THE WHITE FAERIE WATERLAND
On January of ’75, a snowfall turned Venice into a white magic.
I remember it was dead ice and blew a frosty icy and violent Bora. With compass, ephemeris table and chart (this also needs to be done), I had long since prepared a table with the variations of the sun in Venice in the different months. I studied for a long time and wanting to photograph the sunset on the snow in the background of the bell tower of San Marco, I found that the bell tower of San Francesco della Vigna was perfect. I arranged with Brother Prior. At three in the afternoon, I arrived at the church with two bags and two tripods. Brother Antonio welcomed me; he took a bag and accompanied me on top. Ice and snow covered the floor of the belfry.
I placed the tripods; I took out the equipment and started taking pictures. We stood there for at least two hours. I was numb but excited. Brother Anthony, who had sandals and bare feet swayed to warm. I was photographing, the Franciscan spoke of God and the infinite. I did fifteen rolls, including this photo, which was to become a famous official poster of Venice at the end of the seventies. Hasselblad and Sonnar 250 on Ektachrome 64, tripod.
CAMERAS AND SUBJECTS
Urban legends and tell tales spread news of improbable photographing truths.
I must confess I was fond of cameras and lenses. I had a crazy passion for some. I mean the objects, the machines, the lenses, for themselves. I spent all of my money to have the best, the absolute best. Well, many of them I never used, I was only proud to have them. And still am. Monomaniac, you say. That’s it, and it’s a private issue. As for my job, cameras were only tools, neither less nor more. Worth only for what they could do. I could shoot horrible snaps with Hasselblad or Sinar, and smart ones with a throwaway Kodak cardboard camera or a Polaroid. Or a cellphone today. The real truth is photography is not a camera matter. It is a complex interaction of various elements and circumstances (some casual): you only have to be there and make click. About the subjects, unless you are forced to one particular, you can try to catch the poetry of anything whatsoever. Good lights, appropriate background, and the camera you happened to have with you. Not a real mystery, tough. Just a chance to express a spark of your brain within a mirror shard. To print 18×24 cms.