Marco Secchi Blog

Photojournalist in Slovenia and Hungary

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Zenit Camera to come back

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A new Zenit Camera?

Back in 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talked about the possibility of re-starting the production of Zenit cameras.

The official announcement was made on Monday at a press breakfast in Moscow by the Russian state corporation Rostec, which develops, makes, and exports high-tech products.

Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

“It’s a very popular product, we want to make it a luxury device as an analogue to Leica [German camera manufacturer],” said Vasiliy Brovko, the head of Department of Communication and Information at Rostec, according to the source.

Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

Rostec owns the Krasnogorsky Zavod optical factory in the city of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow. During the Soviet era, this plant was known as Krasnogorsk Mechanical Works, and it produced millions of still photography and movie cameras. The brands included Zenit, Zorki, and Krasnogorsk.

The Zenit was an SLR camera that was inspired by the Zorki rangefinder design. After being launched in 1953, the Zenit went on to sell millions of cameras over the following decades. The famous Zenit-E itself had over 12 million units made.

Production came to an end after the Zenit-KM Plus of 2004, and there were no SLR cameras manufactured in the Krasnogorsk factory by the next year. Now it seems that production will start back up a decade later, except the Zenit will likely produced in much lower quantities, with much higher quality, and with ridiculously hefty price tags.

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

 

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Written by msecchi

February 13, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Personal

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UnBanking Ffrees ! :-)

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More than a year ago I opened a Debit Card account with Ffrees;  at the time seemed a good idea for transactions on the internet and abroad. I have had Credit and Debit cards probably for 35 years and I never had any issues with stolen identities or unauthorised charges.

Everything went well with FFrees until last week when on my statement I discovered several unauthorised charges. I called the company straight away reporting the issue.

From that very second I felt the guilty one, whatever the woman on the phone was saying was to make me feel insecure, distressed and guilty. In her view after checking their records the card was used giving the CC numbers, Security code and my address.  How was that possible?? Did I leave the card somewhere unattended? Did I pass to someone my details??

I am not an easy guy and started straight away a campaign from my Twitter account mentioning not only the  way Ffrees treated me but as well the companies involved.  The Financial director of one of the Companies calle me more or less 20min after my Twitter…. was Saturday lunchtime, he was very apologetic managed to log into the account, gave me some informations and refunded me straight away.

The other two companies were more difficult. Badoo at today has not responded yet and CGBilling in use sent several emails, so I managed to discover my card was used

Cardholder Name: AJ Garcia
Email:server2ever@gmail.com
IP Address:105.158.138.96

They were helpful until……..I asked a refund at this moment ….they disappeared!

Today I contacted and checked for development with my Debit Card Company  and they sent another unhelpful, unfriendly letter. Once again they made me feel I was  the one causing the problems. Why was I bothering them?? Was I really sure? Was I aware that :  “An investigation normally takes between 3 – 7 weeks but we cannot guarantee this. Please be aware that, should the investigation find that you authorised a disputed transaction, an administration charge will apply for each disputed transaction and the transaction will not be refunded”

Once again Twitter came to my help and I complained about their attitude towards me.

In less than 10 minutes someone from their call centre and this time very apologetic calls and after trying to tell me the same story as before and hearing my arguments decide to call the next level up…..and in 2 min gets back to me advising that I will be refunded in full by the end of the day and if I wanted a new card,

Sorry Ffress but I am Unbanking you!  🙂

 

Written by msecchi

November 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Creative Meditation

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I have blogged before about cretive bock or self confidence crisis…..and If you depend on your creativity for your living, then your most valuable piece of equipment is not your computer, smartphone, camera, or any other hi-tech gadget.
“In a modern company 70 to 80 percent of what people do is now done by way of their intellects. The critical means of production is small, gray, and weighs around 1.3 kilograms. It is the human brain.”

VENICE, ITALY - JUNE 21:  Whirling Dervishes of the Galata Mevlevi Ensemble,declared UNESCO World Heritage, perfom under the guidance of Sheikh Nail Kesova at Auditorium Candiani on June 21, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The whirling dance associated with Dervishes, is the practice of the Mevlevi Order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema which is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (Marco Secchi)

So what are you doing to maintain this precious resource? You probably give it plenty of stimulation – books, movies, music, nights out, interesting conversations with offbeat people.

What works for me is daily meditation. Every morning or early afternoon I spend 20 minutes sitting on a mat, focusing on the sensation of breathing, doing my best to be present and aware, and trying not to get tangled up in my thoughts. It makes all the difference for the rest of the day. And I’m convinced it makes me a better visual artist. I also listen every day to meditation music from my iPhone while I am moving around or shooting.

Meditation is a doorway between our inner and outer worlds. Between “reality” (the seemingly solid world that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch) and an elusive “something else” we sense beneath, between and beyond what those five senses can grasp.

Meditation offers enormous benefits for everyone, and a set of particular benefits for those who are engaged in a creative activity like writing.

Focus. Concentration is essential to outstanding creative execution and performance. The simple act of focusing on your breathing day after day, will gradually improve your powers of concentration.

Patience. Meditation can be incredibly boring. For once in your life, you’re not trying to do anything or think anything, just sit there and pay attention to your immediate experience. And you will encounter all kinds of resistance to doing it. Zen priest Steve Hagen says, “If you can get past resistance to meditation, nothing else in life will be an obstacle.”

Calmness. At first, you’ll be surprised, maybe even horrified, to discover how busy your mind is – a non-stop stream of mental chatter. But if you stay with it, you should gradually find that your mind settles down as the months go by.

Clarity. Like calmness, this can be gradual and intermittent to begin with. But you are likely to notice moments and even periods of mental clarity, when you see things clearly and your mind is sharper than usual – which makes problem-solving and decision-making easier.

Creates conditions for Insight. You’ve probably had the experience of suddenly realizing the solution to a problem, even though you haven’t been consciously thinking of it. Or you may have experienced a moment of inspiration, when a new idea flashes into your mind unbidden. If you’re practicing meditation regularly, expect this to happen more often.

Perspective. When you spend time just being present and observing your breath, thoughts, feelings, and moment-to-moment experience, you start to realize how trivial most of our daily worries really are. Even in the midst of the daily grind, you can let go of the small stuff, and keep the big picture in view.

Getting Started

The kind of meditation I practice is a mixture of concentration (Samatha) and insight (Vipassana). Samatha practice is simply about focusing on your breathing, in order to develop concentration and calmness. It’s the best place to start, given how busy and unfocused our minds typically are. Vipassana is so simple it almost sounds like doing nothing at all – it’s about being very aware and present to your immediate experience, noticing your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the sounds and sights around you.

To learn how to get started, read the Introduction to Insight Meditation by the monks at Amaravati monastery.

Or you can try to listen to one of the Mantra and chant, The one below is westernized and commercialed version but the traditional has been one of my favorites for a long time, Here

Written by msecchi

August 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Solitude

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Venice Laguna Nord Murano Burano Torcello, S Ariano San Francesco al Deserto..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Milan at (+39) 02 400 47313 or London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)
Alone let him constantly meditate in solitude on that which is salutary for his soul, for he who meditates in solitude attains supreme bliss.
Guru Nanak

Written by msecchi

November 24, 2011 at 8:54 am

Eight letters

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<img src="http://www.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000qM_w1dUDFBU/s/470/314/DSC0802.jpg&quot; title="I love you written on a rock on a beach
” alt=”Seton Sands, East Lothian, Scotland (Marco Secchi)”/>

 

This is all that matters now And that was all that happened anyhow You can look back but don’t stare Maybe I can love you out of there

And when I went away what I forgot to say Was all I had to say: Eight letters, three words, one meaning

And outside forces didn’t make it easy So I thought I’d go before you leave me Self-preservation was no explanation for anything

(Gary Barlow)

Written by msecchi

January 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Personal

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Vaporino

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VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 16: A vaporetto (waterbus) travels slowly under thick fog on January 16, 2011 in Venice, Italy. Transports in the lagoon has been affected by today's fog.  ) (Marco Secchi)

 

When you walk in the winter fog, there seems to be no division between water and embankment, life and death, love and hate. You feel that you can walk through walls, through sky, through time.

My Venice is the Venice of winter, the Venice of Cannaregio, the Venice of fog. Walking down the Fte Novein la nebbia, wearing rubber boots against the high water, it is hard to tell where terra firma leaves off and sky and water begin. The city seems to hang in the air like a mirage. Sounds bounce off the waters and deceive you with their closeness or farness. Figures appear and disappear around corners. The past beckons. It is quite possible to believe that it can take you and never give you back.

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Written by msecchi

January 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Must stop moaning

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Casa del Tintoretto
Image by ophelyee via Flickr

I have complained before about the so called Artist Block at least here and just few days ago . Today I realized that I must stop moaning, at least for the time being, and here are few of the  reasons:

  • I am lucky enough, in this period of my life, to leave in one of the most beautiful and inspiring places of the world: Venice.
  • I live very close to the sea, probably 20 meters and I believe the sea is very inspiring
  • I live about 100mt from where Tintoretto used to live and work, there are so many of his works close to me that is unbelievable.
  • Venice is so rich of libraries, galleries,  museums that is so easy to get inspiration.
  • Life here is relaxed and at a different pace, so you do not get stressed and have all the time you need to get inspired.
  • In Venice lived just to mention some Italian Artists  Canova, Canaletto, Vasari, Giorgione, Mantegna, Titian….

No more excuses then!

Written by msecchi

November 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm