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Silvia Ganora is an Italian photographer whose work ranges from gorgeous Italian landscapes to beautifully textured, grunge-inspired shots.  Her work captures an honesty in the images she shoots, revealing the most soulful side of her subjects.  Most of all, her work is so striking it’s hard to take your eyes off of it!

L&W- Where does your interest in photography come from?

SG- I think I’ve always been a visual kind of person.  As a child, I had a great imagination. At that time, writing was my main way of expression, a passion that I pursued until eight years ago when I suddently ran out of creative juices. That’s when photography (which I had never abandoned through the years) started to become more and more important for me.

L&W- When did you start taking pictures?

SG- As soon as my parents gave me a Kodak Instamatic as a birthday gift.  That was in my teens.  I had that camera for a long time.  Then I bought myself an SLR and was completely hooked.  I started reading photography books and even had the chance to try developing my own films during my high school year in the United States.  Unfortunately, I’ve never had enough money nor room in the house to have my own darkroom. The digital era changed everything and now I can process and work at my images simply sitting in front of my pc.

L&W- Your photos are striking and take on so many diferent looks anf personalities.  How would you describe your style or way of approaching your work?

SG- I don’t like to plan anything.  I’m very instinctive.  Most of the times, I just like to let things happen.  I may be walking in my hometown, or in a foreingn location, or even in my own apartment and – bang!  Something just happens. It could be a stunning mix of contrasting colors or a sudden shadow on a wall.  It could be just anything, as long as it strikes me emotionally.  Once I’ve captured my vision through my camera,  I try to bring it back in the post processing work.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of a few basic adjustements.  Most of the times the digital darkroom opens up a wealth of possibilities.  I love to explore them and to experiment.

L&W- What do you love about shooting pictures?

SG- The act of discovery involved.  The sense of freedom I get every time I push my camera shutter button.  Knowing you’re stealing from life something unrepeatable and unique can be very exciting and addictive!

L&W- How does your environment influence your work?

SG- I was born in a small town in Northern Italy, near the Alps.  My early photographs were influenced by natural scenery and also architecture typical of the region I was born in.  I’m now living in a big city in Sicily, and this increased my interest in modern and/or decayed buildings and details.  That said, I always get a great inspiration from nature.

L&W- What is the most moving moment you’ve had as a photographer?

SG- I read Skip Hunt’s answer to this question and I was amazed at the similarities with my own experience.  I lost my father in December 1997.  In March 1998 I visited Tunisia and was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the desert.  My image Fiery desert sand II was shot on that occasion.  I intentionally walked away from my fellow travelers since I could not hear their voices anymore.  The silence was so thick and deep.  That was when I felt my father inside and all around me and was finally able to cry because I missed him so much but at the same time I had to finally let him go.

L&W- That is an incredibly moving story, and one that I know Skip Hunt will deeply appreciate as well.  Is there anything else you’d like people to know about your work?

SG- I recently re-discovered black and white photography and love the split toning effect you can apply to them.  I’m still learning but I’m very happy with the results.  I also just started using textures in my images and I must say I fell in love with them.  It’s a wonderful way of adding mood to images.  Not to each and every image, of course.  I think sometimes an otherwise dull image can improve dramatically when I apply textures to it.  That’s why I learned to think twice before consigning so-so shots to the bin!  My main goal now is to work toward some kind of project and produce a series of images with a unique theme.  I’m still working on it.  I’d also love to have my works known to a wider audience.  In the last years I’ve participated in many prestigious international photography contests (you can read about my achievements on my site) and also started selling prints of my works through Redbubble and FineArt America.

Visit Silvia Ganora Photography- www.silviaganoraphotography.com
Silvia’s Photoblog- http://photobloggingsil.aminus3.com
Redbubble store- http://sil63.redbubble.com/
FineArt America store- http://silvia-ganora.artistwebsites.com/index.html
Twitter- http://twitter.com/photosil
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/silviaganora