Gabriele Croppi is an Italian photographer born in 1974. His recent work focuses on cityscapes using high contrast. By allowing parts of the picture to become completely black the subject is isolated and pops out in very interesting ways. He has photographed in Italy, New York and other parts of Europe, like London and Moscow. New York seems to me like the strongest group of images, in part because of the stillness he imparts on the city, but also because most of them feel more natural than some of the images in Europe. It is easier for me suspend disbelief that Croppi just stumbled into this situation rather than set it up. Why this matters, I’m still trying to figure out. Usually it wouldn’t make a difference to me whether the images were staged or not, and given the theatric aesthetic of the images it even makes sense to set them up, however the ones that feel more staged seem to lose some of the emotional weight that the dramatic lighting conveys. The more interesting images are the ones that combine the playful juxtaposition of elements of a street photography tradition, with the more contemplative aspects of landscape photography and the type of aesthetic experimentation typical of someone like Ray Metzker.