From Negatives to Pixels

Happy to share that we have just kicked off the digitization of my entire archive of film negatives, thanks to a Next Generation Eu funded grant. Over the next 18 months, we will make public all the analog pictures I have taken since 1994, somehow showing the evolution of the social spaces and human interactions I have captured with my photographic work. Stay tuned to discover some glimpses of this very intimate and ambitious project, which will reveal some images hidden in my studio in Lucca until now.

“We are discovering so many interesting details from the first boxes of 11×14 negatives taken in discos in the 1990s. It is incredible to see how everything has changed – or hasn’t!”

A BIT OF HISTORY
My archive of film negatives begins with my first beach picture taken in 1994 with my 8×10 camera and goes to 2016 when I finally switched to a medium format digital camera.
Almost 5000 8×10 and 11×14 negatives taken in that period are now stored in my studio in Lucca, in numbered boxes kept in an old wooden wardrobe. In recent years I’ve become more and more concerned about the preservation of this archive, as many of those negative films have never been digitized or made public.
Only a small part of them have in fact been digitized, and only those intended for large format printing have been reversed from negative to positive and post-produced.

The relatively small number of negatives that I took –there are photographers who have shot 4000 pictures in a single day!!– made it possible to plan a digitization project that would allow the preservation of the entire archive.
So the grant we recently won –funded by the European Union Next generation Eu and promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture– will allow us to complete this ambitious project started a few years ago.
The project will take place over a period of 18 months and will consist of digitizing all the negatives not yet digitized, reversing them from negative to positive, and finally uploading them on my website – Stay tuned for upcoming updates!

Take a look here at how colorist Andrea Dalle Luche – once negatives are scanned – is working to bring them to life.
We are discovering so many interesting details from the first boxes of 11×14 negatives taken in discos in the 1990s. It is incredible to see how everything has changed – or hasn’t!

“it is so exciting to see them so many years later […] to figure out why we chose one photo instead of another, see all the mistakes that have made up my journey as a photographer from the 1990s to the present”

AN ALL-HUMAN ARCHIVE
Some of these negative have been sitting in a box for years and I had even forgotten of some of them. It is so exciting to see them so many years later, to find connections, to rediscover interesting pictures that we had discarded at the time for some strange reason, to figure out why we chose one photo instead of another, see all the mistakes (double exposures, light leaks..) that have made up my journey as a photographer from the 1990s to the present.
Somehow this project takes you behind the scenes of my photographic work, which is shown in its entirety, mistakes and all, without any filter.

In this way, with this project we intend to make public a rather rich anthropological and sociological archive where we can see how we humans, over time, have changed the way we inhabit spaces, interact with each other, how trends, colors, behaviors at the beach, in discos, in squares etc. have changed. So the complete archive becomes a record of the changes in behavior and appearance that I have been capturing with my photos over the last 30 years, in fact 2024 will mark the important anniversary of 30 years of my work started in 1994 on Italian beaches.

We are excited to share with you this very intimate and important project that has been cooking for years and is now finally taking shape.
Follow me on Instagram and here on the blog for updates throughout the journey!

Grant PNRR TOCC Transizione Digitale Organismi Culturali e Creativi by the Italian Ministry of Culture
A project funded by European Union – Next Generation EU within the PNRR (Piano Nazionale Ripresa e Resilienza)
Italian Ministry of Culture, Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea.

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