PIETRO VERMICELLI
BIO
Welcome to my website!

I was born in Orvieto, Italy, in 1992, a most peculiar - and beautiful - medieval town built on top of a tufa rock surrounded by the rolling hills of the countryside of Umbria. I have been fortunate enough to have been traveling since a young age; at six I boarded my first flight, to Lisbon; I’ve never stopped. First came the big cities of the western world, and their galleries and museums brimming with art masterpieces; at twenty-one I reconnected with nature. I visited Argentina in 2013 and I fell in love with the immensity of its landscapes: the arid Valdes Peninsula, the Andes meeting the ocean in Ushuaia, the towering Perito Moreno glacier, the roaring Garganta del Diablo. It all left a deep impression on me; I had to see more of the wild world.

Until 2018 I had shot most of my travels - everything really - on an iPhone. I felt I didn’t need the fancy, bulky camera and equipment; sure I would look for a pleasing composition and the right lighting, but, after all, those were images I was taking more for myself as a keepsake, than for anyone else. So, if someone had told me that I would have been considering photography as a career, I would have laughed it off. As a graduate student in Applied Mathematics, I envisioned myself as a researcher in Analysis. That was it.

In May 2018, though, I was making enough money with my job as a Ph.D. student to be able to buy a DSLR: curiosity had finally prevailed. And that had made all the difference. Maybe I started putting in more effort while taking my pictures because of the investment I had made, anyway I found out I could create so much more than with the phone camera and this has challenged myself to get better at it every day since. Moreover, it made me willing to share with others the beauty of the places I would visit, and, hopefully, made them care about them as much as I did.

Being able to produce photos of higher quality myself has made me look more closely at the photographers I've always looked up to and weigh the impact of their work. And I’ve realized it’s tremendous. Take Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermaier, and all the Sea Legacy collective, or Frans Lanting, only to name a few; what these photographers have achieved through their art to help to ensure conservation for some of the most pristine habitats in the world is truly remarkable, as the staggering number of people one of their images can speak to.

I’ve mentioned Sea Legacy because of my love for the ocean, which has led me to volunteer for two months at Sea Search, a research organization based in Muizenberg, SA, after dropping out of my Ph.D. in September 2018. The days spent on and out of the water during a three weeks fieldwork in Paternoster, SA, studying and photographing so-called ‘super-groups’ of humpback whales have stayed with me as one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life so far and sealed my intent. Photography can be such a powerful tool; I’m honing in my skill so one day I might be able to tell stories that matter.

If you wish to get in touch with me, press the CONTACT button below.