Essential beauty

Essential Beauty: Nature in Black and White, a Visual Journey between Contrasts and Silences.

Mountain in the fog
Mountain in the fog

Artistic introspection and external fascination

Art transcends means and serves as a channel for both personal introspection and the immortalization of ephemeral beauty. In my artistic practice, painting and photography are intertwined in a continuous dialogue: while painting I experience it more as an introspective experience , a way to translate the depth of my interiority and imagination into images, with photography I capture those fleeting moments of beauty that the outside world presents to me, to make them immortal. These two different languages allow me to explore and communicate the beauty and complexity of existence.

The Metaphysics of Black and White

My black and white photographs were exhibited for 6 months in the group photo exhibition “The Metaphysics of Black and White” at Gavi Fort in 2023, together with Paolo Amoretti and various local photographers. The exhibition was organized by Arte and Cuisine aps and In collaboration with the Piedmont Regional Museums Directorate, the Directorate of the Fortress of Gavi, and the Patronages of the Province of Alessandria , the City of Gavi and the City of Serravalle Scrivia.

Chromatic Explorations and Compositions

The series of photographs presented here testifies to how the magnificence of nature can be expressed even in the absence of color. Black and white becomes a medium for investigating new dimensions of reality and human experience. Each shot is a window to a world in which time expands, where the contrast between light and shadow reveals not only the form, but also the essence of things In these works, black and white is not a chromatic limitation, but a means of exploring new dimensions of reality and human experience.

Capturing nature without its color suit is a challenge that confronts me with the pure essence of the landscape, its shapes, its lines and its contrasts of light and shadow, but above all its composition. In these images, the absence of color does not equate to a lack of interest or emotion; rather, black and white eliminates color distractions, intensifying the emotional expression of the images. These photos, often taken during walks in the with my dog Imuèh or from the backyard, try to capture the essence behind the color, enhancing contrasts and textures.

Moon in the branches
Moon in the branches

Photography as Painting

I use the medium of photography to create images as if they were paintings where composition becomes paramount. The overall view of these shots reflects a visual harmony and rhythm that is both musical and visual, inviting deeper contemplation. I crop out moments caught in an instant to make them immortal, to capture the ineffable. The eye sees, the photograph immortalizes. Carpe diem. The overall view, that is, the composition, gives balance and harmony to the image, just as in paintings. The view from the garden framed by the window highlights the comparison of the photograph with a painting, where the compositional balance is enriched by lines, shapes, light, and shadows that come together in visual harmony.

With photography, unlike painting I can capture a moment of pure beauty, the eye is still the same, but the mode changes. Whereas photography is the expression of an instant, in which I fix what I see with a shot. Painting is a process that is indeed spontaneous but whose expression is manifested with in a multi-layered creative process of various steps and drying times.

View from the window
View from the window

Moments of Stillness and Reflection

These black-and-white photographs of mine capture a series of quiet, reflective moments in nature, from the intricate interplay of light and shadow to majestic landscape views. The full moon adds depth and charm, while the trees and misty landscapes become protagonists in these silent scenes. This selection of shots create a visual rhythm that is as musical as it is visual. The trees are beautiful in themselves, to which I add the element of perspective and snow that accentuates the depth of the black and white. The mist and clouds really fascinate me, when they then envelop the mountains like a blanket it makes them even more fascinating.

Trees under the snow
Trees under the snow

Beauty Beyond Color

As a lover of nature, I have taken so many photos in color, because it is in color that its beauty lies primarily, but in this photo series I wanted to express the essence of what lies beyond color; black and white is powerful, evoking feelings of nostalgia, enhancing contrasts and directing attention to structural details and textures. Black and white eliminates the distractions of color and can intensify the emotional expression of an image. I take most of the photos by walking with Imuèh, my dog, in the woods, or from the backyard.

So Essential Beauty is a simple but evocative series and suggests that what is presented in my images goes beyond the superficial to the fundamental core of what defines beauty in nature. It is an invitation to explore the inherent depth of each shot, to look for beauty in details, shapes and composition rather than colors.

But the line between black-and-white and color photography is not so clear-cut; there is a less explored but equally fascinating intermediate territory where these two worlds overlap and create a unique visual dialogue.

In the following photograph, the play of light and shadow, and shades of gray, approximate a black-and-white palette, but the presence of the pale lunar glow introduces an element of color. It is not color in its fullest and most vibrant sense, but a whisper, a hint that barely touches perception, as if the world were immersed in a dream.

This image embodies the idea that reality is a continuum of tones where every nuance has its place. Here, color is not the main actor but a comprimario that supports the scene, allowing textures and contrasts to play the main roles.

Night sky
Night sky

Invitation to Share

I would love to know your personal interpretations, share your impressions with a comment below, choose your favorite photo, or tell about your experiences with black and white photography.

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