"In my recent work I started to tell (or rather, I try to) the feeling and the pleasant melancholy of the land where I was born and raised. The land in which I live is a land surrounded by the sea which is normally associated solar image, joy, a welcoming land where there seems to forget the passing of time. Indeed this is true, but under the surface there is a layer that only those who grew up here can grasp. Mine is a land steeped in melancholy absorbed over the centuries, due to poverty, geographical difficulties, the people who had to leave their homelands in search of a fortune that he could not find here. It’s an atmosphere that you can breathe in the air, even though many of these difficulties have now been overcome and it is the atmosphere that I try to capture in my shots. A palpable melancholy, despite now should not have reason to exist, but it is so much rooted, to be part of the DNA of the territory. A melancholy that, during the cold months, comes out with arrogance in the deserted streets, empty beaches and deserted nature herself: the instant photography is the best for capturing everything. It only takes a moment to shoot, but despite this, I always get the impression that what I photographed immediately after there is no more, it's already past although it is still before my eyes: it is a wonderful feeling that I can only hear shooting Polaroid. I love my land and know to contribute in my own way, to honor her and to learn of the sides that not everyone can grasp, it makes me proud."
"the essence of photography
is mainly in the instant.
With a Polaroid, it really
captures the moment "
SFUK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in photography.
FS:My name is Francesco Sambati, I was born February 12, 1981 in Lecce (where I currently live), a southern Italian city, more precisely in the most southern area of the region called Puglia. Currently I work in photography, although I approached it quite late: I say “quite late” because I attended the Art School in my town and my father is a painter / sculptor, but despite the artistic bases, could not find a way to communicate best for me, as long as 4 years ago, after taking by accident a photo with my phone, I realized that photography was a way to communicate more suitable for me. Although snap photos up to 4 years, only about a year ago I started to show them and above all to show me, and so the first small publications have arrived, the group shows and finally the first solo exhibitions. Meanwhile, as I continued with the mobile and digital photography, at some point I realized that I was missing something and I had to take a new step: what to analogue photography. As a child I had left the Polaroid picture taken and agitated in his hand, so often seen in movies, without understanding what it really means. As I developed my first Polaroid was love at first sight: I had finally found the right medium to transmit my feelings in a more intimate. Obviously, the pace towards the purchase of a SX-70 was short and once bought, I have not stopped to take: the world around us is full of wonders and you can make a good photo even just on the doorstep.
SFUK: Why do you shoot film?
FS: I shoot film for two reasons: the first is that analogue photography is absolutely more exciting compared to digital photography, it's like a challenge. The second (and for me the most important) is that I believe that the essence of photography is mainly in the instant. With a Polaroid, it really captures the moment without being able to add or remove something at the time that I wanted to stop, however with digital photography the temptation to correct errors is strong. I like that each photo is unique and the unpredictability of the film: I can commit myself to the maximum, but the end result will never be as I had imagined. I find this a very romantic factor. The analogue photography is now more important than ever, in this world of continuous streams of images that become the past after a few minutes instead of many years. Now, the physical photo, printed by analogue, holds together the past, present and future.
SFUK: Who inspires you, any favourite people or places you frequently go to for inspiration?
FS: I'm terribly influenced by the land where I live: a land surrounded by the sea, which during the winter months, it gives me a strong sense of melancholy. Here, where I live, beauty and melancholy would not exist without the other, and I would not exist without them These factors combined with my constant melancholy do the 99% of the work.
SFUK: How would you describe your style of shooting?
FS:Simple, melancholic, intimate (or at least this is how I see my style).
SFUK: Do you have a favourite camera or film stock you feel compliments your work?
FS: I have different Sx-70 land camera, but my favorite (and the one I always use) is the first I bought which is also the classic model (brown metal / leather): love at first sight
SFUK: Do you have any plans for your next project?
FS:Not right now, but soon I’d like to do a project that satirizes holiday photos taken with little care: I can not say any more
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