photographer interview: martina zamboni

by georgia frances king

Martina Zamboni has lived in three different countries and photographed loads more during her 27 years, now calling Melbourne home.

We had a little chat with her and the multi-seasonal snaps she takes.


Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Verona in northeast Italy (think Shakespeare, Valpolicella wine, outlet shops and angry football fans). I moved to Copenhagen six years ago, then to Brussels, and now I am settled in a leafy street in Prahran, Melbourne.


How has where you grew up affected your photography?
As a teen I was bored out of my mind with my well-manicured medieval town and dreamed of railway bridges covered in graffiti. But some sense of good looking things must have stuck with me. Living in Scandinavia definitely had some influence. The light (or lack of thereof) is always great: it's like early morning all day long. Not good for your vitamin D levels, but photogenic as hell.


What areas, things or people in your neighbourhood do you most like to photograph?
I live in Prahran and I love it all: the interesting architecture, the art nouveau bits, the street art, the decrepit 78 tram, the odd mix of people and obviously the markets.


What do you shoot on and why do you choose to use that type?
I do analogue most of the time. The camera feels good, the tones are beautiful and I can't snap away mindlessly. Every now and then I switch to digital for convenience, but it just doesn't click.


Is there a certain camera or type of film you wish you could own?
I am not one for equipment hype, but I wish I didn't have to hunt eBay for discontinued film.

What kinds of ideas and things are you working on at the moment?
A small travel reportage! The working title is The Hitchhiker's Guide To Tasmania.


What kind of subjects interest you the most?
Old sailors with a pipe riding unicycles and goats playing the violin on a roof.

Do you prefer to create set-up photographs, or just wander the streets until you see a photo?
Real life looks quite good, so I try to be careful when I compose the shot. And that's all.


If you were to teach a photography appreciation class, what kind of lessons would you try to teach your students?
Take an extra second to frame your picture. And don't oversaturate those colours.

What are some of the challenges you are facing in modern times as a photographer?
Pretty much anyone can produce stunning images and put them on the web for zillions of people to see... for about one tenth of second before they scroll over to the next one. Also, airport scanners are not good for film.


What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a photo?
The first time I ever saw the sea freeze. With waves.

How does your photography reflect you as a person?
It's a good example of my basic incompatibility with all things high tech.


What do you enjoy doing when not taking photos?
I'm on the quest for the best ramen bar in town!

Where can we see more of your work?
You could try my blog or my Cargo Collective page.

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