Life in the Surreal with Giulio Musardo

white dove----

All photos taken and used with permission from Giulio Musardo.

Eighteen-year-old Italian photographer Giulio Musardo is definitely on his way to greatness judging from his wonderful portfolio of surreal images. He’s inspired by mostly everything he sees around him, an ability that many fail to acquire, and he’s joining the ranks of several young conceptual photographers on Flickr who weave images, nay visual stories, with their cameras and their well-honed post-processing skills.

Most importantly, he’s created some of the most rousing and expressive images you’ll see on Flickr. And he’s only just begun. Get to know the man, as well as his thoughts and motivations, behind the photographs in what could be his first US interview.

Tell us about your early days as a photographer. How did you start getting into photography?

magic potion   (earliest works)

My passion for photography began in the fall of 2012. I attended a school for graphic design and photography in my province in Southern Italy. I was already in that environment. One day on the Internet, I opened a link directing me to a page with many images of great photographers, the best of these times. I was immediately struck by the photographs’ concepts so much that it got to the point where I began to create something out of my hands. And so I started to produce images through my camera. The passion grew more and more with my first successes, with the first appreciations… and now it has become my way of life, a need.

How would you describe your work?

I think my work is enigmatic. Each one of my photos expresses a moment, a feeling that the mind processes through the use of pictures, like a parallel world where time stands still. My pictures are characterized by key elements. Small messages are often difficult and mysterious. I like the dark contrasts and I only use natural light.

Parfum de roses------

How do you come up with the concepts for your photographs? What inspires them?

I have days where my inspiration goes on and off, days that I just follow a road or a place to observe and talk with some people that help me immediately develop an idea. I have the need to keep pace with the art, technology, and fashion; to know more about everything that’s around me. I follow a lot of photographers on Flickr and Facebook and they are a great source of inspiration.

A lot of your photographs are self-portraits. Are they reflections of how you’re feeling at particular moments in your life or are they more like story-telling fiction?

Very often, I use my body in my photos because it is much simpler. I can express what is locked deep inside me so it’s not just science fiction but a lot more. Many of my photos are self-portraits, and not because I have a lot of self-esteem or because I’m a narcissist, but because it is also a way to make known to those who follow me my art as well as my world. Many of my images have very surreal concepts.

Travel in the earth's crustballoon----

You’re only 18 years old and your post-processing skills are already at a high-level. How did you acquire those skills? How does one get to your level?

My post-processing skills have come to this level with time and studying in school, but most of what I know are self-taught and through trial and error. I now have a very good grasp of photography programs because of that.

How much prep work do you do prior to a shoot?

time machine  (earliest works)history of a mirror






Often when I have a clear idea of what I need in the preparation, I spend a lot of time in finding the right outfit or niches. Many of the materials I use are vintage. The budget is very low so I have to use what I can find.

I’m sure many of your followers are curious about this. With most of your photographs, what’s the shooting and post-processing ratio? Your latest creation, for example, how much of it was manual and how much of it was added during digitally?

SONY DSCAll of these involve varying times. Using various images for post-processing is almost always long. I am very attentive to details. Many processes use many layers before you get the final result.

I prefer to photograph the first location to combine multiple shots in a higher resolution. Then I photograph my protagonist (subject) on a wall with a plain color, which helps me to erase the boundaries during editing. One must be careful in creating the right depth of field by blurring the elements. I like to emphasize the protagonist with focus, leaving the background out of focus and calibrating it perfectly with the secondary elements present.

As in my latest creation “Waterfall,” which is a digital composition in effect, I used the combination of elements like my portrait butterflies and a waterfall background that I added later through various levels.

As a photographer, what’s your biggest challenge/obstacle right now?


My challenge is to raise awareness to this type of photography in Italy and to especially be able to represent and transmit it to others. I would like to start earning money with my photography so I could live alone, be able to continue my studies, and to be able to afford travelling around the world to learn new languages and cultures and get to know many new people.

Any tips to aspiring photographers out there?

rain of tears-

My suggestions to other aspiring photographers are to never give up, to believe in what you do because that’swhat makes our lives beautiful and full of emotions, to be positive and look at life as a unique opportunity, and to play you available cards well to achieve your best goals.

What’s next for Giulio Musardo? Any upcoming projects or exhibitions you want our readers to know about?

Currently, I sell my images on Arcangel Images. I would, however, work for major magazines of great caliber, not only in Italy but also around the world.


Follow Giulio Musardo’s amazing surreal work on Flickr and/or on Facebook.

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