Photographer Spotlight : Roberta Ruocco
Tell me about you!
First generation born in Palm Beach, Florida, to parents that immigrated from Capri, Italy. My parents designed and imported women’s clothing from Italy for their boutique. I grew up in a very creative environment. So naturally I wanted to become a fashion designer, but when I went to college I changed my major because a counselor advised me against the artistic route. What I learned is to never listen to others, follow your dreams! I am not a fashion designer, but I create art and it is my passion. I live between New York City, Palm Beach, & Capri. I am married to Alfio and we have two beautiful children, and a Belgian sheepdog named Maxie.
How did you discover your love for photography?
I was always attracted to photography and had my camera with me at all times while growing up, but my passion for photography was ignited when I took a black and white photography class as an elective while in my last semester in college! I was so enamored with the artistic practice, that I went back to school and received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts.
Who are some of your favorite photographers (past or present)?
There are too many to list here, but these are the ones that come to mind: Henri Cartier- Bresson, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, Hiroshi Sugimoto & Michael Kenna.
How is your Phase One system significant in creating the work you do, and offering up to 4 foot limited edition prints?
I learned analog photography, before I moved on to digital. We developed our film, exposed our photo papers in the dark rooms, etc. I used all types of film cameras from Small, Medium & Large format, so I understand the importance and the limitations of using a small vs a medium format camera. My first digital camera was 35mm, but I always longed to own a full frame medium format Phase One Digital back! I LOVE working with my Phase one. The images it produces are exceptional and brings my work to the next level.
Can you describe a photographically challenging situation that you were confronted with that you were able to resolve on the fly?
Working with ND filters on a medium format system creates a very calming work environment. You have time to really take in the scenery. The only thing that can throw your calming work environment off is when your lighting changes, you need to make the adjustments quickly, so you can begin your next exposure.
What drove/inspired you to create The Ocean Series?
Growing up I was always near an ocean, not realizing what it meant to me. It wasn’t until I began photographing the ocean, that I understood my connection to it. I use the ocean as my canvas, then I play with time and light to create magical images of the ocean.
This series is all images of the beach horizon. What is the secret to create unique and compelling work while sticking so tightly to a singular subject?
Shoot, shoot and shoot! I take a lot of shots!!!! When on location, I shoot everyday and I’m near the water all day long, because everything can change in a minute and if you aren’t there you missed it!
What is your favorite underrated photographic tool? Why?
Not sure if its underrated, but a photographic tool that I love, is the Photographer’s Ephemeris app on my phone. I use it all the time for calculating the passage of the sun, sunset/rise times and moon rise, it is fundamental in planning my morning and night shots.
If you were behind your camera and could choose anything you wanted to be in your viewfinder, where would you be and what would you be looking at?
My first love is the ocean, but I would love to apply my technique while photographing the salt flats in Bolivia!
Why did you select Capture Integration as your equipment partner?
Honestly, my first interaction with CI was with Dave Gallagher, and he is extremely knowledgeable and very honest when he gives recommendations. He is truly advising for your best interest, he isn’t there just to make a sale. Their customer service is unparalleled, they are always there to answer a question, provide a solution to a problem, and get you back to shooting. The CI Team goes above and beyond in every aspect they handle, they are simply amazing and make you feel like you’re part of a family. I am honored to be here, thank you so much for this opportunity.