ROBERT VIZZINI is a photographer based in New York. By day he works in reprographics and by night he explores the city to fuel his passion for shooting low-light photography. Kelly Weech finds out his tips and techniques for shooting urban landscapes at night.
SING AN OLD-SCHOOL APPROACH OF TRIAL AND ERROR, photographer Robert Vizzini is self-taught and has expanded his technical skills and artistic vision. Shooting on film with his trusted Hasselblad 503CW, Vizzini is known for his graphic shapes and elegant eye. Using the relationship between light and shadows as well as extreme contrast, Vizzini portrays his creative vision using long exposures to produce stunning urban nightscapes.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1952, Vizzini came across the work of Edward Weston when he was eight years old. “His poetic vision opened to me a magnificent world of the natural and ordinary beauty around us. It completely changed my visual life just seeing his shots of ordinary things: a pepper, a commode, shelves. Of course, just being a kid, I didn’t have access to much and I was unable to do any photography until later on in my life. I did do a little bit, my father helped me to set up a little dark room in the bathroom when I was around 12; but it didn’t last very long. I was always seeing shots and beautiful curves in nature and just kept all these wonderful compositions in my head until 1991 when I bought my first camera, a Nikon F3, and started shooting.”
Experimenting and learning from his mistakes, he decided to take photography classes at the New York School of Visual Arts in 1993. “I really wanted to learn how to print black and white as I found whenever I got my film processed and printed in the lab the results were always very unsatisfying. I continued to take classes and things progressed from there. I also joined the Camera Club of New York and it was here I met a tremendous number of photographers who are still my friends today. We helped each other to improve and having constructive criticism from other people, whether you ask for it or not, was a big part of my development.”
In photography, finding a niche can allow your passion to flourish. When you are inspired by a particular subject you should continue to keep returning to that area to develop a style and improve upon the body of work you are building; for Vizzini this was the ambiguity of the night.