A winter that brought magic to Italian villages: a snowy #winternoneiborghi2018. Scrolling through the photos in the hashtag we see photos that tell us how, even with the low temperatures and less crowded villages, it is beautiful to go through the alleys and photograph these local realities. There's no denying it, seeing the snow-covered alleyways and rooftops of our jewels brings us to an even more romantic, all-Italian vision: we love the snow and it makes us feel good!
This is the end of the fourth season of this contest that has kept us enthralled for an intense year, taking us to discover and photograph villages all over Italy. You can see the winning photos from previous seasons here: those from spring, those from’summer and finally‘autumn. Thanks to everyone who participated!
The winning winter photo comes surprisingly from the South, taken by our Yallers Teodoro Corbo, born in Lucania and a great lover of his land. È a panoramic photo of the village of Pietrapertosa, in the province of Potenza, which completely smacks of Winter in the villages, taking us into the evening atmosphere of a snowy and magical winter. The evening lights together with the snow falling on the roofs give a sense of that peace in the villages, the feeling of a snowfall that can cheer up families by making an evening special. What can I say? Very good Teodoro!
Which photo will be second? This time we move to the far north, in the province of Sondrio, where the mountains provide the stunning backdrop to the villages. The winner, Mattia Gussoni, captured a beautiful snow-covered village in an Alpine valley. Here is what he told us: “The photo was taken during an excursion last January in Valchiavenna, in the province of Sondrio. After a snowshoe hike in the woods, the view suddenly opens up and the picturesque mountain village of Alpe Lendine, at 1710 metres above sea level, appears. The abundant snowfalls in the Alps this winter season made the atmosphere even more magical and fairytale-like.” Thanks Mattia!
Thethird prize-winning photo also comes from the beautiful Basilicata region of Italy, from Castelmezzano. A southern region whose heavy snowfall has filled our feeds with fantastic photos. Here is what the author of the photo, Marco de Nicola, had to say: “Castelmezzano is located in my beautiful Lucania, a picturesque, almost fairytale-like place…I recommend visiting it, but if I had to choose a time of year to do so, I would be quite undecided…day, night, sun, snow…it always leaves you speechless. ” Compliments Nicola!
We interviewed the winner of the winter season's contest: Theodoro Corbo. Teo, the first Yallers to win the village contest, answered our questions and took us straight into the authentic atmosphere of the villages of his homeland, Basilicata.
Congratulations Teo! You are the winner of the Yallers in the villages winter contest. We are curious to know if you were happy with this victory…
Thank you! It was a real surprise to win, not even for the journey but for the merit. Because the photo was selected from among so many others. And I'm also pleased because it's a Yallers contest and the level is always high.
How did this beautiful winter shot come about? Tell us a bit about it
A dream of mine, to be realised in my own land, was to photograph this snowy country, because I have loved it since I was a child. When it snows, it becomes almost unreachable because it is in the mountains, high up. Seeing these photos of the snowy village has always been a spectacle, a magic. So as soon as it came down, I contacted some Yallers members to go and take some pictures and one of them said yes. We left immediately and we were really lucky because the weather was nice. The sunset wasn't bad at all despite the clouds!
When did you take it? What equipment did you use?
This photo “Pietrapertosa in White”,was taken on Thursday 15 February, around 7pm, as evening was falling. At that time I was working with a well-known photographic company and I used filters supplied by them and I must say that they gave me a good result. I used a CLP, a polariser and an NDX, which is a variable filter. The polariser helped to remove the snow glitter which was annoying and to darken the sky a bit, the filter increased the exposure. Thanks to these filters I took a 25 second shot, in fact you can see the movement of the clouds above. The village does the rest, because it is certainly one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
What post-production did you do?
Most of the work was done with the filters, then for the rest I just worked on the shadows and highlights and contrast in raw camera.
In Basilicata you have many beautiful villages. Do you often go to villages and if you do, do you do it with the specific aim of immortalising them?
Yes, there really are a lot of beautiful villages, and I'm absolutely in favour of enhancing them. I often go around my region to photograph them, and since I've been in Yallers Basilicata even more so. We often organise ourselves with the team or the members to take some shots. As soon as we have a free day we go! A short time ago we also had a night out in Matera, we spent the whole night shooting and photographing, in true Yallers style. Personally I like to take panoramic pictures of the villages, from the outside rather than in the streets. So I made a bet with another Yallers: as soon as I get the chance, I will take a photo in true Yallers style in the alleyways.
Well, we are waiting for you then…whatès your favourite season for photographing Italian villages and landscapes?
Well, summer is definitely my favourite season because it allows you to be outside all the time thanks to the climate, which is an important plus. I am a bit of a metereopath, as soon as I see a bit of bad weather I tend to stay at home. Although in this case the desire to photograph the snow was stronger…
Which region do you think makes the most of these local realities?
Well, the difference between north and south is enormous; I was recently in a really beautiful village in Campania, which if it had been in the north would have been even more spectacular, they would have made the most of it. On the other hand, I think that two areas like the Amalfi Coast and the Ligurian Coast are really beautiful to visit for their villages, but even in this case the Ligurian Coast is very well connected. Puglia is certainly ahead of us in terms of development, while in Basilicata we still have work to do because there are wonderful villages to show off, but apart from Matera, these realities are still little known outside the region. If you want to visit the Amalfi Coast and the Ligurian Coast, you have to visit them.
If you had to recommend a village to visit and photograph absolutely in your region?
It's very hard to choose just one, there are so many wonderful ones. All of Basilicata is beautiful, really beautiful, and now I'm getting to know it more as I have more free time, and thanks to photography I've discovered so many wonderful places. I could say Castelmezzano, San Fele, Pietrapertosa, but also Melfi, my own village. Our abandoned villages are also fantastic, such as Craco, a stupendous ghost town, a spectacle… you leave your heart in that village, and yet it is hardly known. It's all really beautiful anyway, so come to Basilicata!
A village that you are particularly attached to?
Well, it's not a village, even though it may seem like one in some parts, but Matera is incredible, especially for the atmosphere in which it envelops you. I always go to Matera to take pictures, in the evening and during the day. It is really beautiful. One village that I have fond memories of, and which is also linked to photography, is the visit to the village of San Fele, in Basilicata, one of the few times my father accompanied me there. He even risked falling from the belvedere, but all was well afterwards (laughs).
Let's talk about your great passion for photography. When was it born and how?
So let's talk about your great passion for photography.
È was born recently, a year and a half ago. I started shooting in a more difficult period, when I had a disappointment and I needed something. That's why I always say that photography is like medicine, it saved me. It was like a lifeboat that brought me to safety. When I go out to photograph, I forget everything, even my mobile phone. So nowadays I can't do without photography because it has really filled in some of the gaps I had.
We know you've been a Yallers member for several months now, so what has this experience brought you in relation to discovering the area?
With Yallers the first thing that ever changed? I started travelling.
I didn't travel much at all, but then, thanks to photography, this passion was born. Then I met many, many people. Today I can go anywhere in Italy and always find a Yallers friend to guide me. Yallers has really become a way of life for me. And this is a famous quote of mine (he jokes).
One last question: what do you want to say to those who want to approach the world of Yallers?
But what I always say: that if they want another family to share unforgettable experiences with, and to share this strong appreciation of our country, this really is the right association.
The Yallers are a great team.
Thank you very much for the nice chat Teo and congratulations again on this well-deserved victory!