About

The art of trying to match words with photographs is a fascinating and challenging one, similar to matching words and music in song, but trying to explain why you take photographs is much less interesting. If those philosophers who think that free will is an illusion are right then no further explanation is required–it could be a matter of heredity or individual circumstances, and the general urge to go take a photo may simply serve to prop up this illusion of free will.

Let’s say for example that I’m working hard trying to learn a Beethoven piano sonata, and for a refreshing break I decide to sit and improvise, just letting my mind and fingers wander, exploring whatever may turn up in the piano realm of sounds, rhythms, textures, motives and so on. The improvisation session, like the notion to pick up the camera and look for a photo, provides me with a pleasant feeling of personal freedom in the search for something new and fresh, illusory though it may be.

A piano is a tool, and so is a camera, and the inherent beauty of a mechanical camera, endowed with the magical properties it has, naturally invites exploration and being put to imaginative use. For a wonderfully illuminating and useless exercise it can be compared with many other tools, say for example a shovel, a comb, scissors, a bicycle, a mechanical clock, a can opener, a pencil. . . .

If you are lucky and you manage to come up with a pleasing photo, then you may feel a sense of gratitude for the luxury of idleness, with all its illusions, and strive to be worthy of it with each and every photo you take.

On a technical note: my name is Claudio Vanin, and all the photos here were taken by me. Some of them were taken using a digital device, but nowadays I only use a real camera like I used to. In spite of that you are still viewing them on some kind of digital device, and it’s worth keeping in mind that this amounts to a simulation whose reality quotient is far less than that of the original negatives, slides, or prints. Feel free to drop me a line.