Massimo Sestini


All the photographs featured Z E N I T H series represent a very rare example of zenithal images of Italian landscapes and the human actions that modifies them. Aside from Sestini’s unusual ability of shooting such detailed images while been on board of a helicopter, in Italy, unlike in other countries, you need a number of legal special permission to fly over residential areas and city centres.

Every flight is preceded by a phase of preliminary study when Massimo Sestini identifies the specific areas where he intends to shoot his photographs or the natural and architectural elements that he means to highlight. These photographs taken from an helicopter at a height of over 2000 meters, surprisingly help us to discover some details from our daily life that would remain otherwise unnoticed. It is this very zenithal perspective to give them a new visibility. Even though Sestini’s images convey a sense of frozen reality, they have been taken while moving at 200 kilometres per hour.

Thanks to his years’ long experience, Massimo Sestini, leaned out of a helicopter door, is able to capture such vivid visions. The Italian most renowned coasts and their natural wonders, some olive trees that are centuries old and the tomatoes fields in Apulia, the urban landscapes immersed in a futuristic light. Under Massimo Sestini’s lenses, they all become unique, nearly abstract, patterns.


Tutte le fotografie della serie Z E N I T rappresentano un rarissimo esempio...
<i>Z E N I T H</i><span>Read</span>
Massimo Sestini was born in Prato (Florence) in 1963. Self-taught, he started taking pictures while he was still in high school, photographing rock concerts.

His first scoops were published in 80s: the portrait of Licio Gelli while he was taken into prison in Geneva (for his role in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal and his leading role in the lodge Propaganda Due); the images of the Train 904 bombing - also known as the Christmas Massacre, December 23, 1984 - that made him achieve his first international cover on Stern.

Sestini was the only photographer able to access Stefano Casiraghi’s funeral in Monte Carlo; he shot the first photograph of Lady Diana wearing a bikini in Sardinia in 1991; he witnessed the Moby Prince disaster (a major naval accident resulting in 140 deaths); he is the author of the aerial pictures of the murder of judges Falcone and Borsellino in 1992.

In the 90s, he collaborated with most of the major Italian and international agencies and worked with the most important news magazines. Aerial pictures developed in a permanent feature and became his trademark, this is clearly evident in his famous photographs of the Jubilee in 2000, the G8 in Genoa in 2001, the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005.

By 2014 Sestini started focusing his visual research on zenithal perspectives, producing photographs that are taken from a point perfectly perpendicular to the subject portrayed. This type of images led him to change his approach to photography and he embarked on several long term serial projects.

2014 represented a...