The Robert Santafede Mystery

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the works of the photographer Robert Santafede. In July 2012 the activity on his website and all his other online profiles (Google+, twitter etc) came to a halt and since then he’s been silent. I’ve tried to contact him through email, his website, facebook and Google+ without any luck.

Robert Santafede - too dark park

Robert Santafede – «too dark park»

Robert and I were blogger friends: we used to visit each others blogs and comment on each others photos. One of the things that I loved about his photography was that he mastered the play between light and darkness and his photos had this kind of dark undertone to them.

I have no idea what has happened to Robert, suddenly he was quiet. Sometimes I wonder about it (and I know that I’m not the only one) – even though I just knew him through our blogs. Robert wasn’t very active in his blog over a long period of time, from December 2011 to July 2012, so it’s possible that he just grew tired of blogging and photographing – a lot of people do, and the majority of blogs never get older than a year or two before they start gathering dust in one of the many dark and forgotten corners of the internet.

But, I’m getting suspicious when all his accounts went silent around the same time and they’ve been quiet ever since… It’s weird how you feel connected to people who you really don’t know. I guess that “the new technology” (computers and internet aren’t really that new) does bring people closer in some ways – even the ones that we don’t know.

So, what happened to Robert? Did he die, did he gave up the internet, moved to a place without connection, got locked up in jail, had an accident and forgot all his passwords? A lot of things can happen in life and I don’t have the answer to these questions.
Robert, if you read this: I hope that you’re doing well.       

Here’s a gallery with some of Robert’s works. You can see more in the links below the gallery. All the photos in this post belongs to Robert Santafede (obviously).


52 thoughts on “The Robert Santafede Mystery

      • You did a good thing writing about him. I really like his work but there is indeed something dark in it. If I remember correctly he was taking off towards Oregon on a hike. Sounding to me like starting something new. I do hope he is allright and doing what he wants to do.

        • It’s good to hear that you think it was a good thing, because I was in doubt if I should post this or not. I’ve actually worked on this post for quite some time. More mentally than actual hours in front of the computer. A post like this raises a lot of philosophical and ethical questions, like:
          “what good can come of it, what bad can come of it, is it my business, how would I have reacted if it was me” stuff like that.

          • I can imagine it has been on your mind for a while and understand your deliberations and doubts. What ever happened has happened Max. Let us just see what comes of it. You do it with best intentions from a warm heart. How can that be bad?

          • I cant remember clearly, but at some point he mentioned needing a break and ‘go on the road’. And I think he went to Oregon. Have to read his blog again to find it back.

  1. I find it unsetting when people just disappear like this. I also agree technology can bring us closer in some ways, I feel like I do have a few blogger friends. I include you in that group, but I think it is important to remember that I only know you in one way. There is much more about your life that I don’t know than I do. It’s helpful to me to keep that in mind when people that I know on this type of platform are suddenly gone.

  2. We had something like that happen on wordpress. Graf site run by someone who just suddenly stopped.
    We tried to contact him, but nothing.
    Nice photos.

  3. I hate it when this happens! Nothing you can do if someone doesn’t want to be found. Strange how it does leave a gap in your life, though. Hope he’s having a rave of a time somewhere. Love Aquaphobia especially :0

    • That’s true, it’s hard to find people if they don’t want to be found. Hopefully that’s the case and, like you’re saying; he’s having a rave of a time somewhere.

  4. He has an amazing collection of pictures. Thank you for sharing! And I hope he gives you news soon, cause this agony of not knowing anything is the worst thing ever.

  5. I’ve often wondered what happened to Robert too. I loved his work and he was great to correspond with – we shared a love of The Damned and King Crimson.

  6. I have never crossed paths with him, but the photos are impressive. I hope he just went off grid …. I would have wondered and be worried too 😦

  7. Just because he is an on line friend doesn’t make him any less real, or the hole left by his absence any less unsettling. It’s hard not knowing what has happened. I hope you get an answer and I hope he’s OK. Thanks for posting some of his beautiful work.

  8. I have known Rob since 1998 or 99. The last I had contact with him was about a year ago. I have tried to contact him since with no avail. He does “disappear” from time to time, so I am sure everything is ok.

  9. Hey Cardinal, I was good friends with Robert from around 1999-2002 when he mysteriously disappeared as well. He’s very nomadic in nature I’ve been searching for him ever since to reconnect and came across is photos online in 2012 as well. We used to exchange music production as we were both into Drum and Bass music back then and big in the rave scene. One thing he told me back then was “When I need to disappear I will and no one will be able to find me” I always laughed it off until one day it happen. Now I see it’s happened again. He was a very private and protected of his life and lets very few in. I just happen to be so lucky. Hopefully he’ll resurface again.

  10. I used to trade music (black metal, predominantly) with Rob back in the early 2000s. We played Dark Age of Camelot and Guild Wars together around that time, too. He was pretty good at closing email accounts and various means of communication to winnow his contacts out. Not sure why I thought to Google him, but I came across this post and got to see a side I didn’t know. Any chance there’s a happy conclusion to your search?

  11. I knew Rob from music (metal,drums) for almost twenty five years and he was always a recluse. He disappeared on me and a few RL friends in Aug 2019. Just looked him up and came across this page. Never even knew he took photos. Hope he’s doing good wherever he ended up.

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