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Photo by Dario Bonetto
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Orsiera Rocciavré Natural Park in Black and White


Dario Bonetto presents his photo journey between the light and shadow and minor details of nature in the Orsiera Rocciavré Natural Park in Piedmont, Italy, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010.

To really know a place you need to visit it again and again. The same holds true for light, you need to learn how to "see" light in all the seasons and this is a fundamental prerequisite to shooting a good landscape photo. Clouds on the move, snowfall out of season and brilliant light are just a few of the ingredients for a good landscape photo, but you need to wait patiently to seize the fleeting moment.

For this reason I decided to concentrate my iconographic research within the Orsiera Rocciavré Natural Park. This area, in part also due to its proximity to home, has always enabled me to be at the right place at the right time, meaning that I have managed to capture very particular moments of light. As Marcel Proust famously stated "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

Black & White photography has always fascinated me. Unlike colour photography, this gives the image an eternal appeal. It is the sublimation of light and the contrast of the single elements which become an integral part of the image. This is why I have attempted to transfer the essential nature of monochromatic onto the Piedmont park which I hold so dearly.

The Park itself is located circa 40km from Turin and offers highly interesting and immensely beautiful landscapes. with its 11,000 hectars in Valli Chisone, Susa and Sangone it extends from the northern Cozie Alpes to the Graie Alps, and the altitude ranges from 1000m to 2880m on Monte Orsiera. My favourite photo locations are Prà Catinat and Pian dell'Alpe, both of which can be reached easily from Turin by driving up the Val Chisone.

During my walks I was extremely gratified to be able to enjoy all what the nature this territory offered. Walking through the forests, across clearings and alpine passes relaxed my spirit and helped me understand how small we are compared to Nature. Apart from larch, birch, beech, ash and wild cherry trees which inundate the landscaped with autumn colours, the Park is rich in alpine animals: stag, deer, chamois and mouflon (not native) to name but the biggest, which are joined by small mammals such as fox, squirrel, marmot and ermine. Watching a Golden Eagle in flight above the Orsiera and Cristalliera mountains is not a rare occurrence while in recent years the wolf has returned.

Throughout my exploration I gave more importance to the creation of the image, rather than the actual documentation of reality. Light, the subject matter, the background and how the image is composed must join in unison, independent of the technique used. I have attempted to provide minimalist images in addition to the “classic” shots, where proportions, lines, forms and the grain become the absolute protagonists. This is how I tried to “seize the day and capture the light”, to capture an emotion which is at times simply unrepeatable.





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