The Fiammetta camera

The Fiammetta is a splendid, black parallelepiped that is perfect for catching clouds. Its metallic body, in fact, hides a yellow filter that is very useful, as photographers know, to highlight the contrasts in the sky when weather takes a turn for the worse.

The camera – made in tin plate, covered in black linen paper – became popular in 1933, after it was launched by Fiamma (acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Apparecchi Macchine Materiali Accessori, that is “Italian Factory Equipment Machines Materials Accessories”), a Florentine company founded by Antonio Bencini. The model was produced in small quantities and only for a few years.

Just in time to catch the last benevolent clouds before the “storm” of the Second World War hit Italy and all of Europe. Then, that unfortunate yellow filter started to record other contrasts, unsetting and resonant, between sky, land and sea.

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December 14, 2013