If you're ever sunbathing on a beach near Lucca there is a strong possibility that Massimo Vitali will be somewhere on the cliff tops, capturing the scene for one of his beach panoramas!
Vitali has a very distinct style, producing over-exposed and often minimalist scenes of beach-goers. His panoramas offer an alternative view of what can often be a ciched scene of yellow sand and blue sky above burning sun-worshippers below.
Having asked Massimo Vitali for permission to use one of his images to illustrate my blog post! I was very excited that he was more than happy for me to do so and that he invited me to ask him about his work. This was such an unexpected opportunity, I took some time thinking about what I could ask that would be worthwhile to myself and others. Having studied Digital Photographic Practice I was curious to his reasons for the way he processes his images, so that would be included in my interview with him below:
Matt: I really like how you over-expose your beach images. Is this to emphasise the beach-goers, or is there another reason for using this effect?
Massimo: It's to get rid of the blue shadows that normally haunt beaches in the summer.
Matt: what was it that inspired you to photograph beach scenes?
Massimo: Although I stumbled upon the beach subject quite by accident, I later understood that beaches are a very good mirror of our society.
Matt: Was the beach a place that you enjoyed spending time at when you were younger?
Massimo: Of course! And still enjoy my time on the beach (when I'm not taking pictures).
I was extremely grateful for Massimo Vitali taking the time to give me further insight into his work. It has helped me to understand more about photographer's intentions and choices.
Massimo Vitali is currently working on two projects, 'Disco' and 'Pools'. These are two more settings where human interaction can be studied photographically. I find 'Pools' a particularly interesting concept. The swimming pool can be a place where people's inhibitions are washed away. The uniforms of hierarchy and responsibility are concealed in the changing rooms, creating a society of equality in the pool. No one person stands out from another.
Massimo Vitali's recent work can be viewed on his website at http://www.massimovitali.com/projects