Congratulations to Vittorio Garatti for being the First Impressions Featured Photoblogger for January.
We’re kicking the year off with this Italian’s heartwarming shots. He’s again one of those closet photographers masquerading as a software nerd (gosh, how many talented left brainers do we have?).
Garatti’s tryst with photography started less than a decade ago with a Minolta Dimage, an old compact digital camera. Needless to say, he was hooked. As soon as he got his first reflex digital camera, he has been freezing time for perpetuity any chance he gets.
Garatti loves macros the most. “It gives me the possibility of diving inside another world,” he says. “An unreal world with different proportions, different depths of field, colourful and peaceful. I can spend hours lying on the grass, navigating inside a flower or trying to capture dragonflies, butterflies, spiders or a drop of water.”
After viewing his spectacular landscapes, though, some might say that Garatti has it easy. After all, he lives in a place called the “Gulf of Poets.”
That’s right … a small, albeit famous, hamlet in Western Italy situated five minutes from the ocean and half an hour from the Apuan Alps.
“The fact that I am living in — that I am immersed in — a Mediterranean environment is probably one of the principal reasons of my love affair with nature and photography,” he says. “Since I was a child I spent my time in the open air, at sea, running across the hills, or walking along some trail. Even today, when I have some hours of free time I spend all these minutes going into the greens or relaxing in front of a sunset.”
Even when he has some of the best that Nature has to offer, Garatti loves to travel … perhaps, it’s because he has seen such pristine beauty at his doorstep that he seeks to appreciate it whenever and wherever he can. Part of his travel to faraway lands like Norway, New Zealand and Ireland was inspired by his friend, David Umberto Zappa — also a professional photographer. “He teaches me most things I know about this world,” says Garatti. “David had traveled a lot through the most marvellous places on earth (Chile, Argentina, Patagonia…) and I was enchanted to see through his shots such beautiful landscapes.”
Alongwith Zappa, Garatti started surfing the web for professional and amateur photographers — to get more exposure to techniques and styles and also build a global network of skilled artisans. “So I start following photographers such as Diane Varner and Joshi Daniel,” says Garatti. “I continue to visit their blogs to learn something and for inspiration.” Incidentally Varner and Daniel have both held the title of First Impressions Featured Photoblogger on this website.
Given his technical acumen and passion for photography, Garatti coded his own website and launched Images No Words in 2006. Five years later, he says, it continues to be “a great experience.”
“My blog doesn’t have lots of visitors — it’s only about 20 visitors a day but it’s beautiful to know that my shots are liked by people from various different parts of the world,” he says.
What keeps him going? “I consider photography a language with which it’s possible to communicate. A particular language spoken with light, but without words,” says Garatti matter-of-factly. “The main mission is to be able to communicate a story, an emotion, a particular mood … through this medium.”
It’s also about sharing his emotions. “Spending my free time in the woods, between flowers, along a river, at sea, or in front of a sunset is emotional for me,” he says. “I’m a firm believer of Dostoevskij’s ‘Beauty will save the world.’ The only way I can share the beauty I see and the emotions I feel is by taking shots of that moment.”
For Garatti, photography offers an escape from the real world. For me, his photographs are a window to the world. He takes me on a virtual journey … but I hope someday soon I will be able to translate that journey into reality and visit him in the Gulf of Poets.
I hope you will give a tip of the hat to Garatti’s photographs by visiting his website. Enjoy the blanket of calm and peacefulness as you view his photos.