22.08.2013

Photographing famous places – another Rome

22.08.2013

Photographing famous places – another Rome

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Among top-ranking tourist destinations, Rome is an unbeatable choice. The nicknames “Eternal City” or “Summit of the World” (caput mundi) couldn’t have been a matter of chance, so you can be sure that beauty and surprises have been dazzling visitors for centuries.

The difficulty caused by working in an environment engraved in the unconscious and in the collective culture will be to offer alternatives to photographers who are traumatized by all those post cards images sold in packets of ten.

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Preparation

Like a photo shoot, a voyage to Rome should be prepared. That goes without saying.
Still, when you’re talking about a place as rich as Rome, the role of documentation takes on a particular twist. The amount of information you can access should be a distinct advantage. To derive maximum benefit, engage in triage, target your research, and predetermine the tactics of your particular approach.
In my opinion, it is essential to focus on certain aspects:

–       the basis for your work: the best known monuments, locations, and spaces.
–       The inhabitants’ lifestyle.
–       Chic neighborhoods and institutions. Don’t bother with last year’s favorites!

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Observation

While it may be important to give in from time to time to the refreshing and surprising sights particular to the eye of the neo-tourist, you should be able to practice some self-control. Rather than focusing on that perfect rendition of the slightest detail of the Coliseum’s celebrated structure, take a look at what’s happening around it. After all, it is integrated into a city that grew up around it. Bring out your best equipment to dramatize Rome’s compelling contrasts. Rome will make your head spin, and so will your camera lens!

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Action

Rome is a complicated city. More than 2500 years of urban growth mean that this city has extraordinary architectural diversity. Rome boasts major Mussolini-era transportation arteries that contrast with the city’s many tortuous lanes. The modernity of the Zaha Hadid and Richard Meier museums is surrounded by charming, centuries-old shops. Of course, the life of the city travels along the paved sampietrini tiled streets. Sometimes they flow and sometimes they buzz with activity.

This incredible decor is worth the effort, and your principal tool to take the best shots will be the most comfortable sneakers you’ve got in your closet. Public transport in Rome is very complicated, and it won’t help you to access the treasures hidden in Rome’s many hills.

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Patience

In Rome, there may be rain, it could be hot, and getting around can be tiring. Have a seat, order a caffè freddo and take your time. Maybe it’s just here, where you feel most at ease, in this shady terrace, on these three old steps, or seated on this wall perched 10 meters above the ground. Let the action come in its own time, let it come to you. The streets sparkle, light flits from one second to the next, and the Romans are very expressive. Frescoes of life open themselves up to you for you to seize the moment, to create contrasts, and to tell your own version of this eternal city’s magical history.

Guest blogger: Ben PG
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