Interview with Giulio D’Ercole

While not off to deep Africa or New York, Giulio D’Ercole is one of Rome Photography Workshops tour leaders. His passion for meeting new people and patience in exploring his native Rome are immediately felt in his presence. He specializes in Morning Light – as early as you like (even 5 am!); Evening Light; Monuments and Architecture; and Portraits. Read more about him here.

Giulio D’Ercole, Lake Turkana, Kenya. Photo by Marco Pieroni. 2009.
How long have you lived in Rome?

I lived in Rome since my birth in February 17th,1961. Though I also lived in Perugia for one year when I was attending my first year at the University, I lived six months in Germany, three months in Los Angeles, six years in New York from 1997 to 2003, and from 2003 to 2014 in Kenya. In 2014 I came back to Rome where I reside now.

Where are the top places you traveled and photographed in the world?

The places I photographed the most are the rural areas in Africa, all countries of Eastern Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Congo, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, South Sudan and South Africa. I also travelled extensively in the USA, especially in the Southwest, in Mexico and Costa Rica. Since 2014, I have been taking lots of photos in Rome.

Who was your top influence / teacher of photography?

I am pretty much of a self learner, but I definitely improved a lot when I went for three trips in three different countries in Africa together with who I consider my mentor, Marco Pieroni.

What is the trickiest part about doing photography in Rome?

Well, it really depends on the kind of photography one is focusing on. There are plenty of opportunities to those that want to do street photography. Lots of good work can be done also on food photography, but this requires some sort of arrangements with restaurants, food shops, bars etc. Architecture photography also offers zillions of opportunities, but it requires to know very well the position of the sun in the various times of day and one must take in consideration that Rome is always overcrowded with people and tourists, so it is very difficult to take clean shots…. unless one goes very early in the morning or in the middle of the night.

What is your favorite thing to shoot in Rome?

I do like to take photos of sculptures and their details, some church interiors, night shots and street photography.

Who are your favorite photographers?

My number one is Sebastiao Salgado, but I also like Steve McCurry, naturally Henri Cartier-Bresson, some war reporters and recently I saw some amazing work from Luca Sola, Christopher Swann and many others. Photography can take so many different angles and each one has its masters. Though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What are your go-to cameras ?

Nikon, but I also appreciate the warmth of the Canon colors.

What time of day do you prefer to shoot?

Very early morning and deep night.

Are there any places or monuments in Rome that are harder than others to get good shots?

All big monuments are difficult. Challenges though are represented not only by their size but also by their position and the structures around them.

What should someone visiting Italy simply not miss?

Rome, Venice, Sardinia, Dolomites, Chianti Region, Positano, Cinque terre, a gastronomic tour in the Parma Region.

What is your personal favorite shot of Rome with one line about how you captured it.
Love at the time of selfies. ©Giulio D’Ercole.
This captures on camera all the romanticism of an intimate moment…. an intimacy though that today, in these modern times, will not last for long because that kiss will be soon shared on social media…. love for “sale”, as the title of an old great jazz song goes.
Where can one see your photography?

My website, not updated, is

Finally, where is your favorite place for gelato in Rome?

Giolitti near the Pantheon.