfolio, how to mount and distribute a photo story, how to enter the locked doors in Italy and abroad. There are no secrets, but obvious and hard methodologies which only need to be focalized and encouraged: that is our goal in this workshop. It will be the occasion to look inside yourself, understand how much of our life you are willing to dedicate to this passion, which direction to take trying to avoid useless deviations, and finally make photography your own profession.