THE TOLD IMAGE: STORIES OF OWLS
“The image told” was the title of a column published in the wonderful magazine “Oasis” – Musumeci Editore. “How good it would be to see you published one of our photos” was said among us, a dream of three friends linked for some years by the passion for nature photography.
A dream that came true in October 1988. With great trepidation I was browsing the number 10 just arrived in the postal subscription, up to page 108 … there was !!! Wax!!! What a thrill, a satisfaction immediately shared with Fabio and Giuseppe. We had succeeded, for the first time an image of ours appeared there, alongside those of the great sacred monsters of world nature photography.
The first time is always the most beautiful, but fortunately there have been many other first times, the first full article, the first publication on Airone, the first cover, the first release in foreign magazine, the first photo on National Geographic USA ….
STORIES OF OWLS the title of the then image told, here is an excerpt of our story taken from the publication …
“It was one o’clock when, covered by the darkness, we climbed the ledge using a ladder for painters; loads of equipment we faced a rather steep and extremely slippery roof because the old tiles were covered with moss. Crawling we arrived a couple of meters from the chimney which, fatality, was right on the extreme edge … Meanwhile two or three cars passed in the road that forced us to a strategic escape to lie down beyond the ridge so as not to make us see.
But one night was not enough, it took ten. Here is a summary of the technical problems that occurred: lenses with condensation, a single retouched owl, ice (it was winter) prevents the climb on the roof; flash misfires, rain, stumbles in obstacles (non-EU citizens who slept on the ground) and consequent strategic retreat, goal leaves the pocket and slips from the roof “….
I fondly remember these adventures lived with Fabio, we were beginners and with very few means. We did not have remote controls, so we had to drop a skein of cable about a hundred meters from the roof, get off, go into the car and wait for the return of the owls at the end of the night when, towards the east, some faint light began.
In alternate turns one of us “sbinocolava” to control the chimney, the other held the small electrical switch that had to transmit the shutter command to the camera.
“There are, shoot !!!” I do not remember who kept the binoculars and who has taken, but it does not matter, this as several other photos of nocturnal birds of prey are totally shared shots, literally produced four hands.
Flashes of light and away, back up the ladder and the roof to quickly get it all off … at 8 o’clock we both had to be there for a new day of employee work!