Walter Zerla

A Photographer, a Lake, a Dream: Giving new life to images

Walter Zerla   |   Omegna, Italy

Walter Zerla


We met Walter Zerla in his studio in Omegna in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. His glamorous, minimalistic look quickly outs him as a perfectionist, particularly when it comes to the creation of images of quality and significance. Zerla is an internationally renowned professional photographer boasting an outstanding career in advertising, fashion and design. When asked about his inspirations for his extraordinary photography, he said:

“I'm lucky enough to live in a wonderful place, between Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore. My images speak of this: of my region.”

photographer snapshot
The photographer at Lake Maggiore, capturing a snapshot of his region.

Zerla's vision is one of vivid and visceral photography. He aims to capture the physicality of the image, which, in a world that is becoming more and more oriented towards the virtual, is a dying art. From this viewpoint, he came up with the idea of printing his photographs directly onto new materials, opening up a world of experimentation through digital printing. At first, he had some hesitation, questioning:

“Is it possible for an image printed directly onto a material to faithfully reproduce the tones and the depth of the colors as well as an image printed on paper and then applied to the material?”

So, he did some research and became fascinated by the world of UV printing. After evaluating several brands, he found a solution that allowed him to achieve the results and the emotional effect that he wanted: the Roland DG VersaUV LEC2-640S-F300. Some of the features that he most appreciates about the S-Series UV printer are its very high-fidelity color reproduction, level of detail and colorimetry.

backlit prints
Backlit prints made with the Roland DG VersaUV LEC2 S Series, from photographs depicting Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore.

“We give new life to the images with this splendid layer of ink. These images have become living objects again,” said Zerla.

“We give new life to the images with this splendid layer of ink. These images have become living objects again.”

The combination of CMYK, orange and red EUV5 inks included with the printer feature first-class pigments for uncompromising reproduction of tonal transitions and color ranges. The device that Zerla chose has allowed him to expand his range of products and create new applications: backlit prints, large-format canvasses, decorative panels and glowing lamps. He has developed interior design applications for offices, showrooms, hotel rooms and trade show exhibitions. Of particular interest for his business is the option to print and reproduce his extraordinary photographs of water effects on plexiglass.

plexiglass panels
A UV print of a Walter Zerla photograph on plexiglass panels.

“I can freeze the water while it is falling on a model's skin and portray it via the transparency of the plexiglass,” said Zerla.

During our visit, Zerla also focused on Roland DG's technical support, which is essential for optimizing the device's potential. Zerla emphasized how happy he has been with the support. This isn't just because of the knowledge and experience that Roland DG's technicians have. It's also because of the positive connection that grows between people who are passionate about visual communication. This is something that goes beyond mere sales and encompasses Zerla's satisfaction in seeing his works reproduced exactly as he intended.

color rendering of the print
The photographer checks the color rendering of the print, produced on the VersaUV LEC-2.

“This technology has allowed a novice user like me to achieve incredible results right from the start,” he said.

“This technology has allowed a novice user like me to achieve incredible results right from the start.”

This Roland DG S-Series devices can immediately print onto a wide range of surfaces and objects up to a thickness of 20cm, allowing Walter to seamlessly move into multiple sectors, expanding his business opportunities into areas that were previously unthinkable. Finally, the photographer bids us farewell with an interesting thought:

“Ultimately, the greatest satisfaction is creating real windows into environments, giving them new life thanks to the quality and beauty of the images obtained using a Roland DG printer.”