There’s a stillness to Giuliano Scarparo‘s photos of wildlife, as if the subjects of his compositions – be they bears, foxes or birds of many kinds – stopped and posed in front of his lens for a split second before disappearing into the delicate scenery behind them. There’s also an unreal quality to Scarparo’s scenes of nature, characterized by the limited chromatic tones he chooses to digitally process his images in.
It’s what he calls “My Style” – shades of black, gray, orange and, above all else, a muted teal that appear again and again in his photos, turning what would be lush forests into ethereal landscapes that look familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Part photographer, part artist, and part graphic designer, the Italy-based Scarparo has amassed a large following on Instagram who crave his dream-like portraits of animals in the wild.
We recently interviewed him to find out more about his approach to wildlife photography, which is unique to say the least. While Scarparo says some have criticized him for creating images that seem unnatural, he counters that “an artist can express his art as he sees fit.” We couldn’t agree more.
Q: Please give us some background as a photographer.
Giuliano Scarparo: I graduated in Industrial Design in 2014 and from that moment I have developed all my skills in the graphic and stylistic field.
Since I was a child, I have always loved photographing and observing nature, but over the years I have dedicated more and more time to nature photography by studying and deepening this great passion.
In recent years, I have devoted most of my free time to this, and I try to show others what I see inside my camera viewfinder.
Q: What is it about nature and wildlife photography that interests you?
Giuliano Scarparo: Wildlife photography is a technique that allows me to be free and in close contact with nature. Waiting for the right opportunity and waiting for the perfect moment to capture some wild animal scenes is incredibly thrilling. Being able to capture moments that you cannot foresee is a unique emotion.
Nature photography is always a surprise, many times you won’t find anything to photograph, but other times you have an unforgettable scene of a few seconds.
The beauty is this is always a surprise because you never know what can happen.
Q: What is your technique for finding these animals to photograph?
Giuliano Scarparo: There are no particular techniques to capture nature in its beauty. You need to have a lot of patience and dedicate a lot to this genre, studying the locations and behaviors of animals very well.
Knowing the behavior of each individual animal helps you to understand both how to find it to be able to photograph it, and to respect its habitat to safeguard the natural environment.
You must always have the utmost respect for nature and the animals that inhabit it, so it is necessary to understand the behavior of the animal you want to try to photograph, in order not to disturb it. So, the study of the territory and the animals is fundamental in addition to patience.
Q: Your photos have an interesting use of a selective color palette. Why do you choose to use these colors and how do you achieve this look in your photos?
Giuliano Scarparo: Many people criticize my chromatic preference because it does not reflect nature, and perhaps they are right. But I think that an artist can express his art as he sees fit. So, what I wanted to create over time is a “signature” of what I am, that is, to have a recognizability precisely for my tones and colors.
I am convinced that one must always differentiate oneself to be noticed in some way, and I have chosen to take this very difficult and criticized path precisely to try to be recognized as the photographer who has this style.
Q: What sort of post-processing do you do on your images?
Giuliano Scarparo: The post-production that I do may seem like a lot, but in the end, it is really very basic. I try to improve the quality of the image, and then I apply this personal filter that always renders the image with the same style.
Q: How does your background in graphic design affect your photography?
Giuliano Scarparo: As I said, I have been a designer and a graphic designer for many years now. I also have a degree in business administration. Certainly, my graphic background influences my way of communicating through social networks and sharing platforms. But the most important thing is that graphics design taught me to observe everything around me, and this I think has helped me to have a particular eye for my shots.
Q: What type of gear do you use for your photography?
Giuliano Scarparo: My equipment has been modified over the years like all photographers, increasing the level of equipment more and more. But now I think I have reached almost the maximum performance and I am 100% satisfied with it. I currently use:
- Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
- Canon EOS R6
- Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM II
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM II
- Canon Extender EF 2x III
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone
- Gitzo Tripod Systematic with gimbal
Q: What are the best ways you have found to market yourself as a photographer?
Giuliano Scarparo: Being a photographer is a passion more than a job, so my interest is not to earn, but to try to travel a lot and improve more and more. Certainly, selling some photographs is essential, but in recent years photography has had an incredible growth.
Q: What’s next for you?
Giuliano Scarparo: I am a person who never wants to stop, so I am convinced that there is always something to learn and improve. A great climb awaits me to always improve myself; I plan several trips both in Italy and abroad and I hope to bring to home emotions and unique shots.