1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
Hi, I’m Marcello Niccodemi and I’m a landscape photographer.
My interest in photography was born while traveling, for me it was my way to "escape" from reality. I didn't like the working environment I was in, I didn't feel at ease and I was worried about the future, so I started to take advantage of every single day off I had to travel, until photography literally stole me and from there, I started another journey, the most beautiful one, within landscape photography.
2Where did you study photography?
I'm completely self-taught, I took various online lessons and read a few books. Every night after work, I would set about studying to try and improve my knowledge. At first, I was spotty, then I took it as a duty, photographing made me feel really good, despite the bad initial results.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
My first photo was taken with a Canon 100D at the dock of Viareggio. I had photographed one of those tourist binoculars where you insert the coin and in the background were the Apuan Alps, at that time I imagined that in the future they would become like my home. Basically, I didn't care what to photograph, just do it. It was a bad shot, but you have to start somewhere, don't you think!
4What equipment do you use?
I often tackle long treks in the mountains, many times on icy and slippery surfaces, for this reason I try to keep my photography gear as light as possible, but it's very difficult. I use a Canon 6D MKII, a Canon 16-35 F2.8 III, a Tamron 100-400 F 4.5-6.3 and sometimes I carry a Dji mavic air 2 with me.
5What do you hope to achieve?
My main focus is to emerge as a landscape photographer, explore new places and photograph natural contexts that are not often captured by photographers.
What I am most looking forward to at the moment is my current project "The crumbling beauty" about my home, the Apuan Alps, with the hope of showing the world the beauty of these mountains, whose reputation is too often leveled at: marble quarries.
6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
I am often told that my images are very faithful to reality, that you can feel the place, the situation and the emotions of the moment.
This is very important to me and makes me realize that I am going in the right direction.
7What inspires your unique storytelling?
I found my real inspiration when I first landed in Iceland, the incredible diversity between the various territories of the island really impressed me and pushed me to find a glue that would bind them. It took me 6 days to figure out what it was, I had them in front of my eyes the whole time: Icelandic mosses.
8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Real. Rough. Exciting.
9Congratulations! As the winner of the New York Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
It's a great honor and I'm very proud of it. I want this to be a starting point, a push to continue to photograph, improve and pursue new projects.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 New York Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Before leaving for Iceland, I gathered a lot of information on the morphology of the territory.
I wanted to capture something that fully represents this land, looking for different perspectives from the classic ones. In my opinion Iceland is the perfect example of how thin the thread between life and death is, and the millenary mosses I immortalized are the proof. A landscape dominated by glaciers and volcanoes that we instinctively associate with desolation, actually hides an environment teeming with life.
Where before there was a carpet of lava, a unique and delicate ecosystem has been recreated, this really fascinated me and I tried to capture this context trying to even enhance its beauty.
11How has winning an award developed your career?
Currently, in no way. It's still too fresh of an award to find feedback, but I'm proud to have it end up on my bulletin board. It's a great business card.
12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
This is such a difficult choice but if I have to choose 3 I would say: Sebastião Salgado, Shawn Heinrichs and Galen Rowell.
I believe that you should not only look at a photographer's images, but also understand their philosophy and mentality.
I find these 3 photographers to be very inspiring, although not all 3 reflect my genre of photography.
13What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
Great question! The best advice was definitely from a former co-worker of mine, now a sculptor. He told me that I should drop everything and do what I really love, that I had talent. So I did, 2 years ago I quit my job and my FRAME photo lab studio was born.
14What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Photography today is a difficult world, my advice is not to go after trends, never be satisfied, continuously increase your technical and cultural knowledge.
I also believe that it’s important to find our own connection with photography and what we photograph.
15What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I believe that the key to success is encapsulated in 3 words: passion, hunger and perseverance.
Photography is a medium that always introduces us to another world, we must have interest and passion for it to capture its beauty.
16How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I often look for comparisons with other photographers and I like to read books not only about photography, but also about themes that tie me to it, for example I often read books about the Apuan Alps, this helps me to know them better and to discover unusual perspectives.