Carlo Bagavnoli with camera (Photo by Carlo Bagavnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Carlo Bagavnoli with camera (Photo by Carlo Bagavnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection via Shutterstock)

Born in Piacenza, Italy, Carlo Bavagnoli (1932-present) was heading for a career in law when he met the storied LIFE photographer David Douglas Duncan at the Milan opera house, La Scala. Duncan explained his craft to Bavagnoli, who was fascinated by this “new means of expression, new means by which I might see the world.” Bavagnoli first trained his camera on the streets of Rome, and his neo-realistic post-war pictures were the frozen-frame equivalents of Rossellini’s films, and they often graced the pages of the Italian journal Epoca. Whenever Bavagnoli felt he had gotten something particularly right—his shots of the laughing Luisa Pierotti, for instance—he went to the editors in LIFE’s Rome bureau; he finally joined the magazine’s staff in 1964. Since then, he has also made television documentaries. Hearkening back to his fateful meeting at La Scala, he specializes in films on classical musicians.

—Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

LIFE cover published on March 29, 1968 featuring Actress Jane Fonda wearing a space-age costume for title role in Roger Vadim's film "Barbarella." (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The LIFE cover for the March 29, 1968 issue, featuring Jane Fonda wearing a space-age costume for title role in Roger Vadim’s film “Barbarella.”

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A group of driver ants in Africa. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A group of driver ants in Africa. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Fireworks during the Festival of the Fallas in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Fireworks during the Festival of the Fallas in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)


More Like This

A pilot looking out the window of a plane. (Photo by Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Bill Ray

Women marching in New York at the Women's Strike for Equality, a march in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. (Photo by John Olson/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

John Olson

Children in blitzed north of England eating meal from bread and Lease Lend cheese. (Photo by Hans Wild/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Hans Wild

Prisoners at San Quentin weightlifting in prison yard during recreation period. (Photo by Charles Steinheimer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Charles Steinheimer

Sassy, plump baby chicks heralding the spring. (Photo by Wallace Kirkland/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Wallace Kirkland

Tarsiers,an animal native to Indonesia and Philippines, eating a lizard alive. (Photo by Sam Shere/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Sam Shere