Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Genius Loci, Photography proximity

Genius Loci, Photography proximity
A group of nature photographers of Italian Genius Loci have created a blog devoted to disseminate their work. The aim of the post is to publicize the closest to your immediate surroundings nature. Ugo Mellone interviewed, one of its founders, who tells her story and the motivations of this group of 14 nature photographers.

What is Genius loci?
Genius Loci is a blog, updated daily, aimed at disseminating an idea of ​​photography that has to do with travel to distant places, latest technologies, or excessive retouching. On the contrary we want to center the fundamental nature photographer creative work that develops around your home, in your land, a deep, almost daily, continuous discovery of the reality in which he lives on.

We attach importance also to the text associated with each photo, relying on a reading of the content that goes beyond the quick overview of the photographs to which social networks are getting used. We are more "correspondents" from the four corners of Europe, and also from Africa. I, from Andalusia, and it is my place of residence. We also publish external contributions, the "guest" page, and articles denouncing the "exposed" page.

We wonder how the idea came
By pure chance, and Giulio Lelardi, we Monfragüe in May 2014 and started thinking about the need to do "something" together with other Italian photographers to whom we had high regard. Something other than what was already on the web. But the fact that at first we did not have very clear ideas! Then we had a meeting via Skype with Vitantonio dell'Orto, and from there the idea arose Blog daily update including photographs relating only to the area of ​​residence of each photographer.

Being located in various parts of Europe, are you planteáis expand the number of members, or your project is a group project that aims to maintain a certain number of members without growing? I do not think now we can send two photos each month and logically based project has to be Italian, but 3 members live abroad. you keep meetings, these physical presence or by internet on a regular basis? We are in constant contact through a mailing list and from time to time we met for Skype. Hopefully one day it is possible to get together!

How You select pictures of each day?
There is a selection committee, everyone is free to upload what feels appropriate, but obviously have to respect the fundamental values ​​of the project: photos on the area of ​​residence (as defined at the outset), with a post moderate production, and possibly unprecedented. We also try to upload photos in theme with the season, or "neutral."

There is some technique or some ethical principle shun you want to highlight?
Debate vs. reality Imagination is a very hot topic today, not only in nature photography. Also no debate between us, but avoid posting photographs post-production with exaggerated and overly unrealistic results, and I mean well to color management and the cloning, or double exposures, which we believe are well until that no limits are exceeded They go far beyond reality that can be observed in the field. We believe that nature is spectacular in itself and does not need special effects.

As photographers from Italy, you see the reality of photography in your country and in Europe?
Well, I personally think there are very good photographers in Italy, and also get some live activity despite the crisis of paper publications, which for years had a commercial success that has now almost disappeared. But, in general, I have to say that digital technology has been started in nature photography to many people who have great skills and good team skills, but ignore the importance of a knowledge base nature.
I'm old school, ie a liking to me first nature, and photography was a result. I see today in many cases the opposite happens, and many are unaware that species being photographed, or does not care to photograph an animal in captivity or in the wild. The pursuit of "success" through social networks leads many people to feel slave of the result, which, for some, any trap or hang of it, to obtain the desired picture. I think the same happens in other countries.

What can you tell us about the situation of photography in Spain and the Spanish photographers?
In Spain undoubtedly nature photography is more successful than in Italy, and throughout the country, in the South as in the North (in Italy is not as uniform), there are very active and large capacities photographers. I also believe that there is more "camp culture" in Italy, perhaps because of the work of Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente. However, I also see a lot, maybe too much, emulation There species and hyper-photographed places, while other aspects are forgotten. Also, I do not see many photographers who tell stories, to deepen the knowledge of a species or a place in a long-term project, through a set of photos, rather than seeking individual "photon". Surely, in this respect, it has also helped the crisis of the magazines published full reports. Then everyone is free to do whatever he wants, of course!

What I call the attention of nature in our country?
Well, Spain has large tracts of undeveloped land, which we hardly are in Italy. The population density is much lower and is concentrated in large cities. There are very different environments: high mountains, wetlands, arid, Mediterranean forest ... and the fauna, is incredibly rich and varied with species that in my country are extinct or are very slim. Just to make an example of the just occurring to me was watching in May in Asturias a bear with her two cubs, and in the same valley was a couple of vulture. So, from the same place, in Italy perhaps it was possible to observe a few centuries ago, at least.

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