Archive for the Photographic Culture Category

Shoot for yourself: ideas from Eric Kim

Posted in Authors, Photographic Culture, Photography with tags , , , on December 21, 2015 by Stefano Mazza

Wealthy Webfarers,

it’s a long time since I’ve wrote something over here. I don’t have any picture of mine to show yet, but I’ve felt the immediate need to write after I’ve read these Eric Kim’s guidelines about what he calls “Personal Photography”.

I don’t have many things in common with whosoever calls himself “street photographer”, except the fact that the majority of my images are taken in urban environments, but I’m interested in this genre and I do appreciate who applies this style of photography.

Eric Kim is one of the most prominent street photographers of our time and he’s also one of the most active on the web and socials. It was funny for me to see a newsletter from his side entitled “Only shoot for yourself“.

I must say that I agree with the suggestions he gives. In the end, what we really need is more good photography.

I you have a couple of free minutes, please read it.

SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS – my thoughts featured on Gianni Galassi’s PhotoGraphia Blog

Posted in Authors, Photographic Culture, Photography with tags , , , on November 7, 2014 by Stefano Mazza

Gianni Galassi is one of the few artists from which I have been able to learn a part of the mysteries of photography.
Not only he has a long and serious photographic background, but he also shows to have a deep knowledge of visual arts in general. His photography at first glance may look minimalistic, but after the second or third sight, it is clear that in every shot he rather deals with the uncanny complexity of the world we all see everyday, from which he is able to catch astounding perspectives. Lines, shapes, volumes, visual pathways, colours and rhythms are merged inside highly defined frames.

He undoubtedly comes from the Italian photographic movement of the late Sixties and Seventies, and this may clearly visible in the cultural strength he shows in his art.
Maybe we’ll spend some more words on Gianni Galassi’s art on these pages, as soon as I will be able to.

He runs a blog, PhotoGraphia, where he shares his photographs and thoughts with the public. As I told him some years ago, I feel that I’ve learnt more just by staring at his pictures than reading thousands of words in manuals.

A few days ago, it happened that I wrote a comment after one of his posts, and he decided that my words were articulated enough to be officially featured on a dedicated post, that by the way has been titled directly from my comment.
The theme was the post-processing of old shots taken some months, or even years, in the past. You can read it at the following end:

Needless to say, I’m really happy, this really made my day.
Thank you, Gianni.



Posted in Authors, Photographic Culture, Photography with tags , , , , on May 22, 2013 by Stefano Mazza

I warmly suggest you to enjoy a set of photographs by Gueorgui Pinkhassov, that I have found on Pavel Kosenko’ blog.
After looking at them, I felt dazed and excited: there is a vision of a life scattered through composite realities, in a kaleidoscope of colours and lines. So intense and real.

More images can be found here and here.


Posted in Abstract, Photographic Culture, Urban with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by Stefano Mazza

I have recently proposed this question in a forum of friends: is minimalism a shortcut?

I am curious to hear some answers to this, mainly because it’s a genre I indulge into quite often. As a consequence, I am being self-critical recently about my minimalist approach.

What I observe is that many urban photographers often fall into minimalism, most of them with good results indeed. The obtained works in most cases result to be very readable and highly enjoyable by the public.
However, the more I get into this genre, the more I find that insisting on details, on perfeclty aligned geometries and artificial compositions can be a treat to my overall vision. My doubt is that a minimalist approach can become an automated and perhaps simplistic formula that one can apply everywhere, ending up in the representation of small details. Those small details could also be a symptom of small and basic ideas from the photographer’s mind.
I wander also if minimalism in my photography could ever become a mere exercise that make me lose the propension for complexity and the atmosphere found in a place or a situation.

Beware: I’m not criticizing those artists who practice and research into minimalism, but I’m asking myself whether minimalism can become a shortcut to achieve a secure and easy effect, making me feel a better photographer at a little expense.

So what do you think?


Modena, 27012013


Posted in Architecture, Authors, Photographic Culture, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by Stefano Mazza

I had the opportunity to know Mikael Olsson‘s work in September 2009, when I was in Göteborg, Sweden, for a job trip. I had a couple of hours before taking the airplane back to Italy, so in the meantime I visited the Hasselblad Foundation, that is in the very center of Göteborg. My hope was to see the New Nordic Photography exibition, that helds every year, but I was even luckier, because I could see a preview of “Södrakull Frösakull“, a wonderful photographic work that was under installation in that moment.
Södrakull Frösakull: Artipelag, Stockholm 2012. FK09.2004 ©Mikael Olsson

I was deeply impressed by the exibition: the pictures are an experience of both exploration and curiosity, of formal integrity and freedom. I would add that I felt a very “swedish” look, with a great attention to surfaces, colour choices and with a calm and suspended atmosphere.

“Södrakull Frösakull” is a double concept on two architectural works by Bruno Mathsson, who was one of the leading designers in Sweden.
Frösakull is the first one: a house that Mathsson both designed and lived in. Mikael Olsson has directly interacted with the remains of the house, living in its spaces and taking pictures from inside.

Södrakull Frösakull. FK01.2000 ©Mikael Olsson

Södrakull Frösakull. FK03.2003 ©Mikael Olsson

The second one is Södrakull, a residence which Olsson has depicted from the outside, without having access to the house, using a voyeuristic approach, often through half-drawn curtains and playing with reflections.

Södrakull Frösakull. SK12.2002 ©Mikael Olsson

Södrakull Frösakull. FK04.2004 ©Mikael Olsson

In certain aspects, like the use of ambient light, the interplay between full and empty and the use of “thresholds” as compositional strategy, Mikael Olsson reminds me to some works of the Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943 – 1992).

The publication “Södrakull Frösakull – Mikael Olsson” with texts by Beatriz Colomina, Hans Irrek and Helena Mattsson was released by Steidl Verlag (2011).

Mikael Olsson’s works can be viewed at the author’s website:


Posted in Architecture, Landscape, Photographic Culture, Photography, Urban with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by Stefano Mazza

The rural as a strict counterpart to the urban appears to be a condition of the past. At least, this is what Kees Christiaanse posits in an interview with us entitled “The New Rural: Global Agriculture, Desakotas, and Freak Farms”. He points out that, today, non-urban spaces interact so frequently and intensely with urbanity that you can no longer describe something as strictly rural. Therefore, we can no longer separate the city from the countryside as these are not polarized entities and each other’s enemies, but rather the result of each other.

Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, MONU no. 16, April 2012


Sorbara (MO), 26052012

Posted in Photographic Culture, Photography with tags , on August 18, 2012 by Stefano Mazza

Thanks to Urban Photo Mag.


Context has always been paramount in the last 100 years or so of art; perhaps longer but I’ve forgotten more than I care to remember about art history. Smart players have always used their knowledge of their medium’s history to take it forward. However other players are just reinventing the wheel and appealing to younger, tech savvy consumers who think this is all new and don’t realise there is some context required with every image made.

So it goes; that some some people in the blogosphere have been getting all fired up over issues of context, photography and the internet.

Excuse me for stating what surely is the blindingly obvious. But, context has played a part in all art at least since Duchamp shoved a urinal in an exhibition in Paris in 1914. Folks seem to be getting it mixed up. The Internet can and often is of itself the…

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