Cultures are an amazing representation of the roots of human nature. Every different store, town, or country that one enters can open up a whole new window to the history that has created it. Identifying the unique sounds and sights of a new place can be an adventure in itself. Time becomes unrecognizable. It escapes us either by stopping completely or by moving so fast we cannot account for it. Capturing these moments in history though photography is a challenge, but it does allow us to observe for more than just a moment the effect of human nature on the essence of time.
For the spring semester of 2002 I had the opportunity to travel in Italy and to study at the Lorenzo De’Medici International Institute in Florence. With some financial help from the Student Affairs Office at UNC Asheville and the study abroad program at UNC Chapel Hill, I was able to begin one of the best experiences a person could hope for. Throughout four months I traveled to various places in Italy. I have included pictures from Florence, Rome, Fiesole, and Ravenna.
As part of my studies I worked with a variety of camera bodies. By using only three cameras, I was able to experiment with the subtle and dramatic differences of each and to discover which captured the atmosphere of each shot with the most genuine character. The cameras used were a 35mm Nikon N80, a 120mm Ilford Sporti and a 120mm Brownie.
Each camera has special characteristics that are appropriate for different styles of photographs. Deciding which camera to use to represent the subject was as much a part of the process as picking the subjects themselves. I found that the type of camera body in my hand at the time of photographing influenced how or what I would photograph. All three cameras, however, made me aware of time - whether it was time that passed me by or time that stood still.
|35mm Nikon N80, a typical modern camera, produces a very sharp rectangular image.|
|120mm Ilford Sporti, manufactured in the 1950’s, produces a square image. This is a simple camera that resembles a basic point and shoot. It has no extra settings or special features, just a metal body, three aperture settings, and a shutter release.|
|120mm Brownie, manufactured in 1916, produces a rectangular image with blurred edges. This camera is practically a pinhole camera and required the least amount of mechanical knowledge. Instead of looking through a lens to view the image, you must hold this camera away from your eye, usually near your chest, and view the picture in a tiny rectangular piece of glass. This camera flips the image in the viewfinder, making compositions a bit more challenging.|