Seize the day or seize the moment, and where better than in Rome and Italy, the home of this Latin language.
As street photographers, that is exactly what we are doing, seizing moments. It had been quite a few years since I had wandered the streets of Rome, and a return was well overdue. The last time I visited was in the early noughties and the place really did feel dishevelled. It looked like it had not had a lick of paint since Roman times. Obvious now, there had been some serious investment, and rightly so. This was indeed a place to seize moments. The magnificent grandeur of the well trodden narrow streets, history at every turn, beautiful welcoming people eager for your coin. Like any other tourist destination, the camera is as accepted as the skirts worn by tough gladiators in days of old. Drift along on the balmy air currents and snap away, stop only to grab a fix of rich flavoursome coffee or pasta to fuel the journey.
All Roads Lead To Rome
A medieval saying that did relate to the actual roads, but now the saying relates to many methods giving the same result. We all have our chosen weapons to fight the lions, hopefully we come up with similar results. Images that please the crowds and evoke stories of greatness. Your camera does not have to be the sharpest sword by any means, but the gladiator must know how to make the fatal blows. Hard light is a huge factor in Italy (usually), always look for the direction the sun is coming from as you twist and turn with the shadows. A polariser is a great shield from the harsh sun Gods, adding colour saturation and clarity to clouds, the polariser is also a great tool to remove reflections from windows and water, so don’t leave the polariser in your chariot when the light is strong.
When In Rome, Do as the Romans do
A worldly used phrase, encouraging one to blend with the locals, not a saying telling you to take part in orgies and quaff wine until you have the courage of Caligula. Although the second suggestion would be nice, let’s go with the first. Not just in Rome, it is always a good idea to dress accordingly and disappear into the crowds to become invisible. I quickly had to lose my Roman toga and high heels as it was not working for me, people were staring. When I returned to my Indiana Jones hat, shorts and shirt, nobody gave me a second glance. I swapped between my 12mm wide angle lens on my X-T20 and 23mm primed X100s depending on situations I incurred.
Labouring a point, going on and on.
It is easy to see why the Italian photographers like to use the technique
Chiaroscuro (English: / k i ˌ ɑː r ə ˈ s k jʊər oʊ /; Italian: [ˌkjaroˈskuːro]; Italian for light-dark), in art, is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark. Like any photography techniques or effects, panning, movement, people walking by, juxta can all become “Ad Nauseum” so it is best to keep mixing it up. Keep the viewer thinking and dreaming. Keep changing your point of view, but always aim for quality and bare in mind the direction of light.
Rome was a pleasure, the transport, food, accommodation was easy and safe. Go and enjoy, feel at ease with camera in hand, life around the Colosseum is much more laid back and a great place to steel photos of newly married couples in the street. The highlights of the city are far too numerous, so it is probably wise to plan your sights with the likes of a Lonely planet book. A romantic city indeed! Go!