We intercept Enrico Costantini in one of the few breaks between trips, when the photographer, a “nomad” as he calls himself, recharges his batteries before returning to observe the world from his point of view, which like photography is truth and fiction. Travel and photography for Enrico Costantini are tools through which we can be part of something that does not belong to us but that we can make our own for an instant.
Curious to understand how his relationship with the camera comes about and to discover some secrets with respect to his many travels over the years, Collater.al had a chat with Enrico.
How did you get into photography?
Actually it was accidental! I went to an art school in Venice and then continued my studies in Rome where I majored in interior design. I got into the world of fashion and then from there into photography. I bought my first SLR camera when I was 20 years old and started experimenting. I have always had a strong connection with the value of “memory,” and from there perhaps comes my collecting nature. Sometimes one takes photographs out of fear of forgetting or fear of being forgotten. Now I experience photography as a chance to tell without having to use too many words, sometimes through a photo one can steal a moment of someone else’s life and make it one’s own, leaving instead something of our own, of one’s own experience.
With your photographs you take us to faraway places like Socotra, Cuba, Oman, the Philippines and many others. What stories are you looking for? What stories do you want to tell?
Before embarking on a new journey, you never really know what’s coming. I like to reach remote and unspoiled destinations. Perhaps what I really go in search of is authenticity. Similarly, I love architecture and design, so any destination that includes at least one of these components becomes a source of stimulation and research for me.
It goes without saying that while traveling you have very different equipment at your disposal from what that a studio photographer has. What, in your opinion, is the equipment needed for this type of photography?
Personally, as a photographer, I use only natural light. I love natural light and capturing its many and varied nuances. Each moment is never similar to its previous one. That said, I usually travel rather lightly if you can call it that. However, I like to carry several cameras with me. I would say that in this case there is no real need but certainly do not underestimate to equip yourself with multiple batteries and sufficient memory, admittedly in certain travel conditions it helps a lot to save precious time.
Is there a shot you are particularly fond of? Tell us about it.
I don’t think there is one particular shot that I am fond of. Probably in general to all the
shots related to my first reportage trip to Asia. A trip that lasted 4 months from New Delhi to Hong Kong passing 7 states, over 10,000 km on the road. It was my first overseas trip, I was 23 years old, and it was my first real experience where I found myself reporting on the people the places the situations I encountered on my way. It gave me a lot. These are shots that although very simple and of not so good technical achievement, every time I see them again, they arouse something very deep in me.