Rome – a sense of place
The problem with the centre of Rome where I live is that this town is so beautiful that it is often difficult to take purely functional photos. The combination of monuments, palaces, light conditions and people is unique. Even ugliness – the trash left around town, the heavy traffic – tends to become special in this environment. Here are some moments I captured during my walk.
First group: documentary or utilitarian images
These images are from a walk around yesterday and show a mixture of beautiful monuments, cars, people, tourists, maintenance works, daily life of a typical workday in the centre of Rome in a rainy weather. Rome has I think a very unique impure beauty, a beauty in which tourists and residents are awash all the time sharing the same spaces, brushing each other but living the place in different ways, tourists mainly walking and smiling, stopping at corners to look at maps and taking photographs, and residents and politicians trying to find a quick way amid the crowds, among cars and cafés, choosing small alleys and passageways to avoid the throngs.
Second group: stepping aside and choosing details
In this second group of images I tried something different: I walked away from the main routes and focused on details. Because if it’s true that Rome is full of people, it also has many serene and almost empty spots, even in the city centre.
I don’t think these photos are ‘artistic’, but taking them was certainly an exercise in paying attention. And for the time being this is what photography means to me: to focus, to pay attention, to see things with a concentrated mind. I am drawn to the playing of colours and light, to textural effects in the world around me, to how lines meet. I am aware that my approach is more or less pictorial, not photographic, and I realize that I tend to see things around as if they were potential art materials, to be captured and stored, like interesting magazine clippings, that I somehow do not have a photographic eye, that I still have to learn how to see with a camera instead of using the camera as a tool to find something interesting to be used in other ways.