Mariano De Angelis on architecture photography

Ivan @ 28 / 11 / 2020 @ Blog / Архитектура / Интервью
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Mariano De Angelis is a photograper from Italy. We are used to see photoes of contemporary architecture, or renowned architectural pieces, while Mariano also pictures places usually not so popular but not of less importance. His photoes take us to his charming Italy, with its ancient architecture, some still inhabited and lively, other — ruins, all those reminiscent of the hot Italian sun and its very soil. Mariano kindly let us use his photoes in the project of reconstruction of Piscina Mirabilis, the ancient Roman underground pool. We decided to ask Mariano about his work, and while we can't go to Italy right now because of the pandemic, we can reach to its magnificent valleys, hills and wonderful cities via his instagram @marianodeangelis_photography.

Why did you decide to photograph architecture?

— I decided to photograph architecture as a result of the studies undertaken, but mostly to give voice to the buildings and monuments that have a story to tell. A good picture can be a way to get this message to the viewer.

What kind of architecture do you like best? (Historic, modern, a particular architect, etc.)

— Being curious, persistent and enough brave, I prefer taking photos of abandoned places. That is hidden architectures, forgotten and often in ruins.

Each building has its character, how do you find the way to show it through  a photograph?

— By emphasising the architectural features and highlighting their characteristics.

Sometimes an architectural object is hard to show, whether it’s too big to fit in frame, and no room to step back enough, or its parts are scattered around a large area, and a photographer mainly takes images of its parts. How a photographer can deal with that conditions to tell the whole story, to give viewer a complete image of a building?

— I think it depends on the personal feeling of the photographer. Most of the time I prefer waiting for the sunrise or sunset, when the natural light is softer. During the morning, when the sun is coming in from an angle, there are a lot of shadows that can be distracting.

What is “genius loci”, how do you decide a way to portray it, what can help? (How do you decide in what time, lighting, weather conditions to take pictures, etc.?)

— I think it depends on the personal feeling of the photographer. Most of the time I prefer waiting for the sunrise or sunset, when the natural light is softer. During the morning, when the sun is coming in from an angle, there are a lot of shadows that can be distracting.

Are people on site good for showing architecture, or it’s better for the architecture to be photographed alone?

— I prefer contextualizing the shot observing the symmetry and avoiding, when possible, the human figure. In some cases I include them in the frame because I think they are helpful to the viewer as a reference scale.

What about the ruins, what’s interesting about them for you?

— The stories behind them.

What do you consider to be the special characters of Italian architecture? Which buildings are your favorite? Maybe there are some you like to visit again, what is so special about them?

— It would be an impossible task trying to summarize in few words the history of italian architecture, but one particular element that could synthesize its identity are the squares.

My favourite building is the Royal Palace of Caserta and, even though it is located in my hometown, I rarely have the time to visit it. Every time is a new discovery when I wander in the surrounding natural landscape of the largest royal residence in the world.


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