“The colder and more frozen the landscape, the better I feel”
An Interview with Roberto Moiola
Specialising in stunning mountain vistas, Italian photographer Roberto Moiola lives surrounded by the landscape he loves, the Alps. He has travelled through Europe, the Arctic, North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, motivated by a great passion for nature, and is always most inspired by the mountainous vistas which first prompted him to pick up a camera in his youth. We caught up with him for a chat about his life and career.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I’m from northern Italy. I live in the central Alps, close to Swiss border. I have lived here since I was born.
How long have you been a professional photographer and how did you first get into photography?
My passion for photography is strictly related to the mountains. When I was young I always used to spent my weekends hiking through valleys, lakes and mountains. Having a camera to record this beauty influenced me in growing this passion, until it became a job about 15-20 years ago.
Where are you now and what are you shooting or what is your next big trip?
I’ve lived here in Valtellina since I was born. I live with my family, my wife and two children. I often travel, often leading groups of passionate photographers to Northern Europe, sometimes with my family. I usually visit 10-12 countries each year and this has allowed me to grow my photo archive.
What are your favourite destinations/subjects to photograph and why?
I love northern European countries, for example Norway, Finland and the Faroe Islands. Here I can find lesser known landscapes and sometimes I can spent 10 days without meeting any other groups, for example in the Lyngen Alps or in Lapland. This is very important for me and for what the groups of photographers I accompany are looking for. The colder and more frozen the landscape, the better I feel.
How would you describe your style?
I love nature and I think a photographer should be able to show it in the best way, possibly being artistic and original. Sometimes photographers can travel for days just with the goal to perfectly copy a famous shot, its insane! A photographer is lucky enough to be an artist but only very few can really bring something innovative.
Can you recall a favourite experience on your travels?
The most beautiful memory of each trip is the company and the feeling that the group I accompany creates. The adventures come by themselves. It’s really hard to recall one single episode. Every time I come back from a trip it seems to me that this has been the most beautiful ever. Maybe it all depends on the passion that grows day after day, the real wealth of a nature photographer.
Can you recall a particularly challenging experience while taking photos/travelling?
I remember well the noise that ice makes under my feet when I’m shooting in the night in the middle of a freshly frozen lake. It’s really scary and at the same time it reminds me of how small we are in nature.
What camera and equipment do you use? Do you have a favourite piece of equipment?
I’m using Sony mirror-less and my favourite lenses are wide angles. I love to use a 15mm Zeiss Distagon. A good tripod is important, especially in the Arctic with strong winds and really cold conditions, but above all it is important to wear comfortable and warm clothes, as well as gloves and shoes. Over the years I have carefully chosen the best materials, even becoming an ambassador for many specialised companies. I also used to do shoots for them, and I really appreciate this kind of collaboration. You can find them in my Instagram bio profile: @robertomoiolaphotography
What are your tips for taking a good photo?
Planning is essential in landscape photography, followed by observation. You will also have to be prepared to sometimes bring home failures. We can learn a lot from mistakes.
What advice would you give for young photographers starting out?
My kind of photography can hardly be considered a job so the advice is to start with passion and build your own future day by day.
What are your future plans?
I usually don’t have a long term plans, so I think I will continue to spend my travels in the Arctic and in the Alps. They always attract me.