My shots of Namibia (which I wrote about here) has been published by Air Namibia on their official inflight magazine, Flamingo.
Here’s the interview published:
To say that Enrico Pescantini is passionate about photography would be an understatement. He’s visited 62 countries so far, and he’s only just scratched the surface.
Flamingo chatted to him about his travels with a camera…
Tell us about when you first became interested in photography?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by photography – one of the first gifts I received from my family was a film camera. But the moment that my interest turned into a love was definitely when I was living in New York City. I was doing an internship at New York City Television and in my free time just walking around and taking pictures, visiting art gallery and photo exhibitions. I had time and curiosity, which I believe are the key ingredients to photography.
Did you study photography, or are you self taught?
I did a photography course, but not a master class or anything like that. I wanted to have some insight into the history of photography, the masters and the principles of it. But I truly believe that most of photography is something that cannot be taught. You need to look at the great photographers, learn from them, and keep practicing.
Do you travel extensively for your photography? Where have you travelled to?
I travel because travelling is the true love of my life – I couldn’t live without exploring the world. And photography is my travel companion! To date, I have visited 62 countries, including some pretty remote places like North Korea, Bhutan and Tibet. I try to do two to three longer trips during the year, then small weekend getaways.
Is this your passion as well as your career? What types of photography do you do?
Photography is my passion and my side activity – I also work in marketing and communication. I focus mainly on travel photography, trying to bring different perspectives to it.
Until 2015, it was just ‘traditional’ photography, but since then, I discovered aerial photography with drones, and I was among the first to do a drone reportage of Iceland (2015). I then continued adding drone shots to my travel photography, which I found very intriguing.
In the last year, I’ve been drawn to underwater photography – I do it while I’m snorkelling, and it is definitely my new love! So now I define my travel photography as a perspective from ground, sky and sea, a complete view on this amazing planet in which we live.
Tell us about your trip to Namibia, and the photographs you took?
I just returned from Namibia in August. It was the main destination of a three-week trip: we visited Victoria Falls for four days – at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe – then we began our two week road trip around Namibia. We started at Windhoek, down to Kolmanskop, then the Namib Desert and Etosha. I simply loved the country, from the very different landscapes you can see, to the many species of wildlife you can encounter.
I would say that my top five sightseeing experiences in Namibia as a travel photographer were the ghost town of Kolmanskop, Deadvlei in Namib Desert, seals’ colony of Cape Cross, Spitzkoppen and the AfriCat Foundation at Okonjima.
I can say without any doubt that I’ve taken the best wildlife shots of my entire career here.
Tell me about your shoots for mags like National Geographic?
My reportage is all freelance, so I work mainly with tourism offices, luxury resorts and airlines. Drone photography is a perfect match for airlines, due to the aerial perspective, which in the last three years is becoming very popular in travel photography.
Do you regularly enter photography competitions? Any awards?
I’ve started paying attention to photography competitions in the last year; before that, I focused on photography exhibitions.
I think this is because the personal touch of talking and interacting with people looking at your photos, is something that cannot be replaced by social network – it’s just something different. I have always looked at National Geographic as the true inspiration for travel photography, especially for the emphasis on nature and wildlife. I am truly concerned about environmental protection, and one of my goals as a travel photographer is to make people fall in love with our planet, and help each other to save it.
It’s strange, but most of the time I know a winning shot the exact moment I take it. It’s a vibe, an emotion you can feel through the viewfinder of the camera. You just know that that’s the shot!
This year I won 2nd place in the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2018, in the Cities category, and it is definitely the biggest satisfaction I have had in my career so far. The winning shot is an aerial photography of the Pyramid of the Sun, in the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, in Mexico.
The next winning shot I really hope to be among the ones I took in Namibia: my favourite one of all is without any doubts Leopard’s Dinner, which I took at AfriCat Foundation in Okonjima.
How do you see your future?
I hope to keep travelling at the same pace I am doing now, and hopefully one day visit all the countries on Earth! My personal dream is to visit the Arctic or Antarctica – I am fascinated by these eternal glaciers and I hope one day to do a reportage from there!