“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world,” says Riccardo. His images and pictures truly celebrate this philosophy.
Twinkling stars in a purple sky, rare rock formations, and iconic landscapes - it's the stunning southwest American countryside, but not quite as you've seen it before. "I used a fisheye lens to capture a series of striking scenes while traveling through Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, adding a unique touch to these well-photographed panoramas," says the Italian Godfather of Photography. His idea of changing the point of view with extreme distortion to achieve something radically different yet strikingly breathtaking shows his exemplary vision
The 45-year-old from Milan says fondly: 'I never get tired of the landscape - I love their colors, their skies, and their iconic history", spoken like a true blue romantic again.
Riccardo finds inspiration in everyday things and the people who post wonderful photos on the internet. They motivate him and provide him with constant challenges to improve himself. He loves images and paintings, He says, "The classical and the modern art. from Canaletto to H.R. Gige, photographers for the National Geographic, Steve McCurry, Salgado, Ansel Adams and Peter Lik, whose business model is inspirational" are my legends.
Riccardo remnisces, "My flirtations with the camera began when I was 6 years old".His first DSLR was a Nikon D40. Nowadays his companion in all his travels are Nikon Cameras (a D800 and a D810), Nikon Lenses (mainly 16-35 f/4, 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/4), and Manfrotto tripods that aid him in capturing the beautiful vistas of people in their natural environment, landscapes and travel destinations.
His shots are oriented in showing oniric and ideal landscape (which he calls dreamscapes) or various anthropologic moments and expressions, the two subjects he loves most.
“If your hobby is your profession, every day is a beautiful montage” His love for photography is paralleled by his addiction to travel, to explore frontiers unknown and to discover new friends and people. Technology interests him and his use of technology in his photographs is evident.
Riccardo's photographs are vivid colors, strong contrasts and are unique, as he constantly tries to capture dramatic weather conditions and the Oho-So-Rare pictures, that have now become his style and signature.
Riccardo is very methodical before his production and can be seen smoking a Cigar (not unlike Don Vito Corleone he confesses) , furiously planning angles based on the Sun's position, the weather, the milky way and the gear he needs. Like a true photographer, he sees beauty in things where none exists and can be seen improvising on the shoot capturing some rare vintages, not visible to the ‘NAKED EYE’.
"I revere nature" Riccardo exclaimed while talking about his famous seascapes of Normandy. . The weather was overcast, gray, and it was raining, An incredible, stormy, sunset but he noticed a thin line of clear Sky on the horizon, just over the sea. He decided to wait for the sunset and was richly rewarded with a stunning, warm, exploding sunset that was photographed running from one place to another to have different points of view.
Riccardo is passionate about his seascapes. "My love for the sea is not in the traditional way.I love it for what it represents, the vastness, the infinite variety, the mystery, the fascination of far lands, far islands, far places, far everything". So when he finds himself in front of a dramatic sunset, or on an Island in the middle of some absolutely fabulous and transparent, green water, he can't resist, and starts to shoot like a “ BULL IN A CHINA SHOP’.
"My favorite amongst my works would be the Antelope Canyon, in Utah, United States. It is a narrow slot canyon, where the sun can give incredible colors to the rock" says Riccardo with pride evident. He feels It is impossible to get bored of a place like this where just a little change in the light conditions, can yield such stunning and unpredictable results.
Like any artist, "I have my fits of fancy". "Sometimes I dedicate days in producing a single photo, whilst trying different settings or combinations to obtain exactly what I want to portray". He only uses HDR when the camera can't achieve the whole dynamic range
Though he believes talent always speaks, Riccardo emphasizes on marketing and social media playing a central role. Along with the ability to communicate effectively to stand out, since no man is an island.
"My travel to India was on an impulse, without speculations and expectations". The travel was focused on the Ladakh discovery and the road between Leh and Manali. Magnificient, Frightening and Enchanting is how he describes his experience in India.
Riccardo says" India is an incredible planet". Yes, a planet, not just a simple Country. "People accepted me with open arms " (What we Indians are famous the world over for, OUR HOSPITALITY), and his photographs and shoot reflect this feeling of bonhomie and kindred spirit. He realized how we Indians love being photographed and are not Camera Shy. So much that, sometimes he had to actually request people to move away from the frame.
His fascination and vivid understanding of technology prove the way social media has turned the way one intends to photograph. The poet in him understands the transient nature of photographs and says a couple of immediate likes or shares doesn't mean it stays forever in the “public eye".
"This year will see me revisiting two of my favorite destinations Morocco and Mexico".
Riccardo aspires to drive to Alaska “Pan-American". He would like to drive from pole to pole, with all the detours he takes fancy to. He dreams of sailing a ship from Argentina to Horn Cape and then heading to the South Pole. A trip to Galapagos Islands and end the trip in Bora Bora, where he would want to stay for three years to complete the post production. We look forward to Riccardo the Filmmaker and Photographer's sneak preview of images with his unusual twists and turns and amazing vistas that surprise and delight us. An idles-tic “ICING ON THE CAKE”.
Riccardo Maria Mantero enjoys working with big IT players (what he calls them).Technology is challenging and interesting says the 'Don of Photography'. He truly believes that “If your hobby is your profession, every day is a beautiful montage”.His love for photography is paralleled by his addiction to travel, to explore frontiers unknown and to discover new friends and people.