Born in sunny and warm Sicily (Italy), he lived for a few years in Turin, he decided to move into the cool and chill atmosphere of Iceland. In this interview, Nicoló Strano aka Wume, talks about his passion for analogue photography and music.
Hi Nicoló, welcome to our Online Magazine! Tell us about yourself, how did an Italian end up living in Iceland?
I have lived in Iceland since 2012, the choice of the country was a coincidence: I wanted to have an experience abroad and here I am, almost 9 years later, still fascinated by the impressive vibrations that local nature emanates!
Tell us about your photographic background. What's your story? When did you start taking pictures?
Growing up I have always been surrounded by people with a pronounced creative flair that ranged from painting to music, from cinema to photography. Consequently, being very curious, I always wanted to experiment.
Regarding photography, I started shooting after finding a Zenit 122 that my father bought in the glorious '90s. Initially applying a very amateur approach, wasting dozens of rolls of film, and using my friends as models as well as the natural and architectural forms that Turin (Italy) offers, I eventually developed my own personal point of view and working method.
Another great passion of yours is music: you are in fact one of the hosts of the music podcast Sox-I calzini Anti-pop. Also, on your website you wrote: "I take inspiration from music, I always shoot while listening to music". What music do you listen to when you shoot?
Ah, music! A lifelong love!
Being an old school hip hop head, like everyone else of my age loving this genre, I had to try my hand at the disciplines of this culture, which are: dance, rap, writing and DJing. Having given up dancing for coordination reasons and DJing because I could not afford the necessary equipment, I threw myself straight into the other two disciplines, adapting to them and vice versa. Writing has become painting and, with regard to music, my other great passion, I have published some EPs: I caress music precisely as an outsider, for passion.
Most of the time, while shooting, I listen to Rap, often foreign rap and a lot of LoFi. Sox-I calzini Anti-pop, the podcast you find on Spotify, is a small project that I carry out with two great friends who work in and with music, and together we dissect different topics every time and we laugh about it!
In an undeniably digital age, why do you shoot on film?
I am not very keen on technology, digital camera gives me a sense of emptiness...being able to shoot the same thing, the same subject over and over again until the light and everything else is perfect, gives me the impression of losing that specific moment, and to create a fake moment.
This does not happen with film: you take the picture and boom, it's done! You stopped the time by imprinting a physical memory on your mind, with just a shot.
I feel a bit of a childish euphoria every time I receive the photos I have sent to develop...even if I remember what I shot, I don't know how and if I actually got the desired result, and when this is the case, I have a huge satisfaction. It's all about emotions: film makes me feel them.
What's your favorite camera?
I don't have a favorite camera, I usually shoot with disposable or compact plastic point and shoot: I feel satisfied when I obtain a good, quality shot out of a _ poor_ tool. That said, I have a preference for Zenit and Leica. I just ordered a Lomography Sprocket Rocket last week and I'm looking forward to trying it!
Is there a photographer you like particularly?
I don't have a favorite photographer, I'm an outsider, I don't know the big names.
Which camera do you always carry with you during your travels?
While traveling, I always bring an instant camera or a disposable one.
Which one is your favorite photo? Can you tell us the story behind it?
My favorite photo is the one below that I took with the Lomography Simple Use Reusable Film Camera Black and White in Jökullsárlón, in the glacier lagoon. I am very attached to this photo because the subject is a very dear friend of mine, Roberto, and here we were in this surreal place, Felliniesque, speechless. The photo has a very dramatic cut, almost dark but very relaxing at the same time. This is what it makes me feel when I look at it, it reminds me that life is wonderful but brutal at the same time.