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One of Us #70: maricontis

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svjetlana View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 February 2023 at 20:43
One of Us #70: maricontis



Dyxum member maricontis writes...

Well, dreams sometimes come true...and amazingly I’m having here my piece, among a such great company that I’ve never imagined to be part of!

My name’s Stefano and I am from Crema, a little town in northern Italy, but now I live and work in Bergamo. I’m anesthesiologist-intensivist (in Italy it’s quite the same study course) and since some years I specialized in pediatric area. Besides that, I’m a husband and a dad of two, Riccardo and Ilaria; you might think I haven’t too much spare time to dedicate to hobbies... but in fact I play also goalkeeper in a waterpolo team, and of course I like photography! So let’s talk about that.

I bought my first DSLR quite reluctantly in 2010, being a lazy and content user of cheap compact cameras; and I was assisted in the choice by a colleague I worked with for one year, a Dyxum fervent fan and member, Francesco (emopunk). He advised me to step it up a notch, buying a reflex by Sony - and I chose a alpha330, of course thanks to precious information available on Dyxum. Thus, coming to write here today is somehow a paradox: without Dyxum itself, the story would have been totally different! The main reason to buy “advanced photographic gear” was a self-drive safari in Botswana; an adventurous, self-designed journey I organized in 2011 with Claudia, my wife.






It wasn’t my first adventurous journey: I travelled before in Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Madagascar... but I didn’t care about photography yet. Since I was a child I loved Nature, and I dreamt about journeys; I am still a fan of documentaries, above all, sir David Attenborough’s “life series” on BBC. I collected all since long ago. No wonders it was Nature my first photos’ favourite subject.












As soon as I started shooting, I become increasingly curious about lenses. I bought, and sold, and bought many used lenses, trying not to lose money in the process, and I become an enthusiast experimenter. My favourite lens was the Minolta 100 mm macro D. I was definitely in the period “gear is important”. I begun to post on Dyxum, trying to catch any feedback, useful to improve my technique. Also, I joined a couple of challenges, in general I like very much the polite and careful atmosphere here on Dyxum.






In 2015 many things happened. First of all, I joined a photo club for a couple of years. I learnt more and more, and considering the great past photographers’ work, I thought “well, gear isn’t so important!” Particularly I was (and still I am) admired about Salgado operas. I knew Salgado thanks to the documentary “The Salt of the Earth”, and nowadays I am collecting Salgado printings and books. The last, I bought for Christmas: Amazonia.

Secondly I met, thanks to the club’s activity, my maestro: Raoul Iacometti, a well known Italian photographer. I begun to attend some short courses with him about portraiture. Watching him working in the field made me to learn a lot about portraits, and how to cope with shooting to strangers just met in the street.

Finally I seized the precious opportunity to travel in Tigray (northern Ethiopia) due to a colleague's withdrawal, as anesthetist volunteer. I bought the flight just three days before the departure! That one week experience changed my life, and of course my photographic eye. I came back in the same place (Hewo center) 5 other times, and had the chance to meet incredible people.

About Ethiopia, if you are curious, I link here some reportages that I posted in the past on Dyxum:

Sons of the Plateau
Salt mining in Danakil
Back to Africa’s roof

2020 was a black year. Not only covid spread (and hit first and hardest Bergamo in western world), but also a terrible war broke out in Tigray. That year I returned to work in adult intensive care, it was hard time, but in the end I liked it. Resources were limited, and patients were countless; but my African experience helped me to cope with that. I worked with fantastic colleagues. I am also a humorous person, and that helped me much. And photography helped too. I share below just one shot from that period.






Hoping to see Tigray soon again (now the war has just ended), last autumn I’ve been with the same equipe in Madagascar for medical purpose. We were on the south-western coast. That is a wonderful land. The ocean presence was so magical. Hopefully I’ll post a reportage on Dyxum about it soon, but below there is a sample.

Nowadays photography is changing fast. Equipment is cheap and everybody takes pictures. We are overwhelmed by tons of “perfect” images, technically flawless, but the truth is a few drive me into any emotion. Sometimes I stumble upon a great work. There are many great photographers around, great communicators, storytellers, even on Instagram. But of course their work is muffled by a binge of images.
I shoot mainly for fun, and that’s enough, but... the years are passing by, and I realize that photography is taking a fair more important role in my life. Since I begun, I tried to do better; true photographers have a project, and they put in their photographic work their identity, their stories, their life. I believe I’m on this challenging and exciting path.


















Riccardo


Ilaria


Claudia







































 



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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2023 at 23:19
Congratulations Stefano, on your being added to Dyxum's 'One of Us' and most deservedly so.
As always it is interesting to read about the narrative of any photographer's journey into and through this genre, and also to see the evolution of their images from early days to the present.
There are many diverse and outstanding photographs in this folio, and we all look forward to seeing many more from you posted here.
Well done.
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 00:40
What a wonderful and interesting life story - thank you for sharing so much of it with us. Simply fascinating. In the perfect world I would hope to be a neighbor to you. As to the images - stunning in so many ways.
Hatred corrodes the container it is carried in. http://rogerrex.zenfolio.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mariuszlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 00:58
Very interesting story, great photos.
Amazing personality.
Also waiting for more photos!
Sony a7R4, a6400. E, A and MD lenses.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 03:43
Delightful and inspiring to read - thank you for sharing these thoughts and images, Stefano.
-- Matt
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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 04:57
Thank you for sharing your story with us Stefano.
Your compositions are strong and very interesting. Your pictures are truly inspiring.

p.s. my mum is also an anesthetist
my flickr
A7RV, 20-70G, 70-200GII, Viltrox16mm/1.8, 35/1.4GM, Sammy85/1.4II, 200-600G
 



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Andy81 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 06:56
Thanks for sharing this Stefano, a really interesting read, and some wonderful photography.
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bigsi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bigsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 08:11
It's great to see the evolution of your photography along with your story, some truly inspiring photos here. Well done on your recognition!
You win or you learn....
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maricontis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maricontis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 18:42
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

... we all look forward to seeing many more from you posted here.
Well done.

Thank you Joe, I'll keep on, I promise

Originally posted by Roger Rex Roger Rex wrote:

In the perfect world I would hope to be a neighbor to you.

Thank you Roger for your super-kind words!! Even if I guess in the perfect world no one has neighbors But for sure if I'm moving to Florida I 'll contact you!

Originally posted by nandbytes nandbytes wrote:

my mum is also an anesthetist
   WOW, hope she's doing well!

I'm serious now: thank you for appreciating my work... I want to declare here I'm so thankful to all dyxumers, for this OOU encluding, and for your beautiful words.
Ste
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Post Options Post Options   Quote onsplekkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2023 at 19:08
Many thnx for sharing your Story & Images. Great work
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harm vb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2023 at 09:13
Thank you very much. Impressive photo's you have made!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2023 at 17:22
Congrats with your well deserved OOU Stefano! Very nice to read a bit more on your background. The African travel stories and pictures are very inspiring. Overall you show a talent in a wide range of subjects and good eye for photography. Keep them coming!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2023 at 00:40
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2023 at 16:55
It's always fascinating to learn about the photographic journey of DYXUM members - so thank you, Stefano, for that truly interesting story - and for this outstanding selection of images: great work!

I very much hope to see your work here continued!
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
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