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TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY WITH ROBERTO NISTRI – PART I

We keep on suggesting you some of the most inspiring professionals we think you should follow if you love travel photography; among these, the one we want to introduce you today is particularly compelling. Roberto Nistri, award winning travel photographer has an impressive artistic vision and we are sure its pictures and words will conquer you as happened to us!

  • Hello Roberto, welcome on master photo tour. We are glad you decided to dedicate us a bit of time for this interview and we are really looking forward to reading your answers. Therefore let’s start with the first question: in your career you really traveled a lot, always having your camera with you I guess, but what do you look for when you travel? Which are your favorite subjects to portray?

I think that when talking about travel photography, the most important thing is trying to capture the  essence of a territory. So, I start preparing the travel at home with maps and books, and then, once on the field I usually look for alternative photographic routes able to give me a realistic image of the country I’m visiting. In case of naturalistic travels, instead, I obviously focus on landscapes, usually challenging myself with difficult shots bonded to the importance of finding suitable light conditions; moreover I also add some animals portraits as they usually add high impact. When people are the main subject of my pictures, I always try to get immerse in their life for some minutes to have the opportunity to obtain captivating pictures, the most representative as possible of their daily life.

Dalmatian Pelican. Golem Grad island, Prespa Lakes National Park, Macedonia. Photo by Roberto Nistri
Dalmatian Pelican. Golem Grad island, Prespa Lakes National Park, Macedonia. Photo by Roberto Nistri
  • Can you tell us about a picture you are particularly attached to? When did you shoot it and where?

If I had to choose one picture it would undoubtedly be the one I shot in 2013 during the Maha Kumbh Mela of Allahabad, India, depicting the bath of the Naga Sadhu and awarded as best Travel Photographer of the Year in that year. The Maha Kumbh Mela is the most important religious Hindu celebration and the biggest event in human history in terms of number of people involved: more than 100 million during the whole month of the celebrations. On some specific days of this month, the first group of people having the honor and privilege to plunge in the Ganges in the early dawn lights are the Naga Sadhu.

They are an elite of guru warriors passing their lives completely naked and covered by ash, meditating in forests, deserts and mountains of the region. The only way to perfectly capture the exact, amazing moment of their plunge was to get in the water before them to be ready to shoot. And that’s what I did, in an absolute bedlam. That day a cloudy sky prevented back-lit that would have faded important details of bodies in movement, saturating moreover the bright colors of the wreath of flowers people had at their neck. Some jabs and short shutter speed allowed me to obtain this picture.

  • Where does your inspiration come from?

Undoubtedly it comes from the passion and interest I feel for what I shoot and travel photography. Being them wild landscapes, animals or people, I capture what I like and what fascinates me the most. This interest, or call it love maybe, is something easily perceivable from my pictures I guess. To me inspiration means being emotionally involved by my subjects.

Bath of the Naga Sadhu, Maha Kumbh Mela of Allahabad, India, Photo by Roberto Nistri
Bath of the Naga Sadhu, Maha Kumbh Mela of Allahabad, India, Photo by Roberto Nistri
  • Having years of experience we can ask you an explanation about the fact that sometimes, above all when talking about travel photography, some touching pictures are technically imperfect. Why do you think this happens? What should a photograph impart to people?

Flawless images usually tell about pre-arranged photographic situation, and this is generally highly noticeable. It is possible to shoot the perfect shot, but it is highly hard to succeed in this when working on the field. Imperfections moreover, tells life as it really is: rarely perfect. And this increases people’s emotional involvement, according to me.

…can’t wait to read the second part of the interview? In the meantime you can admire Roberto’s photography on his website, blog, and Instagram account @roberto.nistri.

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