Since entering into the “blogsphere” I have been so fortunate to meet some pretty incredible people. I have found inspiration through fellow bloggers who have opened their world up to so many people, myself included.
I’ve been taught that it’s good to share, so I would like to introduce you to someone I think is exceptionally talented. She welcomes all who visit her blog to see Rome, the city in which she lives, through her eyes. I’ve been to Rome, and like many I’ve taken the standard photos: Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo, etc, etc. This particular blog takes it a few steps further and let’s us peer into and witness a very special perspective of this beautiful city.
With that being said, I would like everyone to meet Jessica of RomePhotoBlog.
I thought it would be fun to find out a little more about Jessica and her blog and she has graciously agreed to answer some questions.
But, before we get to the Q&A I wanted to first share some exciting news about Jessica and RomePhotoBlog. If you happen to be in Rome on January 23, 2009 be sure to visit Gloss for the RomePhotoBlog Exhibit organized by Art&Beat. Art&Beat works to help emerging artists in Rome by providing them the chance to exhibit their works each week.
produced by Art&BeatGloss ~ via Monte della Farina 34-44 (behind Largo Argentina)
Opening January 23 at 7 pm
And now, without further ado, here are “5 Questions With…RomePhotoBlog”
What made you decide to explore the area of photography?
I’ve always enjoyed taking photos and took a basic course during college, so I am familiar with the basics of photography. Being a visual person, I much prefer to use it as a way to capture my experience living here in Rome rather than writing. It also gives me the freedom to either write a lot or let the image speak for itself. Plus there is so much great material out there already written on Rome, but I hadn’t seen anything else out there trying to capture the city the way I see it.
How would you describe your overall style of photography?
I think it varies depending on what I’m trying to convey to the reader through the picture, but in general I think my art history training really informs my work. By this I mean that I’m always looking visually at the overall composition and trying to focus on one or two details that could tell a story in some way. One of my favorite sculptors Bernini has a great way of capturing a magic instant. Hopefully some of my works does that as well and leaves the reader with impulse to learn more.
Many of your images are taken at night, why?
Well I wish I could say this was some grand master plan, but some of it is due to circumstance. I work in an office during the day, and it being winter now by the time I’m going out and about, it’s usually dark! Also one of the basics of photography is that you get the best light either early morning or right before sunset. Unfortunately I’m not a morning person, so nighttime it is! Plus I often photograph when I’m on my way to meet friends or coming home from being out. I’ve also found that I really just love the way the city looks at night. The quality of light is beautiful and I think provides a richness of color that is different during the day. Especially during this period when I’m preparing for a photo exhibit here in Rome, with the theme of Rome at night, I’ve been taking even more at night to have lots of options. I would guess during the summer I’ll have more daytime work as the day gets longer, but I’m a night owl at heart, so who knows!
When and why did you decide to create RomePhotoBlog?
I started the blog in September 2008 for a variety of reasons. Practically I’d be given a wonderful camera (Canon Rebel XTi) as a Christmas gift in 2007 and found that while I used it while on trips, I wasn’t taking advantage of my love of photography. The blog gives me a push to get out and use it more, especially as I’ve seen people actually reading the blog and enjoying what I post. Secondly, I’ve been living in Rome since 2005 and I’ve found that while there are a lot of blogs about expats living in Italy, many of which I enjoy a lot, none of them completely spoke to my experience. I really wanted to show a different side to Rome, one that I see every day around me and one that I will take away with me whether I decide to live here permanently or not. Not being Italian, but not being a tourist either, I think I have a perspective that is uniquely positioned between both and I hope as well that some people out there can relate to the way in which I visually present the city. In any case, it’s also been great for me, as it’s forced me to not only photograph the things I do and places I visit daily, but to get out there more and explore areas I’ve not been to. I’ve learned a number of great facts myself just by researching some of the things I’ve shot, so in that way I’m always learning as well.
Do you have any tips for others interested in pursuing photography?
I would say to get out there and shoot as much as possible. The beauty of digital is that you don’t need to spend on processing. I might shoot the same thing 100 times in different angles with different settings. You never know which one will come out best once you get back home. Also, keep it simple! If a shot is too “busy” it’s hard for someone to read. Really paying attention to the entire composition is key, don’t ignore the background, as this can really change how something looks. The other thing I tend not to do is not use a flash. Sometimes you can’t avoid it if you don’t have manual settings on your camera, but if you can I’ve found it gives you much better color and depth to do without. Lastly, just have fun with it. Don’t get too caught up with taking photos of what you think you should shoot. For example, candid shots of people are some of my favorites and I think capture the moment and feelings better than something posed. Also, for works of art or overall shots of architecture, I leave that to the professionals. Their postcards are probably better than I could ever do, which is why I do for the beautiful details and angles you often won’t find in any postcard or poster. And if you’re looking for inspiration, just go online. It’s never been easier to get your work exposed or see the work of others. Sites such as Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) or the Italian based Pix-Yu (http://www.pix-yu.com) give you great storage and sharing capabilities, and portals like City Daily Photo (http://www.citydailyphoto.com) get you in touch with photographers all over the world capturing images of their own cities.
Thanks Jessica, for taking time out to answer these questions.
Now, go check out Jessica’s amazing photos on RomePhotoBlog! Enjoy!