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Interview with Giulio Aprin

Giulio Aprin is an intrepid and talented photographer who discovered an inexplicable fascination with the mesmerizing beauty of deserts.

His love affair with these arid landscapes began unexpectedly, but once he experienced their captivating allure, there was no turning back.

Aprin found solace in the harshness, dryness, and minimalism of deserts, appreciating their profound ability to evoke deep emotions. Unlike other natural environments, deserts have a unique way of diminishing the presence of humanity, allowing Aprin to gain a fresh perspective on life and reconsider his priorities and goals.

He cherishes the opportunity for inner exploration that these barren terrains provide, savoring the moments when it is just him and the vastness of his surroundings.

Having dedicated over 12 years to his photography career, Aprin has been capturing images since the young age of five. However, he began to find himself veering away from his core identity as a photographer while delving into the world of social media as a content creator.

Feeling a growing desire for freedom and independence, Aprin made a conscious decision to redirect his focus towards his true passion. It was during this time, in late 2021, that he stumbled upon blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens. Although initially unfamiliar with the concept, Aprin quickly recognized the immense potential of the blockchain and NFTs, and he became captivated by the possibilities they offered.

As a photographer specializing in explorative and adventure photography, Aprin faced the challenge of limited funding and support from traditional institutions. However, he believed that embracing the new technological era of blockchain and the emerging market of NFTs could provide a solution.

For Aprin, the blockchain represented more than just a means of preserving and selling artwork. It was a way to safeguard the valuable information associated with his ever-changing images from remote locations. As he traversed the globe, Aprin encountered the difficulty of finding reliable sources and related photographs depicting specific locations. Much of this information tended to get lost over time, especially in the digital realm. Aprin saw the blockchain as a revolutionary tool to not only store and sell beautiful artworks but also to permanently embed their data, ensuring their authenticity and preserving their historical context.

While Aprin had always relied on handheld cameras to capture his stunning visuals, he recently delved into the realm of drone photography. Although he has been shooting with handheld cameras for the majority of his career, he believes that a true photographer captures images with their eyes, using the camera merely as a vehicle to immortalize those moments.

Before acquiring a drone, Aprin would find vantage points from elevated positions to capture his desired shots. With the advent of modern technology, drones provided a convenient tool to enhance his work.

According to Aprin, the choice between handheld cameras and drones depends on the subject matter at hand. Drones offer unique perspectives and the ability to showcase the vastness of certain landscapes that would be challenging to capture with a traditional camera.

However, Aprin always approaches each subject with his eyes first, determining which tool will best convey his artistic vision.

Photographing in the desert has presented Aprin with numerous challenges, especially during extended expeditions that can sometimes span one to two months. In particular, the relentless presence of sand particles constantly flying in the air poses a significant problem.

Aprin, much like others in the desert, breathes, drinks, and eats sand, leading to an inevitable toll on his camera equipment. Additionally, the unforgiving environment, extreme temperatures, and the constant risk of running out of water or getting lost adds to the formidable challenges. Flat tires and other unexpected obstacles are also factors that can disrupt his work, but are all part of what it takes to create the images that he chases.

However, Aprin approaches his expeditions with meticulous preparation and an unwavering commitment to maintaining control and mitigating potential risks.

While Aprin has fortunately not experienced any especially frightening moments due to his preparedness and expertise, he did face a risky situation when he and his team lost their way in the desolate and barren Auker region of the Sahara Desert.

With no signs of life around, navigation became crucial. Through Aprin's navigation skills and problem-solving experience, they managed to navigate the treacherous terrain and emerged from the ordeal unscathed. Making critical decisions collectively and maintaining a sense of calm amid the challenges was key to their safety. Aprin states that panic and stress only exacerbate difficult situations, so it is important to keep a cool head.

When confronted with obstacles, he retraces his steps on a map, analyzing potential mistakes and finding a way forward. Aprin's strong sense of orientation and his deep understanding of the desert's geography and topography often plays an instrumental role in his ability to navigate treacherous terrain.

Looking ahead, Aprin has exciting projects on the horizon. In August 2023, he plans to embark on a personal journey to Kyrgyzstan, venturing into a non-desert country that is still remote and unexplored. Then, in November, if all goes according to plan, he will undertake a month-long desert expedition in Algeria.

Aprin's insatiable thirst for exploration and his determination to capture awe-inspiring images drives him to dream of traveling to numerous challenging destinations. These include Yemen, Chad, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Northern China, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Niger, and Mali, all holding immense appeal for Aprin to shoot. However, he understands that these territories present significant accessibility barriers that will hopefully be resolved over time.

Nevertheless, Aprin relentlessly works on various fronts, patiently awaiting the right window of opportunity to turn his dreams into reality.


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