INTERVIEW WITH…Emilio Barillaro

Researched by Roberta Pastore



Going back in time, how did your passion for photography and how you facing in the professional world?

Was born in a very random fashion . During Christmas time of a few years ago I found under the tree an SLR and since then I have spent every day of my life studiyng, experimenting and learning everything about this world. I’m just made like that… if something I’m passionate about I have to learn everything that concerns it. Lately I was slightly slowing down the studio and I was almost exclusively devoted to my projects , when my friend Francesco Costantini (professional tempting devil), forced me to get back to studying opening a new world in front of my eyes: that of analogue photography . A few days ago I made ​​my first print in the darkroom and now I will have to spend the next years learning everything on this topic . Damn him … As for the second part of the question I do not have much to say because I’m not a professional , though I have occasionally done some work on commission, but a person who is simply have a lot of fun.



 How do you manage the use of color and b / w in your photos?

At the beginning of my journey was obviously a 360 degree research; Therefore, I alternated color and  black and white constantly. Slowly and naturally I’ve preferred more black and white; today the color in my mind does not even exist. The world for me become in black and white, and also my images become more “dirty” over time.




What type of machine you use to shoot?

In digital I’m shooting with a FujiFilm X100S and in analog with an Olympus Mju II. Two small, quiet, and with excellent quality cameras that I always carry with me.

When you take, you have an image in mind?

Projects the finished image before the implementation or your pictures are the result of a reflection in post-production?

If I had to plan my shots I would not be a photographer. I would not have fun at all because I would miss what I think makes the photograph fascinating and intriguing: the unexpected. I only snap candid shots. What I’m trying to do in the last period of time, is thiking not only on single shots but on projects (though perhaps, as shots are not planned, it would be more correct to call them “series”), in which I give myself a theme and then try to find situations / moments that they can feel good inside this theme. When I feel inside me that that project is finished, I do a rigorous selection and try to put the shots in a sequence.




What determines the success or failure of a photo?

For the approach that I use the success is determined by the meeting of three factors: eye, readiness and opportunity. But this is not always sufficient, because a picture has to be also a good composition and above all a content that conveys something to the beholder. Whatever it may be, from the most positive to the most negative.

 What training did you follow? Who inspired you?

I am a self-taught but I have attended some workshops, among which the most important for me was the one held by Joel Meyerowitz at Cortona On The Move Festival  last year. My main inspiration is Trent Parke, my absolute favorite photographer. Obviously there is not only him but many other great masters such as Lee Friedlander, Anders Petersen, Mark Cohen, Robert Frank …





Written and researched by Carlo Traina


 (New York, 6 March 1938)

 “An artist’s responsibility is to not avert his gaze. Maybe you can’t correct it by pointing it out, but you can at least certify that you saw it at that time, and that it was painful to you”.



Beyond the “content” of his photos, one of the main achievements of Joel Meyerowitz in photography is to have transformed the “colour” in a full-blown language. Up to the middle of the 60 because of the technical difficulties to obtain true colours when printing, and most of all of the habit of seeing photos as a scale of greys, colour photography met quite a resistance.  Meyerowitz understood the power of communication behind colours and was able, thanks to his shots so vivid and full of colours, to have colour photography accepted nearly universally as the new way to represent the world.


JoelMeyerowitz Joel Meyerowitz was born in New York in 1938, in the East Bronx, where he lived “a peaceful relationship with the energy and the spontaneous craziness of life of those streets.” His interest in photography was born after following Robert Frank in a photographic shooting. The ease with which Frank moved, while photographing people on the move, fascinated him so much that he left his job, he borrowed a camera and started taking pictures on the streets of New York.

Meyerowitz has published numerous books and exhibited his shoots in thousands of shows, but two are the “jobs” that stand out for originality: a journey of a year in Europe (with photo shoot directly from the car), and the images of Ground Zero taken immediately after the September 11 attacks in 2001.




The curiosity to of Meyerowitz to go in a world different from the usual and the desire to dispel the stereotype that portrays the American abroad as the superficial, are the elements that originated the desire for a trip to Europe. He thus took two cameras (one with color film and one with black and white film, to shoot the same scene twice, with two different “eyes”) and then passed 12 months taking pictures especially from the car. It is only after that trip that he finally decided to embrace color. Meyerowitz say so about that experience: “After a few weeks of doing this on a regular basis, I had the sense that I was inside the camera, that the car was the camera obscura and I was in it looking out the window, which was a frame.”



After a series of collaborations with leading photographers (Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge and Diane Arbus), Meyerowitz published his first book: “Cape Light” (1979), which is considered a classic of color photography and sold – in 25 years – more than 100,000 copies. 14 more books followed, including: “Bystander: The History of Street Photography”, and “Tuscany: Inside the Light”.



Immediately after the attacks of September 11 in New York’, Meyerowitz was the only photographer allowed to shoot the scenes of destruction. In a few days, he created an archive of thousands of images that document both the disaster and the work of recovery around the World Trade Center. Among these, Meyerowitz has selected 28 images that make up the exhibition “After September 11: Images from Ground Zero.” Between 2001 and 2004, the exhibition was presented in more than 200 cities in 60 countries, and has been seen by more than three and a half million people.

Apart from the monographic collections (such as the photos taken in Tuscany), “Street” images by Meyerowitz largely mirror the everyday life of New York: the faces of everyday people, in the frenzy of the race to work, or in relaxation while resting on a bench. These images are characterized by the play of contrasting colors and lights and shadows, and shoot close to the subjects.

Meyerowitz, in strict “Street” style, is part of the scene, does not hide. With his Leica 35 mm he is always “among” the people and, in contravention of a rule followed in most photography, often he seeks the bright light of the sun, the one that creates sharp shadows on the faces and figures, as well as creates, in the frame, large color contrasts (underlined by signs, posters, flashy clothes) and black.

This, in addition to making Meyerowitz definitely one of the “masters” of the “color photograph”, it places him by authority among the most respected artists ever. His works are in fact exposed in the MoMa museum in New York, in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and in many others. and researched by Carlo Traina


 (New York, 6 March 1938)

“La responsabilità di un fotografo è quella di non distogliere lo sguardoForse non puoi correggere il male indicandoloma puoi almeno certificare ciò che hai che avete visto in quel momento, e che era doloroso per te “.



Al di là dei “contenuti” delle sue foto, uno dei meriti principali di Joel Meyerowitz nel campo della fotografia è stato quello di avere trasformato il colore in linguaggio. Fino alla metà degli anni ’60 le difficoltà tecniche di ottenere colori fedeli in sede di stampa, e soprattutto  l’abitudine a vedere le foto secondo le scale di grigio, avevano creato una vera e propria resistenza nei confronti della fotografia a colori. Meyerowitz comprese però la potenza comunicativa dei colori, riuscendo infine – attraverso le sue foto vive e cromatiche – a fare accettare quasi universalmente questo nuovo modo di rappresentare il mondo.


 Joel Meyerowitz nasce a New York nel 1938, nell’East Bronx, dove vive “una relazione tranquilla con l’energia e la spontanea follia della vita di quelle strade”. L’interesse per la fotografia arriva dopo avere seguito Robert Frank in un suo lavoro fotografico. La facilità con cui Frank si muove, fotografando persone anch’esse in movimento, lo affascina così tanto che abbandona il suo lavoro, si fa prestare una macchina fotografica e comincia a scattare per le strade di New York. Meyerowitz ha pubblicato numerosi libri ed esposto le sue foto in migliaia di mostre, ma due sono sicuramente i “lavori” che si distinguono per originalità: un viaggio di un anno in Europa (con foto scattare direttamente dall’automobile), e le immagini di Ground Zero riprese immediatamente dopo gli attentati dell’11 settembre.




Il desiderio di un viaggio in Europa deriva dalla curiosità di Meyerowitz  di spingersi in un mondo differente da quello abituale, e di sfatare anche il luogo comune che dipinge come superficiale l’ americano all’estero. Prende così due macchine fotografiche (una con pellicola a colori ed una con pellicola in bianco e nero, per riprendere la stessa scena due volte, con due “occhi” diversi) e passa 12 mesi a scattare foto soprattutto dall’automobile.  E’ dopo quel viaggio che decide di abbracciare definitivamente il colore.  Meyerowitz racconta così quell’esperienza: “dopo alcune settimane, ho avuto la sensazione che fossi dentro la macchina fotografica, che l’automobile fosse la camera oscura e io dentro di essa a guardare fuori dalla finestra, che era una cornice. “



Dopo una serie di collaborazioni con importanti fotografi (Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge e Diane Arbus), Meyerowitz pubblica il suo primo libro: “Cape Light” (1979) che è considerato un classico della fotografia a colori e ha venduto – in 25 anni – più di 100.000 copie.  Seguono altri 14 libri, tra cui:  Bystander: The History of Street Photography, e Tuscany: Inside the Light.



Subito dopo gli attacchi dell’’11 settembre a  New York , Meyerowitz è l’unico fotografo autorizzato a riprendere le scene della distruzione. In pochi giorni crea un archivio di migliaia di immagini che documentano sia il disastro che le opere di recupero intorno al World Trade Center. Tra queste, Meyerowitz  ha selezionato 28 immagini che compongono la mostra “Dopo l’11 settembre: Immagini da Ground Zero “. Tra il 2001 e il 2004, la mostra è stata presentata in più di 200 città in 60 paesi, ed è stata vista da oltre tre milioni e mezzo di persone . A parte le raccolte monografiche (come ad esempio le foto scattate in Toscana) le immagini “Street” di Meyerowitz riprendono prevalentemente la vita quotidiana di New York: persone e volti di tutti i giorni, nella frenesia della corsa verso il lavoro, o nella rilassatezza di un riposo su una panchina. Sono immagini caratterizzate dal gioco dei contrasti cromatici e delle luci ed ombre, e

riprese vicino ai soggetti: Meyerowitz in rigoroso stile “Street” fa parte della scena, non si nasconde. Con la sua Leica 35 mm è sempre “tra” la gente e, contravvenendo ad una delle regole più seguite in fotografia, cerca spesso la luce forte del sole, quella che crea ombre nette sui volti e sulle figure, così da creare, nel fotogramma, ampi contrasti di colore (sottolineato da insegne, cartelli, vestiti sgargianti) e di nero.

Tutto ciò, oltre a fare di Meyerowitz sicuramente uno dei “maestri” della “fotografia a colori”, lo inserisce d’autorità tra gli artisti più apprezzati in assoluto. I suoi lavori , infatti, sono esposti al MoMa di New York, al Metropolitan Museum of Art e in molti altri

His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many others.

© Sanjay Nanda 20/05/14 © Sanjay Nanda 20/05/14


This image may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without a prior written permission from the copyright holder. This image is available as a Rights-Managed License or Printed Artwork.10170980_10204141095037614_6410849552853931921_n

This image may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without a prior written permission from the copyright holder. This image is available as a Rights-Managed License or Printed Artwork.


Researched by Raffaele Montepaone



When did you start a passion for the photography?
In 2007 i was still a student of Architecture when I started to see the reality in a different way : lights , shadows , people ,souls , and a lot of stories around me. For this reasons I think that photography is the better way for me to see the world.


What was your first camera?
My first camera was an analogic old Practica of 1988 (a camera of my father).I choosed starting in analogic , so you can’t see the shoots you’re making, and you have to focus the scene and the frame mostly than in the digital way.
 What is photography to you? And what should not be instead?
In my opinion, photography is the clearest way to tell a story describing the world around us without any words or other influences, but only with mere pictures.
Photography shouldn’t be a self_praise of who makes the shoot.

Which masters of photography inspires you?
I think all of us need a master. My first master was Ferdinando Scianna, photoreporter, journalist and member of Magnum Ph.
I’ve greatly admired his first work: “Feste religiose in Sicilia”, and these pictures inspired me to start a reportage about “Devotion and religious adoration” here in Naples.What is the photo that struck you the most of a great photographer of the story?
The photo that I admire was shooted by Ferdinando Scianna, and is this :


What is your favorite technique ?
I think that technique is not the only essential thing to make a photo.
Photography needs surely of technique but of heart and soul too.
I like shooting with slow time, for the chances you have to create dynamism and movement in your scene.

 Why do street photography?
I like the streets. If you learn to make photos in the street you can see a lot of different kind of lights and shadows. You can see different kind of people, you can enrich yourself with the stories you’re writing (with the light and shadows).




What is your best shot and what does it represent for you?
I don’t have my own best shoot. I think my best shoot will came , but not now. I want to wait it , here in my city, here in my streets.
What is your relationship with the street and the people who are in your shots?
Shooting in the street is the best way to know different kind of people, I like it so much. I like to walk , speaking with the people around me . I love listening their stories. After a new reportage I feel richer.