8th PENTAX DAY
A Saturday as the
By Stefano Sagna
Youíll read a new name as an author of this report. Iím
AOHC member No. 263 and Iíve been asked to write for our beloved
magazine for the first time. When I was called by Alberto Dubini (author
of the second part of the report), informing me that Ermanno and Dario
were thinking to entrust two "newcomers" with the Pentax Day
report, I felt honored for that task, while thinking at the same time:
"What will I write?"
Well, nothing more than what was
experienced that day, as seen through the eyes of someone who had hung
around the club too marginally for some time and then discovered so many
friends and so much interesting stuff during the 8th Pentax Day.
This was not the first Pentax Day I attended, but had
previously participated on Sunday only. This year, having the possibility
to stay at my auntís home for the night, not so far from the Pentax Day
location, I expressed my willingness to help on Saturday too. It was well
worth being there.
I arrived in Salice, a small town in OltrepÚ Pavese
(an area in Northern Italy famous for wines), on Saturday around 3 p.m.
and was amazed by the charm of the place. I couldnít believe that so
close to the endless rice fields one could find such nice hills.
Furthermore, I was expecting ached elderly people crowding the spa... I
couldnít have been more wrong; itís a place frequented by people of
all ages, like a seaside resort (I live close to Jesolo).
The town is full of lush greenery, with roads between
tall trees. Even last Juneís sultry heat appeared mild among such
Once I found the place of the meeting with Ermannoís
phone help, I joined the folks working there since the morning. Structures
were already setup, with Maurizio cleaning the display cases and others
concentrating on arranging the photographs for the exhibition.
Fewer pictures this year, dear friends. Next year we
have to commit ourselves more, beginning with the author who always meant
to send pictures and then always skirted. Come on: letís get on the go!
We all have plenty of shots that we can send; letís send them.
Exhibiters present at the Pentax Day exhibition are more or less the same
year after year, good and willing, but Iím sure that many others could
swell the ranks of photos on display if they only could overcome their
hesitation. I promise that next year my pictures (ugly, of course, but you
do what you can) will be there too, and I wish many more will do the same.
Once we resolved the problem of hanging the images on
the plasticized cloth panels by using good two-sided adhesive tape (having
no possibility to drive nails), we began setting up the panels, while
Protege people were looking for the best places where to put signs on the
outside, so that they were well visible.
I was appointed as the "Numerator", while
Giancarlo Ianeselli acted as the "Opposer". In practice, he kept
pushing the panel cloth against the back of the photos to make the
double-sided tape attach well. In the mean time I cut progressive numbers
and glued them beside images in order to identify them for Sundayís
competition. Highly intellectual work, you know, but this is setting up a
show, and can be amusing just for these chores. And Iím also thinking of
the many friends who used valve seat wrenches for patiently mounting
panels and display cases during the morning.
From time to time someone pulled out some
"irons" and took some photos, so that you could talk about your
friendís camera and lenses. To me, perhaps even more interested in
equipment than in active photography, a Pentax Day is the perfect occasion
for seeing and trying optics and cameras usually only seen on printed
paper. It is rather uncommon you meet a member or an impassionate who is
not willing to let you handle his equipment. Many even suggest you shoot
some pictures with their lenses. "So youíll see the
performance" they say.
Well, when hanging pictures, I was impressed by Arnaldoís
work, who prints images on Polaroid plates and then moves emulsion on
cardboard, getting so charming images. What patience!
We also discussed digital prints and their quality,
while Massimo reported problems in rendering slides on paper without
loosing detail or getting excessive contrast. We talked about Gianfrancoís
darkroom painstakingness, mastering black&white. Gianfranco himself is
also the author of the most select picture on Sunday, a nice night shot of
people in Paris. It was funny that we were discussing whether to display
it or not, due to space shortage and for being a bit off topic. At the
end, luckily we decided to show it!
Then, at the evening, we had dinner in a wonderful
country restaurant on the hills after going the wrong way three times. We
appreciated so much savory local dishes and Bonarda (excellent wine). At
the table, our group was mostly talking about "optics and classic
photography", while others discussed "new markets and digital
photography". Arnaldoís wife was the only lady present at dinner,
and I hope she didnít get too bored, but I believe sheís rather
accustomed to such situations.
While going out, the restaurateur asked us a thing or
two about digital cameras and said he owns a camera that we understood to
be an early Sony Mavica, a piece of history. It was later than one a.m.
and time to go to bed.
In short, it was an excellent night, a perfect prelude
to as much a positive day to spend on Sunday, thoroughly described by
Alberto. I truly felt among friends. Thanks to you all.