Damiano Serra / Member Interview
Arcola , Italy
What inspired you to become a photographer?
It 'something that happened a bit by accident. My professional bias has led me to be interested in the technical means "digital camera"; I wanted to take it apart to understand how it works, after a while I began to appreciate photography as a means of documentation and subsequent expression.
Tell us about your first photo that really validated your interest as a photographer.
Every picture I do inspires me to do something better, I can therefore say that every picture I do is an integral part of my photographic interest.
Back when you were just starting out, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome that?
I think the biggest challenge I faced was the evolution in the subjects to be photographed. For a while I photographed only inanimate subjects; the photography of people was a big step that forced me to also evolve as a person, losing many insecurities. It was very difficult but also overly satisfying.
What do you enjoy photographing the most?
There are three photographic genres that are more tied up: Landscape, Architecture, Portraiture. But I enjoy any type of photography can be achieved, with the variation of my state of mind I feel I can improve my situation any kind, the important thing is to capture something with the camera.
Tell us about time in your photographic journey where you failed at something and how did you pivot to overcome this?
In the type of photography, I do it is easy to fail in grasping the right weather conditions when searching particular landscapes. You 'something that often happens, one must know how to be careful about what is happening in the world around. You must know how to listen to nature to be able to predict what is going to happen, by not miss a moment that would be perfect.
We all have weaknesses, what is yours relating to photography?
I feel very weak on photography commissioned for me, photography is my time; staff, I'm not going to use it to create a totally my experience.
Finding time to get out and shoot is another challenge for many. How do you find the time in your busy schedule to get out there behind your camera?
As you say it is not easy to find their free time, the more difficult it is to carve out time inside of it to be able to give space to photography. In any case I do a job that allows me to choose my holidays and when they are free to do the photo trips. In general, in everyday life so I speak often of photography with friends, in a way so they are always in contact with it.
Nailing a composite right can be a challenge. What do you think the trick is to mastering composition?
In my photographic style is almost always the tripod, I think for me it is a basic element for the search of the right composition; it allows me to approach every single photograph calmly, check everything with precision before shooting. The rest is just a matter of taste and inside balance of the photo.
There are many photographers starting out, who don't have the money to buy the camera gear they want. What advice can you give to them?
In the photograph you must know how to engineer; build their own equipment is the best advice you can give. For all that cannot be built, I think you should definitely invest in second hand equipment. In all this we must bear in mind that it is not the equipment to do the photography, but we are photographers.
How do you feel photography has impacted the way you see the world?
It 'a difficult question this. I would say that photography has given me a way to express my vision of the world; but I would not say that it has influenced this vision.
What do you see photographers doing today, that if done differently tomorrow would improve their success?
I do not feel in a position to give advice to anyone, each of us lives the photograph in its own way; the only real common experience I think is the communication and sharing with other people. I say therefore to never stop talking to people, never stop to confront; thereby maintaining a high level of humility.
To get your creative eye focused, where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration is created in my imagination and it comes from life experiences, the people who attend, from the books that I read .... So my inspiration is created by everything that surrounds me.
What is your best photography related tip?
Dedication and patience are the two connected points for my photographic experience.
What would you like for people take away from your work?
I wish it had seen my pursuit of perfection, in the majority of the photos I shot I look for clean images and composed in a balanced way; I'd pass on this search of a dogma that remains so in the real world but you can within the limits of a photograph.
What are some ‘must have’ items in your camera bag?
The “must have” objects in the bag are the following: - Canon TS-E 24 - Remote shooting - Big Stopper filter - Tripod
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the ONE photography book you would want to have with you?
This question about the book is that in the questionnaire put me in the greatest difficulty. This is because my cultural education about the photographers and photography in general is not so large; I own a number of important books but my visual education has mainly built on the web, looking at the images that attracted me. Among the things I have, at this time I would take back the last portfolio Szymon Brodziak; I see it as a collection of images with something absolutely classic and at the same time an absurd modernity.
Final question, and it’s a fun one: Life has been found on another planet and none-other than Sir Richard Branson is piloting Virgin Galactic and has put together a team of engineers, scientist, doctors and has asked you to come along to document the journey. The challenge is you can only bring two lenses and one camera body and two other items. What would you bring?
Challenge accepted! When do you leave? My backpack is composed by my trusty EOS 1Ds MKIII, the TS-E 24mm F3.5 L II and an 85mm f1.2 L; in addition to these I bring a tripod and a beauty dish to take portraits of the new forms of life.
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