"I like this picture because it sums up the way I work. Most days I go out in my car, looking for animals to photograph. One day, in 2007, I was driving through a small village in Umbria in Italy, and I saw a white dove. I stopped and got out to photograph it, but the bird flew away.
On my way back to the car, I stumbled over a dog that started barking at me from behind a wire-mesh fence. It had amazing blue eyes, but I think it was blind because it couldn't look in a straight line; its eyes were crossed. As the dog couldn't see, the noise of the camera shutter was making him crazy – that was why he got so angry. But the noise of the shutter is actually very important to me when I photograph animals: I use it to startle them, and get a reaction. I love animals. I grew up on a farm in Italy, and spent much of my childhood playing with animals. That's why I like to push the lens when I photograph them; it's a way of touching them, just like when I was a child.
I spend a lot of time looking for animals. They are always surprising: the way they move is unpredictable, so there is something different about each one. Taking an animal picture is almost like filing an individual scientific report.
It was about 10 in the morning when I took this photograph. The light was coming from behind me. There was a tree that protected the scene from direct sunlight, allowing me to take the picture with a beautiful diffused light. I didn't use any kind of filter, nor did I have to do anything to the image the dark-room. I took eight or nine shots on black-and-white film, and I was just lucky the dog's eyes were lit so well."