I am a very simple guy, but don’t imagine me as a lonely adventurer. I work as an IT professional in a small town in northwest of Italy close to Turin. I live with my girlfriend Paola. I love listening to music, watching movies and reading books. I have an insane passion for everything that is fantasy and Tolkien, and of course I am crazy for landscapes.
While I enjoy this quiet life, sometimes I need to follow the call for adventure, so I leave my home to live some days in the wild and capture the landscapes that you can see on my website.
Photography is my second activity, but recently I have been involved in so many photographic activities I don’t know which profession will become the main in future. One thing is sure: I love taking pictures. My goal, aside from the business aspect, is to follow my vision and continue to create art for myself.
One of my greatest sources of inspiration are the movies. I especially love to watch fantasy and historical movies, but only few of them are released per year and I love to watch them over and over. I have forgotten how many times I have watched masterpieces like Gladiator, Braveheart or Lord of the Rings, but sometimes less famous movies are good sources of inspiration, if just for a particular scene or location.
I love to visit locations that have been used in films. I remember my visit to Wales to explore the famous Freshwater West beach or Naspoint where movies like Harry Potter, Snow White and the Huntsman, or Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood were filmed. It was thrilling!
I love to watch the special features on the making of movies. It’s fascinating to see how the great directors exploit great locations. I was totally amazed by Ridley Scott’s work in Spain for The Kingdom of Heaven. Totally awesome! I collect artbooks of the movies so I can see sketches and conceptual designs for many of these locations. It is very helpful for understanding the power of composition.
Another source of inspiration for my photography are painters and artists. Surely my “visual Bible” is the works of John Howe. His work is amazing, and I grew up with his paintings. Before becoming one the greatest conceptual designer in the world thanks to his work on the Lord of the Rings series, Howe was a freelance painter, and his works have been used for many fantasy books and games. Every time I see one those paintings it awakens of my most sweet memories of early youth.
Besides John Howe, I love the paintings of many famous painters like William Turner, John Constable, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, Caspar David Friedrich, and Karl Schinkel. Their works are simply astonishing. I can spend hours observing all the details of their masterpieces. I think all photographers – landscape or not – should spend a little time looking at the work of the master painters to learn about framing and the use of colors and light. It is very important and it was very helpful for me.
I have been a Nikon user for many years. I own a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 as my primary wide-angle lens, a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 as a medium zoom, and a Nikon 70-200mm f/4 for shooting intimate landscapes, which I recently have appreciated a lot.
I am kindly sponsored by a Spanish brand, Lucroit filters, which supplies me with filters and mounting equipment. The most important filter for a landscape photographer is surely the polarizer; it reduces the glare and reflections, penetrates haze, and improves the saturation of the colors. If you want to be amazed, try using a polarizer on a rainy day in the wood, and you will be breathless.
Sometimes I use ND filters, especially 0.6 and 0.9, to improve the look of the water texture. I make my choices based on the amount of water in the streams or the sizes of the waves. All the filters are by Lucroit and Hitech.
Another essential tool is the tripod. I am the happy owner of a Gitzo GT3542XLS. The Gitzo is a rock solid tripod, 2m tall, and very helpful for shooting in the rivers or in difficult terrain. Its long legs help me to find a good stable point of view anywhere. With this tripod I use an FLM ballhead CB-48FT that is very sturdy and solid. Once the lock is closed everything is like a statue.[Check out these lightweight travel tripods]
I transport all my equipment in an Fstop backback with a medium sized ICU. This carries everything that I need for my photographic excursions plus warm clothes (spare midlayer, cap, lightweight down gloves), spare batteries, a powerbank, usb charger, memory cards, cleaning wipes, remote control, air duster, raincover for backpack, food, water bottle, head lamp, and a spare lamp.
I use Led Lenser lights. They are professional products and very very reliable. When you shoot in the Alps it is very important have a good light for the walk back to camp or to your car after sunset. The terrain sometimes is very irregular due the presence of rocks, roots, etc.
Another tool that has helped me to shoot many dramatic landscapes is the golf umbrella holder and a portable umbrella that I attach to my tripod. This allows me to shoot landscapes on rainy or snowy days without worrying about water drops on my filters.
Besides all hi tech gadgets that a nature photographer can bring with him I think one of the most undervalued are the boots. Hiking boots must be waterproof, extremely comfortable, and warm enough to keep your feet comfortable. I use Scarpa hiking shoes. This is an Italian brand and I think one of the best on the market. They are a little expensive but worth any cent. I use them for days without any problems.