Fabrizio Gandini: Glances

The story behind this photo has two layers, the first one is quite simple: I was passing by there, I saw a guy waiting for somebody or something, I figured out how to take the pic more and less unnoticed. I will come back about that later.
The second layer is more personal and less obvious, because this pic represents the umpteenth episode of a little mystery I haven’t solved yet. When I get out to take photos for myself or for one of my personal projects, sometimes shooting the first photos I have the precise feeling about if the day will be photographically easy, when Iooks like I don’t need to chase the pics because it seems they are coming to me. It happens to me especially when I’m shooting street photos.

I love basketball, so I am going to use basketball terms to try to describe that feeling: it’s a matter to “get in the zone” or “achieve the flow”. It’s about to be in sync with the camera, the surroundings and the life around, when everything seems to be easy: the guy will stay right there for the time necessary to shoot the photo, the camera is comfortable in my hands, nobody will walk between us for one more minute. And sometimes, when I begin to shoot, I know if that day I will be immediately in the flow or if I will have to wait a little bit to get in.

Coming back to the first layer of the story: that day I was just arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, for a holiday weekend armed with a camera and a 35 mm lens. I travelled there for work some years ago, I liked the city a lot and I always wished to come back to take personal shots. Few minutes after leaving the hotel, I saw this scene and tried to get the photo. And no, I didn’t pass unnoticed, I think that the guy was just wondering why somebody would have wanted to photograph the wall between the shop window and him. It was my very first shot in Lisbon, and I knew immediately that the photographic day, and maybe the whole weekend, would have been cool and the photos would have been interesting. I felt “in the zone”.

Yesterday I was free so I decided to hang around in Rome, the city where I’m living, with my camera for a few hours. I was relaxed and not in a hurry, but no vibes at the beginning, so I knew I was going to to wait a little. The mystery continues.






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