Capturing the Mafia

As photographers we often ask ourselves whether or not we should press that shutter button. In street photography that question comes up more times than not, and it takes time to overcome that initial fear.

Questions spinning around endlessly. Should I? What if he sees me? What if she calls the police? What if they simply ask what I’m doing? What will a parent say if you photograph their children having fun in a water fountain?

What if they’re a member of an organized crime clan? What if they exchange me for the police? Will they shoot me? Or politely ask me to remove the photograph? And what if I am shooting with film?

Continue reading “Capturing the Mafia”

On Trade-Off

It’s still dark outside. The little French-inspired cafe’ I come to is empty, croissants all neatly organized in the baskets, coffee pots ready to help the sleepers wake up, and some music playing in the background. After the owner and I exchange our usual pleasantries I cover the background music with some BB King. The Thrill is Gone, comes on. Ironic, ’cause the the thrill is not gone’. I love waking up early on Saturdays, while the world sleeps, and coming here to discover through photography.

I thought about the following idea early-on when I was first getting started. I was applying photography, the art, the form, the technical aspects, to other aspects of life. I was trying to find correlations between totally different fields to maybe learn quicker, maybe to be more thorough, maybe to experiment, or maybe I was just being curious. Continue reading “On Trade-Off”

Northern Psychiatry

The Counting Crows have to be one of my favorite groups. I could listen to their albums over and over without ever getting tired of them. Not only do I like the music itself, but the lyrics. Phrases always seems to be disconnected, or make little sense, at least initially. But once you hear them a few hundred times they just kind of fit. Not to mention that Adam Duritz, the lead singer, has dealt with a dissociative mental disorder. But still, look at his craft, what he has produced.

And I dream of Michelangelo when I’m lying in my bed
I see god upon the ceiling I see angels overhead
And he seems so close as he reaches out his hand
But we are never quite as close as we are led to understand Continue reading “Northern Psychiatry”

Deer Hunter

This post could have waited until the hunting season opens here in Michigan, on November 15th, but while reading for this post I came to find out that between October 1st and November 15th  it is the archery season, so still “one shot”. Maybe even more so if you’re shooting with a crossbow.

When I first watched The Deer Hunter, by Michael Cimino, I was blown away. The transition between the life of middle-America, of the the working classes, and their departure to a foreign land to fight a war. The details in the wedding and the length of that scene, the bittersweet relationships of the main characters. And what about that first scene with the blue-collar steel workers handling the machinery? Continue reading “Deer Hunter”

10,000 Clicks

“It’s hard”, they say. “Practice is the solution”, the others answer. It’s that easy, right?

We all encounter difficulties in our crafts but we hear that all it takes is practice. If we work hard it will eventually pay off. Rock bottom is a solid foundation to start from. We’ve heard it all. We’ve heard all the “truths” there are out there, as well as all the “counter truths” that should guide us.

For example. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. And then “Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it”. Or “You’re never too old to learn”. And then “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

Which one is it? Continue reading “10,000 Clicks”

The Curve

Frank Zappa accompanies this post. A little rock, a little provocative.

I stumbled upon this photo while reading the great little book, Read This if You want to Take Great Photographs, by Henry Carroll. 128 pages of introductory photography material ranging from camera settings to soft light, passing by composition.

The Curve. I didn’t see it at first, and it’s not one of those elements that you frequently encounter when reading the million resources out there on “top tips” or “key composition” items.  Continue reading “The Curve”

The Power of the Bracelet

On August 9th I volunteered at the Medical Mission Detroit.

Another discovery through photography. Another item to research. I volunteered, as a photographer, but really had no idea what  I was going to witness.

The alarm sounds at 4:30 am. It’s always cool here in Detroit, even in the summer. Quick breakfast, got ready, packed my gear, and headed out.

What was I doing? Where was I going? What would I see and what would it leave me?

Continue reading “The Power of the Bracelet”

Cold Cold Feeling

I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold. Iceland.

While I write I have Albert Collins’ “Cold Cold Feeling” playing in the background. A storm is in full effect outside in typical Detroit fashion. Perfect.

My wife, an Italian friend we met here in Detroit, and I went to Iceland this summer for a week. We traveled 2400 km with a reliable Dacia Duster and saw a large part of the mysterious island. Continue reading “Cold Cold Feeling”

Bill’s Love Story

I moved to Detroit in 2013, in January. I remember landing and oddly enough it was 18 degrees C and recall the taxi driver stating that he “loved this global warming shit”. I couldn’t argue given that my expectations would then turn to reality the day after. Minus an awful lot of degrees. It was freezing.

Went to work the next Monday. A new place, a new work environment, a new everything. The snow. I was amazed by the piles and piles of snow on the side of the road. I had relocated, I was here. Detroit.

Continue reading “Bill’s Love Story”

Work it. The Scene.

I have been lucky enough to have traveled the world at a young age due to my father’s job. Like my sister and I say, every so often we start getting itchy feet and want to move elsewhere. For now, my home is Detroit. Yet, I can’t deny that even after almost 5 years, I see it from a tourist’s perspective.

I observe with the eyes of an outsider. I draw parallels between different worlds, be it the striking differences between Palmer Woods and the 7 Mile homes (just one street that divides these two areas) or between Europe and the States – yes, I am half Italian and half American, and I compare the two frequently. Also a Third Culture Kid? Well because I lived in Asia for 10 years, 5 of which in China.

Continue reading “Work it. The Scene.”

From the Inside Out

So this is it, the first post on this new journey. A funnel, a collector, a dispenser of information. I can’t say I know where this is headed, but I can say that I have a will to learn and share, hence the funnel and dispenser.

I wish to learn through photography.

Yes. Learn about our society, history and economics, with a twist of culture and customs to brighten the load.

Continue reading “From the Inside Out”