Davide Padovan is a young Italian photographer devoted to nude and portraits series. He captures visions, where a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. He works on long series of photographs made of different shots combined one to the other, making sense when all together.

I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.

Which is your first photographic memory?
My first photographic memory is a Polaroid we took at the kindergarten during a birthday party.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I will probably go for the photograph of the guy diving in the pool. I guess I took it 4 years ago.
A famous person you would like to portray.
Rossy de Palma.
A famous picture you would have liked to take.
One of the Brooklyn Gang series by Bruce Davidson.
We know you are passionate about long term series, precisely of feminine portraits. It seems that while working on a series, you investigate inner themes, you observe with an analytical eye, you are in search of something deeper. What are you looking for while shooting?
I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.
Light plays an important role in your photography. Precisely, it helps to draw feminine beauty, to outline feminine profiles and bodies. Light enters the inner spaces, but this is never an invasion. It’s delicate, soft and gentle. It touches lightly your bodies. Light mixes with shadows, and emotions emerge. How do you reach this effect?
Well, I always try to look for a decent combination of natural and artificial light (such as lamps) but at the end it’s just a fortuity.
Beauty emerges from your shots. The beauty of common women, without make up, pure and genuine as they are, while lying in messy beds, sofas, or just on the ground of bare flats. How do you feel while shooting? Which kind of relationship do you develop with your models while shooting?
I ask to them to be as much comfortable as possible, in order to be able to take the best picture.
Speaking about “A Common Sense Of Disorder”, portraits alternate with dynamic black and white photographs. At first sight, the situations you are documenting are opposed and contrasting, they seem to have nothing in common. What’s the conceptual idea under this choice? Is there a trait d’union between the shots?
I think there is a number of images that you can find often in this series, under different kinds of forms, like a repetition. It’s quite unconscious, I think. I try to combine them, not always with a good result, actually.
You are a deep observer; you search for the surreal reality around you. Your photography captures visions; there, a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. Where do you usually find your inspiration?
I don’t know if I am a deep observer; there is no inspiration or something like that, I think I took picture of what interests me more, and captures my attention.
Your portrait sessions are more frequent than other kind of projects. However, your portfolio collects interesting exploratory projects, where the surrounding landscapes play the main role. What could you say about your approach to nature? What is your relationship with your surrounding reality?
Nudes and portraits represent just the 50% of my production and I always try to make a connection between them and other kinds of images. I think that landscapes are a natural consequence. If you analyze the human behavior, natural or not, the landscape is a second step where to put your feet, I suppose. Moreover, you are forced to have a relationship with the landscape. It’s just there, in front of you.

The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.

Where does your love for analogical medium come from?
The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.
Lights, shadows and emotions interact and mix in your photographs. Looking at your art, we can say your shots have a proper soul, they speak for themselves. Is this made on purpose?
Well, I think that pictures are not able to stand alone. The culture of the social media destroys the inner sense of series or projects. In the 90% of the cases they are just single images to be consumed immediately. They are just images. On the contrary, my images are born to stay together.
Your next project.
I don t know, I’m working on several thinks right now, but without good results at the moment.
Your main flaw and quality.
Bad memory.
Slow.
Make a wish.
To take decent pics, at least in my point of view. To travel.

Through an analogic 35mm film, the Cambridge-based photographer Maya Beano portrays nature’s ever-changing moods and the relationship they have with her personal thoughts and feelings. She was born in Jordan, whose landscapes are featured in several of her photography series and her identity is shaped by all the cultures she is a part of. To her, to be able to express herself in a visual form, it is something very empowering.

I grew up taking pictures on film, moved on to a digital camera in my late teens and moved back to film in my twenties. Personally, I enjoy the tangibility of film.

What is your first photographic memory?
The first camera in my life was a Kodak from Disneyland which my mother gave me. I used to run around the house with it taking photos of my younger brothers. I recently found one of the earliest photos I took: my baby brother on his toy horse in 1995.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and movie?
I don’t know if these describe me, but they’re certainly some of my all-time favourites.
Book: “Staying Alive” by Neil Astley
Song: “Stardust” by Nat King Cole
Movie: “Fly Away Home” (the geese!)

Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I was flying back to England from Amman on New Year’s Eve a few years ago, and I took a photo on the plane of the shadow of my hand. This was the last exposure of the last roll of film I had during that trip. I think this is still one of my most recognised photos, and I’m glad it resonates with a lot of people.

A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
One of the famous black and white photos of Amelia Earhart sitting in her plane. I don’t know who took it, and I know it’s a completely different style of photography, but I really love the sense of determination in her eyes.

A famous person you would like to portray.
Queen Rania of Jordan perhaps! She does a lot to improve education and empower young people.

You say you prefer film photography to digital photography, and 35mm film more than any other. We think it is inspiring to see young photographer using film nowadays. Speaking about you, why do you prefer film to digital?
I grew up taking pictures on film, moved on to a digital camera in my late teens and moved back to film in my twenties. I don’t think there’s any rule to this, and I have seen brilliant pieces of work by both film and digital photographers. Personally, I enjoy the tangibility of film.

We know you were born in Amman, Jordan. Do you think your original background is still present in your art? If so, how?
Of course! I am a blend of all of my backgrounds, and my identity is shaped by all the cultures I am a part of.
I regularly go back to visit Jordan, and its landscapes are featured in several of my photography series. Even when I’m not there, I find myself thinking about my childhood and all of the experiences that have led me to become the person I am today.

You capture chances that many of us miss or do not see. How do you choose the subjects of your art? Which relationship do you have with the places and people you portray?
All of the people in my photos are my close friends, and most of my photos are taken during our trips away together. We’ve been to different parts of the world, including all the way to the Arctic. My family members also make an appearance from time to time. I feel very lucky to have such a supportive and adventurous group of people in my life. I just love them so much. I’m slightly obsessed with cold places, which sometimes proves to be problematic because some of my friends are, understandably, more fond of the warmth. We alternate between cold and warm countries! I’m taking one of my best friends to Jordan soon because she has promised to come to Iceland or the Alps with me after that.

In your photos you report the interplay between nature and human emotion. Precisely, you portray nature’s ever-changing moods and the relationship they have with your personal thoughts and feelings. How much does nature interact with your feelings?
I remember a time in my late teens when my mood depended completely on the weather. When it was cloudy and foggy, I’d feel very low and I’d only feel better when the sky got brighter again. This stage passed, and my mood isn’t linked to the clouds anymore, but I still remember the intensity of it. It was a difficult time in my life in general, and I now look back and think I must have been struggling with seasonal affective disorder. I really love stormy weather now! More tea for me.

I’m slightly obsessed with cold places, which sometimes proves to be problematic because some of my friends are, understandably, more fond of the warmth.

Your photographic series are visual narratives. There, a feeling of nostalgia seems to emerge gently, together with a kind of melancholy that accompanies your past memories. Is this done on purpose?
When I first started posting my work online a few years ago, I didn’t have a very well-formed idea of what I wanted to do with my photography. I was just posting photos of whatever I was feeling at the time. As I experimented with different film, I realised that I could capture the moods that I’d like my photos to convey. I know that some seem melancholic, but I wouldn’t say I do this on purpose. It’s just what I’m drawn to and what resonates with me.

Through your pictures, you collect memories from journeys, from walks, from lands, from people, from emotions, in mesmerizing imagery. You reveal beautiful moments in time among sublime landscapes. By photographs you keep all your memories close to you. What role does photography play in your life?
Photography plays a very big role in my life, and I honestly can’t imagine a world without it. I actually always wanted to be a painter (or an astronaut!), but I was much better at photography than at painting. There is something very empowering about being able to express myself in visual form.

Often, peaceful and quiet sensations can be detected from your landscapes. How do you feel when alone, all surrounded by nature?
This is the best feeling, although I like to share it with the people closest to me so I don’t feel too alone.

Your pictures are dream-like visions of journeys, travels and memories. How do you recreate these dreamy landscapes?
I focus on three things: the light, the composition and, most importantly, the colour. Together, these three things set the mood.

Your landscapes scenes seem to be natural portraits taken during travels and journeys near and far. However, they enclose very personal, subjective visions of those. You are able to capture moments of your life, gently revealing all feelings of that precise time. How are you able to do it?
I usually have a vague mental image of what the final photo will look like. It’s half planned, half left to chance.

What is leading you to become a professional photographer?
I don’t think I would be able to support myself financially if I became a professional photographer. My plan is to keep doing it alongside a full-time job in science, which is my other passion.

Your next project.
I’m going to Jordan for a few weeks, and I will be exploring more places there than I’ve ever done before.

Your main flaw and quality.
I’m an incredibly restless person. On the bright side, I’ve always been told that I’m very caring.

Make a wish.
I wish I could hug my childhood cat just one more time. She always shows up in my dreams.

Born and raised in a small farming community in rural American, Troy Colby creates handcrafted worlds coming from little childhood memories. Devoted to black and white photography, he composes images full of hope and dreams. His shots come from the heart and ask viewers to come to their own emotions.

I really love black and white and the qualities that it can bring to the image. I feel we bring our attachments to color to the images.

Which is your first photographic memory?
I really cannot think of any. I remember very little of my childhood. I do remember spending a lot of time looking at my grandparent’s old photo books every time I went over to their house. I would do the same with my parents as well. Other than that I really struggle to remember those moments as a child.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
A book—High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Song, Man that is a super tough one. I am a huge music buff; I think my record collection is now in the 2000 mark. Right now I would say it is Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile. For a movie, I am going to say The Empire Strikes Back. The simple reason is that Luke has started to become a Jedi and is getting stronger. Yet they take a huge beating at the end of the film and they are still standing. It is bittersweet moment in the film yet you can feel the hope that still remains.

Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I would more than likely go with the image of my middle son when we first started really working together. It is an image from “The Dream of Flight series”. He is standing in a field with sticks roped onto his wrists looking upward. The image is full of hope and dreams and it has also set me on this current path. I think we can all relate to wanting more and longing for something better.

A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
Oh man, that’s tough. I would have to go with “The Fishmongers Daughter” by Michael Garlington. It changed how I viewed photography and what could be done with photography. Not sure it that is famous enough. If not, “John the Baptist” by Caravaggio is a long standing favorite that I could spend hours viewing.

A famous person you would like to portray.
I used to really follow professional skateboarding growing up and then rock bands but I think someone that I find to be really interesting as an actor would be, Timothy Olyphant.

You seem to favorite black and white pictures. Is there a precise reason behind this choice?
I really love black and white and the qualities that it can bring to the image. I feel we bring our attachments to color to the images. Without color we strip these notions and it becomes more about the context within the image. Plus, many of my earliest inspirations used Black and White.

We know you were born and raised in a small farming community in rural American countryside, a place you will have missed a lot later on. How much did your backdrop help you refine your final vision?
I do miss the open sky and no one around. It helped me learn to make something in this landscape that was unique. Also the simplicity of the landscape translated into my work in how I approach things. Being isolated I think allowed me to be me without the extra influences.

Most of the times, you work with your son. Could you tell us something about this collaboration? Is it changing, as far as he is growing up?
First it was out of necessity. I needed a subject and landscapes at the time were of no interest to me. Living in the middle of nowhere using models were not an option either. So I just started using my children and wife when possible. Over the years it has evolved into just using my sons. My middle son is the one I typically use beside my project documenting my youngest. The work is changing and evolving slowly. He is becoming more conscious of himself as he enters his teenage years. So I am really not sure how much more time he will be willing to work with me.

You portray him wild and free in a close connection with nature. He is usually inside it: sometimes his face is covered behind a leaf, other times he hides himself inside a bush, or he is lying on the grass. What’s the meaning behind this strong relationship between man and nature? Is it possible to read a return to origins maybe?
This body of work started right after we moved to more of an urban setting. It deals with the both of us finding our place in this new location. As the work progressed my son found his place and is very comfortable in the landscape, while I am still struggling to find my place here. It deals with just trying to adapt and understand this new place you are living in now. It is a drastic change from a town with only a few stoplights to a large urban setting. Everything changed, from how we make work down to how we even live now.

I try to always produce work from the heart. I was once told by a mentor,“ You can make images from one of two places. Your head will leave you wanting more while your heart will give you what you desire.”

Through your art you frequently recreated handcrafted worlds. Where does your inspiration come from?
Some of it is from dreams and the other is from what little childhood memories I have. I do like to watch movies and sometimes a certain emotion comes across that I find interesting.

In “This will pass. I promise you” you speak about your worries as a father and you document your son as he moves through childhood. You capture ordinary instants of familial life, parenthood, as well as childhood during times of stress and insecurity. In sharing your true story through your photographs, it becomes universal. What’s the inner purpose of exploring something so deep?
It is a tough project for me, simply because it is so personal. I have always built up a guard in all of my other works and this lets it down. He has super high anxiety and migraines often. Along with that he is very good at being very demanding and is always on the move. The project happened organically and is still on going. It helps me reflect on those moments and maybe, just maybe, become a better dad by understanding those moments.

You are able to bring so much emotion through the loving but painful portraits of your little boy. We are pretty sure your images come from the heart. How could you be so touchy through your photographs?
I try to always produce work from the heart. I was once told by a mentor,“ You can make images from one of two places. Your head will leave you wanting more while your heart will give you what you desire.” This is something I try my best to stand behind in all of my work. So far this approach has served me well and I think others can feel the emotion within the work.

By introducing your series “The Journey of Dreaming” you quote William Dement saying, “Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives”. If you had to use your own words, how would you define it?
I would say that dreaming allows us to go past this unkind world and enter into this dreamland that can be good or bad. But for the most part our dreams are our escape mechanisms from the every day norm.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
Depending on the body of work. With the “Bitter Sweet” there is a small idea but my son and I typically play with the idea on location and things can change. In “The Journey of Dreaming” and “Memories from Sorrow” there is lots of planning. This would include building the props and even sketching the idea out. In “This will pass. I promise you,” it is all of the fly and nothing is preplanned at all. It is a nice change of pace but there are many moments that get missed as well.

What leads you to become a professional photographer?
It was all by chance. I had a film photo class way back in High School. I chose to go back to school late in life and did so thinking I would be a film editor. Well I had to take a photo story boarding class. In this class we had to use a 35mm and a super 8 camera to make a short film and have film stills as well. From here I remembered how much I loved photography and took a few photo classes and then it snowed balled. I am half way almost with my MFA. So my journey is moving forward. I hope I can share my work and knowledge with others.

Your next project?
I am continuing on with “This will pass. I promise you” and plan on taking some images of my friends in more of straight portraiture style with a 4×5 soon. I also started a new project with my middle son (one that typically helps) in color, capturing those early teenage moments of drifting off.

Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is not having the courage at times to speak up or approach people. Another one would be is that at times I allow that self-doubt voice to creep up on me too much. Good qualities would be: I am hard working and self motivated. I also try to be very honest and fair, though sometimes a bit too honest.

Make a wish.
Well, I would wish for a few more wishes. Pay off all of my student loans! Live off my artwork and travel the world at my own pace.

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