Just some stuff about photography

BY TAG

17mm

in Photography , Thursday, March 24, 2016

17mm, or 35mm in old money. Before, and after, a pair of casual shots. Hardly the stuff of dreams, or exciting world explorer stuff. Just a connection to my everyday world, at probably my favourite focal length.

drm_E-P5_20160317_P3174129.jpg
drm_E-P5_20160321_P3214132.jpg

(Olympus Pen E-P5, 17mm f1.8 lens)

 

Posted in category "Photography" on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 07:39 PM

Ferragosto

in Photography in Ticino , Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ferragosto is an Italian and public holiday celebrated on 15 August, coinciding with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. These days it commonly marks the end of a standard two week work close down and summer vacation period, during which Italian cities are deserted, and nobody, but nobody, answers the phone. Even the carabinieri have gone to the beach. Unlike Northern Europeans, in general Italians seek out crowds, and actually seem to enjoy being packed in like sardines on the beaches of Rimini and Viareggio, and saying that you’re not going anywhere at “Ferragosto” is to be marked out as a weirdo.

drm_gr_20150810_0601

Since the Canton Ticino is at least culturally an extension of Northern Italy, and since over 50,000 Italians cross the border every day to work here (Ticino has a population of about 330,000), Ferragosto strikes Ticino as well.

Apart from the tourists, and the few people like me still working, the trains are empty, and the streets emptier still. The wind-down starts as the the schools and universities close at the beginning of July, accelerates towards August, and then peaks during the Ferragosto. The heat and the lack of activity lead to strange, subdued atmosphere, like an urban Sargasso Sea.

I wrote a little about this last year, with a short set of photos.  Here’s a few more.

drm_gr_20150813_0614
drm_gr_20150817_0625
drm_gr_20150813_0611
drm_gr_20150817_0626
drm_gr_20150813_0617
drm_2015_15-08-20__R000632


After the 15th of August, people start drifting back. You might, just might, be able to reach a plumber or an electrician, but it’s still unlikely. Then it all accelerates. In a few short days the 50,000 people are once again crossing the border to jam up an infrastructure which was never designed to support them, the trains are full, the streets are busy. Ferragosto and the dog days of August are a receding dream.

drm_2015_15-08-21__R000635
Posted in category "Photography in Ticino" on Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 07:14 PM

Random Walk

in Photography in Ticino , Friday, May 08, 2015

Just a quick burst of random photography walking to work through Bellinzona, Ticino, one random morning in May. No plan, no preconceived idea, and very little time. Just point, and shoot. It’s probably something I do two or three times a week, and forget about. But for some reason this little set said “publish me”. So here it is.

drm_2015_05_05_P5052161
drm_2015_05_05_P5052163
drm_2015_05_05_P5052156
drm_2015_05_05_P5052154
drm_2015_05_05_P5052152
drm_2015_05_05_P5052157

And for those who like to know, all shot with an Olympus E-P5 with Sigma DN 60mm f2.8 lens.

 

 

 

Posted in category "Photography in Ticino" on Friday, May 08, 2015 at 07:56 PM

Still Life

in Photography , Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My photography over the past month or so has been opportunistic in the extreme. Just reacting to stuff that makes me stop. None of it is random, I very rarely press the shutter button without some connection in my head, but those connections are usually very oblique. Anyway, even if it is all in my mind, as Mike Scott pout it in his classic 5 minutes of doom, “The Wind in the Wires” ... where else would it be ?

I’m drifting further and further away from The Great Classic Landscape, but being consistent only in my inconsistency, I expect I’m in a very elliptical orbit. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

drm_gr_20150202_0483
drm_gr_20150202_0482
drm_gr_20150209_0485
drm_gr_20150209_0487
drm_gr_20150218_0506
drm_gr_20150218_0502

(speaking of randomness, the subtitle to this post is stolen from the second album by US gothic electronica duo Witchcraft, which I had a fairly minor role in back when it was released. Well, to be accurate, I financed it. And assembled the artwork)

 

Posted in category "Photography" on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 08:36 PM

Anti-adventure photography

in Photography , Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Following the world of photo blogs, it’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by the constant flux of fantastic images from fabulous places, taken by ultra-cool world traveller photographers wielding priceless gear. Locked into a day to day existence which largely means being sat at a desk all day doing largely pointless things, this can get depressing fast. I’m sure I’m not the only one bemused by the seemingly endless stream of exotic “workshops” being offered at prices that seem to start at unaffordable and head swiftly upwards.  Yes, I’d love to travel the world and take photos (well, I think I would, mostly), but I have neither the money nor the time, or perhaps the drive. But every now and again I can, a little, so when opportunities arise, hopefully I can make the most of them.

drm_2014_08_04_P8040147

And the best way to make better photos is to make photos often. Not just on vacation. Not just on the odd weekend or day out, but everyday. “But there’s nothing to photograph here”, is a frequent complaint, and certainly one I’ve made. And it’s wrong. There’s always something to photograph. If you can’t find it, you’re not looking.

drm_2014_07_18_P7180053

My daily routine involves working in an office in a superficially nondescript suburban dormitory village, which had most of the life sucked out of it decades ago. Oh, but thousands of years ago it was a strategic Neolithic settlement. And hundreds of years ago, a refuge from bandit country. Nowadays most of that past is concreted over, though. Oh, and when I get to go out, it’s usually midday, with a harsh, burning sun directly overhead. Hardly an auspicious location for an aspiring landscape photographer. Not much joy for a street portraitist either: the streets are largely deserted of pedestrians.

drm_2014_07_14_P7140040

So, basically it’s challenging in lots of ways. And yet most days around lunchtime I venture out with a camera, generally sticking with the same body/lens combination for weeks on end. Operating the camera becomes a more and more automatic, tactile process. And sometimes I get photos that, despite the odds, I quite enjoy. They’ll never get many faves on Flickr, and they’d get ignored on 500px. Some scenes I’ve shot many times over, noticing how slight changes in light and time of day can make a big difference.

drm_2014_08_04_P8040153

Most of these walkabout shots get deleted. But they all help me to hone my compositional skills, and to coax some kind of coherent image from the jumble of the soulless concrete boxes so beloved by many Swiss, from the vestiges of the older village, or the in-between times. Sometimes they quite surprise me. And getting more and more instinctive about composition, especially in uninspiring circumstances, will only help when I have the opportunity to photograph something I care about. And then again, despite myself, through roaming the streets of this unremarkable, dull, unloved, half-deserted village I can’t help but develop a strange attachment to it.

drm_2014_08_04_P8040148

All these were taken using the 17mm f/1.8 lens on the Olympus E-P5.

Posted in category "Photography" on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 at 09:01 PM

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›