Shooting with a 35mm lens allows Fabio to capture images with multiple dimensions within a single frame. “It allows you to immerse yourself in the image, moving through its layers and drawing the viewer in,” he explains. In the background of this photo, framed by other people, a young wounded Syrian sits at the back of a truck after an attack carried out in Aleppo in October 2012. Fabio’s extensive work from Syria earned him the Robert Capa Gold Medal and a World Press Photo award in 2013. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/4 and ISO 160. © Fabio Bucciarelli
Barcelona’s underground photography scene, Fabio learned how to use analog equipment and develop film, bought his first Canon EOS 5D (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV), and attended a few photography masterclasses. “Everything was completely new to me,” he says. “That year, I made the decision to leave engineering behind and pursue a career as a photographer.”
When a massive earthquake struck Italy’s Abruzzo region near his family home in 2009, Fabio returned to cover it, sending images to Italian agencies and getting his first publications. He documented the impact of the earthquake for months and would continue to over the next decade. Thanks to this coverage, he secured a staff photographer contract with the La Presse/AP agency, where he honed his news-gathering skills, covering breaking events ranging from politics to sports. But after a couple of years, he was ready to move on.
“I hadn’t quit engineering to do those kinds of frames of Berlusconi or Messi,” says Fabio. “It was not interesting to me, so when I had enough experience to start working as a freelancer, I quit. One newspaper in Italy decided to send me to Libya with some of the best conflict correspondents, from whom I could learn how to move in the field.”
Capturing a photograph of the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was the “first turning point” of Fabio’s career. Having spent several months covering the war from Benghazi to Tripoli to Sirte, it was a striking image of the fallen dictator that caught the attention of picture editors. “It was the first contact with international editors, which I then developed in Syria,” he says. He went on to work for AFP covering the battle for Aleppo, as well as freelancing for leading global magazines and newspapers. Self-taught, his training continued in the field, as he got the feel of a 35mm lens in Libya and a 24mm in Syria – focal lengths he continues to use in his two-camera setup plus primes, with a Canon EOS R slung on one shoulder and a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV on the other.[…]