Riccardo Mantero is an award-winning and published photographer based in Italy. He learned photography through several courses, training and workshops and through the avid study of the most famous classics. He works with two Nikon D800 and D810 DSLRs and several professional Nikon Lenses. His work is mainly focused on landscape and travel photography with some variations on portrait (only natural light) and street genres.
Carrie: Welcome Riccardo, when did you first realize your love of photography?
May I say “since I was child?” My first camera was given to me when I was 7 or 8, I can’t remember exactly but I still have a ton of really expensive (due to film development costs) photos of my school mates.
Carrie: Can you please describe your work?
My works focus on the production of large size and insanely detailed prints of natural events like hurricanes or of majestic landscapes like the american deserts or caribbean dream places. My dream is to produce “the perfect landscape photo” and I’m working hard to improve my own style, techniques and technologies.
Carrie: How do you take risk in your art?
Bringing thousands of euros of equipment to dangerous, dirty, wet places I guess is risky enough! The more extreme the event is that I’m shooting: thunderstorms, hurricanes, open seas, the more I’m attracted to it.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
I’m obsessively fascinated and excited by all natural events: it can be a simple sunset, a sunrise or a devastating storm. I want to watch them, enjoy them, to live them, and then, share them from my personal point of view. In my photos you will get dramatic skies with heavy clouds, warm tones and the sun, possibly the sun everywhere and every time I can.
Carrie: How has social media and the internet helped you as an artist?
Greatly; I’m striving to increase my presence on social media. I’ve started with the study of SEO but soon realised that for my kind of business, social media is the true answer. Facebook should be identified as the most powerful search engine (not Google), because Facebook knows your tastes, aspirations, interest; basically it is a sharp and precise search engine for potential customers. That’s why I’m investing more in social network presence than in Search Engine Optimization.
Carrie: What strategies would you suggest to artists for them to harness social media?
Find a good Social Media Manager, invest in campaigns and quality as much (or more) than you invest in equipment.
Carrie: When you process an image, how do you know when it is “finished?”
When any further modification ruins it! LOL! No, no I’m just kidding, To me an image is ready for print when it conveys the emotion I felt when I was shooting it. The print is good if it is respects the same principle. Then I can say that it is ready: when the final product is exactly what I want to show to my public. To get there, I often destroy and start over several times the final result until I get what I want. It is an extremely long process which I’m stretching more and more from time to time while I become more maniac!
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
I’ve been always fascinated by images. The first time I remember such interest I was child, during a visit in Venice when I saw one of those paintings of Canaletto. It was huge, super detailed, maniacally cured in every way. After that, my love for spectacular images only grew, passing through hyper-realistic images, like those made with an airbrush, then to computer graphics until digital photography as the completion of the route. I’ve always made art with a vision that wasn’t so clear, but now is: I want that the observer to feel he can step into one of my large prints, like when I was a child viewing one of the Canaletto masterworks.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
As I said, the great classic masters, painters, photographers, graphic artists, and obviously some contemporary ones. Ansel Adams, H.R. Giger, Steve McCurry and last but not least Peter Lik, whose business model I’m aspiring to follow.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
A hard woman to conquer. But the sweetest once conquered.
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