Meet the Camera Obscura makers - Luca Condorelli
Hey Luca, could you tell us something about your background?
I had a happy childhood, between colors, toys and games. I have a very close family, an older sister and a younger brother. I have always felt different from them a bit an alien, I was and I still am the Black Sheep of the family, that kind of PUNK son. My mother has always supported me in my choices, I owe everything to her who has always directed and stimulated me along the way artistic. During my adolescence I started doing graffiti and from there the first approaches to photography to document my “Street art".
After high school I moved to Milan to study photography and video and I studied stage photography and video direction for the show at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala. Since 2013 I have been collaborating with my Academy Professor and Video Director LUCA SCARZELLA, we work a lot in Italy for Theaters and Museums. I divide myself between theater and fashion, two similar but different worlds. At the same time, for years until now I collaborate with Mira Postolache, fashion editor, producer and creative director, my “GURU” in alternative fashion.
What kind of projects are you working with currently?
I am self-producing fashion films as video and art director. I have just finished the production for a special project where in addition I took care of the art direction and photography. I found myself organizing everything at the production level, looking for locations, casting for models, props, worktops and so on. In my free time I dedicate myself to “Photogrammetry".
Luca Condorelli©. Shermata, Photogrammetry study.
When did you first learn about the Camera Obscura?
In 2012 my ex girlfriend gave me two photos of Abelardo Morell, it was the first time I saw this photography technique, she thought it was complicated to make, only years later in 2015 I tried to experience CAMERA OBSCURA at home. I darkened the windows with black cartons or plastic bags, the pinhole I did by burning the cardboard with the tip of the cigarette.
Luca Condorelli©. First Camera Obscura Room.
After a while, by chance looking on instagram I found the BONFOTON page and got my First Camera Lens OBSCURA.
Luca Condorelli©. Camera Obscura Room.
How have you have fused the use of the Camera Obscura with your fashion photography?
I did some portraits with a reduced version of an OBSCURA camera, made with a cardboard box, but more than for a fashion discourse, I did it just to make others curious, to make them participate in this magic. If one day I will do my photography workshop, the first lesson will be related to Camera Obscura, I would like to make a film, where a photographer builds a large wooden camera obscura and gets stuck inside the room, observes the models who arrive in the studio but find no one to welcome them
Luca Condorelli©. Oriana, Camera Obscura projection.
Luca Condorelli©. Oriana, Camera Obscura Projection.
How would you describe the Camera obscura to someone that has never even heard of it?
As something magical, timeless where physics and art meet.
Luca Condorelli©. Camera Obscura Room.
Ok, Luca, we might be giving out tattoo ideas here, but we need to talk about your badass Camera Obscura tattoo! Can you shed some light on how you decided to ink the Obscura?
I believe that tattoos must tell who you are, a bit like medals we pin on our skin. I liked the “scientific / technical” type of design like an old history book with old medieval prints. As a first idea I wanted to have a small Camera Obscura on my arm, then one hot summer evening I was shirtless on the sofa, I took a marker and started drawing the CAMERA OBSCURA on my stomach, I looked in the mirror and realized it was the right place, there above the mouth of the soul, the Obscura soul.
Luca Condorelli©. Camera Obscura Tattoo.
As a fashion photographer and videographer, what can be found in your camera bag?
You can definitely find 3 or 4 cameras: a Canon 5dmark3, a Sony A7s2 for video, various lenses and a film camera, Bonfoton lenses, a 360 camera, a flash, various cables, chargers, memory cards, the Paris metro card and various good luck charms taken during my business trips.
You seem to have an endless supply of creative ideas using insta360, Camera Obscura, and lately photogrammetry. Where do you pick up all your ideas?
I am very inspired by my boredom, I think a lot but then I always find myself with a short time, I would like to have more time in order be able to create.
Luca Condorelli©. Adriana.
Last year, during my first lockdown, I transformed my room into a Camera Obscura room and I lived like this for a month, not being able to leave the house, so I let the "outside" in. In the following few months I started using old VHS camcorders and VCRs, I grew up with these technologies, fascinated by low quality. As a kid we had many videotapes in the house, I feel connected to them and I prefer them to DVDs. I like to convert from Digital to VHS and then re-port to Digital.
Luca Condorelli©. Adriana.
Photogrammetry arrived in my life, in a phase of doubts and insecurities, it is an evolution of my work, of my artistic path, having had a base in photography / video and video editing programs helped me a lot in understanding the potential of Photogrammetry. I went from taking a picture of a person, to 3D Printing of a statue. For me, it’s like an evolution of one picture, by now we are surrounded by photos, the internet and social networks, I think today it is more pleasant to have your own statuette than a photo to look at on your phone. In this way, a picture can be transformed in a different reality and stay alive.
Where do you see yourself headed in the future?
I miss traveling for work, I would like to return to China, visit South America, and the countries of Northern Europe. I would like to start organizing videos by working in production, collaborating with various photographers and video directors, but at the same time I would like to close myself at home, perhaps in the countryside in the midst of nature, to have a space where I can create without distractions, without Internet, in peace.
Luca Condorelli©. The Pirate.
There are a lot of new photographers coming to the fashion photography field. What advice would you have for them?
To be themselves, to launch themselves inside innovative experiences, to experiment, to learn various techniques, to make it by their own and then to break the rules with their originality.
Editor's notes. You can contact and see more of Luca's images via his Instagram