Italo Calvino, pinhole cameras and sex

“A man was crossing the road and all of a sudden he started to see things as they really are.”

Italo Calvino is one of my favorite writers. It’s hard for me explain why, in English, but let me just say that he creates magical worlds through the poetry that he sees in the mundane of everyday living.

So, how do things really look like?


I don’t have a clue but it’s easy to understand that, despite being tied to the laws of physics, many living creatures, perceive the world in a very different way.

We don’t see things the same way as a fly does, or a bee, or a chameleon, or a fish… and yet the same laws of Nature apply to those creatures as well. But we don’t share the same “needs”.

We all know that we perceive the world within a certain range of the vast spectrum of light and color.

Our eyes are brilliant lenses with their lighting fast “auto-focus” and perfect depth of field. Our brain is the perfect film or sensor, always adjusting itself to a huge set of situations, delivering the best image possible however… do we see things the way they really are?

Will we ever be able to define how things “really are”? 
I don’t think so and it does not matter.

Like everything in Nature we move in this Natural world where adaptation is the key word and, for adapting, we all must evolve.

We see things the way we do because this is the best way we found to connect visually to the world adjusted, of course, to our limitations and potential as biological creatures.





Using a camera is like enjoying our visual connection to the world. We can master it in some ways so let’s have fun with it.

Using a pinhole camera is like having sex with the visual world.
Let me explain why.

It’s not always totally clear and some parts can become very blurry.
It’s the perfect medium to experiment with fantasies but sometimes they can go right or they can go wrong.
Different sizes can give a whole new perspective of things.
It’s important not to shake it too much but also not to be too static (at least for me).
Finishing too soon or too late can lead to frustrating results.
Surprises always happen an sometimes I just look at the results and think… “I don’t remember doing this” or “what was I thinking about” or… “Damn… which way is up and which way is down?”





As I’m finishing to write this I can’t help to think how the hell did I start with Italo Calvino and ended up comparing pinhole photography with having sex…

I didn’t plan the post to come out like this but the idea is to be funny. Don’t want to offend anyone.

PS: I was temporarily banned from Facebook. Yeap. I don’t know why but it all started with the Cooking Film Facebook page. I don’t post pornography or nudity, I post beauty and what I feel like posting, respecting the guidelines. Basically the same stuff I post here.

Maybe someone felt offended by something and let me tell that you sir/lady are a winner at life. Keep up the good work.
That being sad, I terminated all my pages and my personal account and I will make my new personal profile much more photography related.

  1. iamamro said:

    Wonderful blog.

    • Don’t know what to say my friend. I feel honored. Thank you a million times.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Do you have any recommended readings for someone new to Calvino? What book does your quote come from?

  3. SH said:

    Do you have any recommended readings for someone new to Calvino?

    • Hello my friend… To be totally honest I don’t remember from which book that quote came from but I do remember it’s a short stories book like many others by Italo Calvino.

      He is a wonderful writer and his style runs clear through his novels and short stories.

      I love the Cosmicomics part 1 and 2 but there’s a new edition which combines both. It is called “All Cosmicomics”.
      Delicious short stories.

      My favorite novels are, The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the Trees and The Nonexistent Knight.

      Last but not least his most well known novel, The Invisible Cities, a true masterpiece.

      On a different note, the “Six Memos for the Next Millennium” is about the values that Calvino felt were important for literature during this century. It’s not a novel, it’s like an essay.

      That being said, I would get the Cosmicomics first 🙂

      Please forgive my limited English skills.

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