my cheeky face, 2017 - ph. vb
Born by chance in northwestern Italy from a family of humble origins, I soon understood that architecture was not my cup of tea, even though my perfectly scaled model of a historical building won a local Lego competition when I was just a kid. With the modest amount of money I was given as a prize, my mum and dad put an instant camera in my hands and I guess part of my creativity – up till then confined to coloured plastic bricks – slowly shifted towards that magic box and the blurry results it produced.
As the first pictures were not exactly encouraging, I put the camera away for some years, again trying to find a natural way to channel my imagination and try and understand this new world that was revolving inside in my teenage years. This time it took the shape of the black and white keys of a piano, something that totally captured my attention, both visually and aurally, for years to come and which has then turned into a strong passion for all sorts of music.
Having grown up in a family of mountain and camping lovers I have always been naturally inclined towards the big outdoors, which in my early 20s pushed me to buy my first, second-hand SRL camera (a Yashica FX-3 super 2000, which I still own and LOVE). This time it was love at first shoot, especially with slides. However, something was to discourage me once again after seeing the results of some mountain shots, partly because of the impossibility of my 35mm to capture the majesty I was surrounded by during a walk high up in the Alps and partly due to my lack of technical skills. I really found little or no pleasure in those prints and, again, I fell out of love with my friend. In hindsights, I wish I had known about (and had the budget for) those 8×10 large format cameras…
Years later the digital age of cameras started to spring up but the outputs of those first models of compact cameras were totally unappealing to me so I never bought one. Until somebody at work put a juicy Nikon DSLR on my desk one day and asked me to start shooting photos of the journeys I was in charge of organising for the students of the university I was working for and… BOOM! Getting to grips with the electronics of the new toy was not a piece of cake. But a whole new world opened up before my eyes. Fast forward a number of years and though I never took photography seriously enough to make it my main profession, I just can’t put my cameras down and enjoy the occasional assignment.
My gear has been with me around lots of countries in Europe, North America, Australia and Africa, mostly carried on my bicycle with all my touring equipment. Yep. I reckon Iceland has been my toughest cycling experience (so far).
Oh. In case you’re wondering, I still play the piano. And still loooove Lego.