As part our Grazie series we’re taking a closer look at the most exciting artists, designers, chefs and creatives inspired by Italian style. Nicola Campanella takes stunning photographs of some of Italy’s most spectacular locations, perfectly capturing the unique beauty and charm of the country he calls home. We spoke to Nicola about getting in to photography, what makes a great photo and the pride he takes in being Italian.
Hi Nicola. Can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
Hello, my name is Nicola Campanella. I was born in Venice on the 17th August 1969. I achieved a high school artistic diploma in Venice. I decided to stop studying at university because I wanted to dedicate myself to working initially as a maker of Venetian masks. After a brief experience working as a designer at an architect office, I opened my Vetreria (a specialised studio/shop that handmakes Murano glass), where my father was the master Vetraio (glassmaker). Today I still work in a Vetreria as a specialist technician in illuminations.
When did you get introduced to photography and what drove you to continue?
My passion for photography was born when I was around 20 years old; during that time there was only analogue photography being used. I was impressed by the magic of the dark room and by the work of the legendary Ansel Adams, and after a few years I was able to make a dark room in my home. Then I had the honour to meet the grand maestro Maurizio Galimberti, a famous international photographer, and to take his course. Thanks to him I learnt the mosaic technique by using the Polaroid and subsequently I was able to exhibit some of my work.
About 10 years ago I had the good fortune to become a father and during that time I put aside the professional photography for almost 7 years. In those years my main focus was my beautiful daughter. After about 3 years I returned with love to pursue my goal to improve myself as photographer.
What are your favourite things to photograph, and what inspires you to go out and take a photo?
For a photographer it is very important to identify the perfect spot, decide where to take your photos and to plan your journeys/discoveries. In my case I am lucky to live in a city that is among the most beautiful in the world. However, my favourite subjects are always the mountains, the lakes, the countryside and the nature of Italy.
What do you think makes a good photograph?
To shoot a good photo you definitely need to have a good technical knowledge of photography but I personally think that the most important thing is the composition of the photo. You cannot teach how to compose well as you learn this skill with time - it comes after having seen many great photos by great photographers. Eventually your eyes get accustomed to sense the beauty.
Your photographs show the beauty of the Italy’s countryside and architecture. What do you think makes Italy so beautiful and what do you think sets Italian style apart from the rest of the world?
It is impossible not to feel deeply that our country, the beautiful Italia, gives everyone living here many reasons to be proud. This is because of its countless natural beauties that can only be found in Italy, from the crafts it produces to the fruits of the land and from its history to its architecture.