Per Aspera ad Astra

Last season I had a severe injury to my right (leading) hand.

A shattered glass ripped four tendons and one nerve on my wrist, thumb and index finger.

Forcefully, I had to take some time off.

I spent it travelling for a couple of weeks around my dirty ol' Europe, rejoining with my family and – as I can't ever stay still – also managing to do some photo testing.

Testing is a way for every photographer at any level to try new things, whether they are collaborations with new people, new locations, equipment or styles.

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waving from Queen Victoria Hospital

After the injury, that was for me also a way to test my capability in working with an immobilised hand, carrying my camera, focusing and shooting properly.



Without getting too technical, I'm used to autofocus with my thumb, using the rear button of my DSLR (a somewhat better practice than using the shutter button to focus+release. I suggest you try and discover the advantages).

However, not been able to use my right thumb, I opted to go back to the old school manual focus.

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Trusting my lightweight Nikon Df (lovely vintage-looking camera) and my truly old manual lenses – Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Pre-AI and Nikkor 55mm Micro f/2.8 AI-S – I could use my left hand, focusing and adjusting the aperture while holding the camera, while the right one was only in charge of pressing the shutter button.




Travelling with the lightest kit I could ever think of – one camera, two lenses – I've flown to Portugal, where I arranged a couple of street fashion shoots in Lisbon with two lovely models, Sabrina Gladio and Sofia Minerva Sousa.

Working with local models is an effective way to find good sceneries, away from the tourist mainstream, while learning more about the city I am visiting.


On top of that, I am always keeping my eyes open, to search for locations where to plan new residential workshops (if you are interested to know more, please check


After Lisbon, I flew straight to Rome. There I managed to shoot in one of the most beautiful and iconic architectures of the eternal city, the  Stadio dei Marmi, with Chiara Pandolfini and Maia Piermattei, using beautiful dresses by Chiara Valentini Atelier Spose.

It is always amazing how the chosen location influences the mood and the style of each image.

This is something much more exciting to me – although more challenging as well – compared to a sterile studio environment.


Stay tuned for more photos of my shoots in Lisbon, Rome and Paris will be released soon, under a project called European Diaries.

Per aspera ad astra,




The successful outcome of this project wouldn't be possible without the unconditional and friendly participation of Francesco Basileo, Stephanie Fazio, Sabrina Gladio, Chiara Pandolfini, Maia Piermattei, Sofia Minerva Sousa and Chiara Valentini.

A big thank you to you all!