Oct 5, 2013

Embracing Tuscany with Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri
To view the work of Gianluca Ricoveri is a moving experience. I see his images and I want to be in them. I want to walk down those paths, be shadowed by the lofty trees and be enveloped by the countryside of Tuscany! I had the great honor of interviewing this very talented artist. His words are as elegant as his art - Enjoy!

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Please share a bit about yourself before we begin.

Gianluca: I am 63 years old, I am retired and I live near Pisa in Tuscany. When I am not busy with iPhoneography, I paint, read and listen to music, even though the times I spend on these hobbies is less and less. Shooting and editing photos is taking more and more time.





© Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  When did you get started with iPhone photography?

Gianluca:  I always photographed, but I discovered iPhone photography by chance in August of 2012, when I viewed a catalog of an exhibition of photos taken with Hipstamatic. It was love at first sight. I only used my iPhone and just Hipstamatic at first, since then it has been all about discovering new apps both for taking and editing pictures and I found out that I was able to finally combine photography and painting.

© Gianluca Ricoveri
© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Do you have a traditional art or photography background?

Gianluca:  I was hovering between painting and photography, although the latter one I always had a fondness, I painted from photos and took photos that looked like paintings. The iPhone opened a new world to my eyes. The opportunity to finally merge the two media, combine them, make them one and go further, creating something new - my personal view of what I have received from places. It is a medium in continuous and infinite evolution, the difficulty lies in the selection, in all the arsenal of apps available, those which allow the creation of a personal expressive language or to achieve a specific effect in order to transmit it, almost a metabolizing process of one's perception.

© Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Who or what inspires you?

Gianluca:  The subjects that fascinate me are the ones that I find in my land: Tuscany. For some time, I turned my attention to the vast landscapes of hills, which can be an endless source of ideas, an input for acquisition and re-transmission. It was about tryng to shoot its landscapes in the best lighting conditions, with a garnish of clouds and trying to grasp the range of tones and colours of fields over the days and the seasons. Lately I try to focus on more peculiar and less wide subjects such as lakes, channels, swamps and tree groups, as they allow me more control on the image composition and the postproduction phase. An area which has an irresistible charm for me is the Lake Massaciuccoli, famous at the end of the last century as a hunting area for waterfowl. It is a lake between the provinces of Pisa and Lucca, which does not enjoy good health. It is a vanishing environment, dilapidated and changing according to the season. It is an environment full of charm and poetry, surrounded by reeds, willows and Eucalyptus providing more pictorial notes to the composition of the photograph.


© Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Early in your Flickr gallery you have quite a few floral images and then your style for which you are best known, your landscapes start to show up. How did your style evolve?

Gianluca:  I always enjoyed photographing flowers, they are also one of my favorite subjects for paintings, but I always prefer to photograph landscapes rather than paint them. When I began to feel more and more the need for editing pictures, I found more expressive possibilities in landscapes, both for the rich potential and for the variety of subjects, moreover because of the expressive richness you can transmit through editing.


© Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri


Geri:  Do you plan your shoots or do you just set out to a particular destination and see what there is to photograph? 

Gianluca:  I plan my photo shoots looking for landscapes right off our main roads, I don’t go too far, maximum 50-60 kilometers. You can easily find beautiful subjects quite near your place, it only takes to look around a bit. Other times I go to some new places that I think might interest me, trying to explore less traveled roads. My decision about whether taking a picture or not depends on the time of day, the light quality and clouds.

© Gianluca Ricoveri

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Do you use the native camera app for the iPhone? If not, which app do you prefer for capturing your images?

Gianluca:  I don't use the native iPhone camera app to shoot. I mainly use 645ProMKII, Hipstamatic, Oggl and 6x6. 

Geri:  I would love to share with my readers an unedited image and your final image and explain the workflow that got you to the final piece.

Gianluca:  Here I started with a photo taken with 6x6, I removed the elements of noise using the retouch tool of Handy Photo, then I went through Snapseed to adjust light and shadows, and then using Selective Adjust (in Snapseed) to dodge and burn the parts of the image that interest me. Finally I added textures before in Distressed FX and then in Laminar.  (Note: Laminar Pro is no longer available in the App Store) 

© Gianluca Ricoveri
Before
© Gianluca Ricoveri
After

Geri:  Do you have apps that are your favorites for creating your work?
Gianluca:  Snapseed is the mandatory phase for each picture for its “Tune image” and “Selective adjust” features that reminds me of the “burn and dodge” technique. Sometimes I use Photogene. For the grunging effects, my favorite apps are Mextures, Distressed FX and Grunge FX HD. To add textures and tonal control, Laminar is essential. Procreate is my favorite app for adding pictorial effects.

Geri:  Have you ever exhibited your work?
Gianluca:  I did personal exhibitions of traditional photos and paintings, but none of mobile photography.

© Gianluca Ricoveri
© Gianluca Ricoveri

Geri:  Since I discovered this art form, I view the world differently. How has iPhone photography changed your life experience?
Gianluca:  I signed up to social networks since I got into mobile photography, and I found out there was a fantastic community of artists where you can have a continuous input and feedback. In particular, I observe what others can develop during editing, this is often a source for ideas in my work.

© Gianluca Ricoveri

Thank you Gianluca for sharing with my readers.

Find Gianluca:  Flickr / iphoneart / EyeEm 

All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Gianluca Ricoveri published on Art of Mob with the consent of the artist. 


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