We’re lucky to have worked with some great photographers over the years, so we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on some of them and ask them to select and explain some of their favourite images. First up is Paolo Ciaberta, native of Turin and a firm friend of inGamba. You probably know his work from magazines such as Rouleur, Peloton and ProCycling, but just in case we’ve asked a pal to introduce him. We hope you enjoy!
“A photographer can make or break a job for me. Not only because the company is always welcome when you’re on the road, but also because the pictures are pretty and some people – by which I mean inGamba’s João Correia and Jim Merithew – keep telling me that no one reads the words and that I’m boring. So basically, I need the snapper to make my stuff look good.
Paolo and I first met a few years back when we were sent to do a piece for Rouleur Magazine in Venice. He booked the worst accommodation I’ve ever seen, but the Spritz and the conversation made up for it.
That article involved the Guggenheim Museum, Cubism, Francesco Moser and my very limited understanding of Einstein’s general theory of relativity … and we’ve been trying to keep it weird ever since. We try to find stories that other people have missed, different perspectives that we think are worth sharing, things that make us laugh – and that leave enough free time for long dinners and a bottle of wine.
We don’t agree on everything – he has terrible taste in football teams – but over time we’ve developed a good working relationship, become friends, and I think that translates into better work. It also makes it less awkward when we’re in the middle of nowhere covering a race and we’re forced to share a bed.
I think it’s worth noting that he started out as a theatre photographer, because a lot of his work today is focused on giving the viewer a “backstage” perspective and his images have a realistic quality that is all too rare these days – a quality that probably comes from his other work covering social issues in Italy and abroad.”
– Colin O’Brien, freelance writer, partner in crime.
“Col de la Bonette: Following the last Giro d’Italia for Rouleur. This was the highest point – 2,750m – and a really strange place to see the race because apart from the police and a couple of fans, there was no one, no atmosphere, no photographers, no one shouting or running alongside the riders. The race passed by in a surreal silence. It was a day I won’t forget: pure cycling in an incredible place.” – Paolo Ciaberta
“We were in Gap, the 16th stage of the 100th Tour de France. Usually at the end of the stage, I avoid standing behind the finish line in my photographer’s bib: for me, being there reduces the possibility of movement and restricts the view. I prefer to stay on the streets, mingling with the public and their emotions.
“To take this picture, I positioned myself a few metres before the finish line, focused on the crowd in front of me and looked forward to the passing riders. As it happened, Rui Costa arrived solo and snatched victory.
“Once the composition is made, the rest is over to the actors of the scene: the fans, their facial expressions, and the cyclist who gives an unmistakable gesture that expresses joy, strength and satisfaction – the same kind of satisfaction I had when I saw this picture!
“I owe thanks to Costa and to the fans for helping me with the image, which was the cover shot for Rouleur No. 55.” – PC
“There are no words to describe the Dolomites and I don’t think images do it justice either. Maybe only music can do it. Anyway, I tried my best to capture some of the magic during the Pordoi descent at the 2016 Giro d’Italia.” – PC
“Colle delle Finestre: At the Grand Tours, the unique relationship between the sport and its fans always reaches its climax in the high mountain stages. It’s there that we have actual contact; touches, whispers, shouting, intimacy between the riders and the crowd, the energy of the tifosi when passion takes over. Nowhere else is cycling quite so at home.” – PC
“I love portraits. I love people’s faces because they remind you that behind every frame, behind every pair of shoes, every victory and defeat, there are people pouring all of their passion and their talent. They bring soul to sport.” – PC
You can find Paolo online at paolociaberta.eu and on social @paolociaberta. You might also find him hanging out with us on one of our trips!