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I'm Virgilio Bardossi

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Virgilio Bardossi   MFIAP – EFIAP/d3 – IFI

Born in Fiesole (Florence-Italy).

He has always been fascinated by photography. He prefers black and white. Recognized by many people as a master of “dark room” and now of “clear room”. His photographic reportages are mainly collections of images, in which it is evident the human contact that he is able to establish with people. He has got several international awards and unanimous acknowledgements.

FIAP World Cups for Nations: 4 World Cups, 3 first prizes, 1 second prize, 2 HM and 2 World Cups with theme “The world’s children” and “Friendships and solidarity”; with individual Bronze Medal. 2008 FIAP World Cup for Clubs, 2016 Bronze Medal for clubs. 2019 Honorable Mention

Photo Nikon Contest awarded in 3 editions. Besides some books and calendars, he has published folders (numbered, signed and printed in limited edition).

2001 At the FIAP Congress of Prato “Portraits: Maramures end of millenium”.

2004 At the FIAP Congress of Budapest “The world of Maramures”, which has been regarded as the best of the conference; indeed, it earned him the honor of Maître FIAP in 2005.

2005 With other photographers, reportage on Tibet, which yielded the book “Focusing on Snow Land”.

2006 FIAP awarded him with the further honour EFIAP/p. A very few photographers in the world boast these two high credits: Maître FIAP and EFIAP/p. The Book “High water in Venice” is the only photographic book which describes the phenomenon of high water.

2007 FIAF awarded him as IFI (Italian Awarded Photographer).

2010 Graduation thesis of a Catania student “Virgilio Bardossi: Reportages from the world”.

2013 Anthological exhibition “1973-2013  40 years as amateur photographer”.

2015 With other photographers, photos for the book “IZMIR: Yarinlara bir miras”.

2016 Beijing Photo Festival

2017 Presentation book. “1995-2001 Maramures – 2016, back again. Same place, same people


The uniqueness of this work is to have put together the same groups of people at a distance of 15/21 years. This work is part of the archive of the Museum Satului of Sighetu Marmatiei

2018 FIAP Awarded him EFIAP/d1

2019 FIAP Awarded him EFIAP/d2

2020 FIAP Awarded him EFIAP/d3. Very few photographers in the world boast these 2 maxims honors EFIAP/d3 and  MFIAP


How charcoal is produced

The people who turn the wood into charcoal are the charcoal burners, and, as you can see from the photographs, fatigue, dust and heat are the factors that make this work hard and heavy to do. Whether due to climate change or because of their tiredness, they always work in the early hours of the day, sometimes in the evening at sunset. Never in the hot hours. This can also be seen from the different clothing. On winter days the charcoal burners do not work due to the climatic conditions. Cold, rain and frost do not allow them to carry out their work.


The execution of the photographic work that I am showing you was not easy; the reasons for this are to be found in the following problems: the shooting location is located in a mountainous area reachable along an impervious road of about 65 Km, the area in question is not covered by a cellular signal, so that the agreements made with the charcoal burners were approximate and not changeable by phone in case of impossibility to carry out the job. Due to this inability to communicate, I made some empty trips. The shooting sessions were not a “walk” as I often had to protect the camera from excessive dust and intense heat.


Indicative times needed for complete charcoal processing:

1) The wood comes from the woods cut by lumberjacks, always with a waning moon, in large trunks and crammed into capacious trucks. The wood is mainly beech (but also elm, ash and maple).

2) The charcoal burner makes a further cut into logs of about 1 meter and then arranges them radially, creating a formation of about 3-4 m in height and 6-8 m in diameter. Placement takes a day or two.

3) Another day is for covering with dry leaves, straw or hay and then all covered with sand, dirt and sawdust. When the woods are placed inside, in the center, they leave a space that functions as a combustion chamber with a tunnel on the ground that allows the oil-soaked pole to light the wood. The fire is constantly monitored to maintain smoldering combustion.

4) The wood burns for two, three weeks and even a month depending on the quantity of wood placed. Everything must burn slowly otherwise the charcoal becomes ash. The slow combustion guarantees an excellent quality of the charcoal. One of the techniques to see when the charcoal is ready is to check the color of the smoke, which must be blue and transparent. During carbonization, the wood decreases its volume by 40% and its weight by 80%. in the last few days other holes are drilled to complete the work.

5) When the hot charcoals are removed, they are placed in containers called “cooling” to lower the temperature and stop them burning by using the technique of not letting in air, oxygen. This technique is done by closing the containers with lids which are subsequently made airtight by placing sand mixed with dirt on the sides. This cooling process takes about two days.

6) Last step, the charcoal is placed in paper bags weighing 3 kg or 20 kg. The 3 kg bags are for household use (for grilling meat), while the 20 kg bags are for industrial use. This last stage of packaging requires approximately two to three days of work.

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”

-Henri Cartier-Bresson-


Pillar Of

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