Light Tellers- What Italy Is interview with Elena Orlando

What Italy Is · 7 years ago
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Second guest, second episode of What Italy Is column for Collater.al, the monthly appointment that tells the Italy through the eyes of the people who know how to capture beauty through photos and stories.

Today we chat with Elena Orlando, 25 years, a degree in Visual Arts, a job in fashion communication and a life up and down from the Euganean Hills.
Prepare yourself a cup of tea, coffee or any other drink you like.
Take a moment to read this interview with calm: with Elena you have to taste moments, speed belongs to other places.
Elena suggests you to listen to “Pittore Elementare” of Iacampo while reading her words.

We start with a game, if you had to close your eyes and reopen them again in a different place, what would it be?

I would reopen them in a winter Sunrise, surrounded by the warmth of the blankets, in a cabin lost in the Dolomites. With the eyes still asleep and the pupils excited, I will open the windows to see around me the magic of snow. Every time that happens I come back to my childhood, the first snowflake remember me how simple can be to be happy.

What photography means to you and how this passion start?

Photography means to trace the geography of my emotions. Everything began about ten years ago; I always enjoy discovering new places and write down feelings and thoughts in a notebook, accompanying the words with drawings. Then came the first digital camera at home, without thinking too much I took it around with me and I found myself replace drawings with photos; but I never abandoned writing, I still love to spend time writing the texts which accompany each of my shots. Words and images are as land and sea, together make up the harmony of my Atlas.

Your shots have something poetic: what inspires you?

I can’t put a name to my inspiration. The wonder of a light, the fragility of a stalk, the changing of the sky, the consistency of a shadow, the silence of a space, they are all impressions that I take from the beauty surrounding me.
Evaporation.

What is the phrase that your parents always said to you when you were a child?

There isn’t a recurring phrase, rather a poem: “San Martino” by Giosuè Carducci.

Since I was a child I was playing it with my mother while she dressed me before leaving our house, in a kind of all-female ritual. Every day I repeated those verses that appeared to describe my hills, I dipped the imagination into the atmosphere of those words and I found myself walking in the paths of all time with a new sensibility: the awesomeness in my soul.

If you were to summarize your style in 3 shots, what would they be?

A bare tree, a flawed picture, a swing very close to home. If it’s true that winter reveals the soul of the trees then I’m afraid to say that it reveals mine too, in the middle of that infinite white, a bare stump and branches become the essential manifest, portraying them is like to capture my mood.

I’m very attached to this shot, it talks about my way of photographing, about the technical errors that I make and about all the smiles that I hide while I looking through the viewfinder. “Fly, out of focus, happiness”, with these few words I describe this picture and its beautiful imperfection.

A swing in the garden of my childhood is the symbol of the way I perceive the world; go away and then return home to love the little everyday things, those who, like specks of light, hang up between the eyelashes of memories and never really leave us.

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Instagram: how do you use it, what do you like most and least about this platform.

Much more than an app Instagram for me is a tour guide to choose the next secret destination, an art and photography gallery open 24-7, a board that inspires my lifestyle; but it’s also the social platform where I met people united by the same passion, the place that unexpectedly gave me new friends.

Which is the Instagram profile you like the most?

The sweetness of the Olivia Thebaut’picture literally conquered me, her shots are like paintings from caressing nuance, there is always a ray of sunshine lap upon your skin.

Flip through her gallery is pure escapism.

If I asked you to recommend an Italian place to take pictures, what would you say?

No doubt, I would speak about the Aeolian Islands, their perfumes, their ruined doors, the legends that live in there and the inexplicable magic with which this archipelago remains imprinted in the soul. They are islands without postcards, lands to explore in which you can’t find the perfect shot in front of you, ready to be caught, you’ll have to search among the rocks, between the capers crops, chasing it in the alleys full of bougainvillea until you find your real, personal and unique idea of beauty.

When you don’t take pictures, what do you like to do?

I love walking around the hills, read in the shade of a vineyard, listening to music and smile at passersby, but I’ll tell you a secret, I can hide my beloved mirrorless even in small handbags, it is my “essential”.

What is Italy for you, out of the clichés?

Italy is the light that floods my eyes in the morning, the basil on the windowsill of my room, wine stains on the tablecloth, the sound of a good morning, the smell of fresh-baked bread, an old song that echoing in the Gulf, the bar for trump’ afternoon, the staircase painted with chalk in the shade of a fig tree.

Italy, for me, is a poem to live, the taste of home.

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Interview by Giulia Dini

All images © Elena Orlando

Light Tellers- What Italy Is interview with Elena Orlando
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