english translation traduzione in italiano

Asinara Island, the italian Alcatraz

The Island of Asinara is a natural wonder and a perfect destination for analog photography enthusiasts. Its pristine natural beauty in Sardinia offers endless opportunities to capture high-quality film photographs.
Once a maximum-security prison, the island was declared a National Park and its beauty remains intact. Its crystal-clear waters and white beaches provide a perfect background for photos with vibrant colors and intense contrast.

The island's colors are particularly suited for analog photography, with Mediterranean scrubland and the crystal-clear sea blending with the intense blue sky. The ruins of the former prison and the numerous animal species on the island offer a unique opportunity to capture unique and suggestive images.

The prison was one of Italy's most notorious penitentiaries. Built at the end of the 19th century to house political prisoners, the prison also housed common criminals and psychiatric patients, eventually becoming a maximum-security prison to house some of Italy's most dangerous mafia prisoners. The most famous of these was the mafia boss Totò Riina, who was transferred there in 1986.

To achieve the best photographic results, I opted for low ISO sensitivity films to accurately capture the details and beauty of the Asinara Island. Kodak Tri-X 400 for black and white, and Kodak Ektar 100 for color.

In conclusion, the Island of Asinara is a true paradise for analog photography enthusiasts who can capture authentic and unfiltered images in a unique and suggestive atmosphere.

Kodak Tri-X 400

My visit to Asinara Island started at Cala d'Oliva, where the central arm of the prison was located along with the warden's office. As soon as we arrived at the port, the "Foresteria" building welcomed us, where Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino began the so called Maxiprocesso of Palermo, a trial of the Italian Republic against the mafia.

I decided to use black and white film to capture the austerity and importance of these places. The walls of the buildings seem to speak to the visitor, and I immediately felt inspired in my photographs.
It's an ideal film for reportage photography, documentation, and street photography, but also for black and white portraits and landscapes because of its ability to capture unique and evocative atmospheres.

Ho deciso di usare una pellicola in bianco e nero per catturare al meglio l'austerità e l'importanza di questi luoghi. Le pareti degli edifici sembrano parlare al visitatore, ed io mi sono sentito sin da subito ispirato nelle mie fotografie.
È una pellicola ideale per la fotografia di reportage, documentazione e street photography, ma anche per ritratti e paesaggi in bianco e nero, per la sua capacità di catturare atmosfere uniche e suggestive.

I also find that its fine and regular grain ensures a wide tonal range with good separation between whites and blacks.

Kodak Ektar 100

The second stop of the visit was Cala Reale, where we were able to fully enjoy the nature of the Mediterranean scrub. While my family enjoyed the refreshment of the natural pools of the Laguna di La Reale beach (which can easily compete with the Caribbean), my inspiration took me elsewhere, to explore Campu Perdu, the agricultural branch.
Here, the inmates were engaged in cultivating the vast flat area nearby.

I had already used this professional color film in the past. The first time I was in poor lighting conditions and the low ISO sensitivity didn't help me. However, as soon as I saw the developed photos, I noticed that the colors were rendered beautifully: they were vibrant and natural at the same time.
Remembering this, I thought there couldn't be a better choice for photographing this mix of landscapes and architecture, but also portraits... of donkeys.

The black & white photos featured in this article were developed in my personal darkroom using Ilford Ilfotec DDX chemicals and digitized using an Epson Perfection V600 scanner. The color photos, on the other hand, were wisely developed and scanned at the LomoLab in Vienna.