Photo © John McDermott – Naples 2017
Spend a few days in Bella Napoli and your head buzzes with new impressions, the scale shows a few kilograms more and one memory card for your camera is not enough.
Naples is crazy. Naples is full of life. What a city!
She vibrates like a beehive. People, alleys, scooters, laundry, street food, graffiti, greengrocers, Espresso, holy icons, Maradona pictures, sirens, cobble stone. Three and a half days of scouting Naples: Senses overwhelmed. Tired feet. Camera working overtime. – Endless Street Photography.
Today everybody has a camera (read: smartphone) and constantly takes pictures: Of themselves, their friends, their food. Selfie-sticks, endless (so it feels) data storage, just press the button. Without thinking. We know it all, so, what is left to photograph? And everybody around me is already taking pictures anyways! – Is Street Photography dead?
“Street photography” is the reflection of a society, offering the viewer non staged snapshots of life. Do we still realize what is going on around us? Do we still see or do we shield ourselves from the ever so over-stimulating environment? If we have the patience to actually stop and observe: what do we see? – Street Photography is alive!
Naples disrupts your senses
Crowds of people, constant sirens, the smell of deep fried local specialties and unbelievably good espresso, countless historic buildings and cultural sites (in 1995 Naples historic center got listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), and narrow alleys with laundry and graffiti where ever you look – all of this is linked together by one element: chaos. Everything is in constant flow. And it works. Scooters carrying a family of four plus dog (no helmets) or a scooter driver balancing with one hand a tray with four espressi (covered). Naples is known for its espresso culture: it not only has a lovely taste, its frequent consumption characterizes the city landscape. Naples is a city full of contrasts. Constantly. Everywhere. Contrasts of light and shadow, poverty and wealth, opportunities and hopelessness, noise and silence.
What a great school of perception!
Great Maradona. Holy Madonna.
Diego Maradona is literally everywhere in Naples. Religion can be found on every street corner. Both are holy in Naples. Diego Maradona who played for Napoli was, and still is, worshiped infinitely. Pictures of the world famous soccer player are plastered all over town, in size of a stamp or as posters or graffiti or giant mural. In Naples you will also find hundreds of churches and monasteries and every street corner seems to have a little showcase with images of saints. Even more numerous than churches are the old Neapolitan grand houses (Palazzi), which have been once residential buildings for the upper class but are used today by common citizens.
Observing people. Approaching people. Portraying people.
Neapolitans are extremely friendly, helpful and communicative. It is fascinating to watch a scooter repair guy fixing a bike in a 1,50 meter wide “body shop”, or a fish vendor refreshing his shellfish in plastic bowls with water or a news vendor discussing with two neighbors on a nearby bench (not paying attention to his newsstand).
„Taking pictures is not just using your camera. It is also about talking to people.“,
says John McDermott. The American photographer approaches people in fluent Italian, has a little chat with the newsstand guy. He explains John that Naples, as opposed to Milan, Venice or other tourist destinations, is still existing for the people of Naples and not for tourist. You can feel and see it, looking at the many tiny shops, restaurants or cafes. Then John makes a portrait of the news vendor in his little booth surrounded by tons of magazines and newspapers while a customer is patiently waiting for his turn to buy a newspaper.
To SEE and capture the simple things of life – this is Naples.
Street Photography in Naples?
“Street Photography is, in my opinion, roaming the streets with a camera and photographing the LIFE taking place in the city. Street Photography is, for me, mainly about PEOPLE photography in a candid and observational style! It is Cartier-Bresson, Gary Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander, Dianne Arbus, even Sebastiao Salgado.”, describes John McDermott his approach to street photography and capturing life in city.
There are endless possibilities, variety of themes, to tell a story about Naples through your photographs. A place that is as chaotic, friendly, welcoming, confusing, historic and lively as Naples offers every moment the opportunity to train your perception and your eyes for the simple things in daily life.
How do you feel about a discovery tour of Naples with your camera, guided by top photographer John McDermott who helps you to get special access to Naples through his knowledge of the Italian language and culture?
If you are interested in a Masterclass Street Photography in Naples with John McDermott in beginning of May, please contact Claudia(at)if-academy.net