The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

The Guestbook – Valeria Dellisanti

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

The protagonist of this The Guestbook is Valeria Dellisanti, a young photographer who, with delicacy and mastery, manages to capture small moments of intimacy. Among her projects stands out certainly “In The Rooms“, a series of shots that capture young girls inside their bedrooms, a safe place where growing up and questioning, but what captures our attention is her project “Distancing Diary” born during the quarantine, a sort of personal diary made up of small thoughts and beautiful photographs.

Curious by her style and her works, we asked Valeria a few questions and she told us how her passion was born, her projects, and much more.

Tell us how you approached the photograph. Is there a particular moment that you remember?

I would like to take advantage of this question that I often find in interviews and that is often asked to me, to make a reflection.
So I turn and rephrase the question to you and the readers of Collater.al: Who has not approached photography in the social and cultural context in which we live?
It is almost impossible in my opinion not to confront this medium in 2020. When photography became part of people’s habits, the idea of being able to take pieces of reality and of the world to be able to preserve, archive and review them whenever you want has given rise to a new mass phenomenon that has been accentuated by new technologies and social media. 
Today we all produce images spontaneously, as a natural form of relationship with others and with the world.  In this regard, I like to recall the words of Susan Sontag who wrote: “collecting photographs is collecting the world”.

As far as my personal experience is concerned, since I had the first mobile phone in my hand I started taking pictures, as I think everyone does. Slowly, thanks to my studies, to the stimuli of people in my life, so external and internal influences, I started to do it more and more consciously.  
I don’t remember a particular moment, it was more a path. 
Photography helps me to ask myself questions, to better understand who I am and who I want to be. It helps me to reflect and focus my gaze on what is happening and surrounds me, so for me it is an instrument of self-analysis.

One of your latest works is “In The Rooms“, a series of shots of girls in their bedrooms. Tell us how this idea came about and what aspects you wanted to bring out in the shots. 

I’m very attached to this photo series and I’m a bit tender to look at it today. 
Actually it’s a feeling that I feel a little bit for all my past works.
I started this project spontaneously, almost unconsciously. 
After graduating from art high school, in 2015 I moved to Bologna to continue my studies. This change led me to relate not only to a new city but also with a totally different and autonomous lifestyle. As soon as you change the city, the first step is to find an apartment or a room to live in. So in this context your room, especially if you live in a shared house, becomes an intimate space “a glass bell”.
Beware, bell jar not understood in the meaning of Sylvia Plath “I couldn’t hear anything- sitting on the deck of a ship or in a café in Paris or Bangkok- I would be under the same bell jar, suffocating in my own sour air”. But as a space in which to feel safe and comfortable, to discover and build your own identity.

I was very fascinated by the process of personalisation of the rooms, and above all to take pictures and relate to a subject in such an intimate environment in which every day one reworks one’s identity.
Thanks to this project I found myself photographing friends, but also girls I didn’t know at all. 
The series “In the Rooms” was important for me because it helped me to develop a photographic language and personality, it also allowed me to put myself on the line, to face my fears, my shyness and to confront the lives of other girls my age. 

Your latest project, however, is called “Distancing Diary” and was born during and because of quarantine. What it was like to tell yourself first-hand. 

It wasn’t easy to do it, especially in this context. 
Photography, or creating in general, is therapeutic: the are is an instrument of self-analysis.
In this situation, creating has helped me to confront myself, it has kept me busy and productive, it has helped me to confront myself with others. 
The creation of the diary has made me become aware of how changes coming from the outside pour into us.
After the publication of the project, some people contacted me and told me that they saw each other again in the pages of my diary and that in a way they felt less lonely. 
I think that sharing this time in my life has helped me and others to exorcise negative feelings.
On a structural level, for the first time, I have added a textual and figurative narrative path to the images, I really enjoyed experimenting in this sense.

From a creative and working point of view, how did you experience this lockdown period? 

I lived this period in alternating phases. Weeks in which I was anxious and confused, others in which I felt productive and positive. It was, and still is, a strange time. 
As a photographer friend of mine told me when we met after lockdown… 
“It felt like a bad dream.” What’s worrying is that, metaphorically, we haven’t come out of it yet and we haven’t recovered from this nightmare. 
Hopefully I’ll be back soon to shoot and recover from the canceled shots.

What advice, both technical and practical, would you give to a young person who wants to approach photography for the first time?

I’m not good at giving hahaha advice.
But I would say… read, study and understand the work of other photographers and always question themselves.

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The female portraits by Nicholas Fols

The female portraits by Nicholas Fols

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Disturbing, sad, melancholy, tormented and extraordinarily perfect. These are the faces immortalized in Nicholas Fols‘ shots, a young photographer currently based in Milan. 

Despite his young age, his name is already internationally recognized both in the field of photography and fashion, in fact, Nicholas, in addition to creating true masterpieces behind the camera, never shirks from putting himself in front of the lens, whether his own or that of other photographers such as, for example, that of Pasquale Autorino aka Siermond

But in this case, we want to focus on his shots that as subject have mainly female faces. When they look straight into the lens we are captured by their hypnotic, almost glacial looks that fascinate us so much that we think that yes, they are looking right at us. 

Other times, instead, looking at his photographs we have the sensation of being right next to the models, of spying on them while they are doing their make-up, while they are mirrored, wrapped in a tormented, suspended, almost surreal atmosphere, where everything seems so delicate that it can be swept away with a blow. Hold your breath!

And in the end, the only thing we want is to be one of those girls, Nicholas Fols’ next muse. 

We have selected some of his shots, but to find out more go to Nicholas Fols’ Instagram profile

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Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows

Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

It is difficult to define Brooks Reynolds with one word. He is a director, but also an author and photographer. Born in Burlington, Canada, Brooks Reynolds first approached photography during his high school years, then over time he explored all the possibilities this art had to offer. Today Brooks spends most of his time behind the lens, sometimes taking beautiful photographs, sometimes shooting short films and commercials. 

In this case we want to focus on a small aspect of his work, which we recommend you to discover on his website, the portraits. Scrolling through his portfolio, or his Instagram profile, among the frames of his shorts and projects for clients, you may come across faces, glances that stand out in the darkness of streets and rooms. 

Many times they are strangers, met by chance, but those of Brooks Reynolds do not only show banal faces, they tell stories, we can perceive people’s moods, we can almost hear their thoughts. 

The main feature of all his shots is a cinematic vision on the stage, developed thanks to his short films and that goes perfectly with an exasperated use of light, which creates amplified areas of light and shadow. 

Below is a selection of his shots, but to find out more about Brooks Reynolds’ work go to his website

Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows
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Brooks Reynolds, faces between lights and shadows
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The Japanese suburbs in Alessandro Zanoni’s photos

The Japanese suburbs in Alessandro Zanoni’s photos

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

There is a moment of the day, before the shrill sound of the alarm clocks, in which everything seems to pause. The light is light and reveals only the silhouettes of the buildings and the lines of the streets, the street lamps and neon lights of the signs illuminate the landscape intermittently and even the most chaotic cities look like small, almost uninhabited villages. 

Although it was enough to wake up a little earlier, there are still few people who challenge sleep to discover this urban beauty. One of them is Alessandro Zanoni, a visual designer and part-time photographer, who spent a few months among the most important Japanese cities, from Tokyo to Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. 

Here, before the sunlight and heat flooded the streets, Alessandro, armed with his photographic spot, wandered through the suburbs, taking walks on the edge of the surreal, immortalizing the peace and quiet. 

Thus was born his photographic project “Rising in the Dark“, now in its third volume. A collection of photographs showing empty streets lined with small houses and low buildings and where, from time to time, you can see a parked car. The wires of electricity stand out against a background made by a sky that is clearing and abandoning the darkness for an infinity of rosy and heavenly shades. 

I wandered in the wee small hours, while the summer sunrise bright was approaching fast, trying to catch the suspension of a precious time that gives itself to few, chasing in vain the spirit of the ordinary-life in Japan. 

Below you can find a selection of shots, but to discover them all go to Alessandro Zanoni’s website and his Instagram profile.  

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Cinematography – Trainspotting

Cinematography – Trainspotting

Giordana Bonanno · 1 month ago · Photography

“Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. (…) Choose rotting away in the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself, choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that?”

The purpose of Renton and his friends is clear from the beginning: take heroin. In short, this is exactly what Irvine Welsh tells us in her novel and Danny Boyle later adapted it for the big screen with this film, the solidarity that deeply links those who put drugs before any other interest. The story clearly follows a period in the story of these guys, without taking someone’s side or moralizing, among lies, despair, and even a bit of British humor. What made it a real cult, in addition to the setting and narration of a story on the edge of discomfort, is the stylistic expression of 90s punk inspired by the heroin-chic subculture, expressed by the looks of the characters.

Trainspotting is a real mental but above all visual trip and the use of wide-angle lens and colour manipulation in photography justify its hallucinogenic effect. The director wants to make us participate in what is happening not only by showing it but also by arousing in us the same unstable feelings and moods of a parallel reality.

But this reality “really” existed, sometimes it was hidden, but someone like the German photographer Tilman did not miss the opportunity to document it. From Scotland we move to German capital, the avant-garde Berlin, which in the meantime had also established a sort of unwritten law against photography in some clubs like the Berghain, in order to ensure the protection and privacy of its visitors.

In there everything is possible and everyone can express themselves.

In those years, Tilman made a reportage shot in analogical, of which each frame represents unique testimonies, excited, stoned youths yearning for freedom. His collection contains more than 10,000 images from 1991 to 1997 and, on the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the wall, they were included in the exhibition called “No Photos on the Dance Floor“.

Did you know: Oasis were asked to contribute to the soundtrack, but Noel Gallagher declined, as he thought the film was actually about trainspotters.

Genre: Drammatico
Director: Danny Boyle
Director of photography: Brian Tufano
Writers: Irvine Welsh, John Hodge (screenplay)
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

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