FREELENSING COMMERCIAL STILL LIFE: AN INTERPRETATION

Analogue photographs of negative film and a short memory

 

Freelensing_still_life

  • I remember when in Milan during an exhibition I discovered the Ferdinando Scianna’s fashion reportage: an innovative concept, because fashion photography was conceived as still portrait photography, not as documentary and relatively candid photography.
    At the time I was a student of photography at the CFP Riccardo Bauer in Milan.
    Subsequently, when the great theater photographer Maurizio Buscarino was brought in to teach us portrait, he saw my work and said spontaneously in front of everyone that I was the best student of the school, that he saw a professional job, not a student’s.
    Actually right after graduation I won the Premio Carlo Borromeo from the Lombardy Region for young emerging photographers with a work My Maternal Grandfather who Writes his Memoirs, the one I had presented for the exam in photography.
  • Maurizio Buscarino, who had made the resounding compliment, did not know this: I was certainly good for him who taught portrait and storytelling, but I was certainly still among the worst students of the school as far as the still life is concerned.
    I suffered and I hated “still photographs”: I really do not understand having to put some artificial lights around a static subject.
    Although only technical, a commercial product as a subject, inspired no creative emotion…
    Once I had graduated in photography (I remember very well the appalled gaze of my still life teacher when she discovered my work about my maternal grandfather during the diploma examination) and opened the photographic studio, I found myself having to make photographs of objects for a business.
    Thinking about the fashion reportage of Scianna, I decided to do the still life reportage, hands-free, so no tripod and no added light.
    Wonderful!
    I was doing still life commercial photography but was feeling emotional photographing it!
    The subject was static, but neither I nor the camera were. But I was not only photographing everything hands-free without a tripod, breaking the rigid conventions of still life: I even used the lens unhooked from the camera!
    I meant just that: holding the lens with the left hand and separated from the body of the camera with the other hand.
  • I do not know if I was the first photographer to apply this technique, but it could be, althoughI have found traces of this technique in manuals, magazines and books, only later and my colleagues were astonished while watching me photograph events with people and even the weddings so well.
    They often asked me “but there is no flare on your negatives?”
    These photographs were born so, at the era of the film (when the problem of dust settling on the digital sensor did not exist), thanks to the plasticity of the booked, my trusted Zaiss lens 50 mmm f 1.4, and the most unconventional way to what commercial still life concerns.
Analogue photography: scans from film

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