We've already met Claudio, an active member of our community, through the Fanzine Sprocket Holes created together with other Lomographers. In this interview he tells us about his experience with LomoChrome Purple film, which he used for these great fashion shots.
Hi Claudio, could you give a short introduction for our Online Magazine readers who don't know you yet?
Hello Lomography! My name is Claudio D'Abronzo, I'm twenty-six years old and I was born in Brindisi, on the heel of Italy.
I studied engineering but I haven't finished my study yet and together with my father we sell good beers and good sandwiches. I've travelled a lot, but not too much yet. Today I suffer from the sedentariness to which these last periods of pandemic have forced us...I wait for the day when we will forget about all this situation.
Tell us about your photographic background. What is your story? When did you start your journey in the photography world?
My photographic adventure started many years ago with an old Leica mobile phone and an almost complete "full manual" that introduced me to the fantastic world of complex and structured photography. No more simple fleeting photos, but a new search for exclusive points of view and great little subtleties.
Three years ago I was flying to Milan to study, and when my suitcase was ready I literally decided to steal my father's old Nikon camera, which had never been given to his careless and clumsy son. A month after when I developed my first roll of film it was love, desire, madness. A carnival of emotions.
Today, my father has changed his mind and is happy that I have not yet lost his FM. I, on the other hand, have found something I really like doing and, nowadays, this is not at all obvious.
In an undeniably digital age, why do you choose to shoot on film?
If I had a digital camera in my hands I probably wouldn't have approached the world of photography the way I did through analogue photography.
The magic of the unknown, when you shoot and then have to wait to see and know what you've captured and what you've done...That played a big part in the process. The temporal and even economic value of the roll itself, the developing, printing and digitization, were fuel on the fire of my restless and impatient soul. With analogue photography, it is a long but rewarding process.
Maybe one day I'll change my mind and I'll end up buying a nice digital reflex camera, one of those that my father never wanted to buy for me when I was a child, but for now the exclusivity and the random nature of analogue wins over the practicality and responsiveness of the sensor.
What do you like best about the photos taken with the LomoChrome Purple film?
When I loaded the LomoChrome Purple on my camera I was a bit hesitant, quite fascinated by its way of distorting natural colours and at the same time I was intimidated by its palette mainly turning colors to pink, purple or generally speaking to canonically feminine and delicate tones. I was wrong.
As a matter of fact, the pictures I took wanted to follow this pink and delicate palette, but they also wanted to preserve that essence, in some ways dark and 'Diabolik', that the wider project, called 'Diabolike', wants to convey to the public. And so the LomoChrome Purple was perfect for the occasion, proving to be highly versatile and full of surprises.
This way of distorting reality as we see it makes the moment of development and discovery even more intriguing...you shoot and you don't know what colours you will get exactly, you shoot and then everything changes. It's an important added value that brings Lomochrome films to a very high level of interest. Taste is personal, but I would certainly recommend this film to everyone because it is something new and it is extremely ductile given its extended ISO, which allows you to have various and customizable color shifting tones. I shot it at 400 asa, but can't wait to try it in different settings.
What camera did you use for these shots?
For these shots and the ones I did in general so far, I have been relying on my ever faithful Nikon FM1. My first camera and so far my only love.
It accompanies me everywhere, small and big trips and with my 50 mm mounted on it, it always makes me feel at home.
Is there a photographer you particularly like?
Not having had an academic approach to photography, there is no photographer I prefer over others. Thanks to social media and Instagram, I mostly follow a lot of very good amateur photographers who, in their own small way, can inspire me and teach me new things.
This slight detachment from the history of photography and its protagonists helps me for now to outline what will be my style without falling into unconscious contamination.
Do you have any new upcoming photographic projects?
This last period slowed us down and almost stopped us, but I have several ideas and I'm ready to start again. A colourful pluralia encompassing my many personalities, but also friends, sisters and collectives.
There is the Sprocket Holes project, which Lomography' readers have already discovered thanks to a nice interview published here some time ago. A project born by chance and at home, during the lockdown. A collective with the aim of sharing photography introductions, born small and that now unites nearly forty photographers scattered throughout Italy (and beyond), which already boasts five volumes and many ideas for the future and always improving. I am one of the founders and proud of it, I am happy to be part of it. I will continue to work with them and there are also a couple of zines in the pipeline, personal and done with a couple of really good friends.
There's Sabrina, a friend of mine since we were kids, and now a promising fashion designer, Binina: the colourful mastermind behind the fantastic clothes I like to photograph and that our wonderful Larisa wore with incredible empathy and identification in these photos for her 'Diabolike' project. Working with her and following her on her journey is my greatest prosit because we look around with the same eyes and where my sparkle doesn't arrive, hers does. It's also a way to get closer to the great editorial and advertising universe of fashion. Because the world of editorial shooting is undeniably digital and when we can, we try to be different. I like to enhance what is already splendid to begin with.
What is your favourite shot? Can you tell us the story behind it?
That's a very difficult question. I have taken so many photos that are meaningful to me and it is impossible to choose one in particular. An old sayings states: the best photo of me is the one I haven't taken yet. And that is too easy, I know, but there are distant voices in me that agree.
I love intimate photos, I love all the photos taken of my people and of our moments, the important ones and the everyday ones.
So, if you ask me to choose one, I can't. But I will share a selfie that normally people who take pictures do not show, right? It was done with an ilford hp5+1, at home in Milan, a city that I miss. At that time I had been shooting for very little time and I have never, I mean never, ever been a selfie guy.
So, not knowing which photograph to choose among my favourites...today, I choose what's behind them. :)
See you on the other side. ❤️