Made With Leica #16 Andrea Taurisano
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The Italian photographer Andrea Taurisano talks about his fascination for photography and his passion for Leica M cameras.
Andrea Taurisano – Fascination Photography
I’m an Italian geologist and photographer based in Norway. I guess I got my passion for photography from my father, who’s always taken tons of photos through his life and filled albums upon albums with prints that now tell our family’s history from the 1960s to present. Thousands of moments gone forever are frozen in those pictures, entire lives. How not to be fascinated by photography then?
I started doing my own photography about 10 years ago. At that time, following a dream that most people judged crazy, I moved to Norway and started a profession that would take me to some of the most amazing and unexplored parts of the world, the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic. I exposed hundreds of rolls of Provia and Velvia, both in the 35 mm and 120 format. But stunning landscapes and nature photography became eventually boring to me. Something was missing. My interest turned to people, life and cultures, but I had to learn to get close in order to get good shots of people, aware or not.
All my lenses have now a focal length between 24 and 50 mm and I can barely photograph any landscapes without human presence, any monuments, landmarks or icons, no matter how magnificent they and the light might be. Instead, I photograph people and signs of human presence. The places are in most cases just a background, but I believe they are better described just by focusing on their human component. Not by chance, if you ask me which great photographers I admire most, Salgado, McCurry, Nachtwey, Moriyama and Sobol are the first names that jump to my mind.
Photography is a perfect way of expressing my states of mind. For the same reason I love music and languages, which I always have with me through my frequent travels. Russia and Afghanistan have been my main focus the last couple of years. Working with disaster risk reduction in northern Afghanistan lets me get close to the wonderful people of the region between Pamir and Hindu Kush, where the distance from Europe can be measured in centuries more than miles. You get a lot of thoughts when you, with a PhD, a Facebook profile, a photography blog and a Leica camera, stand in front of an old man who can’t read or write, owns virtually nothing and has to walk for days through the mountains to get to the nearby village.
Leica – A Unique Image Quality
I’m well aware of the superb image quality of Leica lenses and the discretion of Leica M cameras, but those things mean relatively little to me compared to the pleasure of seeing the world through a bright rangefinder, composing and focusing my images manually. The passion and dedication of the people who engineered and assembled my M6 and M9-P and my lenses, are revealed to me by their fantastic build quality and their mechanical precision, in other words the feel, more than by the absence of distortion and the razor sharpness. My photos have often coarse grain and a gritty look anyway.
Here is a link to the photo blog by Andrea – il cimento della fotografia