Abandoning his office job at an architecture firm, amateur photographer Marco Sgarbi spent three years as a shepherd in the Tuscan Hills outside of Siena. As a passionate photographer since childhood, it came naturally to document his life as a sheep farmer in the small village of Radicondoli. This town of just under 1,000 inhabitants carries on the tradition of sheep farming across hills that steam due it being a geothermal region.
“It’s a world that is disappearing, one made of hard work but also great satisfaction, in an almost pristine environment.” Sgarbi shares. “I was dedicated to the production of raw sheep’s milk and every day I grazed 250 sheep, in the company of my five Maremma sheepdogs, through beautiful pastures. All this in the evocative setting of the metalliferous Tuscan hills.” Sgarbi’s images, mostly devoid of humans, show a deep relationship with the animals that accompany him daily, as well as the bonds between animals. His constant presence in the fields allows us to marvel at the countryside from misty mornings to fiery sunsets.
Enjoying the almost ominous feel of his photographs, Sgarbi often intentionally underexposes his shots in order to pull out a darker element. Having since left behind his days as a sheep farmer, Sgarbi is currently traveling the world and documenting it as he goes. You can follow his progress on Flickr.
All images via Marco Sgarbi.