The Sea and Underwater Photography.

In 1980, when I joined the Centro Sub Faenza to do my first diving course, I had only ever been to the beach during summer holidays spent on the Riviera Romagnola between Milano Marittima, Cervia and Rimini. I had practised a lot of different sports before taking up diving, including mountain climbing, caving, river kayaking and skydiving but I was not really into the sea and I had not travelled much either.

I only started diving because I wanted to add something new to my list of adventures. I got hooked straight away though; it was better than anything else I had done before. So I continued to follow all the courses put on by the Centro Sub Faenza and gained various qualifications, culminating in the F.I.A.S. (Italian Federation of Underwater Activities) federal diving instructor's certificate.

While at the Centro Sub Faenza, I met Sergio Montanari and Enzo Cicognani, who were both well-known underwater photography experts at the time. Thanks to them I was able to combine diving with another of my great passions: Photography. As a matter of fact, I got into photography as a boy, when I used to enjoy developing films I had taken with an old Ferrania 6x6. With my mother's blessing, I printed photographs in the darkness of our family bathroom using equipment that my father gave me.

Up until 1984, my wife Rosa had not shared in any of my experiences but in November of that year, when I came back from a six-week long trekking expedition in Nepal, I found her doing her first diving course. She decided to do it more for a dare and to rival me at the beginning but she too fell in love with the sea and diving.

I have been very lucky to have a companion by my side that shares the same passions and seeks the same thrills. Her involvement and encouragement enabled me to achieve increasingly important goals in a short time and to receive a lot of prizes and awards on a national and international level.

I became a photographer and developed my skills in the competitive spirit of the spontaneous competitions organized by the F.I.P.S.A.S. (Italian Federation of Angling and Underwater Activities). Overall, I took part in 16 Italian Fotosub Championships, some individual and some team events, where I attained various important placings including:

  • 2 times Italian Champion ( 1992 Ustica ) – 1996 (Palmi)
  • 5 times Runner up. (1989 Milazzo – 1991 Capraia – 1997 Tremiti – 1998 Ustica) (1997 by Team)
  • 1 time Third place ( 1995 Siracusa)
  • 2 times Fourth place ( 1993 Lipari – 1994 Porto Cesareo)

The best, most exciting time as an underwater photography competitor began in 1992 when I was spotted by the manager of the national underwater photography team, Pierfranco Dilenge, who against all advice first took a gamble on my underwater photography skills. So I joined the Italian national underwater photography team and stayed with them until the end of 2000 .

During my time with the Italian team I took part in numerous European competitions and three World Championships, which led to international successes including three Underwater Photography World Team Championship titles.

Since 2001, when I gave up competing, I have started organizing underwater photography courses and coaching underwater photography competitors for the Centro Sub Faenza who have enjoyed success in Italian Championship competitions. I have been taking part of the organizational staff of the “Town of Faenza” International Underwater Photography and Video Exhibition for many years.

To the present day, I still travel and take photographs, above and below water. I continuously collect new images that I use to create diaporamas and enlarge the already substantial archive of underwater and over ground images of environmental and biological interest that accompany scientific articles and tourism brochures.

Many more photos are included and constantly updated on the marine biology website “Mondo Marino” and on the Milan based “Colbel Photo Agency” web site.


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