Dec 9, 2011


With the release of PadPlaces 2.2 we have added some recent works to the catalog. The new stories are on Flamenco in Seville, on the lively Istanbul Music Scene, and on Macao, the Las Vegas of China with a touch of Portuguese saudade. Plus, in the Business Capitals of Asia series we have added Shanghai, and Beijing, shoot in November.
We are keeping the promise to show in PadPlaces the most recent works in their extensive whole. For more info on the various news visit the website.

We are also working on a new version of the app, that will be released early next year, with some interesting novelties.

Dec 8, 2011


PadPlaces 2.2 update is now available in iTunes: it corrects some minor problem due to iOS5 introduction.
At the same time I have released the 2012 Desktop Calendar that you can download for free as usual, or use as desktop on you iPad. To download the images for this usage go to this link and select the 1024x768 size.

Oct 6, 2011


On October 22nd, in the afternoon, I will inaugurate in the Museo della Grafica, Palazzo Lanfranchi, the show  SES, South East Synopsis, 64 prints dedicated to my recent work in that region where I reside for an half of every year. It's a synopsis because I selected two photos for each story I shoot in the past four years: the essence being a portrait of this fantastic part of the world where everything is changing fast, with striking contrasts and contradictions. It's a bulk of work to which I recognize a lot of significance, but, at the same time, I consider it just the platform to start new experiences.
The images are already visible in PadPlaces, but I wait you there, if you can, to browse the prints and talk...

Sep 30, 2011


This is in Italian for Italians (sorry)... About a new interview on Feel Nikon on-line magazine.
Potete trovare l'intervista, davvero molto interessante, a questo link.

Sep 3, 2011


Well, THANK YOU guys for the very good results of PadPlaces. This way of showing my work is really becoming mature and well received. More then 6000 apps have been downloaded worldwide and an estimate 2500 people are regularly following the new additions.

To celebrate this I have given FREE access to over 15 stories that were for sale. I still think is very important to  preserve a value to the latest works and major stories, at the same time I want to enlarge our community.
The stories now for free are: Rohingyas Refugees, Loma Story, Amazon, Burma Boxing and Austral Ports in the Documentary section.
Pai, Kyoto, Vigan, Henan, Odessa, Phu Quoc and Sabah in the Travel section.

More then this, still for free I just added the cruise chronicle on the Hurtigruten, the Norwegian mail ship that goes from Bergen to Kirkenes, over 2500 km along the coast til the Russian border. Enjoy..

Aug 12, 2011


Two new stories are now in PadPlaces. Shoot in July they are dedicated to the innovative GLASGOW ARCHITECTURE and to the surprising YORKSHIRE ART scene.
Both are available in the NEW and TRAVEL section of the app.

Aug 10, 2011


Many are familiar with my project dedicated to Prayer among the major world religions that I shoot in the first half of the past decade and became the books IO CREDO (for Mondadori, but now out of stock) and PELLEGRINI (for the TCI).
For those who like the subject I have added to PadPlaces, for free download, an 111 photos selection from that work.
I'm actually planning an updated edition of the work with more recent photos and a more intimate approach. Your suggestions will be appreciated.

Aug 2, 2011


The BUSINESS CAPITALS OF ASIA series is now available in PadPlaces.
Four brand new stories, SINGAPORE, HONG KONG, SEOUL and GUANGZHOU are completing the series that had BANGKOK, JAKARTA and KUALA LUMPUR as first steps.
The stories are dedicated to a presentation of the colorful contrasts of these megalopolis where modernity and traditions face an uncertain present.
We will add more to this project in the near future.

Jul 15, 2011


Version 2.1 of PadPlaces is now available on iTunes for download or update.

This update fixes some minor bugs detected in the version 2 released around a month ago.

Some useful notations:

If you update from version 1 or 1.1 please delete the app from your iPad before installing this new one. This is because the new features, including the preservation of each story intro page, are not compatible with the old application.
You'll need to download the previously downloaded stories again, without paying oo course.
If you update from version 2 you'll need to do nothing but just update through iTunes.

Downloading videos requires time, depending on your connection. Please do not interrupt the download until finished.

PadPlaces requires some memory to work smoothly. If you have too many Apps  running on your iPad background you may see some minor problem. Just close some running Apps and restart PadPlaces.

As usual your feedback will be welcomed. Thanks!

Jul 6, 2011


The Singapore story within PadPlaces is now the new version, with images shoot in 2011. If you already purchased the old version you can download it for free, but you'll need to delete the old one from your iPad.
This story is part of the series dedicated to the Asian business capitals. Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Singapore are already available while the new ones, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Seoul, will be available soon.

We'll soon release also an App update, 2.1, that will correct some minor bugs in the recent version 2.0 release. We'll keep you updated with the news.

Jul 1, 2011

BANGKOK SOUL show images are now visible in PADPLACES

BANGKOK SOUL is a show that will be part of CORTONA ON THE MOVE travel photo festival. You can preview the images for free within PadPlaces.
Here is a short presentation.

These photos are not a "project". Or rather, are not part of any "photographic project" as it is understood today. Perhaps they can be considered the clipboard for a life project instead.
For mid-year Bangkok is the city where I live as the opposite to my Florence metropolitan museum. Whereas the Tuscan hills, that I continue to love more than any other landscape, make me calm, in this city I am forced to live, to move, to evolve.
I came here for the first time in 1978, and I saw her transforming from capital of new and exotic aromas into a bustling modern metropolis.
I see Thais as the Italians of Asia: lovers of pleasure, of beauty, able to work without making it a religion. The right humanity, that is.
These photos represents my perception of this. A vision irregular, since I don't go around with a camera hanging from the neck at all times, but now rich of ideas, sometimes dramatic.
We are travelers able for "the forest and coast" as we used to say, and basically the city requires it. There are wealth and poverty, spirituality, and perversity, modernity and tradition, resignation and revolution, a melting pot where everything is mixed but does not melt.

Jun 11, 2011


Version 2.0 of PadPlaces is now available on iTunes for download or update.
Although many will see little change at first sight we have worked under the hood to give better performance and go a step forward in creating a veritable photo publishing platform.
If you encounter any problem in the updating process please send us a feedback!
You'll need to download the previously downloaded stories again since they preserve the cover page in this version, but you'll NOT have to pay again, of course!

First of all you will notice a dynamic presentation in the four sections of the app, with images that will introduce the most recent highlights available for download. This is as close to a magazine as we could imagine.
Until now free stories were limited to the Portfolios section while now you'll start finding free essays throughout all sections.
Portfolios section is now called Photography because will be devoted more to photo essays then to the professional portfolios presentation alone.
Videos are a very important addition too: it will take time to download them (please be patient and let the app work) but they will be a nice experience. The very new Magical Tattoo video is already available for free.
Finally, when you will start the stories already downloaded to your library you will go to the intro page rather then directly to the slideshow. I feel this is a nice touch but will require you to download the stories again when you update your app (you'll not need to pay again for purchased stories, of course).

We  keep working on giving PadPlaces a solid reality and your support will be much appreciated. Feedback, interaction and also rating this app, are essential on your side to keep this experiment in self-publishing alive!

Mar 26, 2011


Four news stories are now released and available on PadPlaces. Shoot between summer 2010 and January 2011 they are:

A journey through the Fjords region of Norway (from Bergen to Alesund) is not just a parade of natural grandeur, it's above all living in a gallery of changing lights and atmospheres, of colors and weather extremes.

Not just Austrian tradition, Christmas market, Alps landscape: Innsbruck is the surprising cradle of modern architecture in the country. Zaha Hadid and other famous names have signed this visionary way to the future.

SRI LANKA a portfolio
A journey through a country that has known recent war and tragedy but has kept it's pace toward modernization. Even too stubborn in it's determination... Sri Lanka may have lost the sub-continent magic but is still a land full of wonders..

Long forgotten are the days of the eastern capital. Today Bangkok is a modern metropolis with an incredible variety of attractions.

Mar 19, 2011


We currently working on the new version of PadPlaces.

Version 2.0 will feature some improvements:
A more interactive presentation of new stories.
The possibility to download free stories from all the app sections.
Above all it will feature videos, a work I'm producing right now.

We are also preparing some recent stories to show:
A contemporary Bangkok, a Sri Lanka portfolio, a journey on the Norwegian fjords among others.

We'll keep you posted here and on Facebook page when ready to go!

Jan 26, 2011


PadPlaces presented by Sguardi, the Nikon Italy on-line magazine.. you can see the article at this link 


Here is the English translation: 


In the beginning there were films, personal archives, photo agencies. Then came the digital acceleration of technological change, the explosion of the Internet web sites and self-organization in several ways, as in Facebook and Twitter. The iPad was a novelty. Andrea Pistolesi, geographical and social reportage photographer who has always explored the potential of new technologies, has developed PadPlaces, an application to distribute directly to iPad his "photo stories." "As I see it, I was the first photographer to try such a direct way" says Andrea, "and the choice was not taken lightly. In practice, this will show myself to the global market, avoiding the deadlock the traditional publishing media are living at this time (if they will ever recover)." A strong signal of self-employment, to "show full stories, with images developed by the photographer and not tailored to the publishers wishes" a new platform to achieve "broad freedom of expression." We reached Pistolesi in Bangkok, where he lives several months a year, to ask how he did it, and what and how PadPlaces changed the background of the profession of the photographer and his relationship with the publishing market.


How and why you developed the idea to create PadPlaces?
I saw the iPad as a revolution, much deeper and broader then the iPhone. In my opinion, the tablet has the potential to revolutionize the publishing market. Not only because of the increased ability to display multimedia content then  the press, but for a countless number of benefits: I read magazines anywhere in the world, I see television, all updated in real time.
Another fundamental point is that you can return a commercial value to the contents, which the web had unexpectedly obliterated. As noted originally by the New York Times, if the contents are not paid can only die, or live of advertising only, then totally losing their independence and objectivity.
With this background I didn't take long to consider the potential for our profession, considering also the rapid disappearance of traditional media. A new platform for our photographic content that can replace the now defunct travel magazines, and offer attractive benefits. Like the possibility of offering photo stories in their entirety and not in the selected string made from print. Style, format and sequence determined by the author in person. To this I can also add other content: text, video, audio, multimedia. And, last but not least, the possibility of spreading the work just completed or still in progress: think at the revolution in Bangkok updated daily!
Well I think this is an opportunity other than the real beginning of a new era publishing, and the photographer must begin to explore the possibilities to not be overwhelmed by the mediocrity of others. I was the first photographer in the world to make a publishing platform itself how it is PadPlaces (there were only personal portfolios between the apps), and of course now I have to struggle with the greater difficulty of those who travel alone: providing visibility to the project.

What is exactly PadPlaces?
Is an application for iPad (I'm working to bring on the iPhone and Android tablet). In fact, a catalog, a container, a reader. Through this you can search by various criteria and download my photo stories inside. The photo galleries that can be downloaded to become the slide show or single image with caption. At the end of each story is a page of text that may contain articles or short info.
There are some stories of my portfolio and sample, or assays, which can be downloaded for free. In general, the stories cost around a dollar, the price varies depending on the number of pictures and novelty. At present there are about 50 stories that are among my most recent and meaningful work. I count to update the content in real time, as I produce new stories.
It's very important to the ability to store the contents in your application, as a veritable library available even without Internet connection. The images, which are blocked by various copyright, can not be exported outside the application itself: I had to put this limit in order to show pictures that otherwise would be placed under limitations.
Another key issue now is the opportunity to interact directly with the public: even from within the app, without needing to go to a browser, you can access the blog PadPlaces, the website, the Facebook page and Twitter. Being a platform that sees constant additions, readers can be updated about new contents, but also give valuable information and advice.

How does it work?
For those already familiar with iPhone / iPad is simple. The application is a browser, an interactive catalog, to search for stories.
There are four sections: New Stories with the most recent productions, which then can also be found between the Travel Stories, Documentary and reportage social portfolios. In practice, this structure reflects the my own professional tendency to distinguish (sometimes with difficulty, it is true) my works between purely Travel and reportage on social-geographical matters. In the portfolios at this time I also added small photo essays (Phnom Penh taken only with a Nikon 24mm f 1.4, for example), but I want to create a section dedicated to pure photography.
After opening a story preview you can then purchase and download it. It 's a quick process, which requires a good WiFi connection though. A complete download history is stored in the library, called My Stories, from which you can run them either as slide show or as a manual feed, with or without captions. On the last page there are texts, articles, interesting links, depending on the subject.
An important choice was to not fill the screen of the iPad (as do many other app) to avoid having to cut the images that are visible in their entirety, with no cropping.

What developments do you expect?
The first question that I receive is why anyone would buy the photo stories. To me it seems wrong in principle, even if the current landscape comforts this question: so why would anyone buy a newspaper, a travel magazine, a picture book? Some will answer that in fact they do not sell much.. But here we can and should offer better content at a reduced price. If we oppose the pessimistic vision of a world now told in all its aspects, to an audience totally subservient to superficial contents, I think we can win that audience, certain a niche, which still wants to hear interesting  stories with a personal interpretation. Of course, we must offer contents butthat are really interesting.
In my projects is the incorporation of a section devoted to electronic books and multimedia content, but the limit does not exist .. This is beautiful.
I was also told that a photo gallery is now simply "boring" and there would be no need for vibrant animations, interactions, a bit 'of everything in short .. I think part of it is true, but also very risky. Of course, the beautiful and lively interactive play attracts the buyer, but once familiar he does not care anymore. This is the fate of many modern applications and publications as well. But PadPlaces was born with the idea of being a container with a long life, evolving, and the core content should be attracting the interest rather then their form of presentation.
Developments in the broadest sense of the market are just as extensive, and therefore uncertain. I do not think that publication at the individual level will have a large market. But other platforms like PadPlaces will be created who can become real tablet magazines. As I said in the presentation I don't not exclude the possibility of transforming my app in a collective container to give it more strength and more visibility.

As technological innovations are changing the craft of the photographer?
In reality they are not just changing it, they have triggered a revolution in photography.
To remain at the professional sphere: as if the literal definition of photography is "a person who makes photographs using a camera," we can say that today we all are photographers, you just need a cellphone in his pocket. This can only undermine the professional dimension. If the first street photographers have disappeared from the squares, now the figure of the documentary, travel, portrait and many others photographers must be revised. I say revised and not canceled because I think the interest for quality photography, thoughtful, that conveys feelings and not pure documentation, will survive. It will, however, have a very limited space and, unfortunately, will be dependent on the willingness of publishers who could build on this idea but instead are more interested in the large public that is not very attracted by quality. And if we do not invest in education, things will quickly get worse: are young people who have to invent new visual languages, find interesting stories, open new roads through the new media. It just as an alternative and suggestion to them that I did Padplaces. 

A more personal question: in relation to your job as a reporter, what is the reason of your choice of Bangkok as a second base other than Florence.
I opted for this double "life" for several reasons. I believe that Asia is the most interesting continent of this era, in fact, the only one who can compete with the West for culture and history. While we are fighting to save our (high) living standards, here they look ahead, and move faster. This creates an environment rich in stimuli and stories that I'm interested to tell. It's too bad that in the West we think that more of our backyard then to big changes in the world: it is a symptom of an inevitable decline.
Bangkok is the best logistics base, even for the lifestyle it offers. I came here the first time in 1978, I saw the transformation of the metropolis for more than three decades, often not positive, but for me it's like a second home.

Jan 6, 2011

KHO KONG, CAMBODIA - Story in Focus

With this post I start the Story in Focus section, to introduce you new stories and give better insight to decide if you want to download it on your iPad.
This story, shoot a few months ago, comes with a complete article in the final page by Massimo Morello (English and Italian versions). The synopsis..

The next Hong Kong, that of the golden days, free-zone for every sort of trafficking, should revive in Koh Kong, Cambodia, a village on the Gulf of Siam, just beyond the Thai border. It 'a promise of the former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a coup in 2006, convicted for corruption, fugitive in Dubai, Nicaragua, South Africa and Cambodia. Where he was appointed economic adviser from his "eternal and life-long friend" Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge for over twenty years and today Cambodian prime minister. Thaksin went to Koh Kong when he was in glory, and had twisted dealings with local boss Ly Yongphat, a senator from the ruling party in Cambodia, and suspected of being one of the Asian Godfathers who secretly control the East. Currently the only evidence of those connections and the future of Koh Kong is the Chinese-style resort-casino empire built by Ly Yongphat one hundred meters before the border with Thailand.
But beyond that kind of castle topped by dozens of statues of Greek gods there is nothing. The promised “special economic zone” in Koh Kong is a desert land surrounded by a wall already in ruins. The village of Koh Kong, on the banks of the river Kaoh Pao (dominated by a kilometer bridge financed by the ubiquitous Ly), is little more than a cluster of huts on the water - yes, smaller version of the Hong Kong in the 50s . For now, Koh Kong is mainly devoted to build Singapore's future, the sand removed from the bottom of its river that dozens of barges continue to carry to the city-state and whose sailors are the best customers of local prostitutes.
Koh Kong becomes a metaphor of that Next Asia described by Stephen Roach, economist and chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia: the promise, or threat of the Asian Century may be still far from becoming a reality. The Next Asia, in fact, is something that many analysts seem to assume only observing the thousand lights of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Without seeing what lies beyond the dark areas that cover the rest of the continent.


PadPlaces is becoming adult.. We have now over 50 stories, portfolios and essays available for download. The idea is to include in a reasonable lapse of time my most significant work of the past couple of years while adding the upcoming works.
For a forthcoming version of the application, that will include an essay section, we'll also prepare selections on thematic projects.
Thank you for following us and providing suggestions and feedback!