Photographer Alessia Piscopo gives us some insight into 'Enjoying Summertime' and how they captured that winning image
We're absolutely thrilled to announce the winner of our Focus Travel Photography Competition - 'Enjoying Summertime' by Alessia Piscopo. Here, Focus Editor Philip discusses with Alessia the story behind the winning shot.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the background and story behind this image?
I took the photo some years ago during a trip in Sorrento in southern Italy ( it is located in the Gulf of Naples and it is considered a balcony over the sea).
To be honest, it was the first time I saw a thing like that and so those people in those floating cute candies immediately caught my attention because it was so original! As they were so relaxed, I had the time to take some photos! I think my photo spreads summer vibes... I had the feeling that those people were enjoying their time so much there with the sea which pampered them! As you said in the previous mail, it is very unique: as a matter of fact, I saw these candies only in Sorrento! The empty candy made me think: that' s the place for me...so next time, I will definitely try this funny experience without the camera, of course! I took the photo from the local park in Sorrento...when you are over there, there is an amazing panorama over the sea, with the many beaches so crowded.
I used my Nikon D3200 with my 18-105 Nikon lens and then I edited in Camera raw to enhance my image as I always do with my pictures.
"...it was the first time I saw a thing like that and so those people in those floating cute candies immediately caught my attention because it was so original!"
Can you tell us a little bit more about your photography and what inspires you?
I'm 38 years old, photography and travels are my big passions. I'm not a professional photographer. Everything around me which catches my eye and attention is the object of my photographs: so it can be everything!
My favourite subjects are definitely landscapes, seascapes and nature; in particular, I love macro photos of flowers and animals are another great subject for me to photograph (I now have a giant rabbit which is my favourite model). I' m also a bokeh lover: the blurry, soft and colourful backgrounds are a real delight for my eyes!
I also have a real love for abandoned old villages so another favourite genre is urban photography: I always visit old villages or abandoned ghost towns when I travel because I' m fascinated by their history and by the people who lived there...it' s like you are witnessing a very intimate piece of someone else's life. They give me so many emotions like some thrills, mystery, loneliness and melancholy at the same time...so this genre inspires me a lot.
"...Everything around me which catches my eye and attention is the object of my photographs: so it can be everything!"
I always take photos with my Nikon and different lens depending on what I have to photograph and once done, I spend my free time editing my photos with Camera Raw; now I' m learning how to use Photoshop too...my post processing is never too excessive...I only try to enhance my image with different tools such as exposure, shadows, clarity and sharpness.
For other photographers out there what are your top tips and advice?
In my opinion, the body camera you have is not so important: I think lenses can make a great difference and you should choose them in the right way: for example, if you like many different genres like me you can use the 18-55 or 18-105 lenses as they are so versatile, ideal for a broad range of shooting situations or, for example, a macro lens ( I have the Nikon 40mm) if you love details and bokeh. I have many lenses ( even the Tokina wide angle 11-16) but 18-105 is the most used! So, first of all, do some useful observations about the genre you want to specialise so that you can buy the right lens for you!
I would like to share with all of you a quote by Don McCullin I love a lot because it totally expresses my thought about photography:
"Photography for me it' s not looking, it' s feeling. If you can' t feel what you are looking at, then you are never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures". - Don McCullin
So my two advices, as an amateur photographer, could be: choose the right lens for your needs but most of all, love what you photograph.
See more stunning images from the competition in our travel photography runner-up gallery