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name and portrait Toni Garbasso

company Studio Argento
website name
website url
city and country Rome, Italy

personal statement I am a professional photographer living in Rome.

Since 1980 I have been working for architects' studios and architectural magazines describing spaces and buildings, as well as making "readings" of the territory for landscape and urban planning. From 1998, with the invention of immersive photography, my readings of landscapes have been made using this technique.

I have produced "virtual tours" for planning purposes for institutional, commercial, and individual projects.  Nowadays I am taking immersive photos mostly at museums, art exhibitions and art events.

I have done studies and artistic researches on the nature of this new media and have discussed the potentials and limits of this form of communication in various seminars.

I consider the 360° panoramic image to be something very different from an immersive photograph, not only because the immersive image needs a sort of device to be shown, but also for the correct perception of space that it gives.

Coming from a traditional architectural photographer's point of view, it seems to me that a 360 degree panorama displayed as a flat image, or a projection on a spherical surface, is a form of cheating in that it alters and deforms the perception of space. It is quite obvious, if you think about it, because the front and back, top and bottom of a three dimensional space are shown on the same plane.

This makes me ask how fake is a 360° panorama? Both traditional and immersive photography has this appearance of being a true representation of reality, but at the same time it can have a lot of artifacts. As the saying goes, photography is a "reliable lie".

On the other hand this consideration doesn't seem to affect artistic use of the 360° panorama: indeed it can be very creative, utilizing transformations in particular projections such as "little planet", "vedutismo" or simply as "equirectangular".

This is an artistic and pictorial use of a medium that has in it's DNA the power to be the perfect tool for documenting spaces, places, events and lands, and can be applied with success to any sort of creative and artistic work.

suggested panel layout

first image
first image title Sunset
first image subject
first image place date San Francisco Bay, from Emeryville, California, USA, 1994
first image caption A tribute to the ancient technique of the panorama: a collection of photos shot in sequence and displayed one beside the other. This technique was used from the birth of photography. It was the easiest way to display a very wide view.

I used color negative Kodak Ektar film with a medium format camera, shot on a tripod with a standard head.

second image
second image title Four Seasons
second image subject
second image place date A "weeping" cherry tree wears the colors of the seasons, near Venice, Italy
second image caption A temporal sequence made under the same tree in different years as well as in different seasons and with different equipment: April 2003, Fuji S2+8mm; October 2007, Fuji S5+10.5mm; May 2009, Nikon d700+10.5mm; December 2010, Nikon d 700+16mm. 

third image
third image title The Magic of the Panographer
third image subject
third image place date Inside the Leaning House of Bomarzo, near Rome, Italy 2008
third image caption This image comes from research I made on the perception of the horizon in immersive photography.

I was looking for an example where the horizon is distinct but different from the usual, I found the “Leaning House” in the Park of Monsters, a mannerist garden filled with monstrous statues and strange architectures in Bomarzo, near Rome. Inside this house, because it was built slanted, you get a strange perception of gravity and the meaning of what is vertical or horizontal. The line of the horizon is completely altered.

Then I needed somebody to be a reference in the scene, to embody the power of gravity which acts with unusual vectors. My friend Romano Rocchi, an Italian mime and artist, enjoyed the project and with his distinctive appearance gave to the image a strong feeling of ineffable magic.

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