Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Star Trails in the NorthI must admit it will be very difficult to most of us to stand outside in open fields in a day like this with our neck bent up to the sky, looking for feeble signs from distant stars. There's so much to do: opening gifts, eating and drinking, playing with our kids and calling distant far relatives and friends. Beside this, the sky in north Italy is today as cloudy and rainy as a dull November day. Yesterday my children were asking how could Santa drive his sled through the clouds. I said he has the smartest and mostly skilled reindeers of the world! :-)
Hopefully the new year will bring us some of those unique neat, blue and inviting January skyes we know about but in the meantime let's look at this one and tell me if North Pole isn't the right place for an old fat & ... good man named Claus.
Star Trails in the North
Let me wish you all a Merry & Starry Christmas.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The very first light of the coming day is visible outside the window of my kitchen. I had high fever all night long. Couldn't sleep at all. Waiting for a painkiller to make its effect I'm surfing around the web and just came across this video. I could not resist the temptation of linking it here. It has apparently very few to do with photography but it's so inspiring ...
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
591 Photography Blog Anniversary
I remember as it was yesterday this same day two years ago: I was in Stockholm, closed into a tiny hotel room in Kungsholmen, with heavy rain tapping on the window panes. I had sent my first contribution to Ulf some hours before and he was ready to unveil his long planned project. Just like me there were some other aficionados from all over the world waiting to look at how the very first edition of this new photography blog would have looked like.
This evening, after two years spent travelling up and down in norther Europe countries I'm part of this project. Yet, I'm not completely satisfied of the way I've been working so far, of my meagre participation. My job drains all my strengths: I leave to photography just crumbs. Nevertheless, I don't give up and keep on at my current pace, wishing for better times.
Some months ago, under Ulf's guide, we decided to set up a commemorative exhibition. Each of us was asked to select nine unpublished pictures and send them for the collection that now has been just unveiled under the 591 space.
I'm in Karlstad now, in the middle of Varmland region in central Sweden. Outside snow is falling down. The lake banks are freezing, I can't listen anymore to the trains passing by and I'm tucked again into my hotel room.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Courtesy: The New York Times
It talks about the way the reportedly very first Digital Camera ever made was conceived. It's a short reading worth the time you'll spend.
Hope you enjoy.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Photo, (C) Tiberio Fanti
Friday, July 30, 2010
Walking through the desert streets of the self defined "industrial & financial heart" of Italy, these days, is pure pleasure. The late days' rainfalls have cleared the sky as I never was able to see in the last ten years of my life. The foggy and grey town buildings have turned into a kaleydoscope of colors: in some extent it feels like being in Scandinavia!
So, back in town after a long and suffered vacation, once out of my office, dribbling through groups of japanese tourists heaping to listen at their guides' speech, I reached the old building and treated myself with some remarkable and inspiring works to see.
Further details: http://www.mostrawoodman.it/
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Photo, (C) Tiberio Fanti
I was wishing to give a call to Mr. Urbano and see where he's going to rest his bones, this summer, but I failed. I've been shadowed by some colleagues now and then. Not a good reason, I know. I'm not good at lying. That's my greatest regret.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I've spent most of last month travelling abroad, distant far from my home and my office walls. In nearly the same way, now that the first half is gone, also the current month won't be that different. Packing and unpacking luggage, changing power adaptors and bed from day to day has slowly become part of my life.
Thinking to this a Pink Floyd track rolls on and on in my mind, in an endless way, as if that music had been recorded on a mobius strip.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I’ve been away for a while. Away from almost everything, except my job: the family cash cow. Of course I’ve been travelling a lot: Sweden, Norway, UK, Belgium (yes, low-cost transfer flights offer this additional chance, today) … but this is not the core reason for my absence. It’s been like entering a tunnel and being concentrated on my duties until I was out on the other end. I realise this only now that I’ve found an hour to sit on the couch in my living room and watch on TV at the final phases of the last stage of Giro d’Italia. Yet, while I’m watching at the riders to climb on pristine white snow covered valleys of the Italian Alps I have the computer fanning and puffing on my laps.
Beside family issues and a diet I should start before it’s too late, I’m thinking to my next challenge and to the residual chances I have to succeed.
Facts are that, after several years spent using my regularly licensed installation of PhotoShop, the cost reduction program that my company is waging struck my workplace and left me without a digital darkroom.
So, under suggestion of my colleagues from the SW team, I tried an installation of GIMP (www.gimp.org) and see how it feels working with this new open-source and free image manipulation tool.
The results of my first attempts have been shocking and terrifying. After moving around for some time with the mouse pointer into the menus and the popping up windows and trying some elementary steps on a sample image I felt like a fish fallen out of the bowl. I could witness that everything was there under my eyes but to some extent it was looking different, with different ways of getting to the same results. All the automatisms acquired with years had been blown away in a matter of minutes. Uncertainty ruled on the tips of my fingers.
It didn’t take me much to figure out that the first thing I had to renounce was being able to sit and develop a toned black and white image with the same easiness I used to work in PS. As a first instinctive reaction I franticly opened a browser and looked for GIMP and the ways it offers to develop a B&W image and from that a split-toned image and eventually a duo-toned version of this. I was actually wishing to find a magical hidden button somewhere but I was soon disenchanted. I got instead a multitude of articles were the basics of B&W conversion and toning were explained in details, but all were addressed to people who have plenty of time to invest on self-teaching. Not exactly the kind of user I’ve recently become.
As a second desperate chance to play I remembered I had a copy of PS Elements somewhere in a drawer: one of those DVDs I got in my D300 and D40 kit boxes, along with tons of useless adaptation cables. After plugging the disk into the reader I discovered that I needed a user key that I wasn’t able to retrieve anymore. Hence, I turned to see if the online version of PhotoShop (www.photoshop.com) was good enough for my aims. Needless to say that this desperate trial did not satisfied my ambition as well and I had to renounce to duo-toned once again.
So I had to go back to GIMP as it seems to be the only reasonable chance I have to put myself back on track. Beside this, I like the idea of the free software foundation and, for free, I can’t actually complain for any misalignment with the reference tool. It’s just that time is short and I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be back, up & running.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tiberio Fanti, (C) 2010
These days remind me those after Chernobyl disaster. It was the end of April 1986; I was about to finish the High School and get my graduation. I remember our teenagers' fatalistic attitude on the traditional picnic of May 1st. There was something above our heads that we weren't able to see. So it is today, in some extent, but it's actually quite different.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It's time I was on my way.
(Ramble On, Led Zeppelin)
My luggage is packed again and standing still, waiting for me to cross my apartment door. Winter season's about to finish. A new Spring of flights and hotel rooms is ahead of me. I'm getting tired and no longer able to abandon myself this modern times migration over the skyes of the european countries. If it wasn't for a certain "The call of the wild" ...
Time left at my disposal has dramatically shrunk lately. I'm no longer able to work into my digital darkroom at night as more and more often I'm doing something else at those late hours: working. It's nearly a couple of years that I keep telling myself this is just a phase that's going to finish and soon I'll have plenty of time to do whatever I want and give way to my latest intentions and projects. Needless to write how the end of this tunnel is still far to be seen.
Yet, in the last couple of weeks, I have found time (and will) enough to gather a set of nearly fifty photographs taken around the banks of Göta älv (yö'tä ĕlv`), the river passing through Goteborg, develop them in my preferred way (i.e. with the duotone Black and White process I've already described here some time ago) and put the result in Booksmart, the application SW downloaded from www.blurb.com that allows me to edit by myself any kind of book.
Following this stage, I will order a print for myself and leave the book in my Blurb bookstore, in case someone else was so brave to spend some money for it.
It will take some more time before the complete work is done. Writing words is much more difficult and time consuming than simply choosing photographs and ordering them.
For the time being, I think I can anticipate the front cover, as I'm pretty sure I won't change it in the future. It shows the bridge (Älvsborgsbron) passing close to the historic Klippan district where I use to walk late in the evening, when I'm in Goteborg, provided that the atlantic weather allows me to do it.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I'm reporting here a short series with words I published on 591 few days ago. It's all about images quality and the message laying underneat.
Yes, your mobile, that small buzzing thing slipped into your inner jacket pocket that’s able to take images of questionable quality like the first digital consumer cameras did ten years ago.
I remember my first “light capturing device” was a Kodak that was sold to me as able to deliver “up to” one million pixels. With some elementary maths I foresaw I could have printed high quality images up to 3”x4”, just like the dimension of an instant camera prints.
Today things have sensibly changed and that “up to” has turned into “no more” and low-end products have widely outclassed those numbers. As a matter of fact, my bruised three years old mobile phone has a small hole on his back resembling the stenopeic aperture of a pinhole cam and its images quality is no better than that of my old Kodak was able to grant. Feels just like ten years haven’t passed.
Last Christmas I unsuccessfully tried to switch that machinery on. So I left that “toy” to my son, to let him play and act like he’s always seen his father to do.
Bad exposure, few pixels, unclear aims resulting into ephemeral images. Yet, in some cases when I’m travelling, at work or in some other “controlled” environment I can’t stop myself by picking this small thing out, turn myself to the subject and press the shutter button while I mimic as if I was dialling an SMS, looking up for a number or simply checking for unanswered calls.
And when I put my phone back in my pocket I wonder: what was it necessary for? Was it just to have in turn some images that are worst than al old Polaroid left going mouldy for years in a basement?
I don’t know. I can’t answer. In most cases I just can’t avoid to take pictures and store them as if they had the same dignity of their descendants taken with the latest digital reflex. There must be for sure a psycho-therapeutic reason behind, but this is not convincing me at all.
Now I should find a way to share and let other people to feel and appreciate what I can perceive from these kinds of imperfectly-born documents: spontaneity and immediacy of these frozen in time events; surprise, ingenuity and intimacy of unaware subjects. Could these values ever be sufficient to balance the poor quality of what I’m holding now in my hands?
Photos © Tiberio Fanti
P.S. All images were taken with a "can't-remember" mobile cam.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Surfing on Vimeo I recently ended up into this little piece of wonder.
It is a promotional film made by Polaroids in early 70's explaining, with an almost poetical touch, how the instant photo system used to work and could be used to get images that today we might achieve after sitting hours in our lightroom. I think these are ten minutes well spent.
Well, this is also the first time I bring something into this blog that is not exactly dealing with me. It has the double intent to remember me good things I've seen on the web and to share these "pearls" with anyone else on the other side of this screen.