Conquering Goals

Waking up late on a Saturday morning is not my preferred way to start weekends. I would honestly prefer waking up early with the entire day ahead of me, but then again, I normally think about sleeping in literally every single day of the week. So sometimes I allow myself to stay in bed a little longer. And this was one of those days…

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Melbourne – February 2017

 

I got out of bed around 10:15 and stayed on the balcony for a few minutes. I had a choice. Either go make coffee and breakfast, have a cigarette and spend some time browsing random youtube videos on TV (my favorite couch potato activity). OR grab my cheap running gear, down a glass of water and get out of the house.

For me this is usually like jumping off a cliff. I just need to take that step. And so i did.

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Melbuorne – February 2017

Ran 4.5km in 34 mins and my knee was killing me half way. Not much at all, but enough to keep me starting again.

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Melbourne – February 2017

NOTES: All shot on trix pushed at 1600 (this was before my latest commitment). Not the pentax as usual (it was on the sidelines) but the trusty backup minolta m7000.

Film makes a Comeback

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Melbourne – February 2017

It’s been a long time since i posted any pictures taken on film here.  There’s a very simple reason behind it actually: my trusty Spotmatic started giving me some bad signs last July, with the mirror not coming back down randomly after shots. I did bring it along with me to Seattle for a couple of rolls, but once it started to produce the same erratic behaviour i definitely put it to rest until i was going to be able to fix it.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Plus the fact that i was till down in Grottaglie didn’t help, there was no one i could go to…

Then came the move to Rome, but the new house was a priority. So long story short, i finally found a place here and brought it over to a small shot and got it repaired a little over a month ago.

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Melbourne – February 2017

So for this Melbourne trip i was from earlier this year i was really upset… No Pentax, no backup (it was in storage) and just a compact Olympus XA to get me through. Luckily we found a house, got the shipment and took the Minolta M7000 with me for this one. No manual rewind, but better than the XA.

So fast forward to nowadays, late April, i’m back reunited with the Spotmatic and trying to make up for the lost time. Back into developing and scanning (already more than 10 rolls this last month).

So I got more and more on my hands. This is the first decent shot from the rejuvenated Pentax.

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Rome – March 2017

So a few of good resolutions:

  1. Less push on Tri-x when it is not needed. It’s not winter, there’s enough daylight and unless i’m on business trips where i only get out at night, i really don’t need to shoot at 1600 all the time. Plus 24 mins of development time is too fucking much… And i honestly like the plain Tri-X at 400.
  2. Get away from Tri-X. This came from shooting Japan Camera Hunter’s film (shots above in Melbourne). I really like how it looks, to the point i want to diversify. Who gives a fuck about continuity on the style. It’s just black and white… So i already shot a couple of HP5s and bought 4 more.
  3. The most difficult and important: use my lunch breaks to walk around and shoot.
  4. Same difficulty as 3. Start running again. Really need it.

Below, is HP5.

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Napoli – April 2017

 

Tel Aviv – All work/no Play

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

Between February and March I had a rough 2 weeks straight on business trip. I drove down from home to Frosinone for a couple of days, drove straight down to Foggia to teach a class, came back to Naples on Friday afternoon to say hi to my parents, then drove right back up to Rome late in the Evening. Saturday morning I hopped on a train that took me to the airport where I took a flight that eventually brought me to Israel.

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

I got there late in the evening, and the next morning I was already at work. Israel has a different work week, that starts on a Sunday and ends on a Thursday.

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

I didn’t really get any time to discover the city. All i was left with were the late evenings, so all my photos were taken around that time and on the drive to and from work. At least i wasn’t driving…

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

It’s really different from where i’ve been up to this point. Mostly due to my ignorance, but i had some tension going in. The beefed up security doesn’t help, but after a couple days i eventually got used to it, and can’t wait to get back there this Summer.

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

So the pictures are really not that great and all taken with my phone.

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

I wasn’t sure whether they should have stayed in color or black and white, BUT i fixed my Pentax a few weeks ago and already got some rolls through, so there’s gonna be tons of film rolling (pun intended) in the blog soon.

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

To my surprise i developed 5 rolls, and soon enough 6 more are on the shelf waiting. The house is shaping up nicely and i have my desk and scanner back all working AND the 24 inch monitor (which helps a lot when editing).

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

Looking forward to 4 days off work now, so hopefully i’ll get some more down time to write, develop, scan and shop for some developer and film. And who knows… i got my eye on a Mamiya M645…… we’ll see!

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Tel Aviv – March 2017

Another 2 week Stint – Frosinone_Foggia

I had very little time to enjoy the house and it was back on the road again, the place where i spent the most of this 2017. And I’m not in either of those places anymore… Writing from Tel Aviv. But that’s another post.

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Frosinone – February 2017
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Frosinone – February 2017

This time around I did not rent. I felt like driving my own car, and thoroughly enjoyed it, I must say. Even without the speed control, the little-to-no care of driving a rental, the park-where-I-feel-like type of approach, I missed my good old focus and hopefully will get her on the road as soon as I get another chance.

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Frosinone – February 2017
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Frosinone – February 2017

With that said, it hasn’t been too bad being away from home as I think. The hotels are decent and I get to see cool places. I would like to spend some more time and get to know Rome better. It’ll come…

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Foggia – March 2017
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Foggia – March 2017

This last hotel in Foggia, i knew what i was getting into. Some kind of Shining deal… but it’s comfortable and peaceful. Maybe a little too much.

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Foggia – March 2017

And the restaurant sucks.

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Foggia – March 2017

Last morning.. go to work, drive 4 hours home with a pit stop at home to surprise my parents, and off back to Rome with one night stop at home. Next morning, afternoon flight to Tel Aviv.

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Foggia – March 2017

Notes: All S7 again. I’m shooting Tri-X@800 with the Olympus XA but I have a huge backlog of film to develop. I sent the rolls of color to the lab and will pick them up next week, so more film to come. For now just cell 😦 i did learn through these posts that the cell phone editor is fine but not phenomenal. Tried one picture with Snapseed and liked it much more, so I will stick to that going forward.

DayFour

Against all odds, Day Four started on the right foot. Literally. Running 6 and a half km at 6:30 am. Thinking about it now, at 11 pm, seems ages away. Below is the only picture i shot.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Had a late start to work (8am, so not really) so i had a chance to get some decent breakfast. Black coffee + cold milk and some fresh fruit. City was already busy.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Left this little gift to the cleaning lady. Wish i could have seen her face.

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Melbourne – February 2017

After work, the event of the day. Launch of the Leica M10  at Michael’s. Never been to a launch before so it was cool.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Ben King was the Leica Photographer to present.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Leica Director for Australia. Probably my age… I have failed in life….

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Melbourne – February 2017
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Melbourne – February 2017

I tried it out and it is remarkable, but i would never get one. 6500 euros body only? C’mon.. The rangefinder looks is really bright though… I’m halfway in between wanting to join the cult and despising all these guys that show up with their billingham bag, their long beards and an M240 around their neck. I think i still want an M6 though… for sure before i have a kid. Hard to justify it after..

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Melbourne – February 2017

Took the opportunity of a few drinks and snacks at the launch so i was able to skip dinner and just walk around. Surprisingly i wasn’t sore from the run and still am not. Tomorrow morning i’ll know for sure. I also tried to get tickets for the book of mormon, the Trey Parker and Matt Stone (southpark) musical but to no avail. Will try again in the next few days.

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Melbourne – February 2017
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Melbourne – February 2017

Walked around some more.

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Melbourne – February 2017
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Melbourne – February 2017

Then ended up at Bar Americano, and i will be back. Good advice from John, Canadian dude working at Michaels. The bar was good, drinks were good and the bartenders friendly. Also met a cool old Indian dude at the Leica launch, Guruswamy Perumal. I only know the name ’cause he gave me his business card. He takes picture with a Nikon and loves it.

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Melbourne – February 2017

Back to the Mothership (BW August Seattle)

Good day today. After getting my stitches removed last night,  I finally got the chance to have a normal day. Met up with a friend and went to Ferdinando Scianna‘s conference at Villa Pignatelli, here in Naples.

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Seattle – August 2016

 

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Seattle – August 2016

 

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Seattle – August 2016

It was a solid two hours of stories, anecdotes, behind the scenes, growing up in the south, teaming up with Sciascia and so on. Got a chance to see a lot of pictures that I had never seen from him and that were of course on par with the most famous shots he’s known for.

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Seattle – August 2016

 

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Seattle – August 2016

 

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Seattle – August 2016

As for these pictures here, they are from a few days back in August for my weekly trip back to the mothership in Seattle. Didn’t really shoot that much there after all, and once i got the news that the Camera was ready for an overhaul, I stopped shooting with it and reverted to the XA and switched to color. So if my calculations are correct, next post will be color.

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Seattle – August 2016

 

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Seattle – August 2016

Notes: All from the same roll and shot with the Spotmatic SPF and the Super Takumar 28/3.5. Tri-X 400@1600. This camera really needs to be taken apart and and get some work done. I can start to see that for the faster shots (1/500 and 1/1000) there’s at least 4 different exposures in the same shot. We’ll see.. of course I’m still using it.

Business trips are bad for your health

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Melbourne – July 2016

As part of making up for the time lost on this blog, here’s a little something from back in July. I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Melbourne for work, and I couldn’t pass on the photographic opportunities.

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Melbourne – July 2017

Unfortunately it was July, winter over there, so low temperatures and short days. This didn’t stop me from pushing my tri-x to 1600 and shooting away.

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Melbourne – July 2016

I didn’t come away with much, just a little more than 3 rolls of Black and White, three more of color, and a very special (my first) Ektachrome I shot in one breath on the Great Ocean Road. But I’ll save that one for another blog post. Oh yeah, and some digital that I’m not even considering.

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Melbourne – July 2016
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Melbourne – July 2016
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Melbourne – July 2016

I feel a little out of place mentioning anything related to digital in this all film post, but I can’t express how much removed I feel from the shots taken with the x100s while I was there. I think it’s mostly because I consider them simply too much work. I’m getting as lazy as ever lately. The work here is all manual (develop/scan) and I’m also not good at all at manipulating pictures, that I really started to dislike post-production aspects. But film, whatever comes out, I just like to accept it for what it is. I may bump the shadows a little bit (just shot #5 on this post), but that’s the most manipulation you’ll see. And that’s just another reason why I love film so much.

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Melbourne – 2016
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Melbourne – July 2016
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Melbourne – July 2016

Always ending my evenings there with a beer. Oh, and this trip is where I ended my really good diet run. This and the trip that followed to Seattle.

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Melbourne – July 2016

After I fully recover from this surgery I plan to get back on the health train again. But for now, I just ate another piece of chocolate and going to close it off with a smoke before going to bed.

NOTES: Once again, Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600. These shots are all from the same roll shot with my faithful Spotmatic SPF with the lovely Pentacon 28mm 3.5. I developed these with about 3 month delay just last week. It will also very likely be the last batch I’ll develop for the rest of the year. Between packing, temporary living, house hunting and all, I’m pretty sure i won’t be able to do much in the next few months. But then again, I built a pretty sizeable backlog.