Life's a beach for Massimo Vitali

If you're ever sunbathing on a beach near Lucca there is a strong possibility that Massimo Vitali will be somewhere on the cliff tops, capturing the scene for one of his beach panoramas!

Vitali has a very distinct style, producing over-exposed and often minimalist scenes of beach-goers. His panoramas offer an alternative view of what can often be a ciched scene of yellow sand and blue sky above burning sun-worshippers  below. 

Having asked Massimo Vitali for permission to use one of his images to illustrate my blog post! I was very excited that he was more than happy for me to do so and that he invited me to ask him about his work. This was such an unexpected opportunity, I took some time thinking about what I could ask that would be worthwhile to myself and others. Having studied Digital Photographic Practice I was curious to his reasons for the way he processes his images, so that would be included in my interview with him below:

Matt: I really like how you over-expose your beach images. Is this to emphasise the beach-goers, or is there another reason for using this effect? 

Massimo: It's to get rid of the blue shadows that normally haunt beaches in the summer. 


Matt: what was it that inspired you to photograph beach scenes?

Massimo: Although I stumbled upon the beach subject quite by accident, I later understood that beaches are a very good mirror of our society. 


Matt: Was the beach a place that you enjoyed spending time at when you were younger? 

Massimo: Of course! And still enjoy my time on the beach (when I'm not taking pictures). 


I was extremely grateful for Massimo Vitali taking the time to give me further insight into his work. It has helped me to understand more about photographer's intentions and choices.

Massimo Vitali is currently working on two projects, 'Disco' and 'Pools'. These are two more settings where human interaction can be studied photographically. I find 'Pools' a particularly interesting concept. The swimming pool can be a place where people's inhibitions are washed away. The uniforms of hierarchy and responsibility are concealed in the changing rooms, creating a society of equality in the pool. No one person stands out from another.

Massimo Vitali's recent work can be viewed on his website at





Project 14: Space and function

Exercise: Exploring function

Whilst attending a Deacon Blue concert at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, I thought this might be a good opportunity to produce some photographs for this exercise.
The £30,000,000 concert venue designed by the Percy Thomas Partnership and Renton Howard Wood Levin, is considered to be one of the best in the world. One of it’s unique features is a reverberation chamber behind the stage and an acoustic canopy which can be raised or lowered, depending on the type of performance.
One of the most fascinating things about music venues is how they can be dramatically altered by lighting. I wanted to capture 2 images to illustrate how an almost empty, tranquil room can be transformed. The first image (below) shows an almost empty Symphony Hall with a few spectators waiting with drinks, anticipating the event.

Waiting for the concert to start at Symphony Hall.

The second photograph (below) shows the spectators viewpoint with the band in the background. It is very common for people to photograph these events on their phones and I purposely waited for someone in front to take a picture.

Watching Deacon Blue, Symphony Hall, Birmingham.



Exercise: The user's viewpoint