Luca Tombolini


Luca was born in 1979 in Milan. He completed humanistic studies and after that a degree in Sciences of Communication, with a major on rhetoric patterns in Cinema. While studying at university he met with large format photography and started experimenting. He’s self taught about large format photography.

“I started photographing landscapes following a desire I couldn’t put into words, like a subliminal fascination I felt. I then followed my need for that kind of natural environment, which was the closest evidence I found to a temporality and participation with the Universe.

I consider them as a possibility of connecting to a greater entity, from which we generated but that in nowadays society we live oblivious of being part of it.

Being alone in those remote areas it’s a very humbling experience, it helps my mind to create a meditative suspension over the reality I perceive; cultural occurrences fade away leaving an apparent void which I try to fill with shapes and colours of my photographic play”.

What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?

I'm reading the Bardo Thodol which is known as the Tibetan book of the dead. But don't be fooled by the strong title is more fun and hopefully helpful than you might think. And afterall, wanting or not, sooner or later...

My all time best could be C. G. Jung autobiography, where the father of psychoanalysis narrates his incredible discoveries during life and defines his legacy. Mind boggling at least.

Most visited blogs, websites?

Well a lot of Wikipedia and Google Earth. Apart form that my daily feeds, sometimes also none, are all from instagram, but sometimes I still pop on which is a mine of vintage aesthetics. And yes of course Youtube which, yes I admit, can be a miscellaneous of nerdy studies, chiropractic adjustments, Spacetime explanations, wonders of nature, soft spoken anythings, useless tutorials and so on...

LS XI: Vistas Paradossales

"Vistas is composed of multiple exposures shots on 4x5” negative film and Microscapes, high resolution scans of colours & solvents compositions, dealing respectively with our perception of Time and Space. Departing from my previous landscape works I aimed to create images that present an altered Time dimension, through the use of multiple and/or very long exposures. With these images, I wanted to suggest that the nature of what we feel as the flowing of Time is more likely to be a different entity which doesn’t share the same qualities that we naturally perceive, and of which we cannot get to understanding at the moment. Similarly, the high resolution scans reveal new landscapes that exist on a scale too minute for the naked eye to see. Yet I’ve tried to find in that micro space the same aesthetic qualities I normally search in a landscape”

LS XI: Vistas Paradossales, Canaries & Milan, 2018. Limited edition, 160x128cm (63x50,4") or 80x64cm (31,5x25,2"), Lightjet on photographic paper from 4x5" negative drum scanned

What apps do you use the most and why?

Apart from Whatsapp for communication purposes it's definitely Instagram, @lucatombolini, which also serves me as an online portfolio for my pictures.

Whats currently on your playlist?

I'm not a compulsive listener, I choose very carefully the right moments for music; and I use Deezer as I find Spotify too messy:

And She Came Home by James Heather
Golden Arrow by Darkside
Train by Younger Brother
Boyfriend Notes by Silent Drive
Innerbloom by Rufus
Put Your Money on Me by Arcade Fire (I had a bad crush on this, poetry with music)
Sprawl II by Arcade Fire
Gunslinger's Glory by The Dead South
L'amour et la violence by Sebastien Tellier
The Music Never Dies by Poni Hoax

What records would you recommend to hear? 

The Desert Sessions Vol. I & II by Desert Sessions
Juturna by Circa Survive
Everest by Girls in Hawaii
Salvation is a Deep Dark Well by The Builders and the Butchers
Catartica by Marlene Kuntz
Love Is Worth It by Silent Drive
Above by Mad Season

Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?

I challenge you on this... movies I like are long, boring and have a something that makes them unwatchable for the most:

The Wasted Times by Cheng Er (a hallucinaton disguised as a gangster story)
Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa
L'albero degli zoccoli by Ermanno Olmi
Amici miei by Mario Monicelli
Gomorrah by Matteo Garrone (the movie! not the series)
Elementarteilchen by Oskar Roehler

And of course the one that stands above everyone else: Lars Von Trier

Movies I like are long, boring and have a something that makes them unwatchable for the most

Which artists working today do you admire most?

Hiroshi Sugimoto - photographer
Lucas Blalock - photographer, mixed medias
Banksy - well...
Massimo Vitali - photographer
Jason Decaires Taylor - sculptor

What are some of your tv top tips right now?

Kind of hard not having a tv... and not watching tv series. But yes sometimes I indulge on The grand tour on Amazon prime. And every BBC planet whatever documentary when available.

Who are you following?

Only instagram in my case:

What tools do you use in your work?

A lightweight wood large format 4x5" camera, three lenses from mild grandangular to mild telephoto. Negative films. Drum scanner of year 1997, once the film are developed by the lab.

What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?

No paper mags or newspaper. Just the daily news on internet, and if anything of interest a lot of wikipedia.

What are your favorite gadgets?

In the last years I'm trying to cut down the things I think I need in life, also because I'm spending few months of the year living in my camperized 4x4 in order to travel and take pictures. But ok, I have a soft spot for cars of the 80/90s.


Luca Tombolini

Luca’s Instagram


Images by © Dan Spigelman