Photography has been an integral part of Bruno Candiotto’s life for as long as he can remember. In his childhood he used to play an unusual mind game, where he had an imaginary camera in his head photographing and deleting images from his memory. His passion for images continued leading to him making a name for himself in his native Brazil as a fashion photographer in adulthood. But it wasn’t until he took a month-long trip to Serra da Bocaina National Park in December 2013 to re-examine his life that he embraced landscape photography, both as self-expression and as a means to change other people’s perceptions about the world we live in. As he puts it, “the way we show the world is going to change the way we see this world”.
His getaway trip to Serra da Bocaina led to more travelling in Brazil and beyond (Miami in 2014, Chile in 2015), the product of which are several series of compelling images. From the breath-taking canyons and valleys in Cajon de Maipo in the Andes, to the flat sandy expanses along the Pacific in El Yeco, Chile, and from the dark outcrop of rocks in Isla Negra down the Chilean coast to the big blue off Caraguatatuba in Brazil, Bruno’s photographs capture nature’s diversity at its most magical and serene. His seascapes for example, demonstrate how a simple, almost monochromatic composition—a stretch of sea and a chunk of sky—can be so rich in texture and vibrant in tranquillity, if only we look closer.
Sharp-focused and meticulously framed, with restrained contrast and desaturated colours, the images Bruno produces manage to project both a timelessness and a sense of nostalgia. They exhibit in a most understated way the refined beauty of the natural world surrounding us which we so often ignore, forget or discard. What strikes us the most however is the unusual places Bruno seeks beauty in: barren canyons and dusty cliffs are not what we are used to see from Latin American nature photography. Yet the bleakness in Bruno’s work is very conscious: as he pointedly explains, photography “forces us to live experiences that we often underestimate”.
Bruno follows a long line of landscape photographers who extensively travelled to capture the authenticity of nature and man’s place in it. His photographs bring to mind among other things Ansel Adams and Group f/64 who during the 1930’s and 1940’s strove to achieve “pure photography” in reaction to pictorialism, a movement that was seen as aiming to “create” an image instead of “recording” it. In this sense, Bruno’s transition from fashion to landscape photography can also be interpreted as an equivalent attempt to find beauty and truth in the natural instead of the artificial, in the chanced upon instead of the staged.
Pretty much like a little boy playing instinctively with an imaginary camera.