Playlists

Where luck comes from

A photo essay and playlist inspired by good and bad fortunes.
Playlists

Where luck comes from

A photo essay and playlist inspired by good and bad fortunes.

When photographer Emanuele Camerini was 11, he appeared on Italian television to select the five winning numbers for the weekly lotto. That night, he determined someone’s luck. But sweatier palms or a less comfortable shirt could have taken a little extra cash out of one person’s pocket and put it into another’s. That’s how luck goes. What it can do is immense, where it comes from is unknowable.

In many cultures, different deeply held beliefs are thought to spur on, or at least understand, good fortune and stave off bad luck: rainbows, shooting stars, gold. Below, a series of Camerini’s photos explore some of those concepts and how they manifest in everyday life.

What remains of a scratchcard is a little foothill made of hope.

What remains of a scratchcard is a little foothill made of hope.

The remains of a coffee reading from a fortune teller.

The remains of a coffee reading from a fortune teller.

What remains of a scratchcard is a little foothill made of hope.

The remains of a coffee reading from a fortune teller.

A reflection of a golden peak in Austria.

A reflection of a golden peak in Austria.

Riccardo Silvestri, 12, spends almost every weekend with his dad looking for gold in a creek near Turin.

Riccardo Silvestri, 12, spends almost every weekend with his dad looking for gold in a creek near Turin.

Costis Mitsotaki, the unluckiest man in Sodeto, Spain. He was the only townsperson who refused to buy a share of a lottery ticket. In December 2011, the entire village won.

Costis Mitsotaki, the unluckiest man in Sodeto, Spain. He was the only townsperson who refused to buy a share of a lottery ticket. In December 2011, the entire village won.

Riccardo Silvestri, 12, spends almost every weekend with his dad looking for gold in a creek near Turin.

Costis Mitsotaki, the unluckiest man in Sodeto, Spain. He was the only townsperson who refused to buy a share of a lottery ticket. In December 2011, the entire village won.

A double rainbow over Kalsoy, one of the Faroe Islands.

A double rainbow over Kalsoy, one of the Faroe Islands.

An empty fortune cookie wrapper, found on the street.

An empty fortune cookie wrapper, found on the street.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Perception can help determine luck.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Perception can help determine luck.

An empty fortune cookie wrapper, found on the street.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Perception can help determine luck.

"Make your wish." A shooting star on a summer night sky.

The practice of palmistry is believed to divine the future.

The practice of palmistry is believed to divine the future.

Specks of gold dust.

Specks of gold dust.

The practice of palmistry is believed to divine the future.

Specks of gold dust.

Emanuele Camerini is a photographer living and working in Italy.

Want something different?