// Enzo is an award-winning Italian photographer with a great love of fine arts. During travels in England, he undertook his photographic project Meeting William Turner, a hommage to the great Romantic landscape painter and master of capturing light.
Strongly influenced by the photographer Luigi Ghirri, whom Enzo considers his teacher, he has developed his photography in an artistic direction. Ghirri´s advice was “… to bring the eye back to see the things that are there, where they are, to clean the gaze of too much metaphorical and symbolic lacquer. To return to looking”. One of Ghirri´s books, entitled Lezioni di Fotografia (Lessons in Photography), invites us to look before taking a picture, with a different spirit, that is, to look, question and interpret. “You feel this change when you perceive the need for growth, an evolution that helps you not to get stuck in a specific photographic field and encourages you to try to get out of the usual guidelines to produce a technically good photo,” Enzo says.
“Don’t judge wrong what you don’t know, take the opportunity to understand.”
What draws you to the arts?
“It is something difficult for me to explain, I know that I feel the need to produce images in which to transpose my feelings and emotions of that precise moment, I cannot say if it becomes art, I only know that it is like breathing, you cannot be without it …
I think the quote above by Picasso has no temporal boundaries and is still very relevant today.”
What impressed you most about being in William Turner´s landscape?
“I remember vividly that morning on the beach in Brighton, that feeling of suspension from all context. Before I started photographing, I wanted to take my mind off it by closing my eyes to the stormy sea and hearing only the sound of the waves. Then the photographs came by themselves without any technicalities but always paying close attention to catching Turner’s light.“
Over the past five years Enzo had the opportunity to photograph England several times. In the summer of 2019 he returned to visit London again and for the first time the town of Brighton, with the intention of producing photographs completely differently from previous visits. His intention was to photograph the best known part of this city, its famous Brighton Pier. Enzo had studied English landscape painting, focusing on the two great exponents of English Vedutism: John Constable and William Turner (in full, Joseph Mallord William Turner, but in his time commonly referred to as William Turner). “I am attracted by the romantic representation of his landscapes, where nature is predominant in all its powerful beauty,” Enzo says.
What fascinated him most about Turner’s paintings was the dissolution of forms, which, through the fusion of colour and light, creates an effect of extraordinary intensity. When Enzo stood on the beach in Brighton with his camera, the weather conditions were virtually identical to those in Turner’s paintings, the sky was tumultuous, laden with heavy rain clouds, the sea was very rough, stirred by the strong winds. “I tried to imagine how Turner would have painted the scene before his eyes in order to immortalise it forever. The photos came by themselves, guided by the strong emotion I felt as my eye caught the highly evocative scenery through the camera’s viewfinder, without ever thinking about the technicalities of how to get a perfect photo. I just wanted to capture Turner’s light…”
Enzo wanted to produce images with soft and warm colours, and in his post-processing he adjusted white balance, and added a canvas effect texture to give the pictures the appearance of paintings.
We think Enzo succeeded in his hommage to William Turner. His uses of light and editing techniques create images with hues and luminosity that produce a modernised take on the romantic landscape painters.
Click on the photos to see a larger image.