Where does my passion for photography come from? Well, I guess it’s because Photography captures many characteristics of my personality -such as my curiosity and creativity -together with my love for travelling and my wonder at nature itself.
In addition, I find photography a very relaxing activity, it forces me to slow down, to look around, to take time to actually “see” things and put them in perspective until I find the perfect shot. Walking around in the silence of an early dawn, generates feelings and emotions that are quite unique, likewise when I hike for hours to get to a destination and then manage to get the best shot of the day, brings me such joy.
By continuously challenging myself to find a new and different points of view or an “out of the ordinary” vista, photography makes me see and appreciate the world with much more intensity. I always see everything around me with fresh eyes, paying more attention to detail (that most normally miss in our busy lives..!), I am always looking for geometries and patterns, trying to understand how light will affect the shoot and eventually I “shoot the photo in my mind”, trying to imagine how it will look reality.
Even using the tripod is for me part of the relaxing pleasures of photography, because it slows me down and it forces me to think. Setting up the camera on the tripod, accurately framing the scene with maximum precision and checking all the details of the compositions are all part of the enjoyment, “torture” and gratification of using a tripod. Especially gratification because when I am photographing with the tripod I definitely shoot less shots, but the results are definitely higher. Quality, not quantity..!
And finally, I love photography because it captures precious moments and memories that might otherwise have been forgotten or dismissed. It challenges me to take more care to observe more accurately when I see something for the first time and I am able to review the scenes over and over once I get home; and such vivid memories give far more pleasure, it’s almost like if I were living the same emotions again and again. Every experience becomes richer, throughout the entire experience.
What Type of Photography
Over the years I have experimented with my photography. Photographing almost at anything and everything, with few exceptions. The natural style of photography is, I guess, a sort of natural process, where you try and see how it comes. Some photo types appear to turn out fairly easily and give you lots of satisfaction, others are simply “not right” and a struggle, no matter how hard you try..! I believe that a photographer – once he/she has mastered the technique -can be good (or decent) in many areas of photography, but he/she may only excel in a few areas. I believe that this has to do with personal passion and the emotions that one feels while photographing a specific subject and of course, the desire one has to communicate through images. It’s no wonder then that my main interests in photography have always been landscapes and travel photography. I am also particularly keen on black & white and – recently – in night photography, the latter mainly because when I travel for work I do not have much time during the day and therefore I go out shooting when I am done with my business meetings.
Whilst working and living in England I particularly appreciated seascapes, for the first time in my life I lived close to the sea. I love nature in general, I enjoy cities and especially travelling throughout the world. I am lucky enough to be able to travel quite a bit for work, although I am not always able to spend as much time as I would like going around with my favourite toy. I also enjoy capturing abstract images, “closing in” to shoot detail, looking at patterns, colors, reflections, etc. It is amazing how many ordinary objects can be transformed to become an interesting shot once you look/shoot them from an unusual point of view.
It’s very hard to determine my own style but feedback from people has told me that my photographs are peculiar for the simplicity of their composition and for their technical quality; and I very much agree. I do believe that in every photo the subject matter should be very clear and easy to understand, for the rest I just try to make the most of every shot, making sure that every photo has at least “3 elements of distinction”, whether it is in the composition (which must always be there), the unique subject, the extraordinary light (sunset, sunrise, etc.), something related to the movement (blurring, long exposures, etc.), or the pattern/geometries, etc. etc. I find that this method really works and it delivers better results, enabling me to achieve the “simplicity” but avoiding the “mediocrity”. Sometimes the simplicity can become almost minimalist, especially when I shoot in black and white.
Good photography is achieved by a combination of three factors:
- the artistic skill of viewing and capturing a scene in a specific moment
- the capacity to communicate the emotions felt when shooting
- the photographic technique that you need to make the most of the above two.
The first two elements are usually considered the most important photographic (artistic) skills, the third less so, however, I strongly believe that the third element is extremely important not only when shooting but also when post-processing your photos. That’s why I personally optimize all my work in post production, as I used to do in the dark room many years ago. I am a perfectionist and I always strive to make the most of anything I do, that’s why I certainly take a lot of care during the entire photographic process, post processing included. Sometimes, when I am not entirely happy with the results, I wait a few days/weeks and “re-edit” the photo again until I am happy with the result. This normally it works.
It is strange though to see how so many people – I would call them “purists” – think that post production is something almost immoral and they use the word “digital manipulation” almost with a negative sense, some even call it “tricks” or cheating. Well they probably never spent any time in the darkroom as they were just picking up the prints from the shop..!! The great Ansel Adams, who has become famous also for his dark-room skills, used to say that: “the film is the score, but the print is the performance”. I totally agree with this statement, as there is almost never a great shot without good darkroom (digital) work. At the same time I am also a purist myself having grown up using slides and filters and I do like to get the photo “right” as far as possible in camera, that’s why I am against heavy manipulation, I do not blend multiple shots, I use graduated filters, I do not add or remove elements (with the exception of small spots or blemishes). My key instrument for photography is the camera and not photoshop..!