Thursday, 29 January 2015

Ludovico Poggioli

Umbria, Italy

What role does photography play in your (everyday) life? Does it relate to what you do professionally?

Photography is what keeps me sane. It's like medicine for the soul, a sweet obsession. And no, I worked for many years as an IT System Administrator. That were too many hours spent in front of a monitor typing on a keyboard; that's probably why I love old mechanical cameras and the darkroom.

You probably heard this questions already a lot of times: Why do you prefer to shoot in black and white?

From time to time I try to shoot in colour. I got some friends who make wonderful things with colour, but I'm completely incapable: I found colour to be too real for my taste, black and white leaves more room for the viewer and adds a little bit of mystery to a photograph. Also, with black and white I can control the whole process in my darkroom, which is a real plus for me.

What do you enjoy most about the whole process - from seeing something and taking a photograph of it, up until the moment you hold the picture in your hands in your darkroom?

The magic starts when I look at my contact sheets, searching for the good ones to print, the ones I remember, hoping that they will be as I imagined them, or finding ones I had already forgotten about. The three dogs running, which is one of my favourites, is one of those I had forgotten completely. I had shot it at dusk with an impossible shutter speed, 1/4 or 1/8, I think, and when I saw the picture on my contact sheet I at first didn't understand what it was, so I had to enlarge it in order to see the dogs.

If you could display your latest pictures along with a soundtrack, what would you choose to play?

Sinnerman by Nina Simone. I love her voice.

You wrote that you take pleasure in taking pictures outdoors, and preferably during bad weather. What is it you like about this setting/combination?

It's easiest to be alone when there is bad weather; I love walking through the empty streets, observing the raindrops on the windows and experiencing the silence of misty nights.

Grainy, blurry pictures dominate your portfolio, allowing the spectator to get carried away in her/his own thoughts. Is this something you aim for?

Yes, I really love the evocative power of grainy/blurry black and white photos; I think they prompt feelings rather than describing a small portion of the world, and that's what I try to achieve. There are many good documentary photographers out there and their work is amazing, but that's not my cup of tea.

Is there a project or an idea that you are eager to carry out?

I'm working on two projects right now; the first is XALOVE, made with the little Olympus XA camera. I shoot with long shutter times, because I'm really curious about the way film records light and movement. It's a very "you'll burn a lot of film for a very small amount of keepers" kind of project, but it distracts me from everyday life and I like it. The other project involves some contact printed postcards I hope to send to some friends through the world. I'm really in love with little prints right now, and I think that this could be a nice way to make my trees travel and see the world.

Which artist(s) are you following currently?

Gabrielle Duplantier, Fabien Pio, Bernard Cantie, Klavdij Sluban, Andrea Buzzichelli, Anders Petersen and many, many others. There are a lot of talented and wonderful photographers out there.

What do you like most about living in the region of Umbria? 

The relaxed way of life: it's quite easy to slow down a little here, and that's something I really care about.

Is there an exhibition, a museum or gallery you have visited recently and which has inspired you?

I saw a beautiful exposition of Daido Moriyama last month that I loved. It left me feeling uneasy, slightly melancholic. He is another photographer whose work I admire.

What can’t you go without at breakfast?

That's easy: Coffee! You can't start a new day without coffee.