Tallest building in Italy

Thanks to its spire, the UniCredit Tower is the tallest building in Italy (231 metres). It is located in Milan - my hometown - and it was completed in 2011.

Sunset shot of the UniCredit Tower, Milano, Italy
Sony Alpha 77 Mark 2, Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD
300mm, 2.5s, f/7.1, ISO 100 (6-stop ND filter)

More than by the building itself, I was impressed by how well I could see the mountains in the background.
I must admit that I impatiently waited for sunset to warm up the scene, keeping my fingers crossed for visibility not to get any worse. Luckily, it did not.

Call me lazy, it is sort of a tradition for me to try to find a composition from whatever apartment, house or hotel I happen to spend at least one night. In this particular case, I took the shot from the balcony of an apartment I rented when visiting Milano last week.
As soon as it got dark and the tower was lit up, I took a second, long exposure.
While I am not at all a fan of black skies, I do still like the cold mood of the scene.

Night shot of the UniCredit Tower, Milano, Italy
Sony Alpha 77 Mark 2, Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD
300mm, 15s, f/10, ISO 100

I am not saying the two photos above are particularly good. What I am saying is that my habit not to snob compositions that can be captured from very accessible places helped me understand how photography is for everybody.
Sometimes we assume no good pictures can be taken without hiking like crazy or going somewhere very remote. Well, it is simply not true.

As a second reason, I find it challenging to try to find some beauty in things or scenes that most people view as dull, or even ugly.
I will give you two examples:

1) Another cityscape I captured in Milan last year (many people find the buildings in there ugly).

2) My most successful picture so far of the Brenta Dolomites (in terms of print sales and editor's picks, which was lazily taken from the balcony of a hotel).

All this being said, I am planning to go to a couple of outstandingly beautiful places in January and February 2018. Let's see what happens! ;-)


I am a Finalist in the Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 competition

Great news, ragazzi!

I am shortlisted in 3 (three, I could not believe it!) different categories of the Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 competition and I feel so happy and honoured about it.

Since all judging has to take place anonymously, including the forthcoming final phase, I cannot reveal what images of mine are shortlisted. For now, all I can tell you is what categories I am in for the final round of judging: 

  • Earth & Climate Portfolio
    (4 images)

  • Primary Colours - Red, Green, Blue
    (One Shot - single image category) 

  • Wildlife, Sealife
    (One Shot - single image category)

Click here to see all the 2017 Finalists

Results announcement is currently scheduled for 16th December 2017 and I will keep you posted.

Just a final thought. Of course I would love to win but, believe me, having my images picked among thousands of other pictures already made my day, month and year, photographically speaking.

If this competition was tennis - and I am a pretty good player, by the way - I would 100% focus on the next game and give it all in the finals. Furthermore, if it was tennis, a loss in the final would certainly be disappointing. 
However, this is photography. I already gave all I could at the time I took the now shortlisted pictures and edited them. There is nothing more I can do now and, for this reason, I will still be very pleased of my current achievement even if none of my photographs turns out to be a winner.


Taking bad (but fair) shots of critters

I finally managed to get a picture of my friend Spider Pico, the guardian of my garden.
Spider Pico is not an easy subject to photograph. First of all, I am not a macro photographer (although this image was taken with a 1:1 macro lens). Second, he (or she??) is very often on the move and I would never do anything to make animals sluggish, let alone remove them from their habitat just to take a better photograph.  

That's Nature
The Guardian of my Garden - 90mm, 1/30s (handheld), F13, ISO 800
CAMERA: Sony Alpha 77ii - LENS: Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro

The day before yesterday Spider Pico was taking a nap (I think) and I managed to get a few hand-held shots of him, each one with a different focal plane. I then aligned the exposures in Photoshop and combined them using a technique known as focus stacking.

Had Spider Pico slept a little longer, I would have got some more legs in focus.
No big deal for me. That is Nature and I love it as it is!