Empire of the night

Italian photographer Luca Campigotto’s urban nightscapes capture moments of stillness in buzzing metropolises

Empire of the Night is a curated body of work by Italian photographer Luca Campigotto. Some of the images from this collection are from his popular photobooks like Gotham City and Venice, the City by Night. Others are from unpublished series. What ties them together is their representation of the “urban chaos of architecture and light”, a recurrent theme in Campigotto’s work.

Shipyard at Genova shot by photographer Luca Campigotto
Genova, 2014

His work, he says, is “tailored on travels” which have taken him to all corners of the world, from Venice and New York to Iran and Old Delhi. Apparent in the way he documents his travels, is his love for great voyages, adventure movies and comic books.

Image of deserted part of Yazd in Iran shot by Italian photographer Luca Campigotto
Yazd, Iran, 2007

“I am driven to see cities – very often at night – as movie or stage sets,” he says. Metropolises have been a long-time inspiration, and he tends to capture them in moments of stillness after dark, often devoid of human life.

Old architectural ruins in Copa, shot by photographer Luca Campigotto
Arco di Druso, Rome, 2014
Streets of Old Delhi shot by photographer Luca Campigotto
Old Delhi, 2007

All these images have been shot on large format cameras, some on 4×5 film and newer work, shot post 2006, on digital backs. Campigotto says he has “a sort of old-time ceremonious way of shooting” – which always involves a tripod, a precise viewpoint and slow contemplation. It is his love for sharpness, he says, that dictates the style and format of his work.

Streets of Tokyo, shot by Italian photographer Luca Campigotto
Tokyo, 2008
Streets of New York city at night shot by Luca Campigotto
Tribeca, NYC, 2004

Empire of the Night is one display at Bugno Art Gallery in Venice till June 31. 

Lead image shot in SoHo, New York, 2004; lucacampigotto.com

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