Accidentally born in northwestern Italy, I soon understood that architecture was not exactly my cup of tea, 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 a matter of fact I had no idea how to use that thing.
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 understand this new world that was revolving inside in my fast-approaching teenage years. This time it took the shape of the black and white keys of a piano, something that has totally captured my attention for years to come.
Having grown up in a family of mountain and camping lovers, I have always felt naturally inclined towards the big outdoors, which in my early twenties pushed me to buy my first, second-hand SRL camera (a Yashica FX-3 super 2000, which I still own and use occasionally). This time it was love at first slide! I pretty soon got used to carrying it with me anywhere I was going, trying to capture the beauty the world presented before my eyes. 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 shots and, again, I fell out of love with my friend. I now wish I had known about large format cameras…
Years later the age of digital imaging 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 fat, juicy Nikon D-SLR on my desk one day and asked me to start shooting photos of the field seminars of our students in the university where I was working and… BOOM! Even though resolution was still rather low, the camera was fun to use, I could easily change the settings and shoot manual and it made a whole of a lot of sense.
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 truly 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. I reckon Iceland (where I am often seen moving about by bike) has been my toughest cycling experience (so far).
Oh. In case you’re wondering, I still play the piano. And still loooove Lego.