Roman getaway 3

This year 2019 is a key year with many things that have happened in recent months. A year of change symbolized by our move to Reunion Island. My children and my wife have taken a little advance on me because they have been there already for 1 month. Besides I will join them a few days because we had a little underestimated this separation of 2 months and a half. I will go see them 15 days before returning to the city of Toulouse to finish my training. Since this beginning of the year so, despite the time spent taking care of the move and the sale of the house, I was able to go on the side of Paris, Bristol and last week, I went for a small 3 days trip to Rome.



As for all my previous destinations, this little trip to Rome was done solo. You might find it surprising, but I like to go alone on a trip. It’s selfish enough as a choice, but I like having no constraints and doing what I want. Do not believe that I am someone asocial (may be …). It’s just that I like these moments spent with myself. Do not be fooled, I also love traveling with my wife and children ! You can imagine that behind all that, there was also the possibility of doing street photography freely. This was the case for Rome last week. The idea was to find a destination not far in Europe to spend a few days. I hesitated between Istanbul, London, Madrid and Rome. My choice as you can see it focused on the Italian capital. it was much later that I realized that my English friend John Harper was also in Rome two weeks before me (I invite you to read his Blog here). Holy coincidence ! After Bristol and Bath, it would have been fun to meet in the streets of the Roman city !



So here I am for a few days in Rome. Usually, I learn a little about the city that I will visit before going there. I read a few guides, I look at some pictures, I study the neighborhoods … But here I did nothing of all that. I went there without knowing anything about Rome. I had just booked on the advice of some friends, my visits to the Coliseum and also to the Vatican. I was also vaguely briefed on interesting places in Rome. I did not know much because my idea was to roam the streets without taking care of anything else. I went there for the purpose of doing street photography. So the place did not matter to me. By the way I did not use any public transport, preferring to walk.



The end of the day was a relief because I had to walk more than 10 kms per day ! I do not regret this choice because it allowed me to better visit the city. Nevertheless, I struggled a lot the first morning because I had a hard time finding my way around the city. I did not know it and I did not know where to go. I lost a lot of time trying to locate myself on my smartphone. I had also left the hotel very early and found myself in almost deserted streets at 9am. It was Saturday morning and the streets began to fill up much later. I then understood better how the different neighborhoods of the city were articulated and I was much more comfortable on the streets.



This element is crucial to allow me to focus on photography. I already explained it in several Blogs. I need to understand the city to do street photography. Understand where the flows of people are. Understand where the interests are. It will have taken me almost a day for that. When you spend only 3 days there, you do not have much time to make photos … But 3 days is not bad. The ideal would be to spend 4 to 5 days in Rome. In three days, you do not have time to capture the soul of the city. Moreover you can see in the photos that I share in this Blog, that I mainly photographed in touristic places : in the vicinity of the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza di Spagna … It would be necessary to spend more time to succeed in making Street Photography out of these places. Clearly there I did not have time and I had to take shortcuts and do Street Photography in touristic places.



Anyway, it does not change me much of Aix-en-Provence which shares many similarities with Rome. I’m not talking about the size of the city, but the architecture and the fact that they are highly tourist destinations. The challenge was not to fall into the ease by photographing tourists who take themselves in pictures. I will admit that it is quite difficult and that it is necessary to focus not to reproduce these tasteless shots. For the record, I photographed interesting situations in the streets of Rome and I realized later that I had photographed French people ! Hey, I will not tell you which photos it is !



It’s quite simple to do Street Photography in Rome. Almost everyone has a camera in their hands. The areas are very dense and you go unnoticed when making your photos. I stayed in relatively touristic places, but I think in less crowded places, the presence of the camera draws more attention. This is particularly the case of the district of Termini (railway station) where I lodged. Tourists here are in transit and you will see very few people taking photos. It will require a little more discretion.



I would have liked to spend more time in the Roman city, but I already feel lucky to have spent 3 days walking the streets of Rome with my Ricoh GR. I tried to capture at best a glimpse of what is happening on Roman streets. You must tell me that in view of the photos that I put forward in this Blog that I did only color in Rome ! That’s not the case. I shot a lot more in B&W. I made a selection of about fifty photos that I grouped in a slideshow that is quite long if you have 6 minutes to lose. The photos are presented in their order of shooting. No desire to order or reorganize all that … You can see through this slideshow my wanderings during these 3 days spent in Rome.



I remind you that all these slideshows are present on my YouTube channel and you can subscribe to be informed as soon as a new video or slideshow is put online. All photos were made with the Ricoh GR.



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3 thoughts on “Roman getaway

  • John Harper

    All Hail the Street Caesar!

    The French are everywhere, could be any of them. Every time I look around there’s some French Street Photographer lurking about, everywhere I go 😉 Okay, I’ll go for the two in the opening shot.
    The Roman Legions marched 30km per day, I already told you that, suck it up Street Caesar!
    You did a great job Jeff. You managed some separation, which when I was there I couldn’t get at Trevi or the Spanish Steps or any of the main attractions. I think when you were there it’s some kind of Italian holiday, even a few shops in Rome close as the locals head for the beaches. Although I’d been to Rome before, my total two trips into the eternal city on this holiday totalled just over five hours. Not long enough as you say to get your bearings, feel the city and its people. Almost impossible not to see some tourist taking a selfie.We were at the Termini arriving from Frascati by train, less touristy, but I felt comfortable taking photos, albeit not very good ones.

    Excellent work and as always a blog I look forward to both seeing and reading.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      The photo I was referring to is in the slideshow and not in the photos of the Blog. It’s the woman and the little girl dressed alike in yellow ! After my first morning in Roma, I was just scared because I couldn’t see anything worth photographying. I started feeling confortable by the end of the first day. Sometimes it’s just some kind of result pressure that you put upon yourself in such a vibrant city like Rome. You know that it’s like Paris. It’s not fair for Parisian Street Photographer to say that it’s easier but it is ! Bigger and major cities offer more situations to capture. And yes it’s easier to do Street Photography in major cities. I mean all the greatest lived or still live in big cities. Sometimes I ask to myself what would I be if I have to live in a city like Tokyo, Rome, Paris, London or NYC ? Not saying that I will be better, but things would be really different. The thing is that I will never live in a major city and at the time that I’m writing this answer, I’m in an airport ready to depart for a small island in the Indian Ocean …

      • John Harper

        Haha…yes, Reunion might not offer the same opportunities as NYC! I don’t want to upset any New York Street Photographers, it is easy there though. So many people, an eclectic mix, there’s always someone with character who dresses differently coming around one of the corners and of course the whole city is iconic.