How can you give life to a block of marble? Well, sculptors do. They know how to make a 2 tons piece of unanimated rock turn into something alive. Michelangelo fired his hammer against his Moses once it was finished asking ”Perché non parli?” (Why don’t you talk?), and if you are like me and like sculptures, you will be probably staring at a statue in awe mouth open and with your head going blank.
I’m not a great fan of paintings, or I should better say not as much as I am of sculptures. Classic sculptures are my favorites, from the ancient Greeks and Romans masterpieces to Donatello. Funny to admit it; being a photographer or at least someone who is in love with photography and working on his learning process, painting should be the thing to look at with more attention. The use of light, then rule of thirds, the search for the third dimension, all valuable inputs any photog should grab from the master painters. Yet it is harder for me to understand how a man can sculpt the body of The David and Goliath, than painting The Last Supper. Probably I have the wrong concept that if you make a mistake while working on your canvas you can go back and somehow fix it, but if the scalpel knocks out too much marble your work has gone for good.
Now, just to make something clear I’m not an educated lover of sculpture, paintings or art in general. Yet I grew up in a city like Rome and spent long summer holydays in Tuscany, hence art and architectural beauties where around me all the time. I’m pretty sure that my small brain and my short sighted eyes absorbed all that beauty like sponges, and stored it somewhere. Now it floats to the surface and every once in a while, when I have the chance to witness shows of manmade wonders I breath it deeply, and if I have the camera with me I grab my vision of it.
Wandering around the Vatican Museums for a whole day has been such a grateful experience that I almost thanked my wife for dragging me there. I was scared to go, mid August, crowded with people, sticky hot… not a great plan. My longing to see the museum was being beaten by my laziness, but thank God I was not alone. To my surprise, once inside the Museum I was alone. Not that the thousands of people grazing around have gone at once, just that when I put my eye behind the viewfinder of my Nikon everything softened out and quieted down.
My wife had her ear glued to the audio guide and never interrupted me in my inspired journey through those wonders. I was literally absent, walking on a cloud and filling GB of images. Thus, I wasn’t shooting like a madman; neither was I looking for the most famous statues or masterpieces. I mostly shot what I liked, the way I liked it and using the available light as much as I could. Looking back at the images I have the exact proof of what I’m now stating so confidently. The only real good images I have are those I shot with the most passionate feeling, being attracted by the details or the rim of light coming through the windows, or the composition I managed to get by moving around it and profoundly looking for the best possible angle (at least for me).
Last but not least I shall not forget the editing work in Lightroom. I couldn’t be happier of my reading of David duChemin book “Vision & Voice”. His work is having a profound influence in the developing of my images and especially for things like sculptures, I believe that the editing process is utterly important and I tried to take care of it the best I could. I hope that they manage to convey what I want them to, and the way I felt about them.
There’s still a long way to go but we’re working hard J