Most of your work is shot by the seaside, either on the shore or deep
in the waves; it conveys a sense of immensity and loneliness. When did
this start, and what attracted you to this environment?
started taking pictures of the ocean in 2006, but my love for the sea
dates back to 1986 when I first discovered surfing. The ocean, year
after year, became in my mind a sort of example to follow - a reflection
of my ideal life. Its waves, as described by Jack London, are ‘the
knights of the infinite sea army,’ bearing simplicity, elegance, power
and freedom.Can you tell us about these two photographs? When were they taken, which broader body of work do they belong to?
are both recent, taken in 2013. Intersections 28 was shot on the west
coast of Italy, in Marina di Pisa, which is my home town. The van is in
Portugal, south of Lisbon in a region called Alentejo and that beach,
Praia do Malhão, feels like home these days.
A van in the Sea 11 is
part of a work in progress that I just started; the van itself
represents an important decision I made a year ago as I chose to
dedicate most of my time to artistic production instead of commercial
work. So I moved the van to Portugal and it became my home for most of
the year. At that time, I just stayed in the van, slept close to the
ocean and photographed the sea. Intersections is one of my major
projects, and it got a lot of attention from an international audience
in the last year. It's about that brief moment of time when the water of
the sea blurs with the clouds of a stormy sky and creates a unique and
abstract fleeting moment. What role does travel have in your practice and process? Do you work alone or with an assistant?
found that the entire European Atlantic coast is excellent for what I'm
looking for. I'm based in Portugal, but I'm always ready to jump on a
plane and go north, to the UK or France, to photograph a big swell. I
always work by myself. Taking photographs of the ocean is an exercise in
patience: you need the right light, sky, wind, swell and maybe the
right tide - it's very unpredictable, so I prefer to go by myself. It
may sound boring, but when the conditions are good, I spend the whole
day in front of the sea - I don't think an assistant would enjoy it.Your
photographs sometimes take a very pictorial turn - you rework them as
you would apply colours with brushes on a canvas. What is your creative
process, before/while/after shooting?
My photos are deeply
related to Romanticism, especially the works of JMW Turner and Caspar
David Friedrich. That's why they look so pictorial. The process after
shooting is very simple. I use a raw converter called Capture One, and
then a bit of Photoshop: I try to adjust colours in capture One, I just
de-saturate them and shift them lightly. I use local adjustment to give
the picture added tri-dimensionality. But it's really the shooting that
counts: I need the right atmosphere, just big waves are not enough. Like
I said, I need the right sky, maybe a bit of sun through the clouds,
strong winds… in other words, I need a Romantic scene in front of me.
Limited edition, numbered and signed.