October 11, 2013
Enjoying the shadow of a tree
Looking at Simeto river
Aware that behind there is Mt. Etna
I hate that I burnt light in the waterfall but I still “love” this picture.
Or probably it is just summer-time nostalgia speaking
Well, at the end I am not going to complain. I’m still in Sicily.
If I work well in the following weeks, who knows, I might decide to go back in Vendicari in late November or December.
And who knows, I might gain a few hours trip on mt. Etna even earlier.
Now, I just hope the webmaster won’t turn homesick at finding this post tomorrow.
This is one of the first time that I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to delete all my pictures some day.
I mean, the day it will be my turn to move to a, most likely, much colder and uglier* place, what these picture will mean to me?
- Source of comfort, like a memorandum that Beauty is still intact, and who knows, a source of energy to find beauty even in the new place?
- or I’ll consider these shots as source of unbearable homesickness and just remove them from my computer?
I’m in no hurry to discover it.
*Sorry, a place where a 2°C winter day is considered “warm” and, above all, if to this it’s add the fact that you cannot see (daily) a mountain, the sea and/or color, this is an ugly place for me. You know, no place is like home
Worse if all you can see is buildings with no charm. (recall, I’m half serious! Everyplace has its beauty)
Sure I can’t daily see see the water fall, but mt Etna or the sea yes, I just have to leave home and walk for a few minutes. Going to print pictures would take longer
September 3, 2013
It’s something I always lack of and always look for
Especially in periods like this, when I have to postpone everything for the nth time.
I feel like someone who is trying to run away from something and falls down on floor, gets up and rushes steps to overcome delay, failing.
In this process I end up hating even my pictures.
No, i don’t hate how they look like, I hate having taken those because, I tell myself, “If I hadn’t wasted time with photography…”
but, then again, only thing that calms me down is taking picture or working on older pictures.
To go ahead I need, as everyone else, the serenity that only who and what we love can give
I am slow, I need my time but at least, I can still see Beauty shining… or I know what to look at to remind myself that, despite all, there is Beauty.
Why the above picture of a musician during the Closing Night of the NY Encounter 2013?
Because it always made me thought of the calm and elegant joy that you can find at doing what you most love doing.
August 17, 2013
A penny for the Old Guy
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
T.S. Eliot – “The hollow men”.
May 29, 2013
Yesterday I took a day off from books and everything I have to do to complete the “getting that kind of BA in physics” task.
After sleeping, enjoying some chat with friends (unfortunately just online), I surfed through my pictures folders…
That’s how I (re-)realized that there is a lot of work as pseudo-photographer left…and this surprised me.
I am not speaking of the learning and improving work (this will never end)… but just the mere act of selecting, editing and showing pictures taken in January!
Well… step by step I’ll go ahead in this too.
Meanwhile I have to get back to my odi-et-amo physics-related duties.
May 7, 2013
Since I was a little girl people often told me “you think too much”
I used to answer back “well, what if it’s you not thinking enough?”
I guess some friendships ended this way.
Well, evidently those weren’t great friends.
Now I know friends that smile at me and say “well… we’ll see who is right!”
Today I wish I could stop thinking…just open my books of Algebra and Geometry and study.
Unfortunately I guess this won’t happen until this afternoon. In less than an hour I’ll meet a friend, a girl that started university the same year I have started it. We followed lectures together for the first 3 years.
After these years I slowed down till totally freeze for 2-3 years, she instead (thank Lord) didn’t, indeed in the meanwhile she got both the equivalent of BA and a Master degree in physics.
She invited me to both graduation events, following parties included but I skipped everything… I just tried to contribute to present organized by other classmates. Reasons are obvious.
For her master degree I wanted to do something more… I tried to see if I could go to the ceremony or the party but, humps… didn’t felt like going.
So, since she likes art and despite this she said an excited “Beautiful!” at looking at a picture I took in Venice on January, I thought that it might have been a nice idea to give her a copy of that picture.
Just the picture felt not human enough so behind it I wanted to write something.
Something of mine? Nah.
I tormented 4 friends, Italians and Americans, until a friend from Ohio suggested me a site of quotation about science and beauty. No wonder that I found what I was looking for and that I call the lady from Ohio “my favorite quotatrice*”
Here is the sentence.
“The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.”
Of course written in English, not because Poincaré was English but because I was known among classmates as “the crazy one that takes pictures and doesn’t bother studying on books in English”… someone added with a disgusted expression “and she wants to visit USA!”… eheh, I had some funny classmates.
Of course all this activated a set of thoughts and memory that are of no help for focusing on books I had to put away years ago.
Anyway, I hope this friend will enjoy this simple present and, above all, I hope she’ll never stop finding Beauty in what she does, and who knows, someday even recognize It
*quotatrice is not a real Italian word, the correct Italian word is “citazionista” but I don’t like how it sounds. A citazionista is someone who often says/writes quotation
April 10, 2013
The refuge is a place in the Cittadella Universitaria in Catania.
Actually I go in that place since before I started university, but after the first two exams (both failed in a terrible way) it became my place, my refuge where I can go each time I need a break.
There you can almost pretend everything around is miles away.
I went there to look at Mt. Etna, but yesterday too many leaves were in the wrong place, they covered the whole view.
I guess trees grew up enough that the view will be covered for many years still. At least in spring and summer time.
That’s why the refuge didn’t work as in the past.
It increased the horrible feeling that Beauty is playing hide-and-seek for the second day in a row.
What to do? I walked away from that point of a few meters and found an “hole” among the leaves.
Make sense but for the n-th time everything seemed saying: “it’s not your place, go away”
This is disturbing…not as disturbing as the fact that I couldn’t go (away) to the proper place, to get a better view because it was too late…We all know, time runs, doesn’t matter if you can keep the pace or not, and missing THE train can have terrible consequence…
but it’s all disturbing, yet.
Despite all, after several hours of a bad day, when I opened the folder with the new pictures taken yesterday I found myself thinking two things
1. Well, I can’t complain. It’s disturbing but makes sense. It’s late and the place is apparently the wrong one
2. Looks like I forgot how to use a camera. Not that I’m a great photographer but, eew, looks like I was really “gone”
Well, I need some rest.
I fail, I’m human.
November 22, 2012
Yesterday I completed the Mt. Etna calendar
About 30 minutes ago I have started to work on the 7th and last calendar, but for some reason I came up with this unplanned result
I have to figure out if I want to put it in the group of the calendars I want to sell or create another sea calendar for the people.
Not that I want a personalized unique calendar for me but I reckon that the union of such a B&W image and the colors of the days (even just the white and reds without any other specific event highlighted) can be really disturbing, unless both the picture and the colored days means something for you…I don’t know.
I think that it’s something that only a crazy mind like mine, that links to that picture a lot of little but relevant moments of her life, can like such a calendar.
November 17, 2012
Often it’s a question of little details.
The more detailed the vision of something is, the more correct (usually) is your perception of that system/situation… this means a lot in a lot fields, not last physics.
I hope I am not being too presumptuous to say that a photographer must be as quickly as possible to consider as many details as possible to decide when and of what take a picture.
Unfortunately hurry makes you unable, sometime, to be able to consider EVERY detail… therefore it’s easy that, unless you are an expert (or really talented), when you get back home and re-read your images you discover things you didn’t notice.
Sometimes, alas, happens also that I have all the time of the world to take a picture and when I get home I discover details that both amaze and disturb me.
The disturbing details are the ones that suggest ” you could have done better if you had noticed that…”.
Today, with this 2 weeks old pictures (5 in 1), I think that I’m a little upset as well as I’m amazed.
I hadn’t notice that pine-needle…despite I had set up the “scene” (indeed in a previous post you can find the same chestnut with no leaf at its side)
but even if the pine-needle in the out-of-focus foreground on the right waste a little the picture, I didn’t crop it out of the image…
I’m liking the result.
November 6, 2012
That’s generally the message that nature, people, event and life itself seems sending most of the time.
No wonder: I’m always late.
The probability that I do something on schedule is close to the probability that a neutrino will interact with your brain in this precise moment. Pretty low.
In everything I do I’m late. It is a terrible aspect… a bad thing that probably wasted a good part of my life, but on the other hand it’s a characteristic that helps understanding who really cares to stay with you.
Friends might make you notice that being late is not a good thing, they might even make fun of you (in a sweet way), but they’ll smile pleased by surprise when, for some unknown reason, you are in time.
A friend who cares to stay with you, will keep inviting you despite this and some will also help to overcome the “being late” aspect of you….At times setting the appointment 30-40 minutes before he/she wants to actually meet you (but being ready for the neutrino-interacting-with-matter chance). Sometime they contact you 1 or 2 hours earlier and even if they don’t say it, it’s clear they mean t remind you to get ready.
At times they just patiently wait for you and, whenever you reach the meeting point, they welcome you with the biggest smile because they know:
you did your best to arrive in time but you couldn’t help that day… too.
Not that it’s good to be late to check if someone cares to stay with you, but I’m trying to read a positive aspect even in this defect
There are thing in life that doesn’t wait for you: if you are ready you get to see/live it, otherwise… it is something lost.
Easy to understand that the being-late-thing is a deficit for someone who takes pictures.
It’s true that with experience your brain learns to read reality and figure out what is going to happen in order to take the shot at the proper time, but likely there will be always something happening too fast.
Last Sunday it felt slightly different. Let’s call it coincidence (just call it).
Beyond the kind wind and clouds showing Mt.Etna for just the right amount of minutes to give me chances for a picture it happened something had never happened in all the 20years I go to that country house, as well as in the last 10-15 years I try taking pictures there, as well as in the last 7years I have owned a DSRL and brought it there.
A bird, soon after the clouds covered the volcano, went on a the branch of a tree singing.
They usually do it at the highest branch possible. This one was at about 3/4 of the tree height.
They usually hide behind the leaves, this one instead was showing up clearly.
They usually seems waiting the moment I don’t have the tele-lens on. This time the proper lens was on.
This time all was set properly, I didn’t wait a second more and pointed the camera to the bird.
Took some pictures, then removed the polarizing filter since clouds lowered light too much.
The bird was still there.
I have taken some other pictures.
I went to check them and the bird went away.
Clearly it wasn’t waiting for me, but at least I have been able to enjoy that moment and for the first time in my life I didn’t end yelling against my slowness.
It was another occasion to fully appreciated the upgrade from the Olympus E300 to the Olympus E30.
Cropped image with slightly changes light levels.
Both the images have been re-sized for the web, but the longest size of each image has the same amount of pixel, I guess it’s enough to get an idea of the proportions.
I’m not 100% sure (soon or later I’ll check it), but if I remember well a similar crop with the older camera would have lead to a too poor quality image.
I guess that despite I’m not a super fun of “just pixel”, this time the extra number of pixels helped.
October 5, 2012
Not that you have to look for making mistakes. It’s really a good idea to avoid them when possible, but… they can help in many ways
You can learn that it can be a bad idea trying to make an HDR from 5 pictures taken with no tripod in a windy place
You can learn that way more people then you think hate or dislike HDR
Or you can, thanks to a mistake, start considering that you can USE that bad idea properly to get a different result that otherwise, without that mistake, you wouldn’t be looking for.
You can also learn that what looks false is not necessarily false, it can be… well… too much real?
Ok, this last sentence makes no sense. Sorry.
Another way mistakes can be helpful: a mistake can allow you to post something on a day that you have too much to do and no great inspiration
I know, it’s not a duty to post something daily and it would be better if I don’t post at all
but, I can’t help I am enjoying keeping this blog alive for a few months more, even if it resembles more a collection of “solitary rambling speech”
Who knows, someone might smile for an extra second in his/her day thanks to this post…
And… well.. I have to say “sorry” to the world for the yesterday long post.
Lago (lake) di Pozzillo – 1st September 2012
October 4, 2012
I have often heard and read that, true photographers or pretending-to-be-photographer, think that photography MUST ask questions, not answer to them.
“Never an answer?”
I am not a rebel person, but I have tried to say that I’m not this sure that things work this way… all I have gained so far has been only
- being defined as an idiot/arrogant
-the more diplomatic “everyone thinks whatever he/she wants”.
Stupid me looking for answers from people who thinks that we must look for only questions…
I should try asking them “why looking for questions?”…would be funny to see them answering and actually find an answer through photography. Right or wrong but still an answer
Sincerely, there isn’t such a rigid regulation in science, and you want to make me believe that there MUST be such a systematic approach to art?!?
It might be… but…with no offense…
for me it’s easier to believe that tomorrow I’ll meet just 1 big Higgs boson walking along the street greeting me with an huge, and of course attractive, hug.
C’mon. Can I believe that I’m the only one noticing that
Photography, as well as science and any other human activity can
- put questions
- answer questions
- find the path for the answer
-find the path for new questions
- just show questions
- just show answers
- be a way to tell a story, and it’s up to the storyteller and the listener to decide if that story is cathartic or not
- do all of these things at the same time
- or do just some of these things at the same time
-anything else I didn’t discover yet
Or… taking pictures, can also be just a way to tell a meaningless story as the death of an insect somewhere in Catania
Who would care of the death of a bee (or whatever it is) in Catania?
Every great mind would just ignore the sharp noise its body made when literally falling on the balcony.
No, no serious person would spend precious questioning-time observing its last step in search of a place… covering a distance that could be the equivalent of hundreds of meters for an human being.
No one would felt surprised to be feeling sorry at the sight of that little insect (of the kind he/she fears!), fighting for at least 3 or 5 endless minutes to just get on its legs each time it fell on its back
No one who is a serious seeker of true questions would observe the slowing down motion of its legs for those last seconds before death would completely freeze it
No, no one who is a serious student would leave papers to get closer to the dead animal.
Who would care of such a spot of nothingness?
No one would and no one seriously should.
It just felt strange to realize to be the only witness of a zero importance event and to realize how “funny” all this was.
Not the death of the insect, but how human being could learn more by just observing.
Wouldn’t it be much better if people let reality hit them with both questions and answers?
A meaning less event that lead to no-real-questions can be a nice reason to think about people, and how some of them are sadly funny…and probably I’m among them.
No worries, everything is where it has to be.
Dead bee included.
But… just try to imagine how much can come from an honest look at the rest of reality.