Milano, street life – A collection of pictures, with a Leica SL

Milano, here we are! It took me almost 13 years before I could come back to the city where I’ve studied and lived for three years, from years 2003 to 2006.

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of this city, but I cannot ignore the fact that is the only real big city in Italy, undoubtedly, the only city with a vibrant and dynamic life that flows between its streets.

Comparing to 13 years ago, Milano has grown and changed a lot, and even though it is not the place I would love to live in, it is for sure a great playground for street and travel photographer, like me.

Unfortunately, I had only 24 hours to get the most out of it, and, of course, my Leica SL and the two great lenses I always carry along. the Summicron M 28mm f2 ASPH and the Summicron M 50mm f2.

24 hours is not too much¬†but can be a lot, If you stay around until 5 am… ūüôā

Go to Duomo in the middle of the night!

Visiting the area of¬† Duomo, the Milano’s gothic cathedral, at night, totally empty from tourists, is a unique experience that I highly¬†suggest you.

There is a kind mystic atmosphere, where the magnificent Duomo dominates over everything making you feel a tiny ant.

But one of my requirements, for my photography, is to always add a human being element to the scene, so I had to wait a bit for someone to cross the empty square, and it happened just very few times.

This is one of my favourites:

A city full of tourists, a challenge for myself

About my street photography, the challenge was to capture a candid moment of life, trying to avoid the tourists as much as possible and, mostly, avoid being trivial and obvious.

That was not easy at all.

To achieve that, giving the fact that I could only be in the city centre, I had to walk continuously and obsessively observe everything to find the perfect moment. And there were few captured moments, I’m quite proud of:

1. Love has no gender.

Maybe an obvious shot, but to me, it isn’t. These two girls were passionately kissing each other, ignoring everyone else all around. Pure love.

They grabbed my attention and so I’ve tried to approach discretely while¬†contextualizing the scene adding the dominating Duomo in the background and the small pigeon in the foreground.

2. The smoking lady

Here, I like the way the light is somehow shaping the scene, guiding your eyes from the bench to the cigarette, and up toward the castle.


And here is the rest of the pictures… I hope you will find something interesting…

Milano, street life – Series of 20

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See you soon Milan, I hope to come back soon as there is still a lots of life to photograph!


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Cheers,
Sabino

 

Bologna, a collection of street photos

Recently I was in Italy for a very short trip over the weekend and during that time I spent one day and one night in Bologna., in the Emilia Romagna region, just an hour far (by train) from Milan.

It was not the first time for me, actually, I did the military service in Bologna, just around 20 years ago! Woow, time flies…

Since then, I never came back and, 20 years ago, I was not even close to being a photographer, so I had no pictures taken.

Frankly, I found the city to be exactly the same as twenty years ago, and I still remember where to go and all the main spots.

But this time, I’ve observed it with the eyes and the mind of a photographer, certainly with a different point of view, and with a Leica SL.

Of course, 24 hours, even less, are not enough to really get the soul of a city, but I did my best to capture as much as possible street life.

The city shows its best side at night when the old warm lights illuminate the elegant and endless porticoes, a peculiarity and symbol of this historic city.

Walking around with the Leica SL and the two compact lenses such as Summicron 28mm and 50mm it was so light and relaxing, and the manual focus, in low light was very easy and fast.

Here are the final pictures:

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Thanks for watching,
cheers,
Sab

Photographing Polignano, with a stormy sea (and my Leica M)

Not always a cloudy day with strong winds means not being able to take good pictures, especially if you are in that wonderful land that is Puglia. These days, in fact, I am here in my hometown, to celebrate the New Year with my family and, of course, I have with me my Leica M and some lenses.

A few days ago, the weather was not the best, raised a strong wind that made me immediately think of how great it is the stormy sea, in the winter season. And so, given that just a few kilometres away from my hometown, Mola di Bari, there is the beautiful and scenic village of Polignano a Mare, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, I did not think twice and literally ran over there to photograph.

The show, once on place, is breathtaking:
high waves breaking on the cliffs, making the village, looking like a large ship adrift at sea.

The voice of the sea is impetuous and has something magic, the wind is very strong and my legs are almost trembling when I position myself near the edge of the cliff overlooking the sea.

I always look for a human element in landscape photos

On my Leica M, I mount first the Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH, and, as I always do, when I have to photograph a landscape, I start seeking a human element to be included in the picture to make the frame even more dynamic and real. So, now I see a couple intent on getting a selfie, he has a long arm with which it holds a mobile phone, and the treasures are almost the same colour of the rock, making all so harmonious.

I do not have much time to capture the scene, 3-4 seconds maybe, not more, but on my side I have the advantage of having set zone focus, on my lens, at a distance of 3 meters and so I do not have to worry about focusing, but I can quickly point and shoot. This is one of the things I love about my Leica M: once you learn how to handle the zone focus, even if it is completely manual, it’s almost impossible to miss a shot!

Waiting for the perfect wave

You know, photography is about waiting and patience, and for that, I remain on the spot a little bit more, waiting for the perfect wave that infringes on the cliff, and that makes the picture more dramatic. I mount on the machine, the Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f4, to try to capture the majesty of the scene, including both the stormy sea and village.

I could stay there to photograph this spectacle of nature for hours, the sea is my element, it makes me feel at home, and each wave that breaks, makes me my heart palpitate.

But the sun is already high, it’s noon and the light now too strong, so I decide to go home.

Why not be back at sunset?

The wind continues throughout the day, and is too strong the call of the sea and the memory of the scenes seen in the morning, to convince me to return to Polignano just before sunset. The decision is, in fact, perfect: the landscape has a softer and more uniform light, waves are higher and the sky is now cloudy, and therefore more dramatic, the little lights that turn on at dusk, make the scene to my eyes, wonderful and surreal.

Low exposure times to capture the movement of the waves

Now I can try to make some different pictures, taking advantage of the low light and so to have lower exposure time, that allows me to capture the movement of the stormy sea. I also carry with me a small tripod Manfrotto. I try to stand in the best viewpoint and start shooting. Unfortunately, the wind is really strong, the tripod is not very stable and I try to protect him with my body and hands. With some difficulty, I can set the exposure time around 4 or 8 seconds and the result is very nice.

In this photo (my favorite), with an exposure time not so slow, the sea seems to have been designed by the brushstrokes of an artist.

Leica M, not only for street…

In this difficult situation, the Leica M worked very well, also in low light, proving, once again, that this camera system is not only good for the street, but also for landscape photos.

I leave you now to the complete gallery, with the most beautiful photos taken on this memorable day.


Stormy sea , over Polignano a Mare

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