Monday, June 6, 2011

Italia Mia

Pigeon Lady of Venezia
There was something about this old Italian lady feeding pigeons in Venice that really caught my eye. I composed this image long before I framed the scene through my camera's viewfinder. I knew immediately that I had an intriguing image, and I wanted to put the finishing touches on the photograph right away. On that day, gelato and the rest of my leisurely stroll through the confusing myriad of streets in Venice kept me from doing it, but the whole time I was eager to finally get to work on my shots. In the moments leading up to the click of the shutter, I felt something, and I hoped to convey those same emotions through my photograph. Until the creative process runs its course to semi-completion, I find that I am always a little bit restless.


I didn't enjoy Venice very much, but definitely appreciated the opportunity to flex my creative muscles. With most photography sessions, you don't have the freedom to shoot for yourself. Limitations abound. There are shots that need to be taken and those that cannot be missed. Of course it is possible to be creative within those confines, but let's face it, a client doesn't want a group portrait in tilt. Artsy (or its pseudo wannabe cousin) doesn't really work on a real gig, unless you are fortunate enough to be hired solely for that reason. Which leads to the question, can creative truly be a job? Once you submit your creativity to the "man," is it truly creativity? Or is it just an institutionalized and sanitized process?

Can you tell me how to get to Vicenza Street?
Thus far, my favorite city in Italy is a little town called Vicenza in the North. It is a quaint place with a lot of interesting architecture as well as friendly locals. Italians have a reputation for being rude to foreigners, but I never encountered such attitudes or people in Vicenza. Perhaps they would have been less nice if I told them I was from New Jersey. Nevertheless, I tried to absorb the history, culture, art, food, and wine of a wonderful city during my week in Italy. This trip could have been infinitely better had it been a personal vacation instead of a business trip, but sometimes you just have to take what you get. 

I sometimes lament the fact that I am never in the pictures I take when I travel. Upon my return from this trip, those sentiments returned. However, I remember listening to Joe Buissink talk about analyzing and taking a real deep look at your photographs. Joe passionately and convincingly argues that there is always a piece of you and elements of your self in each and every photograph you have taken. And I take solace in that. 2011- Sam was here.

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