Aspicus and the Art of Photography

From Snapper to Shooter (hopefully)

Giacomo Brunelli

Occasionally I pick up a magazine while commuting to and from work (I travel about an hour day into and out of London).  In one of these magazines I spotted a review of a book called The Animals by an Italian photographer called Giacomo Brunelli.  The review contained a couple of images and they were unusual enough to stick in my head and led to me looking him up on the internet when I get back.  You can find his site here.

The thing I like about these shots are the nightmarish quality of them.  It’s a quality that reminds me of a David Lynch film called Eraserhead – very surreal and very frightening.  Some of this quality of his photos is reinforced by the subject (take for example some of his shots of dogs here and here), but others not necessarily have a frightening subject but still have this eerie quality.  For example this cat, or this bird, or even this chicken (crossing the road of course! well I smiled).  All of them have this strange, eerie, grotesque quality.

I don’t know enough about the mechanics of composition to put my finger on precisely why yet (although I feel like I’m learning), but at the moment I think it is a mixture of very contrasty/shadowy shots (get the technical lingo there!)  and that strange grainy texture to his shots (I have no idea how he did that, or even if he shoots film or digital).   Also note that the vast majority of his shots are shot with very wide aperture throwing the background out of focus, adding to the intensity of the subjects, and even sometimes throwing the subject out of focus to add to the sense of strangeness, a good example is here (if my out-of-focus shots looked so good I will be a very happy man).  I’ll come back to Giacomo’s work I think throughout the course and see if I have the understanding and words as to how he achieves the very strong sense of all not being what it should.

In the meantime you can find the full range of shots for The Animals here.

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15 April 2009 - Posted by | Photographers

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