Behind the Lens - Ale Di Lullo

Aug 4, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
Ale Di Lullo is an amazing mountain bike photographer from Lake Garda, Italy. I caught up with him at Crankworx and asked him a few questions about his life and his work.

Richie showed me this awesome spot in whistler one minute before the sun disapper. thanks buddy
  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My Name is Alessandro Di Lullo. But I prefer the short way that is Ale Di Lullo. I'm a 36 year old Italian guy that has tried to mix his passion for Mountain Biking, a degree in visual communication and multimedia design, the need to visit the world, and most importantly the need to buy food!
I was born and am still living on Lake Garda, Italy. It's an awesome place to live and great for riding with endless all-about-rocks trails on the north side where the big mountains are with trails that came from World War I and a great and technical XC-AM trail on the south side where the landscape is small hills that surround the Lake.
After a life spent in creative fields I lived, studied and worked as graphic designer in Milan for about 7 years, but the city life didn't fit at all with my vision of life... I had the chance to work as bartender in a crazy totally party-oriented small bar on Lake Garda and I took it... definitely five crazy years that give me the opportunity to buy photo gear, travel to events, and begin this photo thing!

This is probably the best angle for a fisheye shot that I ever find in a UCI event.
  How long have you been shooting photos?

I started to use the family camera, a pretty cool Minolta with just a standard zoom lens, when I was about 10... nothing special came out from that period, but makes me confident with all the photography processes, development as well, cause a couple of my parents' friends were totally nuts about photography at that time and they brought me with them sometimes in the field and in the dark room after seeing that I was showing a passion for photography.
When I was 15 my godfather from London, an artist himself, gift me a Praktica, not an awesome brand but it came with a huge set of lenses... That made me able to do a lot of experiments... especially shooting horse-jumping that at time was also my sport.
After that I have to say that I was kind of settle and a little bit fed up with all this film development and the timing that all the film photography needs.. so I forgot photography for several years... till I had a Canon Powershot G1 in my hands... 2001 if I remember properly... that was the rebirth of my passion and seeing also that I was working daily on software like Photoshop at the university.

a white sky day in Aptos. it was my first time there for the classic dirt jump jam after the Sea Otter. I find this angle with those flowers that make the composition not so bad.. and this was one of the best trick of the day. props to Greg Watts.
  How long have you been shooting mountain biking?

Since 2004, the first European Championship in Val Di Sole was my first event where I have been with a brand new EOS 20d just to see what was going on! And I suddenly had a published crash sequence!!

Bryn show all his rage after a crash during the final run of the UCI world championship in val di Sole 2008.
  Do you ride yourself? How does this effect your images?

Of course I ride... I'm doing this photography thing driven only by the passion!
I'm definitely not a fast or skilled rider, but I can have fun almost everywhere in downhill, and that is the only thing I'm looking for when I ride, having fun! I never got involved in any timed competition, I have a great respect for racers though.
I'm getting better at XC, and I've started to enjoy it... It's great training, but gravity is my passion.
I think that in sports photography is essential to know the sport you are shooting, and mountain biking is no exception.

Sam was the only rider to make his run in a perfect sunset light.. and it was the winning run as well.
  Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?

80% of my business is mountain bike related, but I occasionally make some road cycling stuff, studio things, some Motocross.

German slopestyler Amir Kabbani was the last rider to hit the quarter pipe exactly 30 seconds before the sun disappear behind the cathedral.
  Do you have another job as well or is it just photography?

I'm happily a full time photographer!

Aggy was definitely the king of whip on the opening day at Red Bull Rampage 2011. the sun made the rest
  What is your favorite thing to shoot?

I really love mountain biking shooting in general.. UCI events and big contests are awesome to shoot at, but Freeride in wild nature is the best thing!

the Crazy Frenchman aka Dirty Sanchez hit the 4X course in Maribor
  What kind of cameras do you use?

The Canon 5dmk2 is my favorite toy, no doubt! I just bought a 7d as well and it's a good camera, but very far from the 5... and I still have a 1Dmk2. Probably my favorite camera ever... It's a killing machine: fast as hell and still unbeatable in good light!! Definitely one of the milestones of sport photography in my opinion!

an unusual but awesome couple on the classic Ladies Only trail in the shore.
  Is there any other gear that you use frequently?

Lenses? Let's say that I cannot live without my 24, 70-200, 300mm and last but not least the 15mm fisheye! Some people think everybody can do a good photo with this lens, but I think this is very far from reality... the distortion factor makes most of the picture interesting, but easily boring... though it's very hard to make 'a really great picture'.
I used to shoot with flashes and my 1200w Hensel Porty works great when needed... but with the always growing technology that make possible to shoot in very poor light condition I am using flashes always less and less.

Kona Launch 2008 in Livigno Italy. Paul Bas hit the quarter pipe with a great style under the eyes of Chopper the Lacondeguy brothers and john Cowan. a piece of Kona History.
  Who are your main clients?

For sure Marzocchi has been my first big client and still is (thanks to Bryson, JP and no longer with them Franz Marzari), Cannondale and GT (One of the biggest group in the market with super-cool and friendly guys to work with... too many to mention but thanks mates!), the partnership with Tarek and Anne at Rasoulution is in its 5th year and still growing (thanks a lot guys!), Kona (I love all those guys!), O'Neal (Iris you rock!), Alpinestars is growing fast in the business and I'm super-happy to work for this International minded Italian Brand, Easton (thanks to Dain) and to complete the main clients IXS is last, but not least (thanks to Pascal).

after that day a lot of people begin to call the world famous UCI track with the name of Mudibor insted of Maribor.. but the englishman doesn t care.. always with a perfect style
  Anything else we should know about you?

This is getting boring, let the pictures do the talking!

the last two men on the mountain were me and Andreu when a very strong sand storm hit the Red Bull Rampage 2010. I had to bring my 5d for a professional cleaning twice
  The last two men on the mountain were Andreu and I when a very strong sand storm hit the Red Bull Rampage in 2010. I had to bring my 5d in for a professional cleaning twice!

the BMX contest had a big delay because of the rain. the last few runs was almost in the dark but a beautiful sunset and the reflection in the water gave me the chance to make one of my favourite shots ever.
  The BMX contest had a big delay because of the rain and the last few runs were almost in the dark, but a beautiful sunset and the reflection in the water gave me the chance to make one of my favorite shots ever.

the most remarkable moment of freeriding in 2010
  Cam Zink and the most remarkable moment of freeriding in 2010!

Lake Garda s local Freerider Hutch Olivieri riding the steep slope that goes on the Lake. one of the shot that I like more on my local trails.
  Lake Garda's local Freerider, Hutch Olivieri, riding the steep slope that goes down to the Lake. This is one of the shots that I like the most on my local trails.

Lance was one of the few riders that made the training on sunday morning before the finals... just a few second before a super strong traditional storm in Leogang. I had to run very fast with my big flash a few seconds after the shot
  Lance was one of the few riders that made the training on Sunday morning before the 26 TRIX finals... just a few seconds before a super strong traditional storm in Leogang. I had to run very fast with my big flash a few seconds after the shot to escape the rain!

Sam Hill in Maribor hit this turn at high speed and two things are really impressive the perfect style and the calm in his face.
  Sam Hill in Maribor hit this turn at high speed and two things are really impressive: the perfect style and the calm in his face.

I still can t believe I m shooting these living legends Daydream
  Richie Schley and Wade Simmons, I still can't believe I'm shooting this living legends: Daydream!

ah.. Maybe this could be funny for someone…the people at Marzocchi have given me the nickname of ‘Ale Capone’... Forget about it!


  • 9 0
 awesome photography, good work dude. i know how hard it is to try and make photography a full time job. youre super lucky to be able to just shoot bikes, tho im guessing its more hard work than luck. keep it up.
  • 5 0
 Great stuff, lots of awesome angles! Working full time is just a dream for me now but you never know. Ive heard its alot of hard work of course, but working mon-fri jobs can be too. Alot of people think its all fun n games, which its not always but it would be amazing to do this full time! Its all i think of anyways...
  • 7 0
 every single photo is amazing
  • 4 0
 Massive props Ale. I'm a full-time pro shooting mostly cars and motorbikes. The variety of shots here is wonderful. Keep up the great work! Smile
  • 1 0
 alessandro is the man got a chance to hang out with him at crankworx this year super funny, really cool to see an artical about him deffenently an amazing photographer!!
  • 2 0
 Wow! Great photography..... Every shot so inspiring! :-D
  • 1 0
 i tu są zdjęcia jakie powinny byc PODem a nie to co czesto ostatnio jest... ;]
  • 1 0
 Super work!! Keep the shutter snapping!! You just inspired me to go shoot more!!
  • 1 0
 Ale, those are some incredible shots! You definitely let the shots do the talking, brilliant work.
  • 1 0
 Great shots! Good on you, Ian, for helping/showcasing a fellow photographer. Top form.
  • 1 0
 I'm like, add to favourites, add to favourites, add to favourites, add to favourites.
  • 1 0
 I wanna ride now. Gulmarg, Kashmir for you next year? Wink
  • 1 0
 Yeah boy! Cheers from Munich Wink - Lars
  • 1 0
 I told you homeboy! you Rock...
  • 1 0
 Wow, so inspiring! Incredible shots also!
  • 1 1
 Amazing wot u can do with the right gear (and when your parents are loaded)
  • 1 0
 gr8 info n captures!
  • 1 0
 awesome photos !
  • 1 0

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