I want to dedicate this article to Giuseppe, my beloved father-in-law, who passed away on February 5. Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure.

You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

This story goes all the way back to 2001 when I went on a vacation in the beautiful Salento region of southern Italy. That time I not only met and fell in love with my wife, but I also fell in love with the beautiful villages, landscapes, and charismatic people of this region.

In October 2022 we went to visit my in-laws in the Salento region, as we have done almost every year for the last twenty-one years. What was different, though was that this time I only brought my Bessa R3a paired with a 35mm Nokton lens and a few rolls of Kodak Portra 400 with me, but no digital camera, as I had in the past.

As you can imagine, I have shot many digital photos of this particular region over the years, but never was I as pleased with the results as this time when I got my film scans back from the lab. I absolutely love how the colours are rendered on film. It was not easy to choose just five photos for this set, but let me share my thoughts behind the selection process:

I wanted the five shots to cover different subjects and to provide a narrative. The first picture shows a beach on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The beaches are the main reason most people go on holiday in this part of Italy. Although they are packed in the summer months, once autumn arrives, they are left mostly deserted. The second and third shots were taken in the coastal town of Torre San Giovanni, which is home to a small harbour and a popular boardwalk with a lonely payphone. The fourth shot is a personal favourite of mine. It shows my father-in-law and sister-in-law enjoying an afternoon chat in their hometown of Taurisano. In the last image, you can see a fisherman riding away on his bike after a hard day’s work.

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In the end I was very happy with this one camera, one lens, one film stock setup, which let me really focus on the subjects and composition. And the Bessa frankly is a joy to use.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures and am looking forward to hearing your comments.


~ Marco

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About the author

Avatar - Marco Rotondo

Marco Rotondo

I am a photography enthusiast based in Switzerland who has rediscovered film photography thanks to an inherited Olympus Pen F in 2020.

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  1. A beautiful way to honor your father-in-law. Your photos resemble the lush color of long ago Kodacolor. A perfect match for the subject matter. I rented the 35mm Nokton last autumn for a vacation to London. I liked the results (in B&W) so much, I just purchased the lens about two weeks ago.