Thoughts from Italy
A whirlwind Adventure
Items I took with me to Italy:
1 Nikon F90s 35mm Camera
20 Rolls of Kodak Gold 200
2 Rolls of Portra 400
1 50mm Prime lens and...
1 70-200mm Lens
Italy, for me, was about pushing my photography style and stepping out of my comfort zone. I found that being in a foreign environment made me feel less conscious of myself whilst photographing people. I was an onlooker and a viewer of the local culture.
The merging of Norman and Arabic cultures in Sicily’s past gave a surreal experience of societal limbo. At times, I could almost forget I was in another country. Despite being abroad, I felt as though I belonged. This contrasted greatly to my previous trips to Russia and Eastern Asia where cultural lapses are few and far between; I was constantly reminded I was halfway around the world.
My initial observations of Naples were the mountains of rubbish and plastering of graffiti lining the streets . Some people I spoke to were put off by this, others were sympathetic to the lack of public funding. However, looking past this, Naples is a beautiful labyrinth of thin, cobbled, hilly residential streets, filled with foliage and vibrant evidence of life. Becoming intentionally lost was easy; finding courtyard gardens and beautiful viewpoints was just as hard. Having filled the two days with trips to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, most of the good light disappeared by the time we got home. Without any high ISO film, and no ability to push process when I got home, I didn’t get to photograph much of this beautiful city. A tripod would have been really useful! The day trips to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii ended in shrouded fog and torrential rain respectively. And perhaps one or two prematurely opened cameras resulting in some serious light leaks.
The landscape of Palermo and the surrounding area of north west Sicily mirrored all the images of watching ‘The Godfather’ as a child. Such images as rolling hills, countless vineyards and orchards, scores of cacti, and plentiful classical cars. The stone used in the local buildings gives an amazing warm yellow glow to the streets as they bask in the sun
This whirlwind adventure allowed me to discover a new side to Europe that I hadn’t previously had the chance to explore. Everything from the architecture, to the lifestyle, and attitudes of the locals had tangible similarities and differences. Even things such as individuals' clothing and facial expressions inspired photos, along with dramatic lighting and clouds giving a new edge to landscapes. Naples and Sicily has re-sparked my excitement for shooting in new, unknown locations, and trust me, I will be finding new locations to get lost.