Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Chanoyu in Winter


The chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, just few moment of the fascinating experience of participating and be a guest of this ceremony. Was during a Winter day in Kitakata, with very dark sky, so I had to light, without alter the real mood of the room. I used just two photoflood lamps, one behind the fusuma (sliding door) on the back ground of the picture, that is made of wood and paper (shoji), the other light bouncing on a reflector, inside the room.

Snow & smoke

A small street in Kitakata, filled with snow and the smoke of some bonfire coming from the temple garden.

Temple roof

The geometry of the Zendōji (temple) roof in Koriyama in a Winter sunny day, this style is called karayō or zen style architecture.

Little temple in Koriyama

Some architectural details of a little temple in the town of Koriyama, in the Fukushima prefecture. I was there in December 2005. At that time no one knew Fukushima, now is sadly know all over the world.


I'm a liar, as a photographer, I'm a liar and I mystify the truth, the reality.  Because I like to show only the best side of things or people. Like in this photos, the first is decontextualised, showing the bes of this little temple in Koriyama, the second photo is contextualised, showing the surroundings, the harsh reality of modern town, ugly buildings suffocating ancient beauty and harmony of man made buildings and nature. Actually this is the true modern day Japan.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Two wagashi

Two nice wagashi, small Japanese sweets for the tea ceremony with the matcha (powdered green tea), one in the shape of maple leaf and the other in the shape of a flower bud. The wagashi are made of rice flour and filled with anko, the black soy beans marmelade. I shoot this kind of pictures always with a Micro 105 mm. lens, I love natural light and in Kitakata I have no studio lighting.

Two Chawan

 A cup for the chanoyu (tea Ceremony) from Kyoto, artist Katou Josui, title akigusa (Auton's erbs)
Kuro raku, black raku chawan, the writing on the cup is tsuki (moon). Raku is a quality of pottery and the name come from a family of potters, still active in Kyoto, for many generations.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

shizenbi art exhibition

One of my photos on display at #shizenbi, in Abbiategrasso near Milano.
The Artists of the exhibition are: Mitsuo Miyahara, Asako Hishiki, Sakutaro Nakagawa, Takayuki Nakatake and Flavio Gallozzi.

shizenbi exhibition

I'm taking part at the art exhibition in Abbiategrasso near Milano, from 12 to 28 September, with two painters, a collage artist and a photographer, all from Japan.
Shizenbi means natural art in Japanese, and can describe the common ground of all artists of the exhibition.
The subtitle is the hand, the gesture the sign and the air.
You are all invited to visit, I will be present all week ends. For more informations visit

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tenmei sake

Tenmei sake is a very good sake from AizuBange, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
ありがとうございますYouda san!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Serizawa Keisuke fan

A couple of fans by Japanese artist Serizawa Keisuke (1895-1984). Are two different sizes: smaller for a woman, bigger for man, displayed on a bamboo holder hanged to a wall. To be noted that the structure of the fan is one bamboo piece. I love this very modern graphic use of the hiragana (Japanese sillabary) and colors. I shoot this photo with Nikon 85 mm. fully opened, in natural light coming from a nearby window in a very sunny June afthernoon at a friend's house in Italy.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Photographic exhibition

On Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of May I will be exhibiting my photographic work about Japan The Creative Gesture at WOW Museo del fumetto in Milano. You are all invited!


The 5th of June iskodomo no hi, tango no sekku (old styile name), the boy's celebration. In Japan is a national holiday, is very important. In all homes where lives a boy are displeyed a little samurai helmet, to wish good healt and fortune to the boy. I took this pictures at my home few years back, we do not have boy, but is a good tradition to keep alive. Lens 105 mm. Micro Nikkor with tungsten spot light to have a sharp shadow, like the sun.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Pink azalea

Today is raining and coming back home I sugested to my wife to pick a little bunch of azalea flower from the garden to make a composition. Emiko is not an ikebana master, her mother is, but she have a great sensibility and sense of composition, is in her culture and background.
I shoot this picture with Nikon 105 mm. Micro lens, in ambient light coming from the window, the sky was cloudy, but is not important, I suggest you do always the white balance. I always correct the light in Camera Row (Photoshop), if you work on a raw file (I always do). This is a great tool for a photographer, it offer great possibility of correcting and enhancing your photo, without damaging the file. In the picture below, is shown a color checker used to set the correct white balance, is a bit expencive, but usefull and there are also smaller and portable (pocket) version. A white paper is fine too, but be carefull, not all white paper are white the same.


Usually I discard the out of focus images, I'm a bit maniac of perfectly sharp photos and correct technique. But today I was browsing through this photo session and I was susprised to see this photos, I haven't erasered it from folder, and I was intrigued by the delicate mood of this pictures. Even the light was intreresting, the under silk kimono is shining and is overexposed, but is nice. I did not correct or altered the file, the blurred photo happened because the autofocus was not ready but I shoot because I saw a nice moment and composition. As usual I was shooting at full aperture with the 85 mm. at f 1.4 using studio flash light at very low power.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Flower composition

A Summer flower composition, not an ikebana, at okasan's house in Kitakata, at the entrance of the house on a laquered table and a golden screen as background. The entrance is quiet dark and the light is reflected from the floor, I choosed to keep the image not perfectly sharp, do add mystery to the image, is not perfect, I know. Japanese have a definition for this: wabi sabi, the beauty and elegance of imperfection. Photo taken in natural light, hand held camera, Nikon 85 mm. at 1,4 f and 1/40s. 160 iso, thats why is slightly moved. In post production I wirked on curves only.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Glittering shoe

A glittering shoe from Anteprima at their fasion show in Milano. Photoshoot witn Nikon 105 mm. in artificial light. I like the contrast of hand's white skin and dark shoe and background.

Great black eyes

Lovely black eyes and intense look of this beautiful Chinese models, at Anteprima in Milano, Photographed with Nikon 105 mm. lens in ambient/artificial light.

Shoes and feet

Shoes from Anteprima collection at the Autumn-Winter 2014 fashion show in Milano. Photographed in ambient/artificial light with Nikon 105mm. lens.

Reading a book

A model reading a book during preparation for Anteprima fashion show in Milano. Photo taken with Nikon 105 mm. lens in artificial light at iso 320.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Her deep black eyes

I took inspiration from a book of Tanizaki Junichiro, it seems not translated in English, I have the Italian version: Morbose fantasie. A great book. I shoot this picture at Anteprima fashion show, Autumn/Winter collection 2014 in Milano. I used the 105 mm. lens, iso 320 in ambient-artificial light.
I wrote by hand on the picture in Photoshop with pen and graphic tablet.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


#photopills Segreti per buone foto in PILLOLE!

Terrò 5 workshop-stuzzichini gratuiti, di fotografia per bloggers, per fotografare cibo e oggetti con semplice attrezzatura, curati da OLYMPUS, allo spazio OPEN in Viale Montenero 6 a Milano.
Venerdì 11 Aprile alle ore 17 - Obiettivo/soggettivo
Sabato 12 Aprile alle ore 12 - Facciamo luce sulla luce
Sabato 12 Aprile alle ore 15 - La quadratura del piatto
Domenica 13 Aprile ore 12 - Il principio della fine - La post produzione
Domenica 13 Aprile ore 15 - L'imperfetto è perfetto
Sarà presente OLYMPUS con i suoi tecnici, che mostreranno ai partecipanti le loro macchine Pen, Stylus e OM-D e il software dedicato per immagini perfette.

Friday, 21 March 2014


A red camelia, English call it the perfect flower, and I can see why, is a really fashinating flower, really amazing if yo watch it closely. I used the 105 mm. lens fully opened at f 3,4 beacuse is a very close up shoot (normal lens aperture is f 2,8) In natural sun light, I used a black background to have a more dramatic image.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Old camera

An old  Richoflex camera I found at a Japanese friend's house in Torino.

Friday, 7 March 2014


Kasa means umbrella, I found umbrella a very fashinating object and the snow intnsify the appeal. I used the 85 mm. in ambient light.


At the beginning of January there is a matsuri (festival) in Kitakata, the main street is filled with food's stools and many people and especially children are happy to find sweets and toys. I love the traditional paper lanterns. For both photos I used the Nikon 85 mm. lens at f 1.4 to blur the background, in natural evening light.

Snow in Kitakata

Today was snowing in Kitakata, this Winter very little snow falled and is unusual, but is normal that is snowing in March. Meantime in Northern Italy, the sun is shining and the temperature mild, is really coming the Spring. Feel great nostalgi for the place, this Winter I was unable to go and I'm very sorry.
Photo taken with 17-35 mm. f 2,8 Nikkor, with snow the exposure is tricky, if you expose an average for the whole scene the snow will be burned out. I work only on manual exposure, I prefer spot metering and I can choose where to measure the light. If is an important subject, is always safer to shoot more then one picture with different exposure and be safe.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Narita Airport

Arriving at Narita is always a very happy moment, the airport is very clean and bright. I voluntarily under exposed to show the reflections and shadows of the shiny floor and the silhouettes of the travellers.
The exposure is not a fixed matter, is really a personal choice, an expression tool. I expand on this matter. If you need to take a picture of a painting or an object to show exactely how is, like a catalogue or advertising, the exposure is only one: the correct one. In all other cases you can decide how to show the reality or unreality of the scene or object, or face ... Exposure is a very important instrument for expression. I invite you to do experiments on the exposure, in taking the shoot and even in post production, and you will see that somethimes a dark or bright image is more expressive than the "correct" one.