Still Alive/Naples

Which are the rules of your photographic work?

The main rule that I have given myself, often shooting with subjects, is first of all to put people at ease, to get in tune with them and let me convey their emotions to capture them in some way. Another very important rule for me is to always maintain a certain elegance, regardless of who or what is being photographed.

Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes a difference?

the tools I use most are my Leica and a couple of LED lights and rarely a flash, my technique is developed for the most part in the darkroom especially at the time of developing the film, a few years ago I also began to use a dedicated scanner, but I continue to print with silver salts and always experiment.

Tell us about an experience that has definitely changed the way you work and made you growing.

I can’t tell you about a particular moment, but I can certainly tell you that the one that made me grow the most were the mistakes I made, I’m talking about the disasters with the film and chemicals and all those “bad” photographs that I’m careful not to show, but I always keep in a drawer as experiences and experiments on which to work.

Has there ever been a difficult situation? How did you react? tell us.

Once I went alone into a building that had recently been destroyed by fire; I wanted to take some pictures, after a while two guards came and took my camera and led me out, as the place was under sequestration for a suspected camorristic attack, I got away with a police report and brought home some shots.

How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you see?

Here I refer you directly to the first question and I add that when you choose to photograph a place I think you need to be completely immersed in its atmosphere and be part of it, for an hour or even a lifetime.

I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.

I’m careful not to reveal my secrets, not because I have so many, but because I don’t want to talk about them. let’s say I have my own “modus operandi”.

Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?

I have never given great importance to the equipment, I could tell you that I shoot with what happens, over the years I have tried different cameras, but the ones I use the most are definitely the LAICA CL with 40mm summicron f 2 and the LOMO LCA that I appreciate especially for its compactness and the minitar 32mm f2.8 lens for contrast and boke, recently I happened to have a MAMIYA C330 that I am using for portraits with which I find myself very well.

Are there any books you would recommend?

There are many books that I would recommend: I would certainly start with Hansel Adams’ trilogy; The Camera, The Negative, The Press. and then a book that I really like, The Photographic Error by Clèment Chèroux. As far as photographic books are concerned, I recommend The Solitude of Ravens by Masahisa Fukase and Farewell to Photography by Daido Moriyama.

What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from urban street and street lighting, let’s say that I photograph everything that I think can fit into my dreamlike imagination, especially palm trees in recent months.

Carmine Covino