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Pierre Volpe


Born in Merksem (Antwerp) on february 8, 1959 as the son of an Italian sea officer and a Flemisch farmers daughter.

Already from childhood I was fascinated by nature. I didn’t only collected and studied nature (also professionally), I also photographed it.

After my father died (I was 6 years of age) I inherited his camera (a box). Unfortunately there was no money for the films needed. So I had to be satisfied with looking through the lens. Still a fascinating world, that of the ‘camera obscura’.

When I became 12 I got a full-automatic compact camera (this time with films) so the ‘real’ photography could start. Still the possibilities of such a camera are rather limited. When I was 16 I saved enough to buy my first reflex camera: a Zenith. Because I wanted to mainly photograph nature, I needed a telelens. 2 years later I earned enough money to buy myself a telelens and a set of macro rings.

This photographic interest was also intensified by other forms of photography and has grown to what some people describe as “a real passion” or “an exuberant hobby”.

Because of professional reasons this passion unfortunately has come to a standstill for a while.

Luckily after a while I was able to pick up the thread again and I started a course of photography art at an academy near Antwerp. Since then I’m also involved with other forms of photography like studio photography. Never before I could have imagined that I would have been so fascinated by the play of light and forms. This interest has had a serious influence on my vision about nature photography; more abstract and less documentary, more like the play of light, colours and forms and less strictly registration. In my actual nature photography the atmosphere or the feeling dominates above the strictly technical perfect shoot.

After 7 years I finished my studies in photography art at this academy for fine arts. This way I was able to refine my photographic techniques and I was able to discover new forms of photography. My main goal, however, was to get “a different view” on photography, mainly nature photography. Due to these studies at the academy, I also got more fascinated by the play of light and shadow, lines and forms. The fascination was even so strong that I turned my garage into my own photo studio at home.

Because I think that photo’s are of more importance than the equipment and because I dislike any form of hardware-fetishism, I won’t tell anything here about the camera’s, the lenses nor the studio equipment I use. You also don’t recognize a good chef by his equipment but by his servings. And yes, tastes differ, as well in the restaurant as in photography. Fortunately, I’d say.

In 2010 finally we started the building of a brand new photo studio next to our house. The garage-studio was too small for some of my photography projects and teaching photography in our living room may be cosy, it’s far from optimal or efficient. Starting from then, I also became a professional photographer, next to my job as a science teacher.

As from this yaer I’m retiring as a science teacher. So from now on it’s all about photography…

“Of all things, ‘simplicity’ is the hardest thing to illustrate !”