Italian photographer Marco Crupi travelled to the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. ‘Each island is different in naturalistic and cultural terms. It’s my goal to make the largest photo report ever about Sicily and the surrounding region.’ He takes the LUMIX S1 with him on his trips. ‘The LUMIX S1 is definitely a camera that allows photographers to shoot in any light or weather conditions}.’
Marco has a love for the region. In 2017 he undertook a grand adventure. Together with his friend and travel companion Tommaso Ragonese he launched a project in which they biked around Sicily in 80 days. ‘We wanted to rediscover and experience our roots. During the trip, we found out that most young Sicilians have left and the island is in urgent need of positive change.’
The experience marked the birth of the website slow-sicily.com. Their wish? To show tourists as well as locals what the region has to offer. ‘Tourists should leave the island having experienced its most authentic, most humanly enriching side. If they take their time and immerse themselves, they can make an impact on local communities: in that respect there is an urgent need of quality information, both on- and offline, which we are striving to provide on this website. Our environmental and cultural heritage needs to be acknowledged and preserved. Sicily needs engaged Sicilians; it needs engaged visitors and tourists. Creating that awareness and engagement is our mission.’
For the website, Marco decided to travel to the Aeolian Islands. ‘In 2000 these islands were named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Every island has its own qualities. There are many things to document: wonderful landscapes, volcanoes, various religious traditions and much more.’
One of the islands we visited, Lipari, has a great history. ‘There are archaeological sites dating back to 4000 BCE, not to mention the Greek, Roman, Arab and Norman settlements that followed one another over time.’ The island of Vulcano attracts tourists from all over the world. ‘The view from the top of this volcano is spectacular. The word “volcano", and its equivalent in several European languages, derives from the name of this island, which in turn derives from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.’
Salina is his favourite Aeolian Island. ‘Maybe because it’s the most fertile. I love walking through the vineyards where the sweet Malvasia delle Lipari wine is produced. Salina is also famous for its capers, which are exported all over the world. And it’s also famous for its amazing views in areas like Belvedere and Pollara.
From here you can see spectacular sunsets that are widely acknowledged as being among the most beautiful in the world.’ During his first trip to the islands with the LUMIX S1, he focused mainly on landscapes and architecture. He used the 24-105mm f4 lens. What does he like about this camera? ‘It allows you to photograph in any light condition. I even managed to photograph at night from a boat. During a sunset at the island of Vulcano I realised how powerful the camera is: it managed to capture all the shades of colour in the sky. When I look at that photo, I feel like I'm back in that place at that wonderful moment.
Thanks to the enormous dynamic range in post-production I was able to easily recover details in highlights and shadows. The Panasonic LUMIX S1 allows photographers to shoot in any light or weather conditions.’ Travelling with a camera and lenses can be a challenge. For Marco, this wasn’t a problem. ‘I walk at least 20 kilometres a day with the LUMIX S1 searching for the best locations for my shots. During my trips my cameras are often exposed to dust, heat and bad weather, but so far Panasonic's camera bodies have withstood everything.’ He intends to return to the islands in autumn and winter to photograph the life of the islanders.
A professional photographer and writer, Marco Crupi lives and works in Messina, Sicily, where he was born. His blog, which he has written since 2008, is a must-read for many photographers and one of Italy’s most popular. His collaborations with many top brands and companies have earned him worldwide acclaim, and the photography manual he wrote, Eye, Mind and Heart, has been a lulu.com bestseller since 2012. Marco’s work regularly appears online and in print, in many national and international magazines and journals. Though his main interest is reportage and street photography, he also shoots sports and landscapes and does studio work.