2018 photographs of the year – part 5: Paolo Ciaberta

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As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve asked our regular photographers to pick their favourite cycling images from this year

Photographs: Paolo Ciaberta
Strade Bianche, Paolo Ciaberta

Whereabouts are you based?

I live in Turin, Italy.


How long have you been shooting cycling?

I started for COG magazine (USA) in 2009. My first work in pro cycling for Rouleur Magazine was Milan-Sanremo, 2012


What appeals to you about photographing cycling?

Compared to other sports it doesn’t need a stadium or arenas, cycling is everywhere. It passes through beautiful villages and cities, high mountains, hills or near to the sea, it comes to your front door. To follow cycling is to discover the world.


There’s a song from Paolo Conte, “Bartali”, that describes perfectly that moment:


“Sono seduto in cima a un paracarro
E sto pensando agli affari miei
Tra una moto e l’altra c’è un gran silenzio
Che descriverti non saprei”


“I’m sitting on a bollard
And I’m thinking about my own business
There’s a great silence between one motorcycle and the next
That I can’t describe”


Moreover, often I’ve worked with old cyclists, handling the history of cycling that’s so rich in charm.


Read: A load of old bollards – an unusual Italian park that celebrates cycling’s heroes


What other areas of photography do you work in?

Social issues reportage, events and reportage from my bikepacking trips for companies that sponsor me.


Please tell us a little bit about your style of photography.

When I work, I look for the spontaneity of the gestures, I want to catch that moment in which things happens that make pictures unique and unrepeatable – a smile, a look, a grimace.


I don’t like photos that are too much constructed or artificial. I put spontaneity of the shot before photographic technique. Of course, technique is important to me, but I look for the right balance. The final purpose of my work is to tell stories as sincere as possible.


Read: Vincenzo Nibali – Shark Life


What assignments have you done for Rouleur this year?

Strade Bianche, portraits of Zilioli, Carlesi and Chioccioli for 3 Coppini article,  Coppi and Bartali, Il Lombardia, the making of  the Giro trophy (Il trofeo senza fine).


What are your plans for 2019?

I always love to start the cycling season with Strade Bianche. I would like to shoot races outside Italy; Flanders, Roubaix or Liege, but I will certainly be at the Giro d’Italia. I’m thinking about new and further opportunities.



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