During our trip to discover Europe and its beauty, one is inevitably overwhelmed by perspectives and the most hidden corners: that’s why the photographer Enrico Maria Bertani came along with us, to tell us about some unforgettable stages of the route from Paris to London with his camera. Taking photos on a bike is not an easy task: it requires a particularly sensitive eye and a natural inclination to capture details. Here is what Enrico told us about his travelling experience with Verde Natura.
When did your passion for bikes start?
To be honest, I don’t think that I can say that I have any real passion for bikes; I’ve always used them to get around the city, while trips were always planned and done by car, train and motorbike. I would rather say that a great curiositywas aroused in me, perhaps the birth of a passion, during the last Paris-London trip with Verde Natura.
When did your love for photography start, and according to you, what is the added value to taking pictures during a bike trip?
I started photography rather late in life, when I was around 23-24 years old, even though in the family there has always been the passion handed down by my father and grandfather. The early years were purely at amateur level, whereas since around 2004 I’ve been working as a professional photographer. If you ask me what the added value of taking pictures on a bike trip is, that’s definitely time! The relatively limited speed you move at allows you to watch really well and far better than you would with other means. I would say that the trip itself becomes a potential non-stop photographic set. For those like me who have a strong interest in landscape architecture, this is a very precious resource. What’s more, you can access places that are unthinkable by car or motorbike, allowing you to discover details that would otherwise be lost.
Do you prefer a particular photographic style, like travel reportage, or do you like portraying different subjects?
Having to take different types of photographs for work, like ceremonies, still-life and private portraits, landscape photography, particularly night-time photography, is for me a real refuge, a way to recharge my energy. I like to plan my trips to photograph a particular scene, I enjoy the time I spend in nature to take the pictures, alone or with a few friends. This kind of photography is by far my favorite, beyond my work activity!
Do you also have an Instagram profile? Are there profiles of other travelers or photographers that you follow for inspiration?
Yes of course, my Instagram profile is @enricobertani.it. Lately I started to follow some profiles dedicated to travel and landscape photography, and here are a few: @jeremybomford has a profile with many aerial photos which in my opinion are very beautiful, tastefully done. Then there’s @ilovedouro, dedicated to Douro valley, the Portuguese river famous for the Port wine cultivations that dot its shores; I also did that trip a few years ago by car, going up the river, starting from Porto to get to the Spanish border, so I’m very attached to those landscapes as I am for the whole of Portugal. Finally, I’d like to recommend the Instagram profile of @stefanotiozzo, a really good Italian photographer.
Last question: We would like to know how your experience was during the trip Paris-London with Verde Natura, and if you plan on repeating such an experience.
I must say that in the beginning I was a bit frightened, I had never done such an experience, and I wasn’t even sure that I would make it, but I’m really glad to have done it! Day by day I was able to appreciate the bike as a means of travel, even covering a fair stretch of road, but at a pace that allows you to really experience the journey in all its parts. I also realized that traveling by bike in a group makes it easy to connect with people and also stimulates us from the human point of view. Regarding the organization, I must congratulate those who accompanied us, professional, available (and I can imagine how difficult it can be sometimes!) and not at all formal, their company was a real pleasure! So yes, I would really like to repeat this experience: lately (actually, for a few years), I’ve been very attracted to northern Europe, in particular to Iceland. But even enjoying a cycling experience in Portugal would be exciting: we’ll see!
All photographs by Enrico Maria Bertani