The Thousand Words: Anna Volpi

A picture tells a thousand words... and we are here to tell you a few more in our ongoing series 'The Thousand Words' where we dig through the vault of talented photographers at Aperture Tours and get them to open up a little about some of their favourite images. 


Camargue, France, by Anna Volpi

PHOTOGRAPHY: Anna Volpi • Nikon D750 • Nikon Nikkor 50mm Ƒ/1.4 @ 1/50 • ISO 4000

This photo was taken on a salt mine in Camargue, France. The two guys are a couple of friends that were travelling with me. It was July 2018, sunset. We had left from Mantova, Italy, by car, with a fourth friend, a couple days before. The main objective was to visit the photography festival Recontres d'Arles, anything else that came along we welcomed with open arms. Inspiration was everywhere, expressed in lavender and sunflower fields, flamingos, and beaches. There was no photography project, just some friends on a free adventure.

I took the picture because there was so much beauty and love at that moment. We had been meandering the salt fields naked, feeling the crackling under our feet, the setting sun on our skin and the light breeze in our hair. I hadn't taken other pictures since we had arrived, I just wanted to enjoy this new environment for me, to take in all that silence. Mirios hugged Leonardo, and it was all there suddenly. I didn't think about the shot, I just took it, just as I was, there with them. My inspiration was pure beauty.

The trip to Camargue was vital for me as a photographer. Before going, I had been working a lot and doing very little for myself. The joy of photographing without any pressure, without deadlines or shot lists hadn't been mine for a while. Some may say that I could have taken this shot in many other places, but I disagree. I didn't take a picture because I wanted to portray two people or show the salt mines, I took it because we were actually living that moment. It was a cathartic trip that helped me get back to my instinctual side of photography. And because we were travelling and taking in new experiences, our minds were more receptive and creative. I can't say that this shot is only mine, it's all of ours.

It was shot at 4000 ISO at 1/50 of a second on a Nikon D750. I don't remember the aperture, but it was pretty wide to let enough light in, as the sun had set and it was getting dark. I used an old manual focus 50 mm Nikon lens, so there's no data on the aperture.

I still love this picture. It gives me a sense of tranquillity, and it brings about beautiful memories. It reminds me I can be free. I haven't published this anywhere except Instagram and my website, and the reception has been all positive.


Photographer's Profile

NAME: Annamaria Veronica Volpi
BORN: Hollywood, USA
PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE: Portraits and events. People and the things they do. The body.
INFLUENCES: Helmut Newton, Erwin Olaf, Jean Loupe Sieff, Gregory Crewdson, Annie Griffiths, stories to tell. Social justice, women's issues.
FAVOURITE PLACE TO SHOOT: Anywhere, as long as there are people to engage with.
HIGH POINT: I think my high point is now. I am the president of the Biennale of Female Photography, which will take place in March 2020. It is my creation, and I'm working with an excellent team on this one of a kind event.
LOW POINT: Losing files due to inadequate backup procedures.
TOP PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: Live. Be engaged. Don't force pictures. When in doubt, just shoot, something will come of it.

INSTAGRAM: @anna_volpi_photos/
TWITTER: @annavolpiphotos


Anna Volpi is is a photographer with Aperture Tours in Milan, Venice and Verona. See more of her images and read her biography on her profile page.