The undergraduate students—Alexandra Bandea, Andrew DiSalvo, Marisa Folsom, Phillip Gregor, and Erin O’Flynn—spent the month of July in Rome for a Department of Visual Arts course, Photography in the Documentary Tradition. The group visited ancient architectural sites, museums, neighborhoods, and other sites throughout the city practicing basic and advanced techniques of image production. In particular, the students focused on how to craft documentary photos of the people, architecture, and culture of Italy.
“[They learned to] observe, process, and translate life into a rectangular image,” said course instructor Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock, the visual arts program’s artist-in-residence. “They considered everything as potential photographs, from the glorious Sistine Chapel, to the not-so-glorious Fiumicino Airport.”
The students’ photographs were then compiled into a 68-page book, Documentary Photography: Italy 2016, published earlier this month.
“If most photographs are exposed somewhere around 1/125th of a second, then collectively the exposure time of the images in this book adds up to barely a single second,” Apicella-Hitchcock said. “However, the impressions, both sacred and profane, that Italy has made on the group will certainly last for much longer.”