What are the rules of your photographic work?
There aren’t specific rules, I would rather say a combination of many factors.
Maybe at first sight it is not immediately clear but I’m a minimalist photographer, I like the composition to be precise and structured.
However, If you look at the whole body of my work even in very different subjects or photos, there are recurring elements that emerge almost without me realizing it: a certain formal balance, the presence of voids, the importance of details.
I would like the viewers to feel encouraged to question themselves in front of my photos: what is happening? Why that particular? What’s the story behind this photo?
Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes a difference?
Tools and techniques are important, but what really matters it is what you have in your mind; your culture, your past, your experience, the way you see life.
I started photography with a digital reflex and as any amateur in his early experiences, I took pictures of everything, without any real goal. Later I approached analogue tools, that were more close to what I was looking for but it was only when I met Polaroid, that I fell in love: I immediately understood that tool was the best way of expressing what I wanted.
It was probably good that I started taking instant photos after trying other techniques because I had the chance to refine my tastes, my skills and above all, I clarified what I was looking for.
My advice is: experiment and finds your unique way.
Tell us about an experience that has definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.
My artistic training path has been slow, influenced by many different elements: my cultural roots, the work of other photographers, the exhibitions I have seen, the museums I have visited, the workshops I have attended.
It is important to be curious and to be influenced by different stimuli, that can go even beyond the field of visual language.
Music and food, for instance, can lead you to create great images.
If I had to select a unique moment, I think that it would be the retrospection dedicated by the Tate Modern to the work of Gerhard Richter, that I saw in London in 2011. It represented a turning point for me: I was in a special moment of my life and that exhibition gave me a different point of view about art and a great push to express myself.
Has there ever been a difficult situation? How did you react? tell us.
It depends on what you mean by “difficult situation”. The most difficult situation to manage is the repeated switch between my job as a sales manager for a company, which engages me constantly during the week, and my creative part that I pull out through photography (and in the minor measure through painting and drawing).
Sometimes my creative flow is interrupted, while on other occasions I have ideas but I don’t have the time to realize them; it can be very frustrating.
How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you see?
Interesting question. I’ve always been a shy person, even though thanks to my job I’ve been making huge progress on this side of my personality. This form of shyness is also reflected in my photographic work. It is difficult for me to produce good things by shooting a person I have never met before, or by photographing a place I have never been to; it can happen, but I can express my best when I am familiar with the subjects of my photos, whether they are people, environments, places or objects.
It’s no coincidence that many of my characters are people of my family or close friends, as it is not a case that I often use my city or the places most familiar to me to set my works.
At the same time, it is equally important to leave your own comfort zone, discover new situations and interact with different stimuli. This is essential to grow and bring new creative lymph to what would otherwise remain a simple unproductive replication.
I also ask you to share a bonus trick between your secret techniques.
Unfortunately, there are no bonus tricks, just try and try again until you are close to what you want to reach.
Tell us about your equipment, with what kind of shooting machines?
My gear is pretty sparse at the moment. I mainly shoot with my SX-70; I recently purchased a set of Mint lenses and I am getting used to it.
More rarely, I use an Onestep +, an old model of 600, a Polaroid Land 340 or my Yashica FX-3.
Another tool that I find interesting for creative purposes is the Polaroid lab, that allows you to transform digital images into Polaroid. “Purists” are horrified by this possibility, but when I don’t have the camera with me, I often take pictures with my Iphone and then I create polaroids through the Polaroid Lab; sometimes the results are wonderful, at least to me.
It is important to say that photographic tools are only a means to obtain the result you want; you can do it with different techniques and tools, but at the end what matters is the final result; look at the work of Mario Giacomelli as a demonstration of that.
The endless debates about equipment, in my opinion, are one of the most boring things in the photographic field.
Are there any books you would recommend?
Ok, how much space do I have?
Genuinely , there are many books worth browsing, from the works of sacred monsters like Avedon, Ghirri, Newton or Salgado just to name a few to less popular photographers like Marco Pesaresi.
Certainly, also critical texts have an important value; I always find illuminating the texts of Augusto Pieroni, an Italian critic and professor that I’ve had the pleasure to meet on several occasions.
Anyhow I’ll try to answer your question by pointing out two niche books that I particularly love for different reasons:
Funeral Train, by Paul Fusco and Ballet, by Alexey Brodovitch
What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?
As I mentioned earlier, everything can be a source of inspiration. I don’t limit myself to photographic references, but I range between different arts and disciplines: from Stanley Kubrick’s films to Rembrandt’s and Egon Schiele’s paintings, from Yann Tiersen’s music to Pina Baush’s dance. I could go on and on, yet at times, even a simple walk in the woods, a football match at the stadium or a glass of Sagrantino di Montefalco enjoyed with friends, can give rise to interesting ideas.
I was lucky to born in a place surrounded by beauty, where many ancient masters worked, from Perugino to Raphael, up to the most recent Alberto Burri. Actually, every place offers infinite inspirations especially today, with the chances we have to deepen ideas and create instant connections with the world.
As I previously said, everything we do a photographers comes from our experience and the way in which we have been able to filter it.
Paolo Della Ciana