This big open call attracted more than 250 submissions, and involved a network of 39 partners including cultural institutions, photography schools, magazines, labs and independent creative spaces who supported us by selecting the winning projects.
Seven photographers from seven Italian cities (Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome and Turin) told their own stories with a roll of Lomography film. The projects were all different from each other, without rules or themes to follow, for results that, in 36 shots, rediscovered the pleasure of surprise and the beauty of the unexpected. Today we present one of these projects by Giuseppe Scianna, entitled Italian Summer and shot on Color Negative 400 ISO.
Hi Giuseppe, welcome! Could you please introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?
Hi everyone! I live between Palermo and Catania and have been shooting documentary photography and social reportage for a couple of years. The focus of my work is often Sicily, with a particular eye on social issues such as abandoned communities in cities' suburbs, but I am also very active on environmental pollution issues. I prefer to work on medium and long-term projects so that I can fully explore the issues, even though this is never possible for a photographer.
Can you tell us about your photographic background? When did your journey into photography begin?
My journey with this marvelous medium started at the age of 13, but it was a gradual process, starting with drawing as early as in primary school and then moving on to more technical drawing not long after...but this did not satisfy me until I discovered that there was a tool that could capture a fraction of a second. From that moment on, I never stopped being alone anywhere.
Tell us about this fantastic project entitled "Italian Summer". How did the idea come about?
In an era of heavy digitization, we have really lost the pleasure of waiting. We lost track of where we want to head to with this medium, and what is the purpose of our photographs. So, as soon as I saw this open call on the internet, I didn't think twice about participating. I immediately thought what a wonderful idea it was to have just a roll of film and a story to tell, but initially I didn't think too much about the story I wanted to tell. However, I decided early on that I wanted to be myself and that I would therefore photograph the places where I would go in the summer. I had the desire to show what I would see, hoping to be able to share some small emotion.
Italian Summer is a work shot on 36 frames that starts with the first days when sun begins to warm up at the end of spring. It is a journey across the whole Sicilian island, from the golden coloured rocks of the western part, to a lava rock of the volcano in the eastern part, with us, human beings, as protagonists, who feel closer to our most authentic essence. Nimble bodies bend and fling themselves in the air like little thunderbolts, they mix in spontaneous generosity with an unfiltered openness. It is a moment when we feel free to explore the world, to abandon patterns and let the wind of spontaneity take us where we wish. Everything is possible in the longest days of the year; we are who we want to be and we reflect, more than ever, on the importance of having and devoting time to the things that make life worth living.
Who doesn't want to enjoy an eternal summer? This is the essence of this photographic work, of a time that seems to stop and float, enveloping atmospheres in which freedom and happiness seem to shake hands in small, perfect moments.
You chose to shoot this project with our Color Negative 400 ISO film. Why this choice and what features particularly impressed you about this film?
To be honest, I had never tried the Color Negative 400 before, but I was really impressed by its versatility that allows you to use it in most conditions, from sunset to sunrise, with tones that were very close to the graduation I look for in my photographs.
What camera did you use?
I used my dear Olympus OM-1n strictly with a 28mm.
Was having only 36 shots available a stimulus for you or a limitation for your creative process?
As mentioned before, we live in an overly digital world, with increasingly sophisticated, billion frames per second cameras, which limit the creative process and make us shoot as much as we can and then selects the good picture. This is not helping us. In fact, in my opinion it is leading us to self-destruct our artistic path. Having 36 frames and packing it all into a roll, is an exercise I encourage all photographers to do, no matter the location or subjects – just do it. Shooting and not instantly visualizing what we have captured is already worth everything. Thinking before pressing the shutter and giving importance to this gesture, in my opinion is the key to understanding so many aspects that we are losing in recent years with photography, but also with art in general. You know, we photographers are never satisfied with the images we produce, we always want that extra photo.
Would you change anything if you could shoot the same roll of film again?
I think I would only change the fact that I wish I had 37 shots.
What role does analogue photography play for you in 2024?
Analogue photography is the mother of photography and there is no digital that can compete with it. I'm not talking about technicalities, but the taste of the process behind it. I only regret that the costs, in some respects exorbitant, to be able to shoot a roll from start to finish, are the reasons why many people in the analogue world quit using film. I hope that a solution can be found in the future.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned?
Projects are crucial for me. I've been working on two for a couple of years now which I hope to show as soon as they are ready. As for collaborations I'm always open to new ideas that are a stimulus to my creative process. I've done several in the past and I'm ready to do more in the future. Lomography, if you want to, give me a shout!