Giulio Speranza
Gran Sasso d’Italia

The Apennines are the mountain chain that forms the spine of the Italian Peninsula. The highest and more spectacular mountain group of the chain is the Gran Sasso Range, located in Abruzzo, whose highest peak, the Big Horn, reach 2912m asl and hosts the European southernmost glacier, the “Calderone”. Despite the actual beauty of these natural landscapes, the presence of several National Parks and protected areas as well as countless cultural attractions, the whole area still haven’t got the attention that it deserves. Moreover, here are the origins of my family. My aim is to realize the first comprehensive and high-quality photographic research on the Gran Sasso Range. A documentary work, clearly aesthetic-oriented, to collect precise, detailed and attractive pictures that should raise surprise for the nature beauty, curiosity to discover this area and be of help for those who like to know and study these mountains and, finally, a contribution to the social rebirth of the area, never promoted how and as it deserves, particularly after the earthquakes of the last years (this April will be the 10th anniversary of the L’Aquila earthquake).
I’ve chosen to realize this work following my main area of expertise within professional photography, i.e. using large format View Cameras and monochrome films. This allows me to take precise, detailed and aesthetic pictures so, in brief, to fulfil my idea of a documentary, but aesthetic-oriented, research. In this way, moreover, I have an “old” but, in the superfast world on nowadays, “new” approach to the mountain landscape photography, technical, slow, with the production of a limited number of highly thought images that should raise from a real harmony with the subject

His Technique

Here you can see a gallery of pictures shot on the Gran Sasso Range from January to April, 2019. Beside the choice of black and white, so to remove the chromatic component, to get directly to the core of the subject, that is my preferred way to represent the reality, I tend to prefer high impact images, so with enhanced contrast using specific filters during image acquisition. After shooting, I develop personally my pictures and then I proceed with digitalization and further enhancement.
All the images presented here have been captured using the Linhof Technikardan S 4×5” camera. It’s actually a great camera to shoot in the field, lightweight and very compact when closed, but with all the advantages of a monorail design, so ample movements, precision, very long extension and so on. It’s versatility and unique design was really an advantage during my photo sessions on the mountains, when I had to carry my backpack with the camera, lenses, sheet film holders and all the necessary accessories for several hours around the peaks of my beloved Gran Sasso Range.

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