LC-A+ Russia Day: Pete and The Pirates

Last month Bene and I went to see Pete and the Pirates playing live @Spazio211, my favorite place in the whole city. The Russia Day obviously came along, but in my film collection of nearly a hundred rolls the highest ISO I managed to find was a Fuji Superia X-tra 800. The photos of the gig itself didn't turn out well. Actually, they didn't turn out at all.

The venue we love so much is small and dark, except for this part [the entryway]. The stage is the smallest I've ever seen, it is just 15cms higher than the floor, making it very democratic but also painfully annoying if you wish to take a picture of the band from a distance.

We got two cokes [Bene was in charge as our driver, and I'm a good friend so I didn't drink liquors either] and sat at one of those high skinny tables. We had a nice view of the stage from up there. There were so little people that we went smoking outside and no one stole our table. How sad.

While waiting for the band to start playing, we talked and took pictures of ourselves, then the music started. I had only heard a couple of songs by the Pirates before that night, and liked them. Also, they're pretty cute in their Brit-style-ness. I mean, guys don't wear that kind of shoes and shirts in Italy, and that's a real shame. But I think that look suits Brit guys better, I guess that's for their pale skin, I don't know, that's just an opinion.

If I could talk to the Pirates, I would tell them not to blame it on their own selves if the audience looked bored and didn't feel much like dancing or interacting. The thing is, this place is the perfec hang-out place for the young indie-wannabe-elitists of town.

The thing I hate the most about this [shitty black pictures aside], is that their attitude prevents me from really enjoying myself at gigs. The singer felt a little depressed, I guess that's because we really are the shitty audience I told you. Bene and I make no exception: we spent the whole time sitting at our table, sipping our cokes, and even had a cigarette break. Just like you do at a boring conference. I feel sorry about it, Pirates.

On our cigarette break I noticed something was wrong with the camera: the film got somehow stuck somewhere, so I made some accidental double exposures. This one above is quite creepy, as it seems like  someone stabbed Bene, but it's also quite funny. The one I like the most is the first picture up up up  above. I only got mad when I realized the only half decent picture of the band got double exposed and it now looks shitty. I guess you could call this one an illfated roll.

I think Bene got some fucking attitude in this picture. Back from ciggy-time, we headed for the ladies' restroom.

Ok, now, this one requires a little explanation. Back in October 2006 Bene and I went to see ¡Forward, Russia! live in that very same place. We got bored 'cause we didn't like them much, and drank a few drinks [my dad took us there, and we didn't have a driving licence to protect anyway], and got little drunk. Well, it was just me, actually. We decided to go the toilet, and when Bene came out of the WC, she found me stretching on that same sink. She burst into laughter, when a nice English girl came in and started talking to me. Ever since, I kept telling anybody I met the brown-head lady from The Pipettes, 'cause I truly believe it was her. Five years later, which is today, I started questioning my sanity.

We like that toilet so much that we indulged in mirror-shots! I love the red light that shows whenever you press the shutter button of the LC-A+!

I took this one from the WC [standing still, you silly!], you can see me in the mirror above the sink.

In the very WC there is a mirror too. Could I ever miss the chance? No way. Also, the funny thing is that I didn't notice the "27-10" writing on the wall, and that's a nice and useful reminder, being that night October 27th!

Once at home I emptied my jacket pockets and put those bits and bobs on my desk along with my brand new Pirates' cd and the show ticket. And took a picture just for the sake of it. Then I put on the t-shirt [Bene and I always buy bands tees whenever we go to a concert], and decided to try an arm-length sel-portrait.

I immeditaley knew I'd hate it, so I went straight to my bathroom for a mirror-shot. Also because my bathroom looks weird, doesn't it?

Just for you to know: I can't really understand why would a fresh roll of ISO 800 film yeld more grain that an expired Fuji 1600. Fuji Superia 800? Never again. I guess I'll just get myself some Lomography CN800 next time. And stock up on Fuji 1600. 

*Click on the pictures to see them on Flickr or check out the album in my LomoHome*

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Lomo LC-A+ "Russia Day": Seaside Rush

Last September 21st Bene and I stopped at the supermarket, bought some beer and junk food, and left for a less-than-24-hour seaside rush. I've had my LC-A+ RL "Russia Day" for a month or so and still had to test it. I thought it would be the perfect companion. Well, Bene aside! We got on my car at around 8pm and arrived at about 10pm. We didn't go straight home: we decided to have dinner at one of my favorite place to eat meat. 'Cause eating seafood at the seaside is so cliché. Let's have kangaroo meat instead!

When I say kangaroo meat I actually mean it. And I know that sounds mean, but I wanted to have Bene taste it. It actually tastes much like game, it doesn't taste that weird. It tastes much like a donkey. Which we ate too, that same night. We shared gnocchetti all'asina [mare gnocchi] and ravioli di canguro [kangaroo ravioli]. Then I had some rostelle d'agnello [like bbw lamb, click through to see this mouth-watering delicacy], I can't remember what did Bene get as her second course, but I can tell you for sure that we could barely speak after so much food! We had some coffee and got back to my car. Man, were those 10kms to my seaside house hard to come by! I was so fed up it felt like years.
We got home around midnight, the weather was perfect, so we put two armchairs on the balcony and talked while enjoying some fine estonian lager with just the seaside and a huge red moon right in front of us. I honestly have no idea why I didn't take any pictures that night. Shame on me.

I tried to make Bene watch Clerks II, one of my all-time favorite movies, but she fell asleep well before the first quarter of it. I turned it off around 3am feeling more dizzy than tired, but surely happy.
I got up around 9, and while waiting for Bene to wake up I chilled out a bit on the balcony. It was so sunny that the light reflecting on the sea burnt all of the pictures I took out there that morning.

When Bene finally got up, I waited for her to get ready in our bedroom. Which isn't my bedroom but my mom's, but mine's much smaller and we were the only ones in the house anyway. I loved the light in the attic, so I just couldn't help it. Snap snap.

While I was going back downstairs, I stopped and asked Bene to pose like a pin-up. People tend to get either so uneasy or truly silly when a camera comes around. I'm glad to say we both belong to the second kind.

The kitchen bar with all the empty beer bottles felt like the best setting to a "we had fun while y'all guys were at work"-shot. We just couldn't blew this chance.

We got [un-]dressed and went out for breakfast. Ice-cream shakes, yum!

We hanged out a bit, it was hot as hell, elderly German tourists everywhere, a few families on belated summer vacation, and absolutely no one our age. Which much like Ligury any other day. 

I guess we toured the whole town twice or more, then we bought some focaccia and went back home to eat it. On the balcony, with some chilled beer and ice tea and other junk food from the previous day.
Focaccia + Beer + Sun + Sea = Man, did that feel good! 

It was idleness at its purest. We just had nothing better to do than take pictures of our feet. 
Specifically, her feet...

...And my feet.

I'm not a big fan of feet anyway, we just thought that would be the best way to remind us of how far better could any workday be if it just wasn't a real workday.
Right after a strong coffee, we went to the beach. We went to the town centre one last time. It felt rather like "California Girls" driving in a convertible with our flip-flops on, mini skirts and bikinis. Too bad we ain't blonde and tanned. And skinny. And rich as fuck. But I guess times like these are enough to feel grateful for.

So this was my first time with my Lomo LC-A+ "Russia Day" [from now on just LC-A+*; I'll use the asterisk 'cause I just can't bother to type LC-A+ RL "Russia Day" everytime], and I loved it. This obviously ain't a review, but in case you were wondering if it's time to save up for one, my answer is definitely yes. Vignetting, saturation, pocket size, wide lens, sexy red leather. Need I say more? I'm even quite pleased with the results. These pictures are quite good for a test roll, I think. Blame the heavy grain on a roll of 2009 expired Fuji Superia 1600. But grain is good, right?

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Pokoj LomoWall in Lodz: I've Been Featured!

A few days ago I received an email that totally made my day: one of my pictures was featured in a huge LomoWall in Lodz [Poland]! Here's a link to the list with all the participants, click here if you have no clue what I'm talking about, or head over to this article to take a look at the LomoWall itself [there's also a video off Vimeo featuring the different corners of the LomoRoom].
I couldn't find my photo amoung thousands of others, but I'm so excited if I think that one of my pictures is being exhibited in a land so far away. Too bad I'm not there to spot it in the real life.

Thanks Lomography for choosing one of my pictures, and congrats to all participants!

Holga 135BC/Fuji Velvia 100 xpro
Summer 2010, Italy

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Canon Ae-1: Birthday in London

Bunny whore on crack 
[just pretending]
'Cause it's good to be stupid sometimes.

I spent my 21st birthday in London with Marty. I was so disappointed when I came back and got my rolls developed 'cause there was only one picture off my birthday. I thought they were too underexposed or something like that, then two days ago I went to the photolab to drop some recent rolls, and there it was: "CAE-1/LDNBday" [I'm a pro when it comes to labelling]. I just can't tell you the anticipation I went through for the 90 minutes it took them to develop and print my pictures. I luckily was hanging around with Bene for some shopping, I would have been standing at the lab's counter asking "How much longer?" the whole time, otherwise.

This first one is the first shot of the morning. I was over excited: it's nice to turn 21 in a hotel room while travelling abroad with a friend for the first time completely alone, and the mess on my bedside table just put me in the best mood.

While I got back from the shower, I found this wonderful necklace on my pillow with a tiny happy b-day note by Marty: it was all too good to be true! She bought me this amazingly cute pendant the previous day in Camden, it's an owl [I've had a thing for owls long before it became fashionable] and as I've just mentioned, it is the cutest pendant in the whole world. It deserves a better shot, so here's one off the same roll I took once back in Italy.

No kidding, I told ya. Now, my first awful mirror-shot as a 21y.o. Marty always tells me I should turn the lens barrel with my hand placed under it, and I know I'd look more like a pro if I did, but I like doing things my old wrong way. Besides, I'm quite far from being a pro.

We spent the whole day in Oxford Street. The. Whole. Day. The worst thing about my bday was having lunch at KFC. I hate chiken, I hate to cook it, to eat it, I hate everything about it: its pinkish color, it's non-taste, it's awful consistency. I just hate it. Also, next time I'd gladly skip the 23748483kms queue at Top Shop, which was much of a disappointment. We managed to buy tons of shirts, vests, sweaters, bags, belts, anything.

We thought it would be cool to put all of our buys on the bed. We just took a couple of pictures, then we put it all in our luggage and had dinner. On the same bed [our room had a micro-desk but no chair, but we were always so tired the bed felt just perfect].

I wore one of the dressing gown bought at Top Shop and my bunny ears [bought the same day at Claire's], my "Leave Me Alone" sleep mask [also Claire's] and Marty took a picture of me [that's a huge parrott toy I named Mr Kingstone, bought in Camden for my 4y.o. cousin].

I'm so happy I've finally found these pictures, that's the magic of film, some things get lost, some thing get found. Also, I'm in love with all these light leaks, I'm in love with my Canon AE-1, and I'm so in love with film.

*The other post on my birthday in London*

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Analogue Buys: ...Well, Sort Of

Today I went to visit my father at parents' house. I haven't been there since 2004, so it felt pretty weird at the beginning and I was quite nervous, but then it turned out definitely not a bad day at all. My grandmother had a few film cameras she no longer uses,and as my dad told her about my photo-mania, she decided to give them to me in case I could use them. She did not give me her Nikon FM2, which my father kept telling me about for a whole phonecall last week, but that's really not a problem as I already have a Nikon FM [from my mom's father... looks like I'm not the first photo-geek in my family!], and I like my Canon Ae-1 better anyway [it just feels easier to use]. She didn't give some pretty old Agfa camera [I can't name the model] as well, she just said she will keep it for some more time before handing it to anyone, which I can totally understand as it used to be her father's [my great grandfather's] camera.

Anyway, here's what I came home with:

Olympus µ zoom
I already own a µ, the one that came out some time after this one. They're great cameras you can practically use everywhere, I even took some decent concert photography with mine [which still was my mom's, back then] with a low ISO roll, so I could use having two of these.

Nikon L35 TW AF
A nice point and shoot camera with w/t options. Quite huge, compared to most of my 35mm compact cameras, but nice.

Canon Sure Shot zoom-S
This is another big, heavy camera much like the L35. But this one seemks to kick major ass. I just can't wait to try it!

Ricoh YF-20
Again, a point and shoot camera. It doesn't look that good [though it's red] and I'm not too enthusiastic about it. 

Haking Pix 35M
I'm always über-excited when I get my hands on a camera that's not even slightly mentioned in Camerapedia. And when the camera might be some kind of quirky toy camera, I could really explode with joy! This one is a cheap point and shoot camera from the '80s, I guess, and it really looks like one of those kids-targeted [toy] cameras you could get for a fewbucks. It even has an empty roll of Konica XG100 loaded, so I'll have to try it asap!

Moulinex 110 Pocket Travel Camera
Still boxed and sealed, this is your usual cheap-plastic-branded 110 camera. I already own a 110 Petri spycam, and it feels much better built than this thin piece of black plastic. I don't know if I'll ever try this one, I only have one 110 cassette and it's already exposed, and I don't plan on buying some new. Sorry, tiny one.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, after all this '80s-finds, let me introduce you to the camera that most likely made my day...
Bencini Comet S
Well, well, well, I just can't tell you how long I've been tracking these on ebay, and finally I have one... and I got it for free! This cute baby from the '50s looks in perfect condition, the shutter works both on B and 1/50, the lens is clean and everything is okay. The only problem is I can't seem to turn the focussing ring . There were some moist signs in the viewfinder, but this camera is so simple I managed to unscrew some stuff, take the whole viefinder structure out, clean it, put everything back in its place, and giggle like a little girl 'cause this shiny baby really kills me. I can only see one cons to this camera, which is: it is a 127 camera... but my grandmother still had a sealed roll of 127 Kodakolor... expired in 1979! I really can't tell if I'll ever use this camera, it almost scares me the idea of wasting such a precious roll, also because I guess it's not that easy to find someone to process it nowadays... I guess I'll just have to wait 'till I can sort things out.

Unfortunately, my grandmother did not find any other roll of film, except for a Kodak Gold 200 expired in 2005 [I obviously wished for some slide film, but anyway]. She did gave me, though, a lovely Cine Canonet 8, a Super 8 video camera which belonged to my long-gone uncle F. I don't think I'll ever use it, but it looks super good, and I like it 'cause it was my uncle, and I like to have stuff that used to belong to people in my family.

While my grandmother was looking for more cameras, she also found two dead Canon Ixus digital cameras, which made me laugh 'cause the oldest one was the one she bought in 2006: after 5 years she already changed three cameras, while the old Comet's still here and in perfect shape.... even the Haking-whatwasitsname is still in working condition! Okay, it's 1 am, I will not start with the same old "Film is [way] better"-thing, I promise. Actually, I think I'll just wish y'all good night and go back to cuddling my new toys!

Just one thing: I decided not to take any digital photos of the cameras 'cause I'd rather keep this blog as digi-free as possible. I might do it someday, but definitely not now. Tonight it's analogue time!

Good night, y'all!

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Konica Pop: August, Sunday Morning in the City - Reprise

On a sunny sunday morning last August we decided to go for a walk in the city centre with some good family friends. Obviously, my beloved red Konica Pop came along. I think my sister and my mom look pretty good in these. I've already posted the other pictures from that day, which you can find here.

We'recurrently dealing with cold rain, floodings, and stuff like that. Not much of the perfect photo-weather. Also, I've been sick with the flu for almost two weeks, now. I've been teaching, studying and doing tons of commissioned translations for [yeah, I'm earning tons of piggies, and no, I won't buy the LomoKino].

I'm also tring to help out Italian Lomo Guru Pretty in Mad with her new, amazing project: PIMholers!

Ever fancied making your own pinhole camera? Now you can do it easy as pie following her great tutorial... you just need an empty juice box! And once you're done making your own PIMhole camera, snap some pics and send them to Pretty in Mad's own Facebook page, and she'll feature your results on the project's blog!

Spending so much time on the web, I've also been hunting for some good old film. And I mean really old: I've found two rolls of Agfachrome 50 S [expired '77 and '82] and a roll of Fujichrome R100 [expired '77]... I just had to buy them!

I don't really know if I'll ever get anything out of these rolls, I just can't wait to get them in my mailbox and try them! Well, no, actually I think I'll save them for sunnier days... or I won't, who knows, who cares, I'm so über-excited!

I have oh-so-many rolls to get processed, this blog is gonna be flooded with seaside bits, concert pics, nights out snaps and [you know me] doggies' noses... as soon as I make it to the photolab. I'm so lazy, I know ;-)

*Konica Pop - Lomography CN 400

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