Growing up, we all wander around our city with family or friends. Some places catch our imagination and we make it a point to go back again and again. That’s about it. Here’s how our protagonist for today makes it different. Luca Lovino, a freelance photographer, based in Turin would wander around the streets of his city and would try and find what was beyond his gaze. Luca Lovino was around 11 years old when he started getting curious about photography and later coupled it up with his love for architecture and urban reportage.
As part of the #IAmLivingit Series, we from Team Livingit caught up with Luca Lovino, to know about his love for the streets, his experiences about Landscape and Portrait photography and much more!
Livingit: What first drew you to photography—and how did you discover it?
Luca Lovino: The city where I grew up, pushed me first towards photography. Naples is a hedonistic and beautiful city. So at the age of 16, I started going out of the home and began taking pictures of what the city had to offer me.
Livingit: How has photography changed or shaped you as a person?
Luca Lovino: Photography made me curious, more sensitive to watching the world around me in my attempt to document it with wonder, with a careful look determined to tell every little story.
Livingit: How has your journey been from working at ArkFotoLab to becoming an established photographer?
Luca Lovino: My collaboration with ArkFotoLAb in Naples surely helped me to take a full view of my photographic research. The use of the darkroom made me realize the importance of chasing a loop with every shot taken, starting from the shoot through to the development and arriving at the final print.
Livingit: What is one awesome experience you’ve had while on a photography adventure?
Luca Lovino: I had a great experience when last year I went to Lisbon to work on a Site Specific project with the Ebony Collective and Paratissima of Turin. I decided to tell about a famous neighborhood in the city center, photographing people who have lived there forever. When I talked to them and they started telling me stories about them and their neighborhood, that was always in changing, I realized that I felt a little at home, getting into their world.
Livingit: What cameras and lighting gear did you start with and what are you currently using?
Luca Lovino: For my projects I still shoot with film, using a 500 C/M Hasselblad.
Livingit: How do you best describe your current style of photography?
Luca Lovino: My photography style is an urban reportage. I always had a particular interest in space and its tight relationship with human beings. It often surprises me how forward cityscapes takes a man, as man transforms the landscape surrounding it and how the same landscape dramatically radicalizes man, to the point of an ineluctable intersection.
What remains of this contact, stays latent in the folds of the city- small traces, footprints that we leave and are destined to remain invisible until we can’t give them proper attention.
Livingit: Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
Luca Lovino: There are many photographers who have influenced me in particular ways. One, in particular, was certainly Robert Frank, with his in-between moments. He has taught me to always seek my point of interest elsewhere.
Livingit: If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?
Luca Lovino: I’m always looking for something that amazes me.
Livingit: How you feel when people say, “The camera is just a tool; it’s the photographer who matters.”
Luca Lovino: Franco Vaccari many years ago talked about the technological unconscious of photography, I always thought he was right. Even though people who say such things have no idea what I’m talking about.
Livingit: When you go on one of your travels, what all you take with you? Why?
Luca Lovino: A small camera. When I’m in travel I love to walk a lot so I need lightweight equipment.
Livingit: Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought? Why?
Luca Lovino: There are a lot of gadgets I wish I hadn’t bought, But I try to give everyone a sense and use them.
Livingit: What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Explain your workflow.
Luca Lovino: I started my path photography using the darkroom, to print my black and white films, moving to the digital I found it easy to use the masks that are a derivative of the masks used in the dark room.
Livingit: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
Luca Lovino: I like to think that everything that has happened has brought me to where I am now, mistakes, certainties and path deviations. So it’s okay for me as it went.
Livingit: Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
Luca Lovino: It’s hard to know what you’ll have to photograph until it’s before your eyes, surely some experience helps manage this kind of situation. For example when I make a staged portrait the important thing for me is to breathe deeply and look around trying to make the best out of the place, trying to connect the person with space.
Livingit: Colour vs. Black and White. Why one over the other, and is the photographic process different?
Luca Lovino: I think everything depends on the impression you want to give to your project, the photographic process and the impact it gives is totally different, so it’s important to know from the start what you want to give to your work. I started using black and white because I wanted to end my work in a dark room, but for some years I’m using also color films but I still thinking black and white It best expresses my way of seeing things.
Livingit: How does your work talk to you? What does it communicate to people?
Luca Lovino: I do not know yet what my work communicate to people, what I believe it talks to me is that in every possible world there is always something to give justice, I always realize how is important to me give justice to human traces in the cities, faded footprints that always tell so much about us and our inseparable relationship with land.
Livingit: If you were allowed to showcase just one photograph from your entire collection, which one would it be and why?
Luca Lovino: Can’t point to anything particular, but, one of my project “Noi che siamo Carne” comes to mind, a black and white project about the city of Naples and it’s inhabitants which I did in 2009.
It is a project to which I am very attached, has made me understand so many things about me and what I really want from photography.
Livingit: What advice do you have for budding photographers?
Luca Lovino: My advice is to always look for the wonder, the one that always pushes us to look beyond, the curiosity that forces us to always look for something.
Having a passion is common but living the passion is the ultimate dream and Luca is surely Livingit. Here’s wishing Luca Lovino all the best for his future endeavors and may he continue inspiring us all with his amazing photography.
Loved Luca’s story? Also, read about Honest Emotions and Photography: Liam Henderson!
So the next time you are out wandering on the streets, try to find what is there beyond your gaze as Luca did, may be it will take time but, we are sure the wait will be worth it!
So stop existing and start Livingit!