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The old spa, where the event took place
Photo by Costantino Florio

8th PENTAX DAY 
(PART I)

A Saturday as the "Numerator"
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 luxuriance.

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.


Grand Hotel Terme
photo by Stefano Sagna

Dino at AOHC table
photo by Dario Bonazza

Photo exhibition
photo by Carlo Lastrucci

Photo exhibition
photo by Carlo Lastrucci

Arnaldo and his big guns
photo by Dario Bonazza

Big guns
photo by Carlo Lastrucci

AOHC museum
photo by Dario Bonazza

AOHC museum
photo by Dario Bonazza

AOHC museum
photo by Dario Bonazza

Protege area
photo by Dario Bonazza

Protege area
photo by Dario Bonazza

Handling the *ist D
photo by Dario Bonazza

Tecno 2000 check-up
photo by Dario Bonazza

"Here is my portfolio"
photo by Dario Bonazza

Ferrania
photo by Dario Bonazza

8th Pentax Day Report (Part II)
8th Pentax Day Report (Part III)
8th Pentax Day Report (Part IV)


Page updated 30th Sep. 2003

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