Alessandro Words | Gina Tron
lessandro is no amateur photographer. His career started back in 93’ when he worked as an advertising photographer in Brisbane, Australia. His first personal project entitled “Quotidiano,” focused mostly on still life and won the Polaroid International Awards in 2001. The award sparked the start of his one true love; taking photographs of the sea. “I actually started taking pictures of the ocean with the prize that I got from Polaroid. The prize was a big case of Polaroid film.” He started becoming obsessed with the ocean while surfing. I asked when he started surfing. He sounded a bit embarrassed as he confessed the age he got into the sport. “Unfortunately, I started quite late.” By late I thought he meant like 28 or some shit. “I started when I was 16. I would have liked to have started when I was like 3 or 4 years old.” Spending time by the sea really cleared his mind. “I look at the sea as a sort of guide to life and of course it reflects the freedom that I am look-
ing for in my everyday life.” He also loves the contradictory elements of beauty that the ocean brings ashore. “Its elegant and it has power so there is a mix of things that are quite strange, like power and elegance.” It took him a while to finesse the true art of shooting waves. “There is a thin line between a piece of art and just a picture.” The progression of his craft began on a stormy day, when he saw a high splash that reached high towards the horizon. This became the inspiration for his project, Intersections which is a series of photographs that look very much like paintings, and in which you can really see the influence of Romanticism shine. In this series the waves kind of merge with the clouds for a very surreal look. The imagery invokes some dark and gloomy emotions, at least for me. I asked if it was intentional and he said yes. “You can not even define what is the sea and what is the clouds.” There is little pre-production used; someFeb. - Mar. 2012
times he will use a bit of Photoshop just for “pushing a lot of contrast usually.” In order to create such a look with little to no post-production, a lot of preproduction is involved. “Waves like that that go so high in the sky, they only happen like a few days a year. So you have to be there on the right day and find the right place where they can splash like that.” He spends a lot of time looking at charts, predicting the when’s and whereabouts of incoming waves. He then drives his mobile home out on the coast of Portugal, not unlike a storm chaser to catch the waves with his Canon 5D camera. “I put the camera in a bag, and usually get wet. There’s no way not to.” Clearly that is the case, as he mentioned to me that he received some major water damage on his last shoot. “My camera is damaged, perhaps beyond repair.” Eh, collateral damage, and one that is necessary for the impressive artwork created by Alessandro. “Yeah, it happens.”
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