I’m Giacomo d’Orlando, and I’m an Italian documentary photographer focused on environmental stories related to climate change.
Through my stories, I hope to transmit my love for nature and raise awareness about the importance of preserving our environment.
I am a very positive person, and I believe we need to share positive stories to inspire change in this world. This is why in my work, I’m showing both the impacts of climate change and the solutions that local communities and scientific authorities are undertaking to improve our future.
I started my career as a photographer in 2011 in a photographic studio in Verona, my birth town. After almost four years, I jumped into a photojournalism career that brought me to live in different countries such as Nepal, Peru, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.
So you can imagine that over that time, my gear has been through some changes.
While I was working in the photographic studio, I had the great opportunity of shooting with lots of equipment. Everything from a view camera to DSLR and many different lenses, plus a diverse array of lighting systems
I have been pretty lucky. I would have to say!
During those years, I have taken advantage of the photographic knowledge of my master Giampaolo Mascalzoni. On his suggestion, I bought my first professional camera, a Nikon D800 and a series of Nikon prime lenses such as Nikon 28mm f/1.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon 85mm f/1.8.
I love my Nikon 800 and after so many years, I know every little particularity of her. I know exactly how to get the most from her for my work.
I am thinking of upgrading my camera to a Nikon D850, which is a very similar camera but with a couple of upgraded features. However, I’m a bit of a romantic and very attached to my old camera so I keep delaying.
I was also thinking of changing the system and passing to a mirrorless body. Still, both the electronic viewfinder (of which I’m definitely not a fan) and the costs are pushing me away from this idea, even if I would have the chance to travel slightly lighter.
At the beginning of my career as a photojournalist, I was working mainly on social issues; this equipment was just perfect, even if sometimes I wish I had some more discreet camera to shoot in not-so-comfortable places.
The big changes in my equipment began in the last three years when I totally fell in love with the ocean and my commitment to telling environmental stories.
Since then, I have realized that I needed to change gear in my career and show my real capabilities in storytelling. I wanted to be able to show my perspective of the world from every angle possible, or rather from below the water surface with an underwater camera and from the sky with a drone.
Despite my desire to travel as lightly as possible, I added to my shoulders a lot of new equipment that makes me look like a donkey when I’m traveling. In the end, I resign myself to the fact that I need the equipment for the type of work I have in my mind.
So, you might ask yourself, what’s the gear you’re traveling with during your expeditions?
Nikon D800 – my first love, the camera I use for everything, and she is always with me.
Nikon D7500 – the second camera I purchased to shoot underwater. For me, it was a good compromise between price, image quality, and weight.
I’m pretty satisfied with it, but in the future but I’m thinking of switching to a full frame to shoot underwater.
DJI Mini 3 Pro – my small drone that I absolutely love. Small, light, good-quality pictures despite its price. It’s my eyes from the sky!
Nimar Water Housing – the cheapest option I found to permit my camera to go underwater safely. As it’s made of silicon and not metal, it is lighter to carry, which is definitely good, but let’s say that you need to be pretty skilled to overcome some problems that can arise.
Nikon 28mm f/1.8 – a great lens that I used for almost everything in my reportages. From landscape shots to daily life shots and even for wider portraits, it’s definitely my favorite!
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 – just the lens that is impossible not to have. Portrait-wise, it is wonderful.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 – in my opinion, this lens compliments the 50mm for a portrait. I use it when I need to take a more institutional face portrait of relevant people in my stories.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 micro – a great lens that became my toy in shooting the scientific side of my stories inside laboratories. I’m having so much fun shooting still life with it and playing with patterns, thanks to the closer perspective I can get.
Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 – my one and only lens to shoot underwater with my Nikon D7500. It’s a good compromise between price and quality and just a versatile wide-angle lens.
Nikon SB 910 AF Flash Light – once again, I am using lighting systems, especially for portraits, after having shot with natural light for almost five years. This light is useful when the natural light is flat or too strong.
A good tool to have if you need to shoot portraits under the midday sun or to give more punch to a scientific lab scene.
Inon D2000 – my strobe for the underwater world. Thanks to them, I can reveal the real color of the marine environment and its fauna.
Gitzo Traveler Tripod – a carbon fiber tripod that I use in many ways, from long exposures, but also as a kind of assistant when I need to move around with my flash or torches to illuminate the scene. It’s like a personal assistant.
Over the years, I have learned to buy what gear is strictly necessary for myself and also to be price smart.
I’m constantly searching for good opportunities in the second-hand market as, let’s be honest; you’re not becoming rich doing this job!
The most important tool for a photographer is their own personal view and a strong passion. Good equipment could make your job easier but it is not the fundamental part.
My advice is to be passionate, determined, and humble. Have good experiences, travel as much as you can, and put yourself in the position of telling a story you love.
By doing this, you can transmit your love to other people and take pictures that arouse emotions.
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