I had been admiring Rome Photo Blog for a while now, and wanted to find a way for the Rome Journal to feature the artist behind the blog, Jessica Stewart. A new photo of Rome – capturing the city in an innovative and unusual way – is uploaded almost daily. Her blog reads like a journal of the city, making a great resource for people who are interested in seeing the city beyond the famous buildings and monuments.
We asked Jessica some questions about her approach to photography, as well as a few questions about her personal view of Rome.
Here is our interview, along with some of her photos.
Your photos are unique for Rome because you focus often on the things people wouldn’t even notice. Is this by design? Is it just the way you see things?
I definitely started the blog with the intention to try and capture things that weren’t normally shown and/or well known objects in an interesting way. I didn’t really know whether or not they were things that other people noticed or not, so it just happened that way. Now after so much time, taking photos has changed the way I view the city and observe because I’m constantly looking for the next interesting shot.
Any particular reason why Rome is a great place to take photos? I mean, aside from the obvious (you can photograph the Colosseum, etc.)
Aside from the obvious, I think Rome is wonderful because of the light and the architecture. There’s something magical about the way the light hits the buildings here that I haven’t seen anywhere else. There’s also the fact that just below the surface there really is so much variety. Yes, certainly the major monuments make for wonderful images, but there is also a vitality and modernity to Rome that can be sought out as well.
Many of the people reading this will be coming to Rome for a short trip. Do you have any advice for the amateur enthusiast to get the best out of their photos?
Don’t worry about being perfect. I think especially for images with people, candid is best. I find posed photos can be so awkward and stiff! Also, pay attention to the light and the background. You want to frame not only the focal point of the photo, but also pay attention to all the other components in the picture and ask yourself if it makes a harmonious shot.
Do you ever go out to take photos and come back with nothing you like?
More likely I’ll go out thinking that I’d like to get an image of something specific and come back with a much better image of something I hadn’t sought out at all. Certainly there are times when I only come back with one or two images that I think are good, but the more you are out taking photographs, the better you are at knowing what time of day is best in terms of light and your sense of observation is heightened so that you often come back with good material.
What is your opinion on post-processing, especially enhancing pictures?
I certainly do use Photoshop to tweak the images slightly, but usually limiting my post-processing to small adjustments in the white balance and color. Post-production is not something I studied and so what I do is all self-taught, which does limit me. However, I’d like to think that even if I was quite adept at it that I would still stick to my current philosophy of leaving things as is. I’m especially against dramatic cropping because I think how you compose things in the lens, out in the field is such an important skill. I like the challenge of trying to get things right in the lens and while I think that post-processing and enhancing photos can be an art form on its own, I personally stay away from it.
Do you do any professional shoots or do you have plans for it? If so, how could you be contacted?
I have done some professional work for publications and events. I’m certainly open to any new possibilities and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone is interested in purchasing some of my prints, I have a selection available at RGB Gallery in Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice 46. For people not in Rome, feel free to contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing prints or posters.
What annoys you about living in Rome?
I wish the city would invest a bit more in the areas outside the center, especially in terms of garbage removal and the excessive political posters that cause a lot of litter.
If there was one thing you could change in Rome, what would it be?
I would love to see cultural diversity embraced a bit more, but we are coming along slowly but surely in that area!
What is the biggest motivator for you to keep your blog going?
My readers! Seeing the reception the blog has gotten and reading the nice comments was one of the initial motivators to keep growing and is a continual push to put out interesting content. I’ve also seen what interesting opportunities it has brought me and what amazing people it’s brought into my life, which makes me quite grateful.Rate this article by clicking here.
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