Capturing the moment with Emanuele Scorcelletti

Mixing meticulous work with chance shots, Emanuele Scorcelletti has become a master of black and white photography. We meet the photography purist.

"Photography is about reacting." Mixing painstaking work with chance shots, 51-year-old Emanuele Scorcelletti has become a master of black-and-white photography. We meet the photographer, a contemplative yet alert observer.


Passionate purist Emanuele Scorcelletti has a taste for careful and considered work and knows how to be patient when waiting for the right shot. Barrière admires his rigour and talent and has devoted a spectacular exhibition to the photographer at the Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy Deauville centred around the theme of the world of horses.


Armed with his Leica M6, the photographer has trekked for eight years through grass and straw, travelling to stables, the darkest depths of stud farms, and the edge of the race track. Emanuele Scorcelletti reveals the passion and hard work that come to life in the wings, between resting, training and frenetic races. He depicts the world behind the scenes while revealing its magic – as to photograph is to make human.


A purist's equipment for high-quality shots


The Leica, Scorcelletti's tool is a key to adventures and discovery and thus a lot of learning. "This camera is my companion and my journeyman. In a photo, I want to go back to the time of film, of traditional photography. Not digital retrieval. You have to be a chameleon."


Traditional photography? For the grain, "of course". But also for the authenticity. "It's the love of the work, and of the approach, too. Working in stealth. For this kind of photography, it’s not enough just to be there. You have to act. When? At the precise moment brought about by light, sound, even chance."


Multiple sources of inspiration


A chance happening – that was exactly what won the photographer a World Press Photo award (Art and Culture category) in 2003 for his photo of Sharon Stone at the Cannes Film Festival. He managed to capture two shots of the 2002 Jury member performing an unforgettable gesture. "I chose the first one." The story behind the dramatic gesture of the actress thanking her lucky stars was published in all the papers.


Emanuele Scorcelletti also draws the inspiration for his work from his encounters with his "masters": Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as Jacques-Henri Lartigue, who welcomed Scorcelletti into his home when he was just a young photography student aged 17, "with authentic curiosity and kindness. Unforgettable." Not to forget the Italian masters: Mario Giacomelli and Piergiorgio Branzi, who gave him the inspiration for his philosophy: "Look, don’t think, let life take its course and our heart will guide us." 

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