“Reflections from the Past” is a photographic exploration in the heart of Tirino valley in Italy, ending with a dive in the crystal clear waters of the Capodacqua lake.
The lake of Capodacqua is located in the Gran Sasso National Park and Laga Mountains, surrounded by unspoiled nature of vast archaeological interest. The cold and pristine water that feeds the lake comes straight from Gran Sasso along a 27km-long limestone path. The lake hosts two submerged Middle-age windmills and a partly emerged paint manufacturer, located on the edge of the basin. This year the lake was included by Sport Diver among the 50 Best Dive Sites in the World.
“Reflections from the Past” is a photographic book about Nature, history and culture. But ,even more, it is also an opportunity to tell a story about a positive change, a “journey” that each of us can undertake once in a life.
My personal journey begins a few years ago, and water symbolizes the dividing line between my first and second life. Water was the conduit for introspection that led me to renew and become aware of the true and balancing essence of my soul when, at the age of 36, the passion for diving exploded inside of me; the romantic, utopian dreamer of my youth came alive again.
Taking underwater photographs immediately revealed to me, a lover of the visual arts, a suitable way to show a new balance in my life; photography and diving was at first a catharsis and affirmation, and then became the tool to profess my infinite love for the sea and the creatures that inhabit it.
In recent years I have had the chance to travel extensively, and I am committed to sharing my past experiences to capture through observance some of the most threatened aquatic species on the planet. I have used these photos in competitions and publications, but until now I had failed to see in my work a common essence on which to base a project and articulate all that is required in the creation of a book.
The desire to go further, to leave the first tangible evidence of my passion for water and photography was very strong. As often happens, sometimes what is hidden right before our eyes is unexpectedly revealed: the lake of Capodacqua.
I have been diving in Capodacqua since 2011, but it was only this year that I realized this magical place, rich in history and charm, was the ideal place to begin my photographic journey. The crystal clear waters of this lake are the perfect means to seek out and discover yourself, a place where peace and tranquillity gives the opportunity for the spirit to grow.
Capodacqua is a unique place, and although well-known by underwater photographers, no one has ever made it the subject of an articulated work. Its proximity to Rome gave me a chance to immerse myself seamlessly and eagerly. The submerged watermills are the most famous, but in combing the lake inch-by-inch I had the ability to find my voice. It was here, in the quiet solitude of the cold waters of the lake, that I finally found the way to interpret myself, the key to the title of my book.
So, “Reflections from the Past” is a book where the reader can find an obvious photographic line that connects all my work: those of reflections of the images on the separate surfaces of water and air.
Even more so, the reflections on Capodacqua seem to come from the past: the stones of the old mills that are reflected on the surface of the crystal waters of the lake tell of a unique area, of saints and warriors, popes and princes, give the perception of something that was, that no longer exists, yet continues to exist through a transformation, immersed in a dreamlike dimension. The suggestion is to perceive only the reflection, while the object and story belong to the past.
As such, “Reflections from the Past” is also a story of extraordinary Italian history, a contribution to the recovery of the central role that our country has always had and deserves to have in world culture.
Reflection is in the end an instrument “of reflection”, a mirror to past fears and troubles, for which the exploration of Capodacqua and its surrounding areas is a “journey” whose powers of suggestion become encapsulated and processed in a symbolic way. The final goal is the achievement of a positive thought, peaceful, calm and as clear as the lake’s water; the communion with water being the road to rescue, the map to discovery of what is true and real in life.
A “journey” that everyone should take.
WORDS and PICTURES by David Salvatori
Where to buy
- Online on www.reflectionsfromthepast.com
- Diving SUBAIA CAMPANIA DIVERS – Bacoli (NA) – Italy
- Scuola Sommozzatori ATLANTIDE – Capodacqua Lake (AQ) – Italy
- Diving AMICI DEGLI ABISSY – Castellamare di Stabia (NA) – Italy
About the Author
David Salvatori started underwater photography in 2008. Since 2011 he is participating in the most important national and international competitions, achieving many recognitions and awards.
His main interest is around nature photography and conservation issues, to which devotes his travels around the world. In recognition of his activities and awareness of some of the most endangered species of the planet, he was selected as a member of the Ocean Artist Society in 2015.
David’s website: www.ilmaresonoio.com