Photos by Elio Rimoldi, Shin & Chiaki Chiro, Ann Noschis, Desirée Astrom.

Franco Figari was born in Milan (Italy) in 1950; with a degree in Economy, he received in 1977 a Master in Memphis (USA) from the United States Department of Agriculture as a cotton classifier.
A passionate traveller and hiker, he is a freelance nature photographer and reporter (journalist). Around the world, on foot, by mountain bike, on a canoe, with snow shoes, he has always been fond of trips “on the road” but his interest for nature and wilderness photography took shape around 1985, when he left his working activity in the cotton and textile business, considered to be too sedentary. This led him to discover and capture, with the lens of his camera, the hidden beauties of a still untouched environment.

His interests include rock and folk music, of which he is an expert and a collector since the Sixties. Among his extravagances, the passion for frisbee understood as a sport. He has been one of the pioneers in Italy and Europe as a player and as an organiser.
Studies in the States, the interest for music and setting out on journeys to concerts, the passion for frisbee as a sport activity with the participation to International Championships in Europe and in the States, the pursuit of a deep contact with nature and outdoor life helped to increase his curiosity as a traveller and his restless wish to move more and more.

Married to a Finnish lady, with a son and a daughter, bilingual, he has become a great expert of Scandinavian Countries and mostly of Finland where he has visited almost all National Parks and all major protected areas.
He is the author of “Sentieri della Finlandia”, the first and only hiking guide that covers the entire Finnish territory as a result of many years of passionate work spent walking hundreds kilometres up and down the Land of 180,000 lakes, discovering most hidden corners. He has also collaborated with the Finnish Tourist Board, with Finnair and with the Finnish Forestry Department, publishing calendars, guides and books.
He has been editor-in-chief of “La Rivista del Trekking” (an Italian hiking magazine) and has collaborated with many nature/travelling and tourism magazines. Nowadays he concentrates his activity mostly on landscape and animals photography.
The spirit of adventure and the need for the wilderness have brought him to search for some of the most remote places on Earth, with a prefererence for landscape photography of great spaces. He has also been attracted by the lights and white magic of cold Countries such as the Arctic and Antarctic regions, however, without renouncing the possibility of visiting the extensive stretches of tropical and subtropical lands during his numerous journeys around the world.

Among the most remarkable naturalistic voyages undertaken in the last few years: the hiking excursion to K2 camp bases in Pakistan with the cleaning expedition of all camps on the Baltoro glacier; the sleddog expedition in Greenland in the Disko Bay area; Svalbard islands in winter and summer time; the trip to Antarctica on the pack-ice of Weddell Sea in search of the Emperor Penguin; the complete rafting expedition (over 360 kilometres) on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in Arizona; the expedition to South Georgia, in the land of king penguins, on the tracks of famous explorer Shackleton; the expedition to Alaska into the wilderness of Katmai National Park to photograph grizzly bears fishing for salmons in the rivers; winter travelling in Yellowstone National Park, USA searching for wolves, bison and coyotes in the snow.

His photos, published on books and magazines and sold as prints, calendars and postcards, are also used to furnish studios, meeting halls, shops, offices, medical centers and for setting panels in stands at fairs. Several have been the slide shows held in Italy and Finland and the exhibitions held in Italy.


Analog photo equipment

  • Camera body: 35mm Contax MT167
  • Zoom lenses: Zeiss (ranging from wide-angle 18 to 300)
  • Panoramic camera: 6x12 Noblex Pro 6/150 U
  • Film: Fuji Velvia 50
  • Filters employed: B+W polarizer and ND filter

Digital photo equipment

  • Camera body: Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Zoom lenses: Canon (ranging from wide-angle 14 to 300)
  • Extender: EF 1.4x II

Awards

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2010
    7th Place – “Landscapes” Category

  • International Nature Photography Competition Asferico 2011
    5th Place – “Mammals” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2011
    11th Place – “Landscapes” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2012
    Finalist – “Landscapes” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2012
    Finalist – “Landscapes” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2013
    Nomination – “Landscapes” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2014
    Finalist – “Landscapes” Category

  • Casentino Forests National Park – “Lights and Colours in the Park” Photo Contest
    Finalist – “Plants and Mushrooms” Category

  • Casentino Forests National Park – “Lights and Colours in the Park” Photo Contest
    Finalist – “Compositions and Shapes” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2015
    Finalist – “Mammals” Category

  • Oasis International Photo Contest 2017
    Highlight



With his photographic equipment and livelihood to survive in the wilderness of the Finnish Lapland.
(Photo by Marcello Libra)



With Hannu Hautala, pioneer of nature photography.
(Photo by Marcello Libra)



Irish wilderness.
(Photo by Cristina Figari)



Towards North Cape, Norway.
(Photo by Roberto Mazzagatti)



Towards North Cape, Norway.
(Photo by Roberto Mazzagatti)



On field in Iceland in winter.
(Photo by Marcello Libra)



On field in Iceland in winter.
(Photo by Marcello Libra)



On field in Iceland in winter.
(Photo by Marcello Libra)



In the Icelandic glaciers.
(Photo by Roberto Mazzagatti)



In Riisitunturi National Park, Finland.
(Photo by Francesco Figari)



In Riisitunturi National Park, Finland.
(Photo by Francesco Figari)



Trustworthy assistants.



Val d’Orcia, Tuscany.
(Photo by Daniel Vyhnal)



Autumn in the Public Gardens of Milan.



Isle of Bornholm, Denmark.
(Photo by Mario Pinoli)



In Hannu Hautala’s shed, taking photos of woodpeckers in the Arctic Circle.



Climbing towards the camp with provisions. Risitunturi National Park, Finland.
(Photo by Roberto Mazzagatti)



Risitunturi National Park, Finland.
(Photo by Roberto Mazzagatti)



Shed for photographing bears on the Finnish-Russian border.



Relaxing outside my tent on the Baltoro glacier, Pakistan.
(Photo by Mario Pinoli)



Excursion to the hut in Riisitunturi National Park, Finland.
(Self-timed shot)



On the hills of Riisitunturi, Finland.



On the road in Death Valley, California, USA.
(Photo by Francesco Figari)



Autumn in Val Bregaglia, Switzerland.
(Photo by Ann Noschis)



Overlooking the bends of the Kitkajoki river, Finnish Lapland.
(Photo by Nicola Rainò)



In Antarctica with the Emperor Penguin.
(Photo by Desirée Astrom)



With a baby seal on the frozen sea, Québec, Canada.
(Photo by Shin & Chiaki Chiro)



With the horses in Camargue.
(Photo by Daniel Vyhnal)