THE URBEX PROJECT

— The path towards a style —

-URBEX: UN’ AVVENTURA TRA INDIANA JONES, PIRATI E CARAVAGGIO-

-URBEX: UN' AVVENTURA TRA INDIANA JONES, PIRATI E CARAVAGGIO-

-URBEX: AN ADVENTURE AMONG INDIANA JONES, PIRATES AND CARAVAGGIO-

Negli ultimi anni il mio spirito d’avventura mi ha spinto a scoprire il fascino dell’esplorazione urbana (che prende il nome di urbex dall’unione di due termini inglesi “urban” ed “exploration”) legata a luoghi abbandonati.

 Mi ritrovo a girare come un pirata in cerca non di ruderi scheletrici ma di antichi tesori nascosti d’architettura appartenuti ad epoche passate. Pirata anche nel senso dell’illegalità in quanto questi ambienti seppur abbandonati, giuridicamente, spesso sono delle proprietà private.

Da bambino ammiravo Indiana Jones ed i grandi film d’avventura: ora nelle ville decadenti del Settecento, nelle fabbriche dismesse d’inizio Novecento o nelle tenute agrarie dell’Ottocento riesco a trovare quella sensazione di brivido,avventura ed esplorazione…sono diventate il mio “Tempio Maledetto“. E come in quei film rovi, ragnatele e polvere accompagnano i miei passi muovendomi come una presenza anacronistica all’interno di questi posti dimenticati dove in alcuni casi la natura incontrollata si riprende lo spazio rubato dall’uomo.
 
Per differenziarmi da altri esploratori ho voluto creare una personale impronta stilistica “caravaggesca”: con le luci che trapassano il buio della scena, le fotografie arrivano quasi ad assumere la qualità di un dipinto. D’altronde Caravaggio è considerato il primo grande fotografo e quale miglior fonte d’ispirazione potrei trovare per inventarmi questo ponte tra fotografia urbana e pittura?
 
Questo mio genere di fotografare trasmette emozioni contradditorie: una connotazione negativa in cui la bellezza di questi posti è corrotta dall’oscurita e dall’abbandono, o positiva dove questa bellezza mantiene il suo orgoglio nonostante il logorio della natura e del tempo?
 
Come fossi un “cronoreporter” tento di preservare negli scatti la malinconica bellezza di questi luoghi, strutture che molto probabilmente andranno demolite o le intemperie faranno crollare su se stesse.
 
Tesori che il pubblico non avrà più modo di conoscere, spazzati via dal tempo.
 

-URBEX: AN ADVENTURE AMONG INDIANA JONES, PIRATES AND CARAVAGGIO-

 
In the last few years my adventurous spirit pushed me to discover the beauty of the exploration of abandoned places (which is named urbex).
 
I find myself scavenging like a pirate, looking for hidden, ancient architectural treasures, from past epochs. I’m also a pirate due to illegality, because these places, although abandoned, are often private properties, juridically.
 
When I was a child I admired Indiana Jones and famous adventure movies: now I can find that adventurous thrill in the decaying villas of the Eighteenth century, in the rural mansions of the Nineteenth century and in the decommissioned factories of the early Twentieth century…They have become my “Temple of Doom”. Like in those movies brambles, spiderwebs and dust accompany my steps, as I am an anachronistic presence inside these forgotten places, where in some cases the uncontrolled nature takes back the space stolen by mankind.
 
To differentiate myself from other explorers I wanted to create a personal stylistic “Caravaggesque” imprint: with lights piercing the darkness of the scene, photos almost reach the quality of a painting. Moreover Caravaggio is considered the first great photographer and which best source of inspiration could I find to invent this bridge between urban photography and painting?
 
This photograpy genre of mine conveys discordant and unsettling emotions: is this connotation negative, where the beauty of these places is corrupted by darkness and abandonment, or is it positive, where the aforementioned beauty keeps its pride, despite the wear of nature and time?
 
Like I’m a “ Chronoreporter” I try to preserve in my shots the melancholic beauty of these places, buildings which will be most likely demolished or the elements will make them crumble upon themselves.
 
They are treasures that nobody will have a way to know, wiped out by time.
In the last few years my adventurous spirit pushed me to discover the beauty of the exploration of abandoned places (which is named urbex).
 
I find myself scavenging like a pirate, looking for hidden, ancient architectural treasures, from past epochs. I’m also a pirate due to illegality, because these places, although abandoned, are often private properties, juridically.
 
When I was a child I admired Indiana Jones and famous adventure movies: now I can find that adventurous thrill in the decaying villas of the Eighteenth century, in the rural mansions of the Nineteenth century and in the decommissioned factories of the early Twentieth century…They have become my “Temple of Doom”. Like in those movies brambles, spiderwebs and dust accompany my steps, as I am an anachronistic presence inside these forgotten places, where in some cases the uncontrolled nature takes back the space stolen by mankind.
 
To differentiate myself from other explorers I wanted to create a personal stylistic “Caravaggesque” imprint: with lights piercing the darkness of the scene, photos almost reach the quality of a painting. Moreover Caravaggio is considered the first great photographer and which best source of inspiration could I find to invent this bridge between urban photography and painting?
 
This photograpy genre of mine conveys discordant and unsettling emotions: is this connotation negative, where the beauty of these places is corrupted by darkness and abandonment, or is it positive, where the aforementioned beauty keeps its pride, despite the wear of nature and time?
 
Like I’m a “ Chronoreporter” I try to preserve in my shots the melancholic beauty of these places, buildings which will be most likely demolished or the elements will make them crumble upon themselves.
 
They are treasures that nobody will have a way to know, wiped out by time.
 
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-REALIZATION-

-REALIZATION-

La maggior parte delle mie opere sono buie (anche se le situazioni a volte non consentono questa scelta).
Si può notare come in queste ombre marcate troviamo sempre una luce che va a trapassare la scena illuminando i soggetti diventando spesso loro stesse le protagoniste dello scatto. Da qui la mia scelta stilistica personale di dare un’impronta “caravaggesca” alle mie opere.
 
Sfrutto esclusivamente la luce naturale, a volte attendo volutamente lo spostamento del sole  per avere una determinata luce in una determinata stanza. (La mia formazione come fotografo paesaggista influisce non poco! )
Non uso alcun faretto, i miei faretti sono le persiane per modulare e canalizzare la luce.
Oltre al discorso tecnico c’è anche una motivazione pratica: dovendosi infilare o arrampicare con lo zaino spesso in situazioni difficoltose è sempre meglio essere leggeri e poco ingombranti. Inoltre può capitare di star per venir scoperti ed è utile lasciare la scena il più velocemente possibile.
 
Trattandosi pur sempre di fotografia di architettura, seguo comunque tutti gli accorgimenti mirati a questo genere fotografico, come l’uso di ottiche grandangolari e l’attenzione alle linee prospettiche. Solo per esigenze creative può capitare di stravolgere volutamente queste regole.
 
Linee prospettiche non curate o storte possono rappresentare normalmente in questo genere una specie di “licenza poetica”.
Infatti,  il senso di devastazione si può tradurre perfettamente in una composizione con linee architettoniche storte, trasmettendo un senso di precarietà alla scena.
Ma, spesso, il mio intento è quello di riprodurre l’antico orgoglio ed eleganza della struttura. Da qui la scelta di mantenere un rigore nell’inquadratura, propria della normale fotografia d’interni ed architettura.
Most of my works are dark by choice (even if sometimes the circumstances don’t allow it): it can be noticed as in these marked shadows a scene-piercing light can be found, which enlightens the subjects or becomes itself the star of the shot. From here my personal stylistic choice about giving a “Caravaggesque” impression to my works.
 
I take advantage of natural light only, sometimes I deliberately wait for the Sun to move, in order to have a specific light in a specific room (my background as a landscape photographer affects my works quite a lot!).
 
I don’t use any spotlight: my spotlights are the shutters to modulate and channel the light.
 
Besides any technical matter there’s a practical reason behind my choice: since I need to crawl or climb with my backpack, often in difficult conditions, it’s better to be light and unencumbered. Also, it can happen to be almost caught and in that case it’s useful to leave the scene as soon as possible.

Still being architectural photography I follow nonetheless all the tricks in the book, like lenses used in wide-angle mode, and a focus on the perspective lines. Only for creative purposes may happen to deliberately upset these rules.

Untreated or crooked perspective lines can normally represent a kind of “poetic license” in this genre. In fact, the sense of devastation can be perfectly translated into a composition with crooked architectural lines, transmitting a sense of precariousness to the scene. But, often, my intent is to reproduce the ancient pride and elegance of the structure. Hence the choice to maintain a rigor in the frame, typical of normal interior photography and architecture.

Most of my works are dark by choice (even if sometimes the circumstances don’t allow it): it can be noticed as in these marked shadows a scene-piercing light can be found, which enlightens the subjects or becomes itself the star of the shot. From here my personal stylistic choice about giving a “Caravaggesque” impression to my works.
 
I take advantage of natural light only, sometimes I deliberately wait for the Sun to move, in order to have a specific light in a specific room (my background as a landscape photographer affects my works quite a lot!).
 
I don’t use any spotlight: my spotlights are the shutters to modulate and channel the light.
 
Besides any technical matter there’s a practical reason behind my choice: since I need to crawl or climb with my backpack, often in difficult conditions, it’s better to be light and unencumbered. Also, it can happen to be almost caught and in that case it’s useful to leave the scene as soon as possible.
 
Still being architectural photography I follow nonetheless all the tricks in the book, like lenses used in wide-angle mode, and a focus on the perspective lines. Only for creative purposes may happen to deliberately upset these rules.
 

Untreated or crooked perspective lines can normally represent a kind of “poetic license” in this genre. In fact, the sense of devastation can be perfectly translated into a composition with crooked architectural lines, transmitting a sense of precariousness to the scene. But, often, my intent is to reproduce the ancient pride and elegance of the structure. Hence the choice to maintain a rigor in the frame, typical of normal interior photography and architecture.

11032017-_MG_1072-Modifica-2-Modifica-Modifica