I was honored when Karuna chose me to be her photographer and take her some portraits to build the website for her business program! She's a photographer as well and I always loved her work, style and positive attitude. Nothing makes a photographer happier than another photographer he likes asking to take pictures of her! So I had a great afternoon shooting with Karuna, the pleasure of making portraits to create something beautiful!
Karuna is a creative entrepreneur, photographer, artist, change-maker and coach (oh, and a mama). Her passion is helping female entrepreneurs, elevate their businesses and lives to the levels she knows are possible firsthand. She devoted her life to showing other passionate entrepreneurial women how they can incorporate more meaning, purpose and magic into their lives by putting themselves first.
Shooting with Karuna was extremely easy, we got with the flow knowing exactly what she wanted. There was the time to try, to experiment with light, places and poses. Being on the same style page was the best thing in order to achieve a great result!
These kind of shooting are an everyday photographer dream, simply. Thank you so much Karuna!
"I hesitated to work with a man for my photos as my business is all about female energetics but felt into Riccardo's energy, his talent, and creative soul knew it was a good fit. Riccardo went above and beyond for the photos we created. As a photographer myself, I was very clear on what I wanted and Riccardo flowed seamlessly with all of my needs and requests. Highly recommended. Grazie Riccardo! ❤️ " - Karuna -
I met Stacey & Nick here in Venice and I experienced their pure love in Dorsoduro through my lens. Another couple of friends wanted a surprise for their engagement. They ask me to immortalize their love in my city. As soon as I knew them they were super happy about the idea and we all agreed to reach my favorite sestiere in Venice, Dorsoduro.
Wherever you look Venice offers the perfect stage to whoever is in love. But the light was simply amazing, warm and enchanting. Simply perfect. Dorsoduro then gave the surplus I needed, that makes every photo shooting more than special. For me this south area of the city is magical. I lived here during my best years while at the University and I have extremely beautiful but also sad memories about. Very strong feeling that I'm always bringing with me. All feelings that just a city like Venice can give you.
Stacey & Nick fitted perfectly in this magical context expressing their pure love in Dorsoduro. The area is full of cute spots, its the art district of the city. It's peaceful and full of art galleries, beauty is everywhere. From Campo San Vio and its view on the Grand Canal. San Gregorio and its porch introducing to Basilica della Salute. Probably the most impressive view of the city. The beautiful baroque church offered the perfect scenery even under restoration and Punta della della Dogana took everyone's breath away as usual.
This unexpected photo shooting was an incredibly fun and nice experience for me. It was like I was with two friends and everything has been extremely natural and relaxed. Definitely something I hope it would happen every time I grab my camera to immortalize love in Venice.
"We got the chance to do an engagement photo shoot with Riccardo during our stay in Venice. Riccardo took advantage of the sunset hour. He brought us to different part of the city to get the best shots. He was pretty discreet and he let us be in our bubble, so it was not hard to relax and forget the camera. We had so much fun, and the pictures turned out to be amazing! Grazie mille Ricardo!" - Stacey & Nick -
The strangest summer ever is going to end and it will always represent something probably unrepeatable. We had two incredible months this year after the lockdown. I've been living in Venice for almost ten year. I don't remember a strangely fresh June and and an amazingly windy and dry July. The direct consequence has been an incredible light especially around the sunset time. This aspect convinced me even more that golden hour photography is unquestionably the outdoor option in Venice.
Obviously I'm teasing you but since last year I approached the topic about the amazing light of September. This time I'd like to consider another period of the year consequently the amazingly unusual weather of this crazy summer 2020. Venice is always full of photographers looking for the best pictures in this magical city. This one was actually a more than unique chance to explore the place, I don't remember July and August with so many days of blue sky and nice temperatures. Talking about this I can't help thinking that the absence of the cruise ships and their pollution influenced the atmospheric conditions. It means in the end even better light for photography and definitely less tourists around, a sort of low season in summer.
Well I was one of those photographers and thanking to some friends that came to visit I had the chance to take some pictures around realizing that I had never experienced something like that. It's anyway summer so we started our tour around 6pm and in my opinion the light was still to harsh. Walking a bit we reached one of my favorite areas of Venice, Dorsoduro, peaceful and empty, simply beautiful. Around 6:30pm the light was almost perfect and I start to shoot around.
We actually took a long walk though my favorite sestieri during the golden hour, Dorsoduro, San Polo and of course Cannaregio. It was like a walk into the past, in the places where I lived in venice before, as a student. It strange but beautiful with that sky and that light that I had never seen before. Once more I was thinking continuously that golden hour photography is the only outdoor option in Venice.
I was even more convinced about that when I started to shoot some portraits of my friends. I have to admit that using my Canon EOS R helped me a lot, especially if combined with my favorite lens ever, the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. An amazing combo able to give incredible vibes and allure to every portrait but also to urban landscapes. But portraits men, are something crazy. The incredible bokeh, the gorgeous flare effect are the components that with that amazing light can completely change a picture. I won't never be tired of those effects. Probably I will start to experiment also portrait photography with some external lighting equipment, but the right natural light is simply incomparable.
My personal opinion then is that once you learn how to manage backlit photography the effects you are going to achieve are simply beautiful. However I can't deny that I'm attracted about using an external flash to test the possible results in future (stay tuned!).
Amazing friends, gorgeous light, beautiful weather. I couldn't have asked for more from a summer day in Venice. So is golden hour photography is the only outdoor option in Venice? Obviously you can achieve great result all day long managing the light correctly. Anyway I'm a big fan of romantic and warm atmospheres and nothing like sunset light can give you such stunning effects. Clearly the time at your disposal is not so much so it's very important to know the place where you need to shoot being able to get the most from your photography session.
This year has been strange and I'm sure that the most positive effect was the absence of pollution. 2020 gave us a huge lesson through smaller numbers about tourist presences. Clearly this year they have been too small for everybody working in the industry. However a regulation of numbers in favor of an higher tourism quality and an increased respect toward an incredibly delicate and beautiful city should make us all think about a necessary change.
Stay tuned about this
My winter holidays (the only ones I can have actually) have been amazing. I visited so many beautiful countries I had only dreamed of going like in Myanmar and the Philippines. With my friends we had an amazing time exploring incredible places doing unforgettable experiences. Every great trip deserves a proper conclusion and since the beginning I knew that we would have split up and I reached Bali my magic place.
It was my third time there and everything was pretty easy thanking also to the suggestions from my Italian friend living there. I had eleven days in Bali and I decided to spend them all in Canggu just to relax and surf, as usual. The entire trip has been absolutely beautiful but pretty demanding, especially in Myanmar. Bali my magic place was the perfect spot were to end my journey doing exactly what I love more, surfing, sleeping, eating amazing healthy food, talk with smart and interesting people.
As soon as I arrived I slept a lot since I was incredibly tired from the flight Bohol-Manila-Bali. It brought me on the Island of Gods around midnight and the day after has begun an unexpected busy but pleasant holiday! I surfed in the morning and in the afternoon I met my friend Arianna that invited me to a boxe lesson at the Dreamsea Surf Camp where I met other people. Well, in a couple of days I had a lot of amazing friends of different nationalities. I knew them mainly at the Dojo, a beautiful co-working space where sometimes I spent my time too to work on my pictures.
Canggu is the place that I’ll love forever. The place where I’m always sure to go back if one day after #covid I’ll be able to reach Bali again. This is where everyone should go with someone special to share unforgettable emotions and experiences. Well, way better than Paris (my favorite city ever) but with completely different magical vibes. I'm looking forward to be there again in the "special" way..who knows.
I found my peace in Bali my magic place that too many people don’t respect enough. The thing that probably annoyed me more is the fact that among many that are there working hard being grateful every single day to have the chance to be there as digital nomads, there're too many wrong things. After three year I realized that the Island and Canggu in particular are ruined by aggressive tourism and hipsters, influencers or vloggers wannabe. A big bunch of people that have no clue about how lucky they are and that are there just to have the chance to say they have been in Bali. People begging for free stuff in exchange of the ridiculous visibility they can offer on their pathetic social media. I'm sure that Bali would be a way better place without them.
This is an island that can fully heal you through its magic. I found joy, sadness, a lot of great surf, beautiful people and amazing friends. Too much to talk me out of coming back to live my best life far away from problems and bad thoughts.
I saw sunsets from many different places around the world but Bali always offered me the most powerful ones. I loved sunsets at Pererenan beach, Echo beach, Batu Bolong beach, Seseh beach, Balangan, Uluwatu temple. I saw sunsets in Bali when I was happy, nostalgic, melancholy, sad, relaxed, while surfing (the best moment ever), alone or with friends. Every sunset was amazingly different, magic and emotional. The most important feeling was the sense of belonging to one of the most magical places ever that won’t never leave me.
Don't forget to surf in the sunset. The most fulfilling and magical experience you can try if you love the ocean, the Island of Gods and its amazing vibes. So learn how to surf, try at least, it’s difficult, it’s hard but when you catch the first wave it’ll be priceless and unforgettable. Do it because life is fuckin short and it’s not worth to miss any moment especially a memorable one.
This year I was more cheerful than the previous after a great trip around south east Asia. I enjoyed a lot hanging around with new friends and being busy. Don't forget to rent a scooter to be completely free to enjoy your stay going everywhere you want.
I was feeling home again, I didn’t want lo leave and when I had to, I was so fuckin sad. Not to mention the fact that as soon as I arrived in Italy I went straight to quarantine and lockdown. I spent the first 10 days home regretting not having stayed in Bali. I could have had the chance to do something good rather than to stay two months inside my apartment. But then the situation changed and my timing was actually perfect. Anyway I haven't given up the idea to meet my friends again all together as soon as possible. They are among my best memories, because knowing new beautiful people is always the best part of a trip.
After few quiet days in Bohol we decided to look for even more relax on another island. The trip and the first hours were terrible because of the heavy rain but as soon as the sun came out I went for a walk. I immediately recognized Siquijor as a paradise.
The accommodation was at Cliff Garden, an amazing small complex with 2 double small houses and the 8 beds cottage where we met a lot of nice french people! Yes we wanted to feel young again and it was simply perfect for that specific context. A tiny village on a cliff with a beautiful view for stunning sunsets. Amazing kind staff and relax 24/7.
all pictured by Riccardo Tosetto Ph
The first night we had no scooter and no near place to eat, really bad combo. Since I was the one with no stomachache I took a walk looking for a shampoo and some food.
It was noisy and trafficked due to a religious celebration but I found a small typical shop along the road and I asked also for something to eat or where to find it. The eyes of the lady lighted up and she brought me into a private house where an extended Filipino family welcomed me and offered me to eat a giant roasted pork with them! I enjoyed my time a lot chatting with incredibly kind and welcoming people. Later couple of guys brought me with them in the center and they also gave me some nice suggestions to enjoy the following days.
Waking up has never been so sweet and the feeling of Siquijor as a paradise couldn't have been clearer. Amazing sunrise, the sound of the waves on the cliff, the great relaxing playlist the girls of the staff were use to play, breakfast on the the terrace after snorkeling. A dream.
After all these beautiful things and a bit of reading, nothing's better than jumping on a scooter to ride discovering the island. Remember to rent a scooter (about 6€ a day) because it's the best option to be free to explore around reaching every place avoiding to bargain all the time for a tuc tuc ride. We tried to make a plan but we ended up literally riding all around the island, stopping pretty often because every place is a beautiful postcard.
There are many falls in Siquijor but we decided to go to the Lagaan ones thanking of the suggestions of the guys I met the night before at the celebration (both tour guides). I have to say that the place was pretty nice and we had also a lot of fun!
The place is relaxing and the "tour guides" extremely kind and available, a pretty beautiful break among the multiples rides around.
Our rides brought us on beautiful white and often secret beaches like Paliton Beach in San Juan. Quiet place with locals, music and drinks. But also the secret Compass Beach in Maria. Be careful because there's a pretty steep staircase to reach it. Places to simply enjoy the moment. Reading a book, drinking a beer or coconut water, obviously tan and clearly snorkel if you like to do it. Here you'll learn to love it.
Siquijor as a paradise has also a lot of nature to offer, and you'll find it everywhere just looking around and exploring while reaching random places on the map. We drove through the island right in the middle climbing with the scooter. We reached places offering a great views but we also found local villages and life.
The title suggests to think about Siquijor as a paradise twice. Why twice? Because if you love basketball you'll be gape. Ok, all the Philippines are pretty famous because of their incredible love about this sport, but on this small island there's an incredible number of basketball playgrounds. They are literally everywhere, among houses, next to every school and church, along the road, over the hills even on meadows.
Here Christianity is a huge thing, Filipinos are really religious people but basketball is definitely a second faith. I've never seen someone playing basketball so badly in my life, but with the biggest dedication possible. That's real passion. To persist in something trying to improve as more as possible, day by day, because you simply love it.
Philippines are an amazing beautiful country of south east Asia. Definitely not that developed, way less than Indonesia for example but pretty expensive considering what they offer. I noticed that prices in general are about (bit less) the double compared to Bali and without a real reason. Philippines were subjected to the American influence till the end of the WWII and it's visible in some aspects of their culture. Food, names, religion, music, language. They have been pretty westernized, so basically they learned how to make money and with mass tourism even more.
You are requested to pay pretty much to do everything, everywhere. Pay to park the scooter, often to enter a beach, to snorkel on a beach, pay a tour guide that does or say anything, to receive an nonexistent service at the restaurant. There's nothing bad in making money, don't misunderstand me, but there's no quality in return of the money you pay. Clearly they are perfectly aware about the beauty surrounding them and they know that people love it and love their smiles and kindness. So they perfectly also know that everybody will pay what they ask.
Speaking about this, bring a lot of cash. We went crazy looking for an ATM that accepted one of our cards. To exchange money is longer than a custom check in China, and definitely not convenient. Hostels and restaurants rarely accept cards (almost never), and if you need cash sometimes the only chance are the blue/yellow ATM that you find also in Venice. Well they apply crazy fees and clone your cards, like happened to us.
The stay in Siquijor was supposed to last four days but we felt at home and we decided to stay few days more. Getting used to the routine took about five minutes and there I felt sincerely happy and relaxed. Away from thoughts, problems, issues, Italy, corona virus and everything else. At he Cliff Garden we found basically home and meet nice new nice people. The last sunset was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking.
Fortunately we enjoyed the last night with beautiful people and two amazing girls of the Cliff Garden staff among Filipino people at Czar's Place. The morning after I was about to cry because actually I would have stayed there forever but fortunately another amazing last place was waiting for me.
Here we are, after the more than pleasant layover in Kuala Lumpur, finally in the Philippines, Bohol, relax time among its beauties. After a night in Cebu, the day after we took a boat to reach Bohol first and Panglao after. At the harbor we had our super kind friend Allen (@boholisawesome) waiting for us.
Despite of the rain he immediately took us for a ride to check some spots that we wouldn't have never be able to find without him. The same happened the following days. Our place was in Panglao, the small beautiful island connected to Bohol, close to Alona Beach. Nice area full of restaurants, bars, night life and a crowded but beautiful beach where we enjoyed our time a lot just eating, sleeping, lying on the beach! It was simply time to relax.
In the Philippines, Bohol obviously I would say that it's mandatory to to snorkel. Even if you have never done before, just do it, you'll simply love it. Next step will be to become a diver because underwater the world is beautiful. Allen brought us to Napaling , in particular at the Molave Cliff Diving Resort (check the link for more specs), on an cliff with a stair bringing to the water.
Well, unfortunately his GoPro had some issues and I don't have pictures to show, but it was amazing, simply. The reef is beautiful and there are a lot of different fishes. You can stay hours in the water exploring and swimming with schools of sardines that surround you all the time. Don't miss the chance and go!
We took also a boat trip with Allen and his amazing family and it was a great chance to enjoy the beautiful nature of this country, its crystal clear water, its beaches and its fauna. Obviously we snorkeled and enjoy the beautiful environment and after we had a delicious homemade filipino lunch by Allen's mum.
pictures by Allen Trottier (@boholisawesome)
Then we took a particularly nice walk together on the Virgin Island. The sun was burning as hell but is was absolutely worth it to enjoy that unique place.
Philippines, Bohol, relax time but also one of my favorite places that Allen showed us was, Loboc River. We went there to enjoy a tour on a paddle board along the river and its nature. The Fox and the Firefly cottages was organizing this service and upstairs there's also an amazing restaurant were we had breakfast before. It was a great experience, I'm so happy about that! I had never paddled before and doing it there was particularly beautiful and relaxing. Paddle, water, palms, nature and a swim in the river..what else?!
I enjoyed the time in Bohol so much and I'll always be grateful to Allen. Without him it wouldn't have been the same for sure! Exploring places with a local is always the real plus to every trip, what allows you to save time, money and get the best from your travel experience!
So remember to check my tours and come to visit Venice with me to enjoy the best of my city with me and live it like a local, a real Venetian!
But first Siquijor!
This time we learned the lesson, we booked a nice night bus by ourself and we reached Yangon. After a short rest we reached the airport for the second part of the trip. Around midnight we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Remember that the fixed price to reach the city with a taxi is 60MYR (12€). Don't take the train, faster but way more expensive! In fact after the train we have been forced to take a taxi to the hotel. Arriving I forgot about everything else and looking up I realized that I was finally going to enjoy KL and its architecture.
After an amazing breakfast at the Concorde hotel we started to explore the city. It was my first time in KL and I wanted to stop there before going to the Philippines. I'm super happy about my decision because the city gave me a new energy that Burma drained completely.
It's clear that it's not a regular city in south east Asia. It's modern, functional, extremely clean. Like a friend said, it's a midway between Bangkok and Singapore.
After an amazing breakfast at the Concorde hotel we started to explore the city. As I said it's super clean, ordered and organized, not everywhere obviously. A multicultural city with three communities. Founded by the Chinese, that were representing the biggest part of the population till few years ago. The biggest community nowadays, the Malaysian one and the one represented by Indians. Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" because it has been build as a village in the beginning on the confluence of the two rivers Gombak and Kelang.
Now it's a modern cosmopolitan metropolis, evolving continuously, among the jungle. Obviously there's also the battered a shabbiness of the huge cities in this part of the world. Sad public buildings, electrical cables everywhere, bad condos. So there's the old typical KL with its markets and the ultramodern one.
Finally, after a long walk we arrived where I enjoyed KL and its architecture at its best. The Petronas Twin Towers. I've always dreamed to see them in real life. I've always been amazed by architecture in general but those tower fascinated me since I was a kid. First watching "Entrapment", then when Sepang became the new circuit of Formula 1 and Moto gp races.
The Petronas Twin Towers are impressive. I have never seen the Twin Towers in NYC unfortunately, but even after my trip in NY, couple of months before, I've to say that they are better than any other building, speaking about skyscrapers.
Inside there are offices and a huge mall, but most of all a lot of air-conditioning. The most useful thing to enjoy a long wait. Before to reach a friend we also took a walk around KLCC Park. Then we had a drink in the most underrated place in the area, the Traders hotel. As I always say, there's nothing better than to explore a place with a local! It changes your stay, entirely!
The bar with the pool on the top was unexpectedly empty and quiet. Perfect chance to talk, relax and taking pictures of the Twin Towers with the beautiful sunset lights!
Then our friend Ong brought us at Lot 10, an amazing place where to enjoy Chinese/Malaysian street food. A huge variety of choices of amazing food. It would have been impossible to find it by ourself. Then our other friend Saran took us for a nice night walk though the authentic city and gave us some nice tips! It's amazing meeting great people around the world!
If you are in KL Batu Caves are a must do in the city. Take a Grab (extremely cheap here) and enjoy the famous colored staircase. I have to admit that I thought it was way more steep than I experienced. The climb was super fast and easy but the perk was not as good as I imagined. I mean I thought it was less touristy but anyway nice and worth it. Anyway once there there's a nice view and the funniest animal ever, a lot of monkeys. I could stay hours staring at them.
Once back I took a walk around to discover a bit more about Kuala Lumpur. I didn't have precise stop or aim, just a random walk wandering around. Getting a bit lost you always have the best chance to find some nice spot or interesting glimpse of urban life.
Then it was absolutely necessary to take advantage of the amazing and cheap hotel we have been able to find and chilling at the pool with a great Petronas view. The best way to forget for a while about our flight back to Italy cancelled due to the Covid_19.
The last night we met our amazing Japanese friend Natzukioro after meeting in Tokyo a month earlier. I saw more often her than most of my friends in Venice in the last four months! Then I wanted absolutely to take some pictures of the Petronas Towers. Since I decided to travel with a super light luggage I didn't have a tripod but my Canon EOS R and my steady arm helped me a lot. Even with high ISO the result was great to me. Finally I had the picture of my favorite architecture ever.
In the morning, learning from our mistakes, we booked a Grab for the really long way to the airport. I spent just couple of days here but I've been positively impressed by this city. KL and its architecture are what I've always dreamt to see, but I loved the city in general. Its life, the energy, many different people, cultures and food. I am sure I will come back here sooner or later. However now it's time for Philippines.
After we changed our plans deciding to skip Hsipaw we made another big mistake, we trusted in the staff of the reception and we booked a van that should have brought us from the hotel in Mandalay to the new one. We were definitely looking forward for a beautiful Inle break before a different Asia. Well the van cost 8,5€ and we stayed on board almost 7 hours. We stopped several times because the driver needed also to deliver packages. The road was crazy while climbing the mountain and 3 burmese ladies vomited all the time due to that situation. But ok, no bid deal, we were just thinking about our new accommodation dreaming about a nice rest.
Once we arrived about 20km far from the new place the driver stopped and left us on the side of a big road, telling us that he was going to the city center not to ur resort and consequently we should have taken a taxi. Coincidentally along that road there were 5 taxi drivers (all his friends) asking us if by chance we needed a ride.
After paying 30€ for a 15 minutes taxi ride (twice as much as the 7 hours trip) we finally arrived at the Inle Resort & Spa and we spent the 4 more relaxing days in a paradise for a super convenient price. The better spent money of the whole trip! The place is huge and immerse between trees and palms. There’s an amazing silence and simply beautiful quiet atmosphere, here you can do nothing but relax. Above all the place is on the lake and the best thing to do is to lay on a bench chair and enjoy the sunset on the dock on the lake. I just wanna cry thinking about that.
Once there I thought that I wouldn’t have used my camera at all but the spot is too pretty and I didn't resist, so I took some pictures with my Canon EOS R and the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and thanking to that I was able to achieve pretty nice pictures even without a tripod since that camera has a great noise management at high ISO.
We spent our days between the swimming pool, the restaurant and the pier on the lake simply enjoying the sweet doing nothing, recharging batteries after the previous days that we spent mostly on transportations.
We decided also to take a bicycle ride to the city center to explore a bit but it was an exception! A lucky one anyway because since we stopped for a massage we found also an organized boat tour of the lake the day after. Certainly the best chance to discover the beauties of Inle Lake!
Early in the morning of the third day we had the pick up and we were just 3 people on the boat. The trip is noisy but relaxing and along the way there are beautiful landscaped and scenarios with the local’s daily life
Along the way we stopped several time to appreciate local markets and amazing locals handcrafted activities, first of all we enjoyed the silver manufacturing
another stop was dedicated to the textile manufacturing of the precious silk extracted from the lotus flower
furthermore we appreciated the ability of those ladies at the loom,
and finally we saw the tobacco manufacturing, also the flavored one
We also stopped to see some pagodas and local life around them. Even more the trip on the way back gave us the chance to appreciate beautiful glimpses of Inle's life on the lake. That one was a thing that I liked a lot considering the amazing scenarios with houses on the water and the quiet around.
Finally, back at the resort we used the time simple being lazy to continue the beautiful Inle break . We also to book the night bus back to Yangon. I took some time to enjoy the last sunset in one of the best places I’ve been during the trip. I seriously was almost going to cry thinking about leaving the day after. I seriously had a beautiful Inle break before a different Asia
The last day we enjoyed every second after the check out. We stayed at the pool simple waiting to leave and reach the bus on our road to Yangon. This time bit more afraid (without a real reason actually, just bit psychotic) about corona virus, to enjoy the turning point of the trip.
Experiencing the beautiful site of Bagan was great and definitely unforgettable but leaving it was not so painful. Exploring the huge area with an electric scooter was beautiful and eco-friendly but really bad for our health. Dust and sand are everywhere, even on the big roads in the center and our lungs were begging us to change. So we left to go to Mandalay with great expectations without knowing what there would have happened next!
Mindful about the bus trip Yangon-Bagan I had great expectations also about the trip to Mandalay considering also that we booked through the hotel. Ok, the same hotel that didn’t respond to our emails for more than three weeks. The one with the empty reception all the time, but a really nice one! Pick-up/ trip / drop-off, big deal for 5,5€, well..never again!
Picked-up with an open van we went through all Bagan riding to the real “bus”. We were entirely covered of dust and our bags as well, then the real trip was long and uncomfortable. About 110km in 5,5 hours jumping on an entirely bumpy road.
Dropped-off we took an open van with the driver getting lost multiple times in the crazy traffic and pollution that we breathed entirely. So remember, never trust hotel concierges in Myanmar (other story in the next post) and book directly at the bus station or a certified website like JJExpress or Mandalar Minn Express.
Once at our hotel we had a really hard time at the reception. First of all because the staff knows just some english words and furthermore due to the hundreds chinese around. Screaming all the time, sneezing, coughing (without any hand in front of their mouth) and spitting (outside) everywhere. So yes if I’m still alive after this trip I’m probably an highlander and #coronavirus is scared of getting close to me.
The day after we started to explore the city with a friend that we met during the trip. We arrived in Mandalay with great expectations but they collapsed because the city didn’t unveil amazing like we were expecting. We obviously visited the Imperial Palace, a huge site that offered some nice views, the Khutodaw Pagoda, the Sanda Muni Pagoda. But as I anticipated, after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon the others are just pagodas.
Then we went to the Atumashi Kyaung Taik Shwe Kyaung or Incomparable Monastery and the Shwenandaw Monastery. All nice buildings but noting that my heart will remember forever for the emotions they gave me.
Since we were pretty lazy and disappointed we went at the hotel to be even lazier and save the Mandalay Hill for the second and last day there. We spent part of the second day looking for the office of 12Go Asia because we booked to train tickets to Hsipaw that we were supposed to receive at the hotel. We never found any office and the tickets arrived at the hotel at 8pm and we should have leave at 4am, so we changed plans in the morning, so stay away from 12Go Asia too.
In the afternoon, also remembering about temperatures and light, we went with a tuc tuc to the Mandalay Hill and it was actually the best moment especially to enjoy the sunset view.
The day after we started our long journey to Inle Lake making the third mistake of our trip!
#mandalay#myanmar #asia #trip #asiantrip #southeastasia #eosr #canonphotography #urbanphotography #landscapes #travelordie #explore#wonderlust
How can't you be skeptical about a 12 hours trip on a bus in Myanmar? Well we had the most comfortable experience on a bus ever, for real. Not many seats but large, extendible, with blankets and snacks. In a moment outside the sun was rising waking us up and still dazed we catch a taxi (on't even try with Grab here, it doesn't exist) the ridden us to the archeological area. We stopped to pay the entrance to the area (about 16€/25k Kyatt for 5 days), inn beautiful Bagan, looking for magic!. We had the coldest ride ever since the windows of the van were nonexistent or broken.
After the check-in and breakfast we needed to find some cash because in Myanmar in most of the places, even in very nice hotels, they accept just cash, and the atm was the only solution but with big commissions. We found a super kind man renting electric scooters (3,5€ per day) along the road and we finally started our adventures in Bagan. Scooters that are definitely not fast but eco friendly and in a archeological park like that it's actually a great idea.
The first thing to do is to download the app maps.me and the Bagan map that first of all is pretty accurate with many pagodas and temples indicated and also many nice view points. We tried to make a day plan starting from the Swezigon Pagoda and then going down but it's useless.
The best thing to do in Bagan is to wander around discovering always new sites among the more 4000 pagodas and temples. Some spots are hidden and adventorous to find, others are more touristy. Around a big pagoda there's always a sort of market with locals selling souvenirs and local products. Sometimes they are pretty insistent, but bargaining a bit you can find really good deals.
Wandering around we bumped into many amazing hidden spots, with nobody around, peaceful areas where it’s also nice to stop. There you can relax, read, meditate if you prefer. It’s possible to enter in every pagoda and temple but, like everywhere in Myanmar, you need to take the shoes off, so remember to bring disinfectant tissues to clean your feet every time.
Once in beautiful Bagan looking for magic, sunset is a great moment on maps.me there are many places to check but most of them are well known and touristy. So we checked few till we find a quite one with less people, the others are almost immediately crowded and reached by busses with a lot of tourists. In our case Chinese ones because we were there during the Chinese New Year, so it was basically impossible to take nice pictures.
The day after we decided to check other sunset spots. We spent most of the time on the Bagan Viewing Tower because in the morning at the ticket office they reassured us about the fact that there wouldn’t have been chinese people since it was the NYE for them. Well, there were just chinese. A huge crowd of people screaming and I didn’t move all the time. It has been pretty hard to find a spot offering a good chance for pictures, personally I elbowed in a lot!
You can’t go to Bagan without waking up early to enjoy the sunrise. Anyway it’s about being lucky because the lights are not aways amazing as expected. In our case in fact the sunrise was nothing special. The sky was not colored as I hoped and it was bit foggy and misty, that could be fascinating but not spectacular.
maps.me gives also spots to enjoy it, plus pagodas to climb, but it’s forbidden even if there’re locals bringing tourists to climb some hidden ones to raise a bit of money. If you find a good spot anyway you can appreciate the spectacular view of all the pagodas that creates the best background for the hot hair balloons flying over Bagan. In case someone’s interested they cost 300€ per person!
Both days have been long and exhausting because there are no roads among the temples. Just trails and a lot of dust going inside your eyes, your nose, your mouth..everywhere. So remember to bring a mask and sunglasses otherwise it starts to be seriously annoying. During the day is always hot but towards the sunset the temperature starts to drop significantly so bring a light jacket with you.
As anticipated, bring a lot of cash with you to avoid high commission at the atm. Furthermore they don't accept all the credit cards, we had an hard time there! The country in general is still developing (their PIL is increasing 8% a year) but for many aspects they are not ready yet to host mass tourism properly. Not many people speak an understandable english, not even in big structures.
Bagan is definitely not a party town and it’s definitely better to enjoy the peace offered by the context, also to recover energies for the next days riding around. On the road from New Bagan to Old Bagan there are many places where to stop to eat and drink something. The first area is the one with a bit of life, some bars and restaurants, but New Bagan is perfect to have a drink or a quick dinner before to go at the hotel to rest.
I was wondering about this place a lot months before to start my trip and Bagan is a real highlight. Stunning and fascinating, became part of UNESCO World Heritage list just in 2019 because the SPDC was restoring the monuments without using the original techniques and not using proper materials. Furthermore the locals are incredibly kind and welcoming, the atmosphere is magical and there’re amazing vibes wherever you go. Once in beautiful Bagan looking for some magic you realize that you are gifted for the simple fact that you are there. You feel that you need to be respectful toward everything’s surrounding you and those feeling won’t never leave you.
It’s time to move now, and with great expectations and an uncomfortable trip we reached Mandalay.
#bagan #myanmar #asia #pagoda #temple #scooter #electric #archeology #unesco #ostellobello #hotairballoon #sunset #sunrise #dollars #streetphotography #landscape #eosr #canonphotography
We left, happily speaking for myself, Bangkok to reach Yangon, city of The Pagoda in Myanmar. Once arrived it taken a while in order to have our visa (sticker on passport), remember to bring american dollars, it costs 50 and be sure that those dollars are recent and PERFECT otherwise they won't accept them. Not just at the airport but everywhere they ask you or you have the chance to pay with dollars, and in Myanmar happens often.
Once at the hotel we checked-in and took a walk around just to take a look and eat something. The first impression was that this is the less developed country I've visited even if it's among the ones developing faster, its Pil increases 8% a year. Anyway it has some characteristic areas but nothing "exotic" like we were expecting. Impression confirmed the day after during the morning walk during which we saw the center of the city the Independence Monument, a white obelisk in the center of Maha Bandula Park. Later we reached and walked through General Aung San Park before to stop for lunch there in a really cute hidden spot on the lake.
Then with a Grab we reached the amazing Shwedagon Pagoda. In the title I called Yangon city of "the" pagoda because after this one, among the zillion we saw, it was very very hard and difficult to find another one that could have been even just comparable to that.
Here is nice to have a tour guide that explains a bit of the history of the pagoda and some interesting curiosities. In Myanmar there's a strong belief in astrology. Mahabote divides the week in eight days (Wednesday, when Buddha was born is divided in two) and the eight corners of the Pagoda are represented by eight animals , eight planets and eight cardinal points. I was born on Sunday so mine was the garuda, Obama's was the guinea pig. The practice consists in pouring water on the symbol and on the Buddha's statue.
The tour ended toward the sunset, the best moment, remember about light in south east asia?! Then once free I walk around the beautiful pagoda and the chances for nice pictures where multiple speaking about people and architecture. Close to 6pm operators prepared several oil candles for the evening celebration with thousands votive candles and people started to turn on incense and to pray.
We had to leave to be able to reach on time the bus to reach the most spiritual place in Burma.
#myanmar #yangon #asia #pagoda #eosr #canonphotography #streetphotography #travelordie #travelphotography #trip #friends
Just couple of hours far from the city there's an amazing Unesco site full of beautiful temples, Ayutthaya the peaceful side of Bangkok. We needed a break from the air and the chaos of Bkk so we decided for the cheapest day trip ever. We paid 15 baht (0,45€) to do 80km and it's took 2 hours, not the best trip ever but the faster for sure considering the traffic!
Once in Ayutthaya we rent a bike and crossed the river to reach the area of the temples. Actually I would have rent a scooter, the distances are not crazy. But it's hot and there are some steep tract and the traffic in the connection areas is bit crazy..anyway pretty enjoyable. The temples are pretty much everywhere and to enter in each one's area is necessary to pay 50 baht (1,50€). Nothing for the amazing ruins that you are going to see! When you rent your bike/motorbike ask for the free map and it will be super easy.
Again, the big problem for me but in general for photographers is the light. Terrible during the day, strong, direct, too shining. Yes I know, there are ND filters but it's not the same. In the beginning I was reluctant about using my Canon EOS R, but then being patient, cycling, walking around, eating something the lights start to be better. The atmosphere improved too and taking pictures starts to make sense and the results pretty appreciable!
Now, thinking about that day I wouldn't have left Bangkok so early in the morning. I would have relaxed more and reached the place at least 2/2,5 hours later because managing the time it's possible to see and visit pretty much everything when it's cooler. Furthermore the atmosphere is nicer towards and during the golden hours that is fundamental in this kind of environments.
Then after a quick dinner and a long trip after a great day in Ayutthaya the peaceful side of Bangkok, we run on the roof top to enjoy the pool with a Tiger that we were dreaming since a long time and to recharge our energies for the next day, direction Myanmar.
#ayutthaya #thailand #temples #sunset #eosr #canon2470mm #daytrip #trip #holidays #travelordie #travelphotography #landscapes #ruins #bangkok
Once in good shape again and ready to change idea about Bangkok south east Asia icon again. We started from visiting Wat Pho around 2pm. The place and the context are nice and the quantity of buddhas it's impressive, the architecture and its colors inside are beautiful but again the light was terrible. I wasn't really feeling to take pictures because nothing was seriously inspiring me. Moreover people inside were there just to walk directly to see the giant statue of Buddha to take the same pictures.
As anticipated, this year I left with a different mindset speaking about photography. I decided to take less pictures, focusing more about what was surrounding me. As I always thought anyway but this time with more dedication. I always preferred to enjoy first, to get involved with the context to understand what was really interesting me. What was seriously catalyzing my attention and that I would have been happy to edit in order to avoid to waste a lot of hours in front of the screen. Basically I was looking for more quality, for pictures that I would be happy to see and print. Well in Bangkok has been easy, because the research of beauty could be endless.
In this case my Canon EOS R helped me a lot, easy to carry even if the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II USM is pretty heavy. I was also able to control the exposure quickly and directly from the EVF thanking to the control ring mount adapter. I'm still using the same SD card!
In that place, like in many others in Bangkok, I had the impression that it is an extremely touristy city. I felt there was no much authenticity unless you bumped into it.
After that we crossed the river (just 4 baths, 0,12€) to see the Wat Arun. Well known as the Sunrise Temple but way better during the sunset if smog is not so terrible. It closes early, about at 5:30/6pm and it was not allow to climb it. So we took a walk in the area behind the temple where we had a taste of the real city far from tourism.
Once back at the temple, it was nice with the lights on it and when we crossed the canal again we immediately regretted for not going there later than 2am. The light was amazing and the place had a totally different allure, from the outside at least.
So basically in this area of the world you should have the double of the time at your disposal to visit attraction just toward the sunset! The day after, in fact, we stayed at the hotel till 4pm to enjoy the swimming pool during the hottest moment of the day. We reached the Wat Saket temple, trusting in Google that says the temple closes at 5:30pm, not true, it closes at 7pm. The place is pretty nice and from the edge is possible to enjoy a beautiful sunset, but still, the pollution is crazy so there's a lot of haze compromising or making more fascinating the landscape, it's up to you!
If you want in 2 days you can see pretty much everything touristic relevant in Bangkok south east Asia icon again. Anyway take your time, don't rush and book a nice hotel with the pool. Prices are really really good and it's definitely worth it considering temperatures and air pollution.
For the last day we decided to escape from the city to breath some fresh air and and enjoy some peace visiting Ayutthaya...
#streetphotography #architecturelovers #urbanphotography #jungle #eosr #canonphotography #bangkok #thailand #asia #landscape #igersthailand #igersbangkok #igersbkk #bkk #watpho #watarun #watsaket #sunset
We arrived for a mandatory stop in Bangkok after 48 hours with no sleep due to the loudest flight of my life. The first stop in Shanghai, a day there and the second flight to destination. After 14 hours sleep (with a breakfast break) we recovered immediately from jet leg and we decided to take a walk around. The subway is brend new, super cheap but with just two lines. The other common way to go around Bkk is Grab, the risk is to be stucked in the traffic for a looooooong time.
Bangkok is hot and humid but most of all polluted, shamefully polluted, so bring a mask with carbon filters. The others are simply useless. The city is a real jungle, crowded, full of traffic and people everywhere, with a urban structure completely incomprehensible for europeans, but it's a personal opinion. There're no squares, but areas characterized by big shopping malls. They are used by many locals as meeting points, aggregation areas also for tourists curious to discover the consumer side of the city.
During the firsts walk from the early afternoon I learned that my camera would have been useless till 4pm. When the sun starts to go down the atmosphere gets better. On this side of the world, from 9am there's the worst light possible to take pictures. It's extremely strong, dazzling and annoying.
The next day we started to explore the city. Usually I'm always exited and fascinated about a new place or city that I visit but this time not too much. We decided to visit the Jim Thompson's house during the hottest hours, really nice stop to consider! Later we came back to the chaos and I took time to find interesting subjects, some modern architecture in particular like the King Power Mahanakhon. Bangkok is developing continuously and some new building are coming.
I needed more time to familiarize and get tuned with the context probably because I was also annoyed by the bad and strong smog. I have to admit that after a while I saw some nice glimpses. Actually with the right light Bangkok south east Asia icon, reveals itself as a pretty interesting place for urban photography with its lights and atmosphere.
Later we arrived in China Town and there things changed completely. The area, despite being a real mess, is definitely interesting and curious, an incredible place for street photography. Neons, banners, stands with several varieties of food, people everywhere, a crazy area.
We stayed away from street food, our stomach are not strong enough and the smell wasn't so good everywhere. I still don't understand this thing of a mandatory stop in Bangkok as a capital of street food. We chosen a place that was actually nice but...I spent the next 32 hours lying in my bed at the hotel walking just to the bathroom.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the food (I was the only one sick) but probably the criminal air conditioning in the subway that blocked my digestion. Man A/C in Bkk is seriously crazy, don't try to be brave like me. Bring always something to cover you while inside there, taxis are well refrigerated as well, so be prepared!
While recovering we made a plan dedicating the next days to something topically touristic and something bit off the beaten track walking randomly. I'll tell you about this in the next chapter.
#streetphotography #architecturelovers #urbanphotography #jungle #eosr #canonphotography #bangkok #thailand #asia #landscape #igersthailand #igersbangkok #igersbkk #bkk
New year, new adventures. Even if I was in Tokyo during the first week on 2020 I consider the one i'm doing the first trip of the year because I arrived in Japan for the NYE, anyway I'll tell you about that another time. But now back to Asia for the longest trip
I always wanted to visit Myanmar, it's a place that fascinated me for a long time. This year I decided to use part of my holidays to visit it. Going through China just for one day, some days in Bangkok to finally reach Yangon. The trip will continue first to Kuala Lumpur, Philippines and finally Bali.
My aim is to tell you about my trip throughout my pictures (I'm a photographer remember?) so even if I'm going to tell you something specific. I won't mention every hotel or bar or restaurant where I've been, anyway feel free to contact me about particular questions.
This time even if I was going back to Asia for the longest trip I left with the lightest luggage ever. Because of the warm places where I'm going and because of Air Asia. It requires strictly one baggage (your small bag inside the big one) for a maximum weight of 7kg....
My backpack with the camera and documents was bit lighter this year. I brought my new Canon EOS R, my Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II USM and obviously the control ring mount adapter. I know it's just one lens but I'm going to move often and I'm on holiday after all. Anyway that is the best combo for travel photography helping a lot also when the light is gone, especially for street.
Sometimes I missed a 70-200 but I would have needed another luggage for that. Anyway for the future i'm seriously considering to bring just a camera with a prime lens to be used quickly in every kind of situation. Usually I travelled with the 5D Mark 3 and it was very heavy, but anyway the Canon 24-70 is the heavier thing I got. So it will be necessary to sacrifice quality, hopefully not too much.
During this trip I brought also my iPad Pro to be able, while not moving, to edit my pictures and to save a lot of time once back home.
Yes, my holidays are in winter. I'm a photographer and a tour guide in Venice and in January/February nobody wants a photo tour or a tour around the city. Plus millions of people are scared for no reason about the high tide even if everything was ok after 10 days. Sooooo many many may cancellations and no work for me! Don't worry I will work a lot when you'll having fun in summer!
Back to Asia for the longest trip, the first stop of our flight was by Shanghai. We stopped there on purpose to spend a day in a new city (coronavirus was still unknown! anyway I never got sick and I always felt pretty good). Even If we were super tired after a long noisy flight we decided to book a four hours walking tour. We wanted to enjoy a good introduction to Shanghai and visiting the most interesting spots.
It's a huge city with more than 29mln people and there so many different aspects. Aspects characterizing its urban structure able to offer endless street photography opportunities.
Since the beginning anyway, also according with the guide's information, the city should have been way more fascinating during the 30's. Now it's obviously ultramodern even if preserving a bit of that allure in some buildings.
We were there few days before the Chinese New Year so the atmosphere was pretty vibrant and nice. The city even if modern, is dirty, smelly and incredibly polluted. Even the most famous skyline of the city in the beginning was almost invisible due to the smog. The air was heavy and insane and unfortunately I didn't have a mask. The simple ones without carbon filters are completely useless in that case.
Then walking around we enjoy the traditional neighborhood with the celebrations for the Chinese New Year. We had some food in typical places and we enjoyed for a while the vibrant vibes of this huge city waiting for the dark.
We wanted to enjoy the amazing games of light of the skyline, so remember, wait there till 6pm, be patient, it's worth it!
After that we run to the first subway stop (ridiculously cheap) to take the Maglev to reach the airport, direction Bangkok.
#shanghai #china #layover #streetphotography #urbanphotography #eosr #canon2470 #travel #architecturelover #skyline ##igersshanghai #igerschina #canonphotography #nightphotography #shanghai_highlights #asia
Leaving New York, never easy, in fact the last day in NYC was the only one without the sun. Pretty gloomy and gray (the day I left it was raining, so perfect timing I guess, despite of the cold obviously!). Rain was also sad considering that I was leaving. Anyway I dedicated the day to shopping thanking to the super patient Geneviève that brought me to a lot of places where I didn't buy basically anything! NYC is the place where you can do shopping for more than a week because there are to many things and places to choose from.
As the title says, in this city the photo opportunities are endless, so I decided to pair my Canon EOS R and the control ring mount adapter just with the Canon 50mm f/1.2, its wide aperture is perfect for quick shots and dark light conditions.
Having the chance to visit NYC many times I would dedicate one of these taking pictures in the subway for sure. So many different people, so many stories characterized by a unique atmosphere.
Well I can't say nothing but that this city is incredibly beautiful, crazy and full of life. It didn't impressed me immediately like I thought. But but as soon as I started to discover it I started to feel the vibes that a book or a movie can't give. At the same time while finding new places you realize how many others you are missing. The city fascinated me since I was a kid, the dream as a photographer now. See you soon NYC.
Yes, leaving New York, never easy, but now it's time for new adventures and trips around the world, so follow me on Instagram and get in touch if you need a portraits or a photo shooting before to see you in Venice with the new season!
#eosr #nyc #midtown #streetphotography #urbanphotography #empirestatebuilding #freedomtower #oculus #sunset #lights #night #canon #canonphotography #cityscape #buildings #architecture #igersnyc ##igersnewyork #nyprimeshot #nychighlights
I dedicated the fourth day of my trip to visit few areas of Brooklyn photography paradise, that actually would have deserved definitely more time. Brooklyn is huge, for real, and I could have easily spent a week wandering around!
I've always wanted to see this place since I watched one of my favorite movies about basketball, "He got game" directed by Spike Lee, with Denzel Washington and the Nba superstar Ray Allen aka Jesus Shuttlesworth. Plus an amazing soundtrack by the Public Enemies.
Obviously November is not the best moment to be there because it's cold, the luna park is closed and there's not much fun around. But it was a beautiful day, super sunny with a blue sky and walking along the beach was pretty nice anyway!
After the walk I had lunch at Nathan's, the most famous hot dog chain in the US. He was a polish immigrant that opened first a small kiosk on the beach in Coney Island in 1916. The recipe of the hot dog was invented by his wife and know is one of the best in the world.
Coming back from Coney Island you can't but stop at the Brooklyn Heights, sitting on a bench to enjoy the beautiful view of Downtown Manhattan. After a small rest, a nice walk brings under the Brooklyn bridge and from there is definitely worth. Then go to Williamsburg, a fancy, beautiful, hipster neighborhood, not as much as Dumbo probably (sorry no IG picture with Manhattan Bridge behind). Here there are nice views of Manhattan as well, offering the chance for good pictures especially taking advantage of the sunset lights. Before to enjoy a deserved rest in a great place if you like beer!
The Brooklyn photography paradise is amazing also for other passions. I love craft beers and I tried their before but trying it here it's a completely different experience! The brewery is pretty big but incredibly cozy. The atmosphere is beautiful and the staff super nice even while waiting outside. They also offered a tour inside to talk about the history of the brewery and to show the machineries used to produce their beers. Obviously inside there's a wide choice of craft beers for a very good price (6$ almost all beers) being in one of the fanciest places in NYC.
It has been a long day, after dinner at Katz's Delicatessen (there's no need to describe that place!),
and more than two hours trip in the subway (yes, I discovered that the NYC subway could be incredibly annoying during the week end). I was ready to enjoy my last day in the most famous city in the world.
#eosr #nyc #brooklyn #streetphotography #urbanphotography #nathans #coneyisland #sunset #lights #night #canon #canonphotography #cityscape #buildings #architecture #igersnyc ##igersnewyork #nyprimeshot #nychighlights
I decided to approach the day 3 rushing a bit to be able to see few thing without bothering nobody. After an amazing breakfast at home in Brooklyn I took the subway for a long trip. That day I decided to bring my Canon EOS R and just a lens, the 17-40 f/4 because I knew that I would have spent a lot of time in a place that defining amazing is still reductive! I was going to have a breathtaking photography experience
I had a specific plan that I have been able to follow thanking to the great app City Mapper that offers ALL the transportations and time schedules around the city, public and private ones. My aim was to take a look to the Grand Central Station and to continue. Since I was in the area, I enjoyed also the Public Library and I took a beautiful walk around taking advantage of the spectacular sun and blue sky of that day.
Then I moved to the Upper East Side to enjoy the view and the architecture, even if just from the outside. One of my favorite building ever, designed by the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. The one that I studied with more passion at the high school and at the University while studying art history. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Since I was there I couldn't give up to a walk in Central Park!
From there I went down to enter the Rockfeller Center to go up to the panoramic terrace which I booked 2 days before. Remember always to book, it's easier and faster. I spent a lot of time there, about 3 hours, but on purpose. When I went there the first time the Top of the Rock was fully booked because I arrived there just one hour before the sunset, the most popular time, but It was a good thing!
I booked online for the time slot before sunset, which is more expensive but I can understand why. I would suggest to book at least 2 hours before the sunset, you won't get bored. Inside there are many controls before and after the elevator that brings you up in just 43 seconds! As soon as you have the first view you can realize that you spent 40$ ticket in the best way possible and the breathtaking photography experience begins.
I turned around many times, changing different floors to capture different perspectives. From Downtown to Central Park with the new sky scrapers that lop over it
Then, minute after minute, I realized the chance that I had to take so many different pictures that I should have selected once at home. But the variety of different lights made the process way easier and not too boring. I mean...
Again, thanking to the Canon EOS R and the control ring mount adapter the capturing process has been extremely easy and fast. I have been able to do not too many shots and pretty much all of them characterized by the correct light. Moreover no need of stabilizer even when the light was going to disappear.
These pictures, the last one in particular, are the result of a patient process because the terrace started to be overcrowded. Making it super difficult to find a spot where to be able to be static and take the best pictures through the big glasses. Officially tripods are forbidden (even if someone had really small tripods, but with the crowd is really difficult to arrange it) and I didn't bring anything, not even the gorilla pod, and the pictures I took are all freehand.
I can easily consider the Top of the Rock the highlight of my trip speaking about attractions in general, a breathtaking photography experience. I know it's pretty touristy but it's truly breathtaking and I consider it the place that you can't miss if you are in NYC.
I was there on a Friday, which means free entrance at the MoMa, the longest line I have ever seen in my life but also the faster one. Clearly the experience is not the best possible considering how many people there were inside. Anyway it was good enough if the time that you have in the city forces you to make choices!
To complete the day being in that area there's no better choice for an hamburger than the Burger Joint. Small place hidden behind a red curtain inside a fancy hotel. There's always a long queue but not slow. The inside is pretty cozy and nice with many posters and items directly from the 80's/90's and the hamburgers are pretty good!
Stay tuned for the next chapters. In the meanwhile check my website looking for the best options to explore Venice with me during your next trip!
Here we are for the second day exploring around the most incredible city ever. This time from Greenwich Village first, then Harlem, going to Downtown to enjoy some of the unmissable attractions of NYC. Actually also something definitely not touristy but extremely important and famous for a niche of lovers of the game and I was able to take the pictures I've always dreamed of. I was lucky to be with Geneviève that was pretty patient with me, a local willing to bear my excursions to these strange places around her city where she has never been before!
I was obviously with my new Canon EOS R and my Canon 17-40mm, extremely useful during a long day walking around thanking to the lightness they offered. I won't never be tired to appreciate how easy was to take pictures with this combo plus the control ring mount adapter. All these components make you forget about the battery that doesn't last that long due to the EVF and new electronic components!
First stop was at West 4th Street Courts, one of the most popular playground in NYC. If you are not in a rush, just eight minute far there's Murray's Bagels where you can try the best bagel in town. After a good coffee you can happily reach the subway to Harlem.
I reached Harlem specifically to see Rucker Park, a sort of Mecca of street basketball. Named after Helcombe Rucker , a teacher that in 1950 started a basketball tournament to help less fortunate kids and to keep them away from the streets. Most players coming here in summer are well known just among the street basket world. But Rucker Park hosted also famous NBA players like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant and the most venerated one around here, Julius Dr. J Erving
I have always loved basketball, since I was a kid, and as every kid I started to play on the streets and at the outdoor playground with my friends. All along the year with all the different weather conditions. Street basket is different, harder, intense, more real, less rules, more respect, it's something that you bring inside you forever. I discovered Rucker Park following my favorite basketball blog and FB page ever, La Giornata Tipo. Once in NYC I had to visit this place in the heart of Harlem, a sort of sanctuary for me, the only one possible actually. Here I had the chance to take the pictures I've always dreamed of.
The feelings were great and I'm so happy to have seen this place that for many people is just a playground, but to me was a sort of end of a long path. Not finished a finished one yet because next time I want to be there during a tournament to feel the real vibes that this game can give.
After the Rucker Park we moved down to walk a bit inside one of the most famous city parks in the world. Clearly my time was not enough to walk through all of it and the weather was not the perfect one for my purpose since it was freezing. Anyway I've been able to enjoy the atmosphere and the beautiful autumn colors that Central Park can offer! This one is another spot that I'll visit again for sure to see the spots recounted in my favorite book The Catcher in the Rye , the movies Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Batman Returns. Unfortunately here I didn't had the chance to take the Pictures I've always dreamed of.
Right on time we reached one of the places that I have always wanted to see since I was able to turn the tv on on the 80's:
If you can reach the Brooklyn bridge around the sunset time. If it's not crazy cold, early in the morning, that is probably even better because nobody's supposed to be there! The sunset time was perfect and magical tho. Be careful because there's the real risk to take too many pictures because the light is growing better minutes after minute.
Most of my picture here were great thanking to the Canon EOS R in particular. Even when it was getting darker the results were still coming, so I can say that I didn't miss the stabilizer at all. Since I started to take pictures in my life I had the stabilizer just on couple of lenses. I can say that in some conditions the IS can help a bit, but it can't change a picture, if it's ruined, it's ruined, no stabilizer can prevent it. Clearly if your goal are videos the story changes, in that case the IS is way helpful, anyway not my case.
The Brooklyn bridge offered several beautiful point of views and gorgeous landscapes and skylines. If you concentrate and focus a bit, into that incredible sunset there's also the Statue of Liberty. I saved it for the next trip. We walked so much that day and after crossing the bridge to Brooklyn I was super tired but I can say that it was definitely worth it!
In the next chapter other great views from my favorite place of the trip!
#nyc #midtown #tribeca #soho #chelsea #hudsonyards #highline #hellskitchen # #igersnyc #igersnewyork #nyprimeshot #cityscape #nyc_highlights #manhattan #streetphotography #urbanphotography#canon #canonphotography #eosr #nightphotography #ramen #1740f4 #brooklynbridge #sunset #greenwhich #ruckerpark #harlem #lagiornatatipo #basket #playground #streetbasket #nike #nikebasktball
NYC finally! It was my first time there and I was super curious to visit the most famous city in the world. Since I was a kid New York was THE place of multiple movie spots. The city where Michael Jordan offered the best performances of his career at the Madison Square Garden. The temple of modern architecture and a street photography paradise.
A city that I always wanted in my pictures, a street photography paradise. The place where I dreamt to be sooner or later in my life. To reach my aim I brought with me my new Canon EOS R , a Canon 17-40mm f/4 and a Canon 50mm f/1.2, the perfect combo talking about weight and performances. An amazing chance for me to catch huge buildings, street photography and enjoy the city.
I stayed there 5 full days, clearly not enough to see everything. You could easily spend more than a month there and there would be still something left for sure. Anyway enough to feel the vibes of an incredible city that has a lot to offer. As soon as I started to walk I have to say that I was less overwhelmed than I thought,. Probably because I saw it so many times on tv and books that it was exactly like I imagined! In few minutes anyway NYC unveiled itself as as the street Photography Paradise I was expecting!
I started my long walk from Midtown to Downtown messing completely with my original plans. So missing a few things, but I can say it was worth it. Despite of the cold, it was a beautiful sunny and clear day, with a lot of contrasts and the colors. They were simply amazing and offering me the perfect chance to try my Canon EOS R. I was a bit hesitant to pull out my camera, I was already late, I was freezing too. I looked around, I noticed many things and I stopped being a tourist. I immersed myself in the atmosphere appreciating the most quiet areas through Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho.
Walking in this street photography paradise, arriving to Lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center you can immediately recognize the Oculus designed by Santiago Calatrava. It identifies the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, representing a dove freed from the hands of a kid. This suggestive architecture is right under the Freedom Tower. The name changed in One Word Trade Center, from the original project of Daniel Libeskind.
The atmosphere changed once at Ground Zero, maybe it didn't change too much but I felt it was appropriate to approach that place respectfully. Obviously thinking a lot about what happened there but I realized that all in all everybody were relaxed and the spirit around was good. Looking at the place where once lopped the Twin Towers I felt the power in the air, inevitably.
In that jungle of skyscrapers the wide Canon 17-40mm was simply perfect to catch everything those architectures had to offer. It gave me the chance to create strong impact images. I have also been able to manage the exposure easily thanking to the control ring mount adapter, the best tool to pair to the Canon EOS R. The process is way easier and there's a reduce mistake margin, so less mistakes, less pictures to select, more space on the memory card.
After this loooooong walk, I went back first to take a must look to the house of "The Cosby Show" in Greenwich. Then the aim was to go up to The Top of the Rock..but it's another story...(next chapter!)..so since I was close by I decided to try the most famous banana pudding in the world at Magnolia Bakery according with the suggestions of my two favorite travelers ever Fedo and Emma. Well...huge experience
I took a walk around Midtown where the jungle of buildings offers views that I loved. About the Empire State Building in particular, my favorite architecture so far. While waiting for a friend, since I was close, I decided to take a look to the Mecca for every photographer, B&H. Man...if you are looking for something..well.. you are going to find it there! I was so overwhelmed about the huge variety of stuff they had inside that I forgot to buy the only thing I had in my mind. If NY is a street photography paradise, B&H is simply a photography paradise! I just didn't like the fact they had many cameras, I don't know if second hand, repaired, to be repaired, but with the sensor at the open hair. I forgot to ask why. You know I was busy and shocked wandering around!
I've been suggested to visit the Hudson Yards and a friend brought me there. I was pretty happy about it, the area is new and pretty nice with its symbol, the Vessel or Social Climber. Then we took a walk on the High Line, a park and footpath built on a disused raised railway. I would have really wanted to explore this place during the day but hey, NYC it's huge, too many things to see..next time for sure!
Here the combo Canon EOS R + 50mm f/1.2 was great, this camera gave a second life to this great old prime lens!
As an end of a long and freezing day I couldn't have hoped for a better place than Totto Ramen, great place in Hell's Kitchen where I tried one of the most amazing ramen ever. It's crowded probably everyday, since I was there on a Wednesday and I waited for more than 30 minutes, anyway don't miss it! I'm not going to talk about food on every chapter, just sometimes, but I particularly love ramen, I couldn't help it in this case!
Great first day in NYC. Just the beginning of an amazing trip discovering one of the most fascinating places in the world, more pictures are coming with more stories about them.
#nyc #midtown #tribeca #soho #chelsea #hudsonyards #highline #hellskitchen # #igersnyc #igersnewyork #nyprimeshot #cityscape #nyc_highlights #manhattan #streetphotography #urbanphotography #oculus #oneworldtradecenter #freedomtower #canon #canonphotography #eosr #canon50mm12 #nightphotography #ramen #1740f4 #bokeh #bokehkillers #littleitaly #chinatown #magnoliabackery #bananapudding #ramen #thecosbyshow
It hasn't been an easy process, I have to admit it, but finally I made the move and I bought a new Canon EOS R, yes a mirrorless. I have always been skeptical about these cameras due to some aspects. The lack of mirror (so a lot of dust on he sensor), a small size, not much consistency, the EVF (Electronic View Finder) and other features of this new sistem.
My first full frame camera was a Canon EOS 6D, I've been using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for five years and I absolutely love it. I won't never sell it unless I will really really need to do it! The 5D Mark III is a great camera, reliable, solid, comfortable to have in your hands, yes heavy (like all the professional DLSR cameras). Offering great image quality and all the other great features that an amazing Canon EOS 5D can offer.
Using these cameras for a long time made me able to manage them properly. I had the chance to experience in some ways (don't misinterpret me) how real photography and being a real photographer is in the era of digital photography. It has been challenging and sometimes it still is (it will be clearer speaking about the new Canon EOS R). You need to know it, to know the reactions of the camera to the different light conditions, you need to face the demanding "focus and recompose" with the wide aperture of prime lenses like by beloved Canon 50mm at f/1.2, 1.4 ecc. So you have a nice beast in your hand that once tamed gives you great satisfactions!
So I did it, I switched to the new Canon EOS R, but I stil have my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I know that it will be extremely useful again and there could be no better choice as a second body. I decided for this change because traveling often I wanted something lighter but powerful. Something that would have allowed me to use my Canon L lenses without spending a lot of money to replace my Canon gear thanking to the control ring mount adapter.
The first impact was strange, this light camera in your hand gives you the appearance of a fragile tool. Instead keeping a bit you immediately understand that you were wrong and the list of plus starts. The body is lighter but solid and well built and the feeling is good with a great ergonomics even though is way smaller than the Mark III.
The menu is pretty much the same but bit more complicated because photo and video settings are visible just if you are using that specific mode (personally I don't care too much because I use it just for photography). And man... a curtain covering the sensor every time that you turn off the camera. Extremely useful when changing lens in difficult situations.
Camera is smaller so obviously the space for buttons on it is reduced and limited, but it's a necessary compromise. There's a touch screen and less buttons that means more combinations to memorize to move around the settings easily. AF is simply perfect and you can focus all over the touch screen that in some cases it's a huge help. The same for the control ring on the adapter that allows to check and modify the exposure quickly.
The ring is particularly nice thinking about the EVF. A real huge help to achieve the best exposure with extreme light conditions, especially speaking about night photography. The EVF is something else with a strong impact switching to the mirrorless system. It's strange in the beginning getting used to that view if you came from the super clear and realistic one of the DLSR. It's just about time, and the results won't be long in coming..
The new firmware update 1.4.0 then was great. Now the eye recognition and the chase is crazy fast and efficient, so life with wide aperture lenses is easier now. This new Canon EOS R gave a sort of new life to my Canon 50mm f/1.2 and now I miss way less shots than before.
Sensor is bigger and quality improved. I was just a bit doubtful checking the first shots that were bit creamy compared to the ones with the Mark III. The reasons were two, the technical one is that it could happen that with a bigger sensor and old lenses micro contrast is reduced and some aberration are more visible. Then I forgot to set an higher value for the clarity on "Fidelity" mode like I did on the EOS 5D Mark III, after this the problem was solved. The result anyway was great, quality and colors are beautiful and using some lenses is a new beautiful experience.
There are also some cons that for me and my job with Canon cameras are not that important as soon I achieved great results in terms of quality. The most debated one is the absence of the second slot for the memory card. I never used the second card and I learned that the main aspect to care about is to never cancel pictures directly from the camera. Body is not stabilized but if you don't do videos is not a big deal and coming from the DLSR world it was not the first thing I was looking for. I had the stabilizer on some lenses but I never noticed the difference too much.
The battery actually drains a lot, obviously way faster than a reflex because. With EVF is like to have the live view constantly active plus the touch screen. Speaking about battery drain, another thing that I don't like is the bluetooth remote instead the good old infrared one. Now the easier way to shoot remotely is downloading on your phone the app Camera Connect. Pretty nice and useful but through this the wireless and bluetooth drain also the battery of the phone. So probably I'll buy a remote with the wire! I don't want to say too much about the touch bar, I didn't do many setting trial, it seems bit difficult to use and a joystick would have been better for sure, but again, space is reduced.
This camera is incredibly customizable and light (the Mark III is so heavy taking it after couple of weeks!), more than every camera I ever tried. I set everything (ISO, aperture, over/underexposure) on buttons and rings in order to have the full control of the camera. There's still something that I have to fix to be completely comfortable with it but its's just matter of time! The few cons are not a problem yet, but eventually I'll let you know!
#venezia #venice #shooting #canon #canonphotography #bokeh #bokehkillers #photoshooting #portraits #portraits #eosr #mirrorless #50mm
We are almost in the mid-October, high tide is coming and the best light ever is fading away slowly. The first chapter about this topic was about the main components characterizing the period, specifically sunrise. Well, atmosphere and lights are the main components of Venice magic shooting sunset too. Probably even more amazing because they force you to walk around, getting inevitably lost in the less touristy areas of the city or where the real Venetian life is.
These areas acquire a magical allure. You perfectly know that all around is crowded, but Venice is magical and it's enough to turn into a calle or a rio terà to find peace and noise again. Till you realize that maybe it's better to walk away from St'Mark's Square and Rialto Bridge to experience the real Venice!!
Yes, it would be really easy and helpful to tell you where these areas are. Insted I prefer to walk around with nice people, passionate about photography, interested to discover the city together, to share ideas, to try new techniques and learn always something new. Then I would never let you get lost in the city alone, you need a local to take care of you!!
Yes, again, these two components are the reason why every year I fall in love with Venice and the ones that let me leave as soon as winter arrives. I have a thing for the end of summer and beginning of autumn. So many good memories from the past probably. As soon as September comes I fell better, I feel happy, I just wish I have more time to take pictures around. But work is work and when I have the chance to shoot I take them as a gift.... because man..the light...
Obviously portraits, the best light, the best memories of your amazing holiday. Walking around, discover the magical glimpses of this city where you can feel the real vibes characterizing it. Immerse yourself in this atmosphere, enjoying the peace and the quiet. The hidden Venice will offer you the best chance for an unforgettable and unique portrait in the best scenery possible during a Venice magic shooting sunset!
So don't miss the chance, now, tomorrow, whenever you want. Contact me and let's create the magic together with an amazing portrait session! Bring home your best memories, with a friend, your partner or your personal portfolio to remember an amazing experience!
Remember, there's nothing better to bring a friend. Someone to share your ideas about photography, every time you are around taking pictures, someone to discuss with, to compare. This moment of the year is particularly nice to me also because a good friend comes to visit Venice. It's always great to enjoy street photography and sharing ideas with him, asking for opinions (he' also responsible for my new camera).
...no, he's not the major, fortunately! So thank you Joe for the time we spent shooting around and all the talks!
Wait no more, check the website and book your favorite photo tour or portrait session. I'll be here to share my knowledge, my passion, my tips with whoever share love for photography and will fall in love with Venice!
The big unbearable, annoying August crowd is basically gone. Temperature starts to be more pleasant, but the most important thing is that September and October are coming! The most amazing months of the year are going to give us the best lights ever to make Venice even more magical and enjoyable. The perfect chance for early birds Venice magic pictures. Why so exited because of two months that are also giving advance notice of the end of summer?
As you can imagine because of great chances for photo shootings and amazing portraits. Obviously there are moments like early mornings and late afternoons that are always good for shooting sessions in Venice... but man..those months are magical. At least for me because of my amazing memories and vibes about them. Before the awful foggy winter, during this golden period they offer unique things and chances fo the Venice magic pictures.
Sunrise is a great moment for a photo shooting. It's the real unique one to enjoy the beautiful moments that this city has to offer. I love it because it's possible to take pictures pretty much everywhere, there are no people, absolutely no crowd (that could be shocking in a positive way if you are used to walk around in the day). Especially in one of the most crowed places on the earth! Visiting the Square is never a good idea if you wanna really enjoy it, but sunrise changes everything, workers (not all) are still sleeping. Tourists are still recovering from the day before, so couple of hours are just for the romantics and the braves that want to fully enjoy the heart of Venice.
As I mentioned before the all city is beautiful and amazingly empty so it's just about to decide where to go. The results and purposes will be reached and respected. Speaking about this, another amazing spot where to enjoy a great photo shooting is Punta della Dogana. One of the most stunning places of the city despite of the light, but unbelievable with the right one!
So, yes a sunrise shooting session is possible even in St. Mark's Square and it's beautiful having (and shooting) portraits next to the greatest example of bizantine, gothic and islamic architecture example ever. The Doge's Palace is stunning thanks to the sunlight that passes through it and thanks to the calm before the city wakes up. The architecture, the perspective, the angles, the art all around with the sun rising behind offer the best blend ever to achieve beautiful results.
Especially if it's the first time ever in Venice, waking up for the sunrise is difficult, terrible, almost unbearable because, hey you're on holiday right? So why suffer to see just another place in the world? You can have your pictures in another moment, maybe another day. I can promise you that once there you will be happy of your choice. You won't fell sleepy anymore and your only thought will be focus on the wonder in front of your eyes and you'll be so happy to have the chance to create a book of your best memories in Venice after the portrait session with me.
Ok yes, you need to wait just for the second part of this article, but hey, don't waste your time in the meanwhile. The best moths are coming, check the link, contact me and let's create the magic together in one of the most amazing place in the world!
I know it's been a while but life sometimes if full of glitches that give you a lot of thoughts. People let you down, work overwhelm you an so on. But now here we go again, new website, new contents, new stories, new pictures and 10 amazing Canggu spots to enjoy food !
New memories too. Bali is far but not its memories, and now that many of you are probably going to be there for the summer holidays I'll be happy to share some suggestions to enjoy the local cuisine in Canggu, probably the best place where can stay!
I tried many places, and the list is a compromise between the fancy and the super traditional ones. The important thing to remember is that all the places that I'm going to mention are all characterized by healthy, fresh and tasty food. Incredibly cheap prices, from 25k and 110k Rp. (1,60€-7€) and of course by an amazingly kind and polite staff, always ready to give you a great smile changing your day or making it way better than it was!
I love surf so my favorite daily destination was Batu Bolong Beach and on Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong you can find some of the 10 amazing Canggu spots to enjoy food. So let's start!
On the left of Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, in Jl. Canggu Padang Linjong there's probably the most the most popular place in Canggu. Crowded from 6am to 4pm. Same price (45 or 55k Rp.) for every beautiful and incredibly tasty course from breakfast bowls, salads, breakkies, tosties, smoothies, chia bowls. Yes I said beautiful because their dishes are exactly like this, and the Crate Cafe is also the most instagrammable place in the world!
Super cute cafe in the beginning of Pantai Batu Bolong Street. Many different options among sweet brekkie, salads, burgers, pasta, veggie and vegetarian options as you can check on the manu directly from the website . This place is incredible also because if you are a fitness lover, here you can create your meal plan and also have nutrition consultation. Of course many healthy options speaking about smoothies and juices. Here you can't miss the Mega Chicken Salad, one the most both delicious and healthiest thing than I have ever tried. Just remember to be patient, nobody here is in a rush!
A lot of green is welcoming you here and protecting you from the traffic of this crowded road. Great place for smoothies and a really good coffee. Speaking about instagrammable places, also Cafe Organic has an amazing Instagram page! So if you are looking for a relaxing breakfast before to start your day this place is strongly recommended.
One of my favorite cafe, probably my favorite in Canggu! The Betelnut Cafe offers the best choices before you morning surfing session and also the afternoon one. With a fulfilling breakfast with eggs, rice, tofu, beans and steamed vegetables and incredible smoothies after lunch. The best one is for sure the Super Smoothie with milk, banana, honey, peanut butter and almond milk,. The thickest and most delicious thing ever!
The first Bali avocado bar, if you like avocado you can't miss this small cute place on Jl.Tanah Barak. Here you can enjoy avocado in several, amazing, tasty ways. Bit more expensive compared to the other places that I mentioned but totally worth it because in every course there's a lot of work, fantasy and love! The Avocado Factory will let you think about this fruit from a totally different perspective!
Moving bit far from the main road to Batu Bolong Beach there are other nice authentic places among the 10 amazing Canggu spots where you can feel real balinese vibes:
Far from any crowd, in a small village called Tumbakbayuh, you can find the best nasi goreng of the area. Cozy and quiet place frequented mainly by locals, with crazy cheap prices and incredible kindness. Take your scooter for the ride that let you feel how real Indonesia tastes!
Along Jl. Raya Canggu there's the best and most classical warung on the road. Here you can custom you dish or your take away meal with rice or noodles or both as a base and then you can add everything, preferably fried! Shrimps, prawns, squid, soya, tofu, peanuts, potatoes, vegetables, with 1,5, maximum 2€ you can eat till you are stuffed!
Yes we are in Bali and yes we are in Indonesia, but if you want a taste of Thailand you can't miss the Deli kitchen! The owner's wife is Thai and here you can try the best pad thai in Canggu. Obviously many other Thai and Indonesian courses, everything going with an incredible kindness that makes you feel home immediately!
If you are coming back from Panatai Pererenan after an amazing sunset you have to stop along Jl. Pantai Pererenan to enjoy a great dinner at Born Bright. Based on gorgeous hamburgers, with fish, vegetarian and vegan options, tasty salads and other courses with fresh and organic ingredients. Perfect place also for breakfast and breaks along the day before your surf session!
Coming back from a day in Seseh Beach this place is perfect to try street food with exotic vibes, I mean not properly Indonesian! On Jl. By Pass Tanah Lot Sizzle Wraps offers an amazing Mexican option going with the freshness of the local food and obviously the smiles of the staff. As soon as you seat down the guys there offer you crazy good and tasty chips with their home made sauces that you can enjoy while they are cooking in front of of you. Super recommended!
Well obviously this one is just a small selection of 10 amazing Canggu spots to enjoy food that I liked more among the ones I had the time to try. My memories are right there with all the sunsets and the good vibes that the magic island has to offer. Writing this article I can't deny that a huge nostalgia embraced me all the time! In Bali there are obviously many more places to try, to explore and enjoy. Healthy, fresh and tasty food are among the main and best guarantees that this place has to offer all year long!
So what are you waiting for? Book your flight and enjoy!