Hi, EyeEm Simone Cento

By Severin - 7 min read

We’re thrilled to introduce: Simone Cento. Hailing out of Milazzo, Italy, Simone is a ship agent by profession who travelled the world. His dream: to dedicate himself completely to photography and shoot the streets of New York 16 hours a day.

We’re thrilled to introduce: Simone Cento. Hailing out of Milazzo, Italy, Simone is a ship agent by profession who travelled the world. His dream: to dedicate himself completely to photography and shoot the streets of New York 16 hours a day. In this little feature, we get to know Simone’s background, his stories from the sea and a few tips & tricks on how he shoots..

Hi there! Why don’t you introduce yourself: who are you, how old are you,where do you come from, what do you and how was your day today?

Hi EyeEm! My name is Simone Cento, 36 years old, coming from Milazzo, a35.000 citizen town in North-East Sicily (Southern Italy). I work in a ShipAgency and my day was pretty busy, but I like my job. So all is good so far!

In your photo stream we see photos from Italy, France, Amsterdam, thesea… do you travel a lot?

Oh yes! Travelling is great and I used to travel a lot since I waspretty young. Malta, Spain, Germany, Croatia, different Italian places allin my teenage time. A pity I was not addicted to photography at that time. Inthe last 4 years I commenced again travelling a lot together with mygirlfriend (and wife since 2 years!): Egypt, Mauritius, France, Netherlands,Germany again. I lived some years in Munich too. Great experience.

And I’m planning my next trip… but I’ve still to decide which will be thenext destination. I’ve in mind Iceland, Portugal, Ireland, NY City and manyothers. We’ll see…

We see that you’re also shooting with a professional DSLR camera. What’s**the difference in shooting with your phone for you?**

I shoot with a Canon 7D today and I commenced this wonderfulexperience called photography 3 years go with a 450D and the standard18-55mm lens. But I’m glad to have discovered mobile photography oneyear ago when I bought my iPhone 4. My approach to photography changed andnow I can dedicate myself really everyday to photography.

Before it wasn’t thateasy. I had the chance to photograph only during my freetime or travelling.Mobile photography is a great opportunity. Really. I can tell you THAT nowadaysthe 75% of my photos are realized with iPhone 4 and I can’t complain aboutgeneral quality, pixels and all the other stuff. It’s purephotography. I love it.

My Canon 7D is dedicated to organized trips and planned photowalks. For allthe rest I shoot with my iPhone4 and sometimes with an old analogic FujiSTX-2. It’s another great zone I’m exploring of this amazing world that’s photography.

We love this series on the ship. What’s the story behind it?

Thank you guys! Appreciate you liked it. These 3 pictures somehow explainmy work. I’m a ship agent and often I’ve to board on Motorvessels in theport of Milazzo. It’s a great opportunity to realize photos, obviously withmy iPhone4. Can you imagine a ship agent going on board vessels with hisDSLR camera? No way man. The 3 shots here have been realized before cominginside the vessel. It’s a motortanker (ships loading/discharging crudeoil orother products like gasoil, gasoline, fuel oil).

I shot more photos insidebut I don’t use to publish the 100% of the photos I take.This one, for example, is a “stolen portrait” realized during my stay onboard together with the Master.I found him a great subject and with a bit of experience and luck I managedto capture him working on the desk.

I would really love to make a reportage about the life on board, but the best would be sailing with them for a week or so. And this is not reallypossible. Seamen have all a story to tell; most of them are particularly“closed” and they don’t love to be photographed. So it’s definitely not an easy project to realize.

If you were an animal, which one would you be?

Nice question! And for this question I’ve 2 replies. The animal I’d liketo be: a cat. I’m fascinated by their attitude, their elegance and the waythey play their life. But… the animal I would be for sure is a bull. I’vea “volcanic” character and the bull is exactly the kind of animal I would beat 100%.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

There are at most 2 sources for my inspiration: people and sea. If youtake a look to my stream you’ll find that the sea is a constant theme/subject/element of my photos. This depends obviously from the place Iwas born. Milazzo is an “earth tongue” inside the Mediterranea Sea. We’ve 2long coasts. Sea is everywhere here.

The street is an infinite source of inspiration for me. I love to capturelife’s momentS, faces, actions.This is the reason why I would love to visit NewYork for example. Alone, for 7 days. I won’t care about Brooklyn, Manatthan andother touristic places to visit. I would stay 16 hours per day on the streetmaking photos.Capturing daylife scenes.

Do you have a favorite quote from someone, a motto or, say, a philosophyin life?

“Live and let live” – Everyone has the right to live his life as he wishes(respecting others obviously). I don’t like people commenting, discussingothers lifes.

What are your top 3 tips for taking photos?

  • Be relaxed! Take your mind out from daily problems/stuff and expressyourself. Take it easy and shoot shoot shoot!

  • Many people think a good camera = good photography. WRONG! Don’t losetime and use everything that gives you the chance to realize your photography. Acheap oneuseonly camera, a toycamera, an old analogic, a wonderful DSLR oryour mobilephone. It’s the only thing you need. All the rest is YOU! Yourmind, your heart, your sensibility.

  • Be curious!!! Don’t stop experimenting, observing life around you, shareyour passion and learn from others. Express yourself and enjoy this greatexperience called photography.

  • These are my 3 tips. I dont love to give “technical” tips. I prefer “approachtips” to photography. At least is the way I approached it and I’ll do in thefuture.

    What are your projects & dreams for the future?

    Well I would really love to build a family so my most important project for thefuture is surely becoming father. It’s really what I wishin this moment more than everything else.Talking about photography, as written, I would really like (but it’s a realdream) to dedicate my “working time” at 100% to photography and realize oneor two projects I’ve in mind.

    This would be really wonderful.Maybe 1 or 2 months travelling and concentrating my attention to one or twoof my planned projects. Yeah that would be my little dream.

    Thank you for the interview, Simone! If you like what you’re seeing, follow Simone and flick through Milazzo for more.