The Sky’s Limit

Los Angeles Photographer Takes His Work to a Higher Plane

Italian photographer Stefano Galli, who is now based in California, is obviously no stranger to travel, his latest project 80 Skies takes aeroplanes as its subject matter. “I’m a travel aficionado,” he tells us. “Discovery of new environments, new settings, new lifestyles and new people is what I’m constantly after.”

80 Skies is the second in a three part series on different modes of transport, which was preceded by Cars, with the third instalment to follow. “I’m a very curious person, always seeking out new experiences,” he explains. “The only way to find them is to travel, and this requires employing methods of transportation”.

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Stefano pointed his camera skywards to the busy airways above Los Angeles and the area around its iconic LAX airport. Despite how busy this airspace is, the planes in Stefano’s series cut quite lonely figures. They seem almost infinitesimally small against the vastness of the Earth’s atmosphere, often appearing on the margins of the shot, sometimes blurry and out of focus.

We brought Stefano back down to Earth to talk some more about the series.

The Plus: This is the second in a trilogy of photography series…
Stefano Galli:
I like to work in series and when I was photographing Cars I already knew that it was just the beginning of a bigger body of work. Travelling and transportation are such wide themes that I needed to cover them with different points of view and with just one series it wouldn’t have been fair, three is barely enough!

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TP: Light seems to be an important motif…
Yes, this series is also about light, a study of chromatic changes. I have captured it through a very ‘high-speed’ film and the results have been quite unforeseen. Some images turned out pinkish and yellowish and others even green.
I don’t think you can actually see green skies, but this is how the film responded to direct sun light with no image retouching or any sort of digital manipulations.
It interested me to see how far I could go before having a total burn out negative. I definitely pushed them to the edge and this is why you see a thick layer of grain, almost as if it was given a brush stroke.

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TP: Your favourite method of transport?
Among all the possible options I would say walking on foot is my favourite. It’s the best way for me to see and experience what surrounds me. I often go to new places and I walk around without planned routes. I like to get lost, to discover new ‘views’ – the fact that I won’t know what hides behind a particular corner excites me.

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