Italian photographer Giuliano Pascucci shares his surfing photographs on the Livorno coast of Tuscany, all captured with the LomoChrome Purple film and Lady Grey B&W film. Get to learn more about him and his experience with the films in this interview.
Hello Giulio, welcome! Could you make a short introduction for the readers of our Online Magazine?
I was born in 1997 in Cecina, a small town in the province of Livorno, Tuscany, where I still live and where I am very attached to. At the moment I'm finishing my studies at the University of Pisa in Geological Sciences, then we'll see what will happen, although I think I'll continue to study and specialize in 'Hydrology and Oceanography', which I've always dreamed of doing since the beginning of my university career.
Tell us about your background: when did your journey into the world of photography start?
It's funny how my journey into the world of photography have started with an actual trip. It was March 2017 when I and two other friends planned a surf trip to Sri Lanka. I basically knew nothing about photography, apart from a few photos taken during the summer occasionally with friends with Lomo cameras including the Diana Mini and Fisheye.
So, a few weeks before leaving, my father (who has always shot with analogue cameras) gave me a Nikon F80 and a Canon AE-1 from his collection, with their respective manuals to "study". That's how it all started, from the desire to learn and to document that trip with two cameras in hand, zero expectations and a dozen rolls of film that will remain forever in my archive as 'my first rolls', the indelible memory of an unforgettable trip.
Where did your passion for analogue photography come from?
My passion developed after that trip, thanks mainly to my father who gave me the culture and the means to start shooting. Of course, his presence influenced me a lot, especially since I started with analogue cameras right away and I always saw him shooting, developing the negatives and then printing in the darkroom, I always saw it as something natural and so I wanted to do it too (spoiler: I haven't stopped since).
Tell us about this fantastic photo series? Where was it taken?
These photos were taken during a wavy day in early April here in Tuscany, just a few minutes from my home. It was a situation of total relaxation, a session with friends on a spring day spent at the sea, without too many thoughts and distractions to remind us of this difficult situation, an escape from reality to a new world where it's just you and the sea.
What camera did you use?
I used my trusty Nikonos V with a 35 mm. I think it's my favorite, I can use it both in and out of the water and if I had to choose one camera out of all, I would definitely choose this one.
These pictures are taken with LomoChrome Purple and Lady Grey B&W films: which features did you like the most? Do you remember on which ISO did you shoot the Purple?
I was very curious to try the LomoChrome Purple in the water, to see how it would render the blues/greens of the sea along with the colors of the sunset, and I must say I was surprised by the results. I always like to experiment with new things and try not to make the usual ordinary photos, and I can definitely conclude by saying that the results were better than expected. As for the black and white film Lady Grey, I really liked the soft and fine grain that it has, I'm curious to print some photos in the darkroom to see how they will look in enlargements. Anyway, I'm quite biased when it comes to black and white: for me, it will always remain my favorite 'color'. Both films were shot at ASA 400, with some variation for the LomoChrome Purple that being variable from 100-400 in some photos I shot it at 200.
What are the challenges you face in documenting the Surf scene?
I think the hardest part for me, in general, is the fact that shooting on film I always have to be ready to capture the best moment, not being able to shoot in bursts and only having 36 photos. Luckily, being a surfer myself, helps me a lot, as I know more or less where I need to be to get the best shot and I already have in mind the results I'm going to get (or hope to get), although it's always an unknown and a "risk" that I like to take.
What is the ideal condition for taking this type of photo?
I don't think there is a specific condition for doing this kind of photo, obviously, if the waves are good and the light is good these are plus points, but the part that I would define as "ideal" is to document in any case what surrounds you, everything that gives you a spark of inspiration and that leads you to photograph the same even if it is not exactly the "right sea or the right light". Beauty for me is the unpredictable, trying to see things in a different way to express myself in my own way, and see the beauty even in conditions where perhaps there is nothing beautiful, or perhaps everything.
What photographic equipment you always bring with you in your travels?
I haven't done a lot of traveling recently and since my last big trip, my interests and equipment have changed quite a bit. Generally, I prefer to limit myself to 2 or 3 different cameras, but now I would definitely bring my Nikonos for water photography, my Mamiya 645 medium format, and maybe another 35 mm camera depending on the trip I'm going to do.
Where do you get inspiration for your shots?
My main source of inspiration, especially lately, are definitely books. I like to browse through them to see the work and personal photo projects of different artists I follow. It is interesting to have different points of view and some ideas on how to develop an idea in the form of a physical book, to see how a certain project is born. It brings me a lot of inspiration and makes me want to go out and start creating something that is my own, that belongs to me in every way.
Do you follow any photographer in particular?
There are so many photographers that I follow, if I had to list them all I couldn't, but just to name a few in the 'surf sector' I really like the work of Thomas Campbell, the early work of Chris Burkard, Nick Green is one of the guys I'm really enjoying lately along with John Hook, Sebastien Zanella, Morgan Maassen who was the first guy I started following, Thomas Lodin, Filippo Maffei among the Italians, up to the classics of the '60s and '70s with LeRoy Grannis and Jeff Divine. I really appreciate the work of Robert Adams, Henry Wessel and Jason Lee, and then, to name a few, Bryan Schutmaat, the portraits of Joni Sternbach, the classic Ansel Adams, William Eggleston...I could really go on and on.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned?
Towards the end of 2020, I decided to start a personal project about my area, where I live and grew up. I can't say too much yet because it's going very slowly, but for sure this is something that has always been really close to my heart and so, little by little with the right inspiration, I hope something interesting will come out.
Thank you so much, Giulio for sharing this fantastic series! Follow him on his Instagram profile to see more adventures shot on film.