we’re proud to welcome Martin aka Gusbano on Hi, EyeEm today! Easily one of the most renowned photographers on EyeEm, Martin reveals how he creates an alternate reality with his photographs, why the iPhone 2G is still his weapon of choice and where the name Gusbano comes from..
Hi there! Please introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, where do you come from and what’s your favorite thing to do?
Hi! I´m Martin aka Gusbano, an 35 year old italian documentary cinematographer who lives in Bolzano a small city of about 100.000 inhabitants in the north of Italy. I have grown up in mixed cultural and ethnic enviroment, which is an enriching experience and has made me more open minded.
I work as D.o.p and camera operator for documentaries and I enjoy my work because I get the possibility to meet different people and find out about their lives. My most favorite thing to do is definitely to hang around during my free time. That means biking, doing some trip to the seaside (especially during wintertime), and be always overwhelmed by the beauty of natural light, like when being caught in a storm.
Since when are you taking pictures?
I´ve started taking photos with my mobile device in the beginning of 2008 experimenting with different kinds of lenses, such as the macro lens of a swiss pocket knife or the built in micro lens of a damaged old discman. I enjoyed a lot putting various real tiffen filters and scratched acrylic glass in front of the camera, with the target to manipulate the poor 2 mp output.
Years before I took photographs and development them in the classical darkroom, and so I wanted to bring this experience into my digital mobile photography by exploiting the limits of the smartphone. I was kind of fighting with myself, with the goal to obtain a very well balanced greyscale…something a little bit absurd…: )
There are so many great and different landscapes in your photos: from snowy slopes to beaches to highways to lakes to urban skyscrapers. How come you get to visit so many different places?
Because i´m a lucky bastard! But seriously the reason I got to visit so many places is through my work as cameraman for the independent film or int. TV channels. I often find myself in unusual absurd situations in the middle of nowhere trying to bring home good material. Thats why a smartphone gives me the possibility to take also some photographs behind the scene and for private use.
What’s your favorite place you visited so far?
There´s no favorite place yet, every single on has its own atmosphere. But I´ve done a crazy trip last year together with my friends -
An iPhone 2G Photo – travel documentation (6000 km by car – 4 guys – exploring the eastern europe – exploring scandinavia – cities: Berlin, Danzig, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Turku, Stockholm, Kopenhagen, Hamburg…in 16 days)
Maybe this one (taken on the highway from Lithuania to Estonia) shows a little bit of that “on the road” feeling we had:) I will now continue on EyeEm to tell the whole trip through some shots.
One reoccurring theme in your photos is that of a person seen from far away, in relation to its surrounding, the nature. Do you see a specific language in your photos, a story that you’re telling?
When I take and edit photos I’m often escaping from everyday life and creating my own reality. The idea behind my compositions is that we humans are only a small part of the bigger picture and thats the reason why the focus is mainly on the background. Before I start to shoot I look at the light, the shadows, the atmosphere, then maybe I press the release button. I have to feel something special, there must be something that touches me.
Im still searching for my style…maybe I will never have one but I have a lot of fun searching for it!
What’s the first image you ever took with your phone?
The first image? Seriously I can´t remember it, but I have still some b&w printed macro shots from the experimenting time on my pinboard. I remember this macro eye shot very well, because I was a tricky situation. I forced a friend of mine to stand still till I got the focus right…must laugh…finally after hours it was done. After I edited the picture with my all time favorite PhotoFx app from Tiffen.
It was after the rain, so i had the time to take it. I´ve tried about 5 or 6 times using a small magnifying lens for this shot, so it was really exhausting, but the bee was resting, well a perfect model. In the post process I used myFilm & MillColour and for the sharpening PerfectlyClear.
Are you really still shooting with an iPhone 2G? That sounds so lo-fi. Is it just because of a personal preference or do you think the phone you use makes a difference in the way you shoot?
Yes I am a proud owner of an iPhone 2G, and I think it is aesthetically the most successful of all iPhone models, but its my personal opinion.
Yes I still shoot my pictures with this low-end smartphone.
I think using apps like Hipstamatic or ClassicInsta the 2mp resolution fits better for the lo-fi analog style, because the output isnt that much sharp. Of course the shutter release on the iPhone2G is very slow, and its not that easy to get decent shots, but for sure it works, you have only to calculate the right moment, and that point makes it funny:)
The editing is now become difficult, the processor is to weak so lately I borrow often an iPad 1 from one of my friends for making some decent post process.
But soon, if my finances allow me, I’m going to buy a 4s for sure without a contract.
And finally: where does the name Gusbano come from?
This nickname originated from a play on words many years ago, later on I discovered by doing some research on google that there exists a small town with the same name near Varese also in the north of Italy near the swiss border. I hope there will be no conflict.
I want to say:
THANKS to all my dear followers over the years, for their friendships and inspiring artworks.
THANKS to the whole EyeEm Team for their vision!
Keep on doing your wonderful work!
Great team, great spirit!
THANK YOU Gusbano! So great to get to know more about you and your photos. We recommend everyone to follow Gusbano immediately and get just as inspired by his photographs as we do.