As part of mental Health Awareness week 2022, we’re looking at your stories, and how photography can lift us up when we most need it. Here, Marco Tancredi (opens in new tab) is sharing his account of how taking photos helped him after an accident almost caused him to lose his eyesight.
I've always had a passion for photography, but I only started to practise seriously at the age of 25, when my girlfriend at the time gave me one as a present. Despite many hours of practice, it was only a few years ago that I started to develop a stronger bond with this wonderful tool, in particular following a serious accident that almost caused me to lose my eyesight.
From that moment on photography became an instrument of observation, analysis and description. It’s a means in which to share my journey and the challenges I and many others have faced. Even today, three years after my first surgery, I have not completely recuperated the sight of one eye yet, but I can say, without doubt, that my life has greatly improved, despite everything. I always say that science and medicine has saved me, but nature has healed me.
When you experience a dramatic moment in your life, you cannot always maintain your balance. When I almost lost my sight, I had to spend a lot of time at home; I felt caged and didn’t know how to get out. But when I visited this wood and raised my camera towards the canopy, I realized – even if I didn’t yet know how – I would find the necessary light to get up and keep going, despite the darkness that dominated me.
I took this image thanks to someone I met while walking through a forest in Basilicata. He directed me to a place atop a mountain on which he had positioned a statue of Our Lady and Child. He had found the sculpture abandoned in a fountain within the city, where it had been covered in moss over time. It now sits and admires a beautiful view from the mountain. When I saw how the setting sun aligned with the statue, I perceived a new strength. For the first time in my life, perhaps, I felt faith in a very powerful way.
Piana del Lago is one of the most beautiful places in Basilicata. Situated just a few kilometres from the city, it’s possible to get away from the urban chaos and immerse yourself in nature. I love visiting the area immediately after a heavy snowfall, with the idea of meeting no one and admiring the mantle of snow.
The lake was starting to freeze and only a small patch of water was left. I used this mirror to capture a beautiful reflection of the surrounding forest. It’s said that the best shots are those that do not require a lot of editing and I believe that to be true.