(In Italiano: http://valeriapierini.it)

Soundtrack: ‘Almost’, playlist on Spotify.


If you go around with a camera you are like a tourist, so photographers mistaken for tourists benefit of a special free pass.

A few days ago, when I was walking along the river, a man asked me if I liked Derry and if I was American, he told me that his wife takes pictures of everything ‘like a tourist’. So, I had to explain that I am doing it for work. After working for many years with American musicians, I tend to say ‘hi’ instead of ‘hello’ and ‘yeah’ instead of ‘yes’, so, as an Italian that speaks terrible English, I may come across as American.


‘I will take you to a place that’s not on the maps’.

With great pleasure, I went to Portstewart and then to The Dark Hedges; and to Grianan of Aileach and Fort Dunree.



The feeling of vertigo, that I experienced seeing the luoghs and the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, the sense of wonder seeing whale skeletons and small dragon statues, the bogland and the ocean, is something I wish I could live every day. I suppose we all feel in harmony with ourselves when we look at the sea and large expanses of land, the difficulty is do it in everyday life. Maybe, it is important to observe and to feel, always.




I think that by now I got used to the northern light.

The Sun is not my foe, but the diffused light that I love to avail of in my photography, is. Maybe I am an unusual photographer, maybe I am not a photographer.

I learned about the ‘winter blues’. The ‘blues’ takes me after 7.00pm, with the expanded twilight, the milky sky at the time when I leave the studio and all I can think of is blankets, resting and my bedroom’s soft lights.



The rain – if it was for rain nobody would do anything here. Sometimes, in the south of Europe, if it rains, we put off doing almost everything. I always hated umbrellas, so, I must say that I am fine here because I am used to going around without umbrellas.



I have finished photographing St Augustine’s garden.

I took the photos during my studio hours last week, in daylight. I could have photographed the garden during daylight and night time, but my intention is to capture light only from 9.00am to 8.00pm. This way the resulting photographs looks like one, long, single day, because there’s no darkness. A metaphor, maybe, of the northern warm months.

I am collecting stories about the Derry Walls, each one, handwritten, will be part of my exhibition and will be paired with one of my photograph.


A few days ago, between Monday and Friday, I heard that an old friend of mine had passed away. Years ago we used to work together in the music scene.

I went to church.

We both loved the sea, but I wasn’t near the sea, so I went to church near my studio, even though I don’t practice any religion.     She would have smiled, and she would have loved my ‘drama queen’ reaction. I sat down in the church: stained glass windows, high ceilings. I found myself nervously opening the book ‘Thanks and prayers’: ‘praise the one who breaks the darkness’.I came back to my laptop, she loved writing and could do it very well, I needed to hear the violent sound of keyboards, when you write without thinking.

‘Praise the one who breaks the darkness’.