Roberto Bigano: biography
I was born in Italy (in San Bonifacio, near Verona) on June 1st, 1953.
Since 1979 I have been working as a still life and advertising photographer, for publications and research.
In the 1980′s, my work was split between photo reporting in Europe and the United States, and advertising jobs for important Italian companies like Asolo, Belfe, Campagnolo, Canguro, Hatù, Nova Serenissima, Sauber, Zonin and Zuegg.
The early 90′s were important years for me: I shared in an exciting Italian adventure with Bugatti Automobili; with Mondadori I took about eight hundred images for a series of books; Franco Maria Ricci gave me many an assignment for the prestigious magazine FMR and for memorable books like “Divina Bugatti” and “Il cavaliere insistente”. Later on I worked on important projects for Bburago, Fisher Italia, Volkswagen AG (on Bugatti) and Würth.
In 1991 I presented my portfolio to Lino Manfrotto, who was very impressed by my work, especially the Bugatti photographs. As a result, I started working for the Manfrotto Group, taking thousands of pictures and shooting hundreds of cover images and ads. After 18 years, they’re still one of my best clients.
The advent of digital
In the late 90′s, I started moving towards digital, discovering Imacon scanners and their 3F system, which seemed to have been created personally for me and my needs! I have that discovery to thank for the amazing results obtained in many important works of personal research, carried out over the years both in Italy and abroad.
The year 2000 started with a remarkable project for the prestigious “Museo Valenciano de Arte Moderno” (IVAM). At the same time, I developed a partnership with Ideal Marketing in Merano, which led to me working for some of the most important companies in the Südtirol (including Doppelmayr/Agamatic, Apparatebau, Turbinebau Troyer, Pedross).
I was also growing increasingly interested in and devloping what I like to refer to as “special projects”. These were an attempt to recover methodologies that would allow an extraordinarily efficient approach to documenting and reporting: they were photo shoots to work on for years to come, if necessary, without external pressure. The series “Ceccarini”, “Shooting the Shooters” and “Wonderful Mistakes” are examples of the results.
Hasselblad digital backs and the “impossible shoots”
In 2003 I switched over to a totally digital workflow, but only after finding the right tools: Imacon (now Hasselblad) digital backs, which allowed me to dramatically improve the quality of my work. I was able to develop my approach and specialize in what I call “impossible shoots”: overhead shoots, panoramic images without distortion and other apparently impossible problems presented by photography.
Digital photography consulting
In the same period, I was gradually developing business in digital photography consultancy. I specialized in Hasselblad software and Adobe Photoshop, working for individual photographers, companies and Hasselblad itself. I took and gave many courses, seminars and conferences. I’m now a “Hasselblad Photo Partner” for Italy and I test new products and Beta versions of their software. I’m also consultant and product tester for the Manfrotto Group and digital quality consultant for the publisher FMR (Franco Maria Ricci).
Art publications and advanced technology
Currently I am divided between the self-produced editorial projects, which I care deeply about, and the “technological” photoshoots for Manfrotto, Bogen, Gitzo, Monier Roofing, and the Südtirol companies mentioned earlier.
Two of the books I’ve worked on have received important prizes and awards. The first, for Milanese antique dealers Cesati, received a prize at the Maastricht antiques show; the second, “Alta Cucina in Alto Adige” (a book on the most important chefs of the province of Bolzano, published by Ideal Edizioni) received a prize in 2007 for best food photography in Italy.
I co-operate with FMR of the Group Artè and have started a fascinating and intense project with Southern Italy’s Institute of Cultural Assets, with particular focus on Naples. Together with Massimiliano Sampaolesi, an esteemed Neapolitan restorer, I’ve also founded Acme21 – a company specialised in providing technologically advanced services in the field of Cultural Assets.
For further information: www.bigano.com