I took word for word the inspiration of Massimo Lentsch, Colmark’s deus ex machina.
They are free-range, resolute, pragmatic, efficient: the temporary “magut”**
So let’s put a strain on them and force them to climb the scaffoldings, helmet on their head, ladders, two or three of flights.
They didn’t turn a hair.
The boss standing next to the concrete mixer, shovel, tough pose and look, leading the group.
Nice guys “assembled” for a portrait: the cover of the book from Franco Angeli series “The International Marketing Labourers I Manovali del Marketing Internazionale”. I manovali del marketing internazionale.
We have decided to tell this experience through a time lapse you can watch here.
**Magut is a typical word in dialect of Bergamo indicating a manual laborer
READY TO BUILD A MAGICAL NEW YEAR WITH YOU
GOOD WISHES FOR A SOLID 2016
the sailor man
I know, skipper,
visiting my studio.
“I sailed, i crossed the desert at 50°,
I’d like to tell the adventures of my life”
With affection, and irony, I took this group photo of master restorers from Bergamo using their detailed cleaning method as my optics, indeed, for me, who started work as a professional photographer actually documenting restoration work in its various phases, this, more than a picture, is a tribute to knowledge, to the technique of cleaning:
The detailed cleaning is a visual concept with a usefulness which goes beyond the specific sector of restoration, and concerns the sense of every picture: how it was, how it is, how it could be, how it will be.
To photograph a work of restoration is a very technical job, thanks to which you learn to illuminate the object perfectly, above all you learn to illuminate the objects two-dimensionally, it is almost an anti-creative training, rigidly and absolutely technical, purely technical: but in fact, and maybe you realize years later, it teaches you many things.
Firstly, photographing paintings, you learn to make images of images, which then is fundamental every day, from the moment that we live in a society of images, in cities, surroundings, interiors, streets covered in images.
But above all, this detailed cleaning for the photographer becomes a sort of mental app that prefigures the display options in a frame. And in the end, willingly or not, looking at these paintings, this sacred art 1400-1700, these human figures, and what they do, and the objects, and how they are arranged, you learn the rules of the composition of the frame, and from a sacred family derive a portrait of enterprise, from a still life a fashion showcase, from a nativity scene a still life…
And from a last supper a group photo of craftspeople like apostles, disciples of their own professional creed.
“My father” you can say in many ways, and mean many things.
Those who like me, lead a different life to their father, rarely, privately,
in a low voice and modestly, say “my father”
But in an artisan company, from how the son says “my father”,
with his head high, with a strong voice, you can sense a close relationship,
territorial, generational, based on their work.
“Work” is also the first reply that the expert artisan/worker(but young looking)
gives me to the question: “ What do you do?”
“ And how long have you been working?” “Here for 33 years, but I was already working before”
Another, with a look of Clint Eastward:” I started at 13 as an apprentice,
then I arrived at the retirement age of an employee, and now
I have been working for 13 years as an artisan in partnership”
Then a young Viking, who after explaining what he does
(designs to measure, technical designs, autocad, software)
looks at me in the face and reveals his secret, his true strong point:
“my father, all the ideas come from him”
In that “my father” there is a consciousness of a value to hand down,
of a story to continue: “ the carpenter was the one who with a piece
of wood made anything”
Each artisan, deep down, thinks the same thing, also a photographer:
with a camera you can do anything,
and my first photo came to mind, more than 30 years ago,
on a school trip, class 3C, with an old, precious Voigtlander,
the first camera that I used, and with great care:
it had been entrusted to me by my father.
Even without resorting to digital magic,
A photograph often finishes up portraying an untruth,
It’s in its very nature…
Sometimes, instead, a little digital lie
Allows the simple truth, the authenticity of what it tells.
This happened to me working on the case history of Cavotec Specimas
A 50-year-old company, with 140 people working there.
For the occasion they will publish a book, an important edition,
And so I tell myself: it’s not advertising, it’s not an ephemeral brochure,
It’s the company’s memories, of people, collective, lasting.
And so, no special effects, but research of the truth,
Witness of an era in the workplace,
A group of people, their faces, their expressions.
The moment I arrive, here the fact is: there’s a person missing,
He must be added after, post production.
It’s magic, it’s a lie, in all its Gravity,
And I think of the film with Clooney and Bullock filmed at separate times.
Look at the people, the 139 faces I have in front of me,
It’s not easy to pose, and impersonate yourself,
But how to manage this act is my job, courage,
Slowly, slowly you get used to it, you overcome the reluctance,
There is patience, willingness, participation, collaboration.
The work finished, I look at the results, the shots,
And I understand what has happened, how I have worked:
It’s really the lost sheep
Which makes you observe the group more carefully,
And recognize each single person who forms it.
The behind the scene…
AGENCY: WINNING ASSOCIATI
As you know, my assistants are a bit vain, every time there’s a new light set, they fight for portrait.
“today it’s my day…you again?…Impossible!” and so on.
Marco’s portrait, sanctified, remembers me to resume an old project: what do you think about it, Leo?
(Leo is a writer, as well as a friend, who submitted me a project an year ago, about saints)
By the way, anyone who’d like to fight with them, not as assistant, but as a person, is welcome to my studio. We garantee board, smiles and happiness, which are a luxury today!
You may be interested in:
Stefano is a splendid customer, he is unique.
He calls me, asking for photos that tells his Italian company, his real design and production factory.
I go and visit him, he guides me in a tour of the departments of the new headquarter and tells me about some new events.
The first thing I notice is the quantity of materials, products, scraps, instruments, machinery, men: like a patchwork of a visual balanced cahos.
I held back the thought, going on.
Coming back to the office, I disclose my feeling, announcing my next photo survey.
I come back and when I show him the pictures he says: approved! Wonderful.
We point the details and organize the sets.
The staff have been fantastic, playing along with me, with the right spice of irony to describe the working atmosphere.
Their slogans say: what we do is unordinary.
If you read “Ol Mesteràss” post you must have noticed that Family Business project is going on.
I meet interesting people and although a very few aspects of the shooting keep happening every time is different.
At first subjects can’t figure out why I leave the flash light inside the image. “Are you going to remove it, right?” they keep on asking me.
Some others don’t say anything, they stare at me. “Are we going to take the photo right here?”.
Somebody stays still for minutes. They are in a hurry, but very helpful.
There is one thing never missing: their respect for my job. The workers I photograph recognize my effort, my passion and will to get the best out of the shooting, since they have been working the same way for years!
Before a portrait session, we usually do light test.
It’s a good opportunity to submit your assistants to a “stress test”
Alessandro is always well inclined, he plays along with me.
I take advantage of the situation.
Hasselblad H2C, Phase one P45+, Zeiss 80mm, f5.6, flash light