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The Journey Of Self-Taught Fine Art Photographer Stefano Gardel

Discovering a passion for photography is something anyone can do at any point in their lives. However, sometimes it is easy to feel disheartened as a newbie or as someone who hasn’t ever so much as touched a camera.

The professional world of photography can most certainly give off an intimidating aura, with so much seemingly to learn about in order to achieve status of “photographer”. But starting your journey in photography doesn’t always have to begin in University with an expensive education!

Now Imagine working as a chiropractor for years and then one day dropping all of that to pursue a career in photography, using only youtube as your teacher and learning with each new shoot…

Well, that’s Stefano Gardel’s story!

Stefano is an award-winning fine art photographer, based in Lugano-Switzerland, who took the leap into making photography his main profession in 2017 after discovering he had a passion and a talent for it.

Shape, light, colour and everything that makes up an aesthetic mood are what Stephano focuses on, with the aim to create art pieces that communicate with their visuals. One of his notable collections of work is the ‘Neon Future’ series.

Shot in Japan, Neon Future consist of beautiful, futuristic city scapes. Stefano was seeking to create a Blade Runner esqe aesthetic and convey a dystopian atmosphere that depicts how a futuristic society can feel so disconnected from nature and themselves.

Throughout the entire series Stefano created a consistent aesthetic, mostly achieved by editing the colours and other aspects. Across each photo we are presented with striking visuals lit with colourful neon lights, yet simultaneously his work maintains a somewhat blue, melancholy atmosphere.

I find his work to be incredibly beautiful and powerful with the brilliant way in which he can use vibrant visuals of busy cityscapes overcrowded by buildings to convey a sort of lonely and disconnected mood.

His Neon Future series can be found on alongside his other work on his website, His reasoning for website name choice is that he admits photography isn’t a one-shot deal. It takes experimentation, mistakes and an acceptance that success isn’t always immediate. As someone who learned everything he knows from Youtube and self-experimentation, this is a truly endearing sentiment. It should fill you with determination if you are someone beginning their journey into photography or perhaps hoping to one day get into it!

Stefano Gardel shoots with a Phase One medium format camera, his reasoning being that he personally has found the detail, colour and precision of medium format far surpass that of any mirrorless camera. He needs his work to have the ability to be printed incredibly large since he sells his work to fine art galleries, this is something medium format allows him to do.

“I have to say that the difference between the mirrorless medium format camera I use and the Phase One camera is noticeable. I have a printer at home that allows me to print very large prints.

I have done some comparison prints with Neon Future, because some of the photos from the series are shot with a mirrorless medium format and some are shot with a Phase One. And not only the detail, but also the fidelity of color of Phase One is really amazing. The rollover from the shadows to highlights, the color gradation, it is really a step above.” – Stefano Gardel

View the rest of the photos from Stefano’s Neon Future series on his website, alongside his other work.

Learn more about the limitless possibilities of Phase One on our website.


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