lunedì 10 giugno 2013

New Landscape Photography

by Willson Cummer
source: New Landscape Photography

The first time I went there I was seven. It was with my grandfather.
Afterwords, with my friends, by car, hanging out, stopping at old churches and pine woods, talking, smoking, arguing about the next direction to drive. We went there to discover hidden inns, unusual views, fresh smells of mushrooms and mildews. It was long time ago.
I think there is such a place in the memory of each of us. Something particularly meaningful. Maybe, not far from the town we live, a place in the suburb, in countryside, a road across the mountains. A “B” road near Genoa, for example. The route SP 67 runs from Apparizione, a fraction on the borderline of the town of Genoa, to Calcinara, four houses in the inland. Around here, “Dark Nord Wind” is the name given to the North Wind when it carries rain and storms.
I have been driving this road many time, from 2008 to 2010. I took pictures. Looking for what I left behind: bad weather, dark paths, shadows of old friends, blurred memories. I went deeper into the forest, descending paths, looking through trees in the mists. Trying to grab the mystery of a place I only found the uncertainty of a road still to be covered to the end.
“I’m running towards nothing, again and again and again” (Simonetta Roncaglia)
– Roberto Schena, Milan & Genoa, Italy

giovedì 10 gennaio 2013


by Rob Wilkes
source: Weheart

journey on the highway to hell...

Roberto Schena isn’t a man who likes to rush things, especially travel. No 150mph autobahns for this photographer. In fact, it took Schena three years to cover a 13 kilometre stretch of road for his latest collection SP 67, La Strada Della Tramontana Scura, named after a provincial Italian road. A section of the route is the subject of his pictures and translates, somewhat forebodingly, as The Road of the Dark North Wind.

That eerie name couldn’t be more apt. There’s a definite menace to Schena’s images, developed through natural filters of mist and drizzle, capturing the impending violence of approaching storms and trapping frightened animals in the headlights of his flash. This is a photographic exploration of his native Genoa in treacherous conditions, and Schena’s meticulous – even painstaking – collection forms a volume released byPunctum, which is bookended by two short stories by Paolo Caredda.
The book also includes a map for anyone intrepid enough to retrace Schena’s footsteps into the harsh and mysterious world surrounding SP 67. Think we’ll stay in the car though, thanks.

domenica 23 dicembre 2012

Photography Prison

source: Photography Prison

Feature Shoot

by Greta Ribus
source: Feature Shoot

Evocative Photos From Fog-Shrouded, Boar-Filled Forests in Italy

Roberto Schena’s SP 67 is a book of photographs about being in-between. In between day and night, waking and dreaming, and the beginning and end of a journey. Schena spent three years documenting 13 kilometers of fog-shrouded, boar-filled forests between Italy’s Genoa and Calcinara.

The bulk of the images are sandwiched between two short stories by Paolo Caredda. The first, the narrative of a contemplative lieutenant guiding his troops through the woods parallels Schena’s subsequent imagery. In the second story, forming the epilogue, contemporary friends make discoveries on the fringes of city and wilderness. Long exposure images portray the motion of a frantic walk through the trees while still images capture the signs of life amidst the landscape. The sequencing of the photos is clever, carefully revealing the pace and timeline of Schena’s strange and unnerving journey.
Schena is an Italian fine-art photographer based in Milan. Published by Punctumthis year, SP 67 La Strada Della Tramontana Scura (The Road of the Dark North) includes 51 color plates.

Snake Ranch

source: Snake Ranch

Claes Gellerbrink's Blog

source: Claes Gellerbrink's Blog

sabato 1 settembre 2012

One year of books

by Laurence Vecten

Broken Spine

by Allen Zachary
source: Broken Spine

giovedì 14 giugno 2012

Pho(o)lia | Review: SP 67

by Olia Yatskevich
source: Phot(o)lia

SP 67 is a new book by Italian photographer Roberto Schena. La Strada della Tramontana Scura, or “The Road of the Dark North Wind”, is known for its nasty weather with a lot of rain and storms. Robert Schena spent three years investigating the road, surroundings and documenting its darkest corners. SP 67 is only 13 kilometers in length, it runs in the mountains in the northern part of Italy. “SP67: 13 kilometers of a provincial road from Apparizione, a neighbourhood on the borderline of Genoa, to Calcinara, four houses in the inland” (*). Isn’t it a fabulous story for a road trip?
A map on the end notes gives a geographical reference. Images of a dark forest, foggy road, trees in clouds, details, local inhabitants create a spooky and magical atmosphere. Few animals caught by camera bring certain dynamic to the book. The last image is a car. Is it the end of the journey, its beginning, or one of the mysteries of the forest?
The SP 67 is well printed book with elegant design; good heavy paper and high picture quality. And a light smell of ink. SP 67 is poetic road trip presented in a beautiful book form.     
Review by Joerg Colberg 
Review by Eye Curious 
The Photobook by Douglas Stockdale 

domenica 3 giugno 2012


by Martin Petersen
source: Urbanautica

There is no visual instrument as effective as fog. This useless weather condition which can make even the most everyday things appear mysterious and timeless, this blanket of gray nothing that can be pulled down over even the dullest landscape and make it appear as an unknown country, this huge tool that must have been intended for photographers on the day the weather was invented, because there is no tool in neither Photoshop or similar programs that can evoke the same atmosphere as fog.

It is not a coincidence that I use the word tool to describe the fog, because as it is with tools, instruments and so much else you patiently have to learn to use before it generates results, some learn the craft to a degree where they master it, and some are less fortunate. In the case of Robero Schena you get the feeling that you are dealing with one of the masters in the art of fog.
Roberto Schenas series “SP 67” that has recently been published in book form by Punctum Press, is a visually heavy experience. The few places the fog does not rule in the photos, night time or heavy downpour take over. Reality gets blurred, and what remains are roads no one can see where ends, impervious landscapes, night lit cities that seem unattainable, night walkers, car wrecks and diffuse images, resembling the day after, where it is unclear whether the images were part of your drunkenness or memories from dreams in the sleep that followed. The series is nightmarish, as a thriller or a Playstation game where it quickly becomes clear that you must stay away from the animals. From the close up of the horses’ wild eyes, past the stray dogs at night, to the wild hog, which majestically arrogant thrones from a hilltop, with the forest hidden in the fog as a backdrop, all the animals are radiating a do-not-come-too-near attitude.
But you do not want to get too close, it would seem like a punishment to be thrown into this landscape that appears so obstinate and implacable. It took Roberto Schena three years to cultivate this series, and his patience has given a fantastic return. The series is based on the landscape surrounding a thirteen kilometer long road near Genoa. Without knowing the area I refuse to believe that the weather and surroundings looks like this every day, but Roberto Schena has succeeded to capture a mood that echoes in the area. Just as images of war can hold great aesthetics, you are drawn to these images, while counting yourself lucky that you can enjoy them from afar.

EYECURIOUS | Review: SP 67

by Marc Feustel
source: Eyecurious

The road trip is one of the primal photographic gestures. It has given rise to some of the most celebrated series of photographs as well as to countless clichéd and forgettable pictures. Thanks to—or maybe even because of—Robert Frank’s ten thousand mile drive across America which led to The Americans, it also feels like a quintessentially American exercise. The term also has an epic quality: it conjures up the idea of a seemingly never-ending journey. With his book SP 67, the Italian photographer Roberto Schena has played with the mythology of the road trip to explore a short (13km) stretch of road running through the mountains in northern Italy.
The books cover sets the mood: the landscape is wintry and barren and the air seems to be heavy with moisture. This is a book that is all about atmosphere. Although its title and endpapers (a reproduction of a map of this mountain road) seem to place importance on the particular location that Schena has chosen for this project, its subtitle, La strada della tramontana scura (The road of the dark north wind), is more revelatory of its nature. The book is structured like a drive from East to West along the SP 67, one almost entirely shrouded in a thick fog which only allows for glimpses of the surrounding landscape.
Most of the images in SP 67 are technically landscape photographs, but they reveal very little… the odd curve in the road… the foliage that surrounds it… always obscured by the incessant fog. This unsettling visual backdrop is punctuated by the odd animal apparition. This is what gives the book its rhythm: a pig running along a ridge on the horizon, a closeup of a horse’s head, a goat or some dogs picked out of the darkness by the car’s headlights. This creates the sense that this world belongs to animals rather than to men. This road seems to run through a parallel universe, a place that we recognise but where space and time are distorted and unfamiliar (another reviewer compared Schena’s world to that of a Murakami novel).
While Schena has undeniably created a heavily atmospheric world with this work, I found it to be a little too impenetrable. SP 67 is a slippery book that left me with a lingering sense of frustration. Like a dream that you awake from feeling unsettled, but, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot remember.