by A. Bettoni/L. Coluccia
Photographically speaking, we know each other for some time, we meet in the same photography groups, lately more often in ArchiMinimal where we had the idea of the interview, to present one of his last works and tell us a bit of himself.
Erminio Vanzan, 47, lives in Valenza, a town near Alessandria, where he have been working in the gold sector for a long time. At age 25 he discovered photography. it has been love at first glance and this passion has been growing more and more since then. His creativity and artistic talent is mainly expressed in the architecture and landscape photography, but it is in the Street Photography, approached even in a more graphic and conceptual way, that he is expressing his great potential.
A continuous research process brings Erminio to investigate on the deep, intimate relationship existing between the human element and the surrounding urban environment, this permanent link is effectively coming out in all his photographic production. He prefers black and white, not only for a purely aesthetic reasons but a more suitable form of expression to his artistic sensibility which is more oriented to abstraction rather than realism.
Much appreciated on the network, Erminio actively participates in various national and international photography groups, where he shares his images that are very appreciated in terms of style and originality.
ArchiMinimal Blog wants to dedicate this article to his new, beautiful work – have a look at the images and you’ll be impressed – The Rising City, which might soon become an exhibition. In this interview he’s happy to talk about it and also a bit of himself.
AMB: The Rising City, that’s the name of your last photography work, what is it?
EV: I am passionate about architecture photography, I like the geometries of some modern buildings such as those located in Porta Nuova in Milan. I started shooting, at the beginning by chance, then looking at the first shots I realized, it was not what I wanted to express. I actually wanted to give a more consistent minimalist approach, enhancing my conceptual style by giving more emphasis to harmonious geometries and pure lines. Ii is a work in progress, I’m shooting also in other areas of the city to evolve in my stylistic architectural research.
AMB: Why are you shooting? Are you a kind of storyteller ? Do you consider yourself a documentarist, are fixing moments in time?
EV: Photography is a passion and I like it a lot, it’s a way to relax. Through photography you can actually fix moments in time, which become memories. The images of today will be our memories in 50 years! It’s the same feeling you have by looking images showing how our cities looked 50 years ago, how they have changed over time. They are memories of places that don’t exist anymore, of people than have already left us.
AMB: Do you plan your shooting or are you attracted by everything you see when you get it?
EV: I’ve learned to plan now, I try to figure out in my mind what I want to achieve. This can’t always happen for the street photography, but it is the case with architecture: I look for places that can inspire me and when I travel, I plan trips to specific locations in which find what I want to achieve.
AMB: How did you come to architectural photography?
EV: I have always liked, but I was not really able to shoot it. Thanks to a university professor who helped me with some tips and recommendations, I started focusing on a more precise and harmonic composition. There is also something instinctive in capturing lines and geometries which have always fascinated me. Let’s not forget my job – I’m a goldsmith – that helps me to see the beauty and harmony of lines and shapes. In my photographic research then I combine the passion for geometry and the inspiration from the urban setting, with a conceptual and graphic approach. I think ultimately it’s a way to express myself, I like to draw with my camera and interpret with my creativity all that catches my curiosity in the architectural and urban environment.
AMB: Where does the passion for photography come from? Is it something that comes from your family?
EV: Nobody in my family takes pictures, I’m the first of the species. I approached photography at the age of 25 while on a trip: at that time photography was only for the few, difficult to shoot and expensive to develop! Moving to digital allowed me to evolve, gaining experience and creative ability. The passion for black and white is more recent, and broke out in 2014.
AMB: Finally, some technical notes. What kind of camera, lenses do you use?
EV: I have two reflex cameras that I regularly use, a Pentax with with 16-45 lenses and a Nikon 7100 with 18-140, 18-200 and 12-24 lenses. Sometimes I use also a 8 mm. I do post-production to impress my creative approach to my shots, I think that PP is almost a “must” for architectural images to fix lenses distortions.
The Rising City – Photos by Erminio Vanzan