“Roma” by Reuven Halevi

Last week I was talking with the founder of the community of Roma Street Photography: in our opinion street photos in Rome are not so diffused like in other cities like Paris, New York, Berlin or Tokyo, for example. Curiously, few days after I’ve discovered this beautiful series about Rome realized by norwegian photographer and artist Reuven Halevi. His vision of Rome is really great, there is the city as I know it, but also something different: the shadows, the lights, the high and stunning use of colors: “This is my current project and my primary focus”, Reuven said, “It is an edit of photos I took in Rome, the city I’ve lived in, more or less happily, for the last year and a half. This is my everyday normalcy. I feel it is the most honest, raw and, in some ways, most ‘problematic’ series I’ve worked on”. So take a look at the gallery, it really worths.

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8 Dicembre

Hi everybody. This post is for people that lives in Rome, or that will be in Rome next thursday. I’ll be all day long (since early morning to night) in via dei Latini, in the San Lorenzo area, with a stall full of little photographs. If you are in Rome, come to visit me!

E ora in italiano: l’8 dicembre sarò per TUTTO il giorno al Mercatino Anticrisi di via dei Latini a San Lorenzo (Roma) con una bancarella piena di fotografie in formato cartolina, da usare come biglietti d’auguri natalizi, segnalibri o come piccole finestrelle colorate da appendere sul frigo o sul muro della vostra stanza. Queste sono solo alcune delle foto che troverete al mercatino, ma ce ne saranno moltissime altre (soltanto a 1 euro!)… Passate a trovarmi!

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My brand new “Urban Melodies” from Berlin

At the end of October I was in Berlin for the third time in six years, this time I’ve discovered the real colors of the autumn, that really influenced my new works. Here my new set of pictures, from my series “Urban Melodies”, an abstract representation of urban landscapes and contemporary life (if you need to refresh your memory about that, take a look here). I really hope in 2017 to show you a new city through my Urban Melodies, let’s see… So, here my new set, as always you can say “it sucks!” or “it’s amazing”, or whatever you want in the comments.

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“Through a Glass Darkly” by Nick Turpin

Today I want to show you an awesome gallery from English Photographer Nick Turpin. Nick spent lot of time under the rain, in the cold nights of London, to take pictures at people in the bus. It’s a very interesting project that I always wanted to realize, but I’ve never had the talent or the courage that Nick really has: “These pictures of London Bus passengers in the winter months were made at night from a raised platform with a long lens hand held at 1/40th second, on the limits of what modern camera sensors can record”. You can watch the full gallery here on Nick’s website.

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Photo of the day #74

Leonard Cohen is dead. This is the first news I’ve read the moment I woke up today. It was a horrible news, so I’m listening his songs once again on every radio and I’m thinking a lot about him. Later, I was looking for a picture to feature for my “photo of the day” and I’ve seen this beautiful image. Don’t ask me why, but I’m immediatly thinked about a Leonard Cohen’s song. This lonely man in a bar made me think about a piano man, melancholic and maybe sad. I think this shot, taken in Berlin, is really perfect for my mood today. The author is the italian photographer Luca Imperiale, that I suggest you to follow: his pictures are like covers of books that I would like to read, or covers of vynils that I’d like to listen.

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Happy Birthday “Living Easy”

The time goes by… Last year, today, I was writing this post, the first post of this blog, beginning a new adventure that gave me joy and satisfactions. It’s great to see how “Living is Easy with One Eye Closed” is followed and appreciated by you, the real engine of this blog. After a year and almost 200 posts, I can confirm the lines I wrote one year ago: “This is my new blog, it’s going to be a place where I’ll share with you the best photos of other photographers, galleries, projects, photowalks, tips, news and stories about my work and lot of other beautiful things. Hope that “Living is Easy” will be something different, something special for you. Like a safe place where breath photography, inspiration, a kind of magic“. So, excuse me for this sort of selfcelebration, but the first year of this blog was an important goal for me!

With my job it’s not easy to be always present on this blog, but I’m trying to do my best, and I hope to make “Living Easy” always better for you!

Thank you so much for being here.

Best,
Alessio

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Photo of the day #73

Last week I was in Berlin to partecipate at some very interesting workshops. It was my third time in this beautiful city, and I still would be there to enjoy the beautiful mood of Berlin at night. I’m still thinking about Berlin and what I see today? This beautiful image taken by italian photographer Massimiliano Vecchi, that really made my day. It’s a great street scene: I love the lights on the left, that suggest all the dynamism of the city, but I also love the position of this man on the bench, waiting for the bus. Great photo, I can watch it and think to be in Berlin again. Well done!

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Q&A

Few weeks ago I told you to ask me something about me or about my work, because I was preparing a special post with questions and answers. Well, I’ve received some questions through my Facebook page and by email, now it’s the moment to give you the answers. If you want to ask me something more, please write it in the comment form. Here we go.

When you first got an interest for photography?
I always had a passion for photography. There is a moment I can’t forget: when I was 10 years old I was showing to my grandmother photos of a little excursion I made with school in a place not far from Rome. My album was full of pictures of my schoolmates and my grandma told me: “But where are you?”. In that moment I realized that there wasn’t a picture of me in the entire album because I always was behind the camera. It was the first time I saw myself like a photographer.

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When you decided to take photography for a career?
After my graduation, when I was 27, I began to travel by myself. In Europe, then in United States and in South America. In that moment I didn’t know to be a photographer, actually I didn’t know who I was. But my camera was with me, and walking through the streets and the alleys of Paris I suddenly found an huge inspiration, an inspiration that followed me in every city I visited since that moment. I didn’t choose to photograph, it just happened something in me that told me to do it. Then someone has noticed my photos and he proposed me to do an exhibition in a gallery in Rome. I guess my career has started in that moment.

What inspired you in your early life to pick up a camera?
This is a very important question. It’s not easy to answer. I think I wanted to have memories of the things around me, like toys, places and friends. My first pictures are the reflection of my early life, I still have most of these photos and lot of them are about places like parks, streets or my schoolmates.

Why do you take blurred pictures?
I think the right definition maybe is “abstract photography”. But I’m still don’t know the right label…

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What’s your inspiration?
I absolutely love the street, the stories that every corner and every building can tell. I need to search the soul of a place, what that place can tell me. Through my photographs I try to catch the real soul of a street or a building, with something that belongs to its history and at the same time, to its daily life. I try to feed my inspiration walking for a while everyday and taking pictures of daily life in the city.

What does your typical day look like?
More or less I usually wake up at 9am. After breakfast I sit in my office (my room) and I turn on my computer. I spend all my morning working on my pictures, responding to emails, and updating my social networks. At 1:30pm I eat and then I stay two more hours in front of my computer, reading blogs, looking at pictures and finishing my work. Then I go out (often with my camera), walking through my city, meeting friends or looking for new ideas and inspiration. At night I usually watch a movie, read a book or have a drink in a bar. At 2am I go to sleep.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It depends. Sometimes I finish a new “Urban Melody” in thirty minutes, sometimes I work on it for two or three days, looking for the right combination of images. Superimposing photos is an art that needs creativity, fantasy, curiosity and most of all, lots of patience. It’s like a puzzle, an enigma to solve- a solution exists, the right combination exists, but we have to find it. There are no preset rules, only the rules that we decide to impose.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
It’s strange to say, but in my personal point of view, I think that I would multiply my existence. Every photographer is obsessed with time and space, I guess, so I would live on the walls of other people, in their libraries, in their houses, during my life and after. I can’t be everywhere and I can’t travel everywhere, but I hope that my pictures can do it for me.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I have a story about it- in 2010, during one of my travels in Paris, I was talking with a friend of mine on a bench, not far from the Centre Pompidou. I was talking about my life, if I had to follow my dreams and go on trying to do my art, or if I had to turn my life in a surer existence, with “normal” work, a fixed salary, summer vacations and things like this. Suddenly I saw a writing under the bench, that writing was in Italian and said: “La vita è una sola, vivila come tu vuoi” (“Life is once, live it as you want”). I know, maybe it’s banal and not so original, but in that moment something changed in my mind. I never forgot this advice.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Good things happen to those who wait, so don’t be discouraged if results are hard to reach. If this is your real passion it means that you only need more time.

What art supplies do you use?
I’ve always admired photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau, and I also love Margaret Bourke-White and Vivian Maier. But not only photographers. Movies, songs and books are my daily food. I find inspiration in music, books, movies, and people around me. My personal heroes are Bruce Springsteen and Antoine Doinel (the protagonist of a lot of François Truffaut’s movies). Movies like “Boyhood” or “The Tree of Life” or “Les 400 coups” fill my soul with love for the art, inspiration and motivation for my work.

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How do you choose the photos you want to “rework” with colours (ex. Urban Melodies) and the ones you keep in black & white?
It depends. Usually I prefer colors when I work on my Urban Melodies project and black and white when I take street photos. But, as I said before, there are no preset rules, only the rules that we decide to impose. Anyway colors are really important for my Urban Melodies, black and white works better with street photography, when I try to imitate the masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Koudelka and all the greatest. There is also great street photography with colors, like Saul Leiter showed us, so… It depends.🙂

When will you organise an exhibition of your photos in Brussels or Paris?
When someone will give me this amazing opportunity!🙂 I hope soon anyway, there is a rumour about an exhibition in Brussels in 2017, but for now it’s just a rumour. Let’s see…

What’s in your camera bag?
I’m not obsessed with lens or gears. When I go out for Street Photography I have with me just my Canon 60D and my 50mm. I have a 17-85 in my room, but I use it only when I really need it. I walk a lot (in travel or in my hometown) so I prefer to have a lightweight bag. Once I read something that sounds perfect to me: “In Street Photography the best gear is a good pair of shoes”.

What was your first camera?
When I was a child it was a Canon Prima Junior, can’t forget it, it was always with me. When I was a boy most of my friends used to spend money on beers or expensive clothes: I spent every cent on music, movies and developing films (well, on some beers too!). Lately I bought my first digital camera, a Canon 400D.

Where is your favorite place to photograph and why?
In travel, definitely. When I am in a place that I don’t know I’m really inspired. Through my camera I can really try to understand a place and its little secrets. In my hometown (Rome) I need to work on myself to find inspiration, and it’s not easy. Josef Koudelka once said: “When you live in a place for a long time, you start becoming blind because you don’t observe anything more. I travel to don’t become blind”. This is also the first line of my book “Fuori dalla caverna”…

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