Monday, 24 September 2012


This nice calligraphy and drawing on a scroll is called kakejiku, hanged on a gold painted screen used for the tea ceremony. The vase and the flower composition is called chabana and is a more essential flower arrngement than ikebana, and is especially done for the tea ceremony too, the porcelain round box is for incense, the table is black laquered wood built without any metal in it, no screw or pins. Photographed in Kitakata, Japan, in ambient light coming from the windows, it was summer, so plenty of light and nice and soft, 85mm lens.

Ryokan room

A nice ryokan (hotel with spa) room in AizuWakamatsu, prefecture of Fukushima, a onsen (hot spring) resort on the snow covered mountains, very nice place. Nearby there is Inawashiro, a mountain resort famous to snowborder around the world, for staging the Japanese event of the snowboard world cup. We spent a couple of days there wit all the family, enjoing good food and taking hot bath many times, even in the middle of the night baths are open! I shoot this picture with my 17-35 mm Nikon at 17mm, the camera was the Nikon D2Dx, it was a DX format camera, so the effect of this great lens was a bit lowered. I did not corrected the slight distortion for this blog photo and used ambient light mixing natural light on the shoji (panels covered with rice paper in fron of the windows) and keeping the warm color of the lightbulbs.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Hiashichuka is a Japanese cold noodle dish, made with ramen (spagetti) covered with finely chopped omelette, ham and cucumber (and sliced tomatoes here missing), deressed with soy sauce and vinegar, toasted sesame seeds. I shoot the picture with natural light, Nikon 105mm. macro lens f 3, fully opened. This will be the last hiashichuka for this year, because the season is coming to the end, so colds dishes will be on hold until next summer, but I love this very much.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Totoro's chopsticks

A nice present from Japan, Totoro's hashi (chopsticks). Totoro is a character created by Japanese film director and manga creator Miyazaki Hayao. Totoro is one of my favourite of his movies.

Rice shochu

This is a Japanese spirit called shochu, is more alchoolic than sake, about 25% or more, is usually made from barley, rice or sweet potato, there are many kind of flawoured shochu, with prunes, cherry or other fruits, is drinked normally added to ginger ale or water.
I took this photo with natural sunlight coming from the window from the background and "helped" with white polyboards, Nikkor 105 mm. macro lens fully open at f 3.

Nō theatre mask

This is an atique mask of Nō theatre, the ancient form of Japanese theatre performed by male actors only using masks and performing woman roles too. The actor can not use facial expression. The peculiarity of Nō masks is that the expression changes with little changes of head angle, a slight movement of the head will show sadness or happiness, this is the grteat difficulty of Nō theatre and the great skill of the actors and even of the masks makers. There are scientific studies about the Nō masks shape in the Western world. I took this picture at Kottoya, an antiquarian shop in Milano of my friend Luca Piattiwith artificial light, as I moved slightly up or dovn few inches, the expression changes, is amazing, so I took the picture with a quiet smiling expression.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Chabana exhibition

My new photography exhibition in Milano: Chabana, are the minimalistic flower composition used for the tea ceremony in Japan. This arrangements are made by ikebana and chanoyu (tea ceremony) master Takizawa in Kitakata, Fukushima prefecture, in 2003, it was my first trip to Japan. All photos where shoot on Fuji Velvia film 50 iso with my Fuji GX 680 with shift and tilt lens, 150mm lens on natural light. It's a great camera!