Heavy to Get Light to Hold
Panning for gold
by Simon J. David
About the Book
Carlo Tabarelli, 82, fought against the fascist regime in Italy as a "partigiano" in the Second World War. He worked as a technical consultant in China during the Tiananmen Square riots and has travelled extensively. However, he most enjoys panning for gold, a long arduous method of shifting earth and stones to find flecks of gold. He started practicing at a tender age for extra cash. He pans on the river Elvo in Northern Italy, an area of flat plains and Alpine mountains, where the Romans originally used slave workers to search for gold. The day starts early, carrying all the equipment; shovel, buckets, bowls, shifter, and a step-board to the river bank. Franca, his wife brings a large Italian hamper, complete with a bottle of Carlo's homemade wine. He then clears a patch of the river bank making a dam to control the river flow, so as to trap the flecks of gold on the ridges of the step-board. After a long day he is satisfied with a few flecks of gold and decides to pack up and go home for dinner with Lily the dog. Besides panning for gold he labors in his orchard and rides the big cruise ships with his wife, exploring ancient and modern lands.
Simon Joseph Vincenzo David is a young documentary photographer who has travelled extensively throughout the world. Among his assignments to date include reportage and documentary work covering the plight of children in Africa, Royal Marine officer training prior to deployment in Afghanistan, bare-knuckle boxing in rural England, and panning for gold in northern Italy. He initially studied in Switzerland, moving to New York where he studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is currently studying for a degree in Press & Editorial Photography at University College in Cornwall, UK. Although primarily motivated by documentary work, he is an accomplished fashion and portrait photographer and is also currently working with sound and moving image to increase the power and depth of his photojournalistic work.