Photo: GoProBcnPhoto

My friends at FotoTecnica contacted me, and asked if I could prepare something for their booth at Sonimagfoto. Since they were planning to share a portion of it with GoPro, I suggested two things that I could do for them.

One was simple: a silent version (no audio on booths) of a previous movie I made, recorded with a GoPro Hero-3 Black placed on a shelve of One-Michelin-Star restaurant Koy Shunka, that I happened to design four years ago, and make a fast/slow-action film of the chefs working on their dishes (the open kitchen happens to be quite spectacular, and by the way, food is absolutely amazing!). See here my original movie here and the silent version here.

Second was more of a niche project: what capabilities of the GoPros do we hardly think of? Photos. We do take photos when we make time-lapses, but I cannot remember seeing any "self-standing" photo session taken with a GoPro. So I went out to walk around the typical tourist tour around the old part of town, and snapped pictures like crazy. But with a twist: the pictures would be Black&White! I must admit I sneaked in a few pics that I snapped in Milan (I was there for Salone del Mobile), but for the sake of marketing, I decided not to change the title of the project. Please find the pictures below.

Travel: DELIRIOUS NY

New York is the paradigm of The Metropolis. It doesn't matter how much time has passed since you last visited the city. It doesn't matter where you come from, what religion, color or sexual orientation. It doesn't matter what age you are. It doesn't matter if you are there for business or pleasure, or because you were born there. It is even indifferent to what mood you are in.

Either you love the place, or you hate it. Period.

If you hate it, just move along. The world is full of great places.

If (by mistake, by coincidence, by luck) you happen to love it, then you are done. You will wish you were a Newyorkian for the rest of your life.

I belong to the latter group. Period.

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Question: What is it? Is it the sound? Is it the smell? Is it the energy? Is it the complexity, the juxtaposition, the contradiction, the contrast? What ON EARTH makes this place so unique and fascinating? What is it???

Answer: I have no clue, but once it gets in you body, it moves in for good, and lives somewhere between your bone-marrow and your eye-sockets and your guts and your imagination. And it stays forever.

 

While in NYC, I also shot a short film.

 

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Photo: IN-BETWEEN LINES

Whenever I travel to a new place, I enjoy practicing one of my favorite sports: taking long walks by myself, camera in hand, spending as much time as I will, just looking at people and places, observing habits and taking pictures, getting lost and finally (hopefully) finding my way around back to the base camp. I am good at reading maps, at understanding the logic of city layout; happily, so far I have always managed to find my way back to the base camp! Last year, while practicing that sport in Santiago de Chile I found myself in an office building with a charmingly tacky (or was it tackily charming?) inside open space.

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In general, if you are good at reading in-between lines, you perceive more information than the obvious, visible to everyone. And that applies not only to words and their silences, but also to objects and their shapes, and also to spaces and their emptiness.

Buildings are like people. They have a personality. But most of the time, buildings last longer, and therefore, with the perspective of time, some look now outdated.

Reading in-between lines an old, outdated building tells you many things about the way people lived when the building was splendorous: their habits, their tastes...

I sometimes play the game "let's pretend this picture was the opening frame of a movie" in my head. In my mind, I make up the characters, their personalities, the relationships between them, how they would act, how they would move. And immediately after, where the camera would be placed, how it would pan and shift...

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Travel: TIBET

In year 2007 I spent three weeks traveling around CHINA. After visiting noisy, polluted pre-olympic Beijing, and before flying to the over-crowded hyper-consumerist pre-earthquake Chengdu, I visited TIBET.

It was one of the most intense experiences I have had in my entire life.

 Two Tibetan Nuns (The Jokhang)

Two Tibetan Nuns (The Jokhang)

The place, the people and their habits, the mood... even the altitude (Lhasa is 3.650m above the sea level)...! Either the place invades you, and you feel immersed and caught forever, for good, or you are out in the next 24 hours.

 Prayer Flags

Prayer Flags

The Tibetan temples are the the most photogenic I have ever been to, and number one, my favorite, the place I want to be in when I am not happy and I need colorfulness is The Jokhang. I must admit I almost cheated on my dearest Hagia Sophia (in Istanbul), which is my absolutely favorite place in the world, where I want to be when I need serenity. But that's a whole different story...

 The Jokhang Rooftop

The Jokhang Rooftop

 Nuns

Nuns

 Devotees

Devotees

 Monk (Deprung Temple)

Monk (Deprung Temple)

 Monk (Shigatse Temple)

Monk (Shigatse Temple)

 Down the streets of Gyantse

Down the streets of Gyantse

 Monk Apprentice

Monk Apprentice

 Flee Market Salesman

Flee Market Salesman

 Two Tibetan Girls

Two Tibetan Girls

My friend Elif was kind enough to showcase the pictures above at her company booth at Bread and Butter. Thanks Elif!

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Travel: CHINA

In year 2007 I spent three weeks traveling around CHINA. As usual (everybody would), I took my camera with me. But i didn't take any laptop, hard disk drive, or other digital device to download and backup the pictures. When I came back home and I could finally review all of them together, as a whole, I realized that China had affected and infected me: chaos, contradiction, disorder, randomness, dispersion (as opposed to concentration) are words that can be used to describe both the country and my pictures.

 The Kid

The Kid

In two words: I failed.

Don't ask me to describe the country (or my pictures); I can only talk about glimpses, highlights, scenes. My perception, my opinions, my view, are partial, segmented, faceted, torn, broken. It is like a dream lit by a stroboscopic light. There is no coherence.

Only two conceptual statements remain in my mind:

Hong-Kong has a horizon (past and future):

 Looking at the Distance

Looking at the Distance

Shanghai is about the relationship between the people and its spaces (as in Barcelona):

 Shanghai Street

Shanghai Street

One of those three weeks in China, I travelled to TIBET. Now that is a whole different place!

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