Scicli, Sicily. Lunchtime scene. Gennaro Renato, chef, at Baqqala restaurant and our assistant @leslis for NYTimes Magazine story in southern Italy. Both are from Naples where our story begins. Off to Malta tomorrow. I can’t show any of the work I’m actually shooting here. So my iPhone snaps will have to suffice for a bit. #Sicily
Red Vespa. Scicli, Sicily. I continue my journey through southern Italy collaborating with author @_tejucole and @kathyryan1 at the New York Times Magazine. I still am not at liberty to reveal the nature of our story. Yet stay tuned as I move soon to Malta. Yet I am pretty much taking the day off at the summer home of @diegorlando who is picture editor of BurnMagazine, dear friend for 12 years, and my primary producer on this photo essay. Collaboration with the right people is always key for creating anything. For this photoessay I’ve had the super bestest team. @fran.gennari @leslis
Pietro, 1, dreams on a Sicilian rooftop in the mid-day sun. A fresh sea breeze keeping him cool. Pietro is the son of Simone and Alessandra Bonadeo who run a bed and breakfast here in Siracusa, one of my favorite towns in Italy.
Even though I tend to travel, oddly I am very much a creature of habit. I don’t move much whenever I land. I’ll always find a favorite coffee shop, as here in Siracusa, and come back every day. Of course I make this decision based on a good photo location. This one is a virtual lightbox. By the way I promised Snapchat for this trip, yet as charming as Siracusa is, there’s no viable Internet for the data Snapchst needs. So those snaps are piling up until I get the net. Today is also a laundromat day. Not too exciting. It’s ok though because my story is mostly late afternoon and night. I can’t tell you my story assignment yet, nor post any photos related to the story. It’s a secret. Shhhh. One more caffe doppio and I’m off and shooting..In the laundromat :)
I’ve just arrived in glorious Sicily and stepped out on my patio to make this picture. This is Siracusa where I haven’t been for several years, yet always thought was magic. I havn’t changed my mind even though I haven’t even walked around yet. I’ve mentioned before I always shoot something right away simply to get in the mood. Illaria is an art photographer/illustrator and is helping me on my assignment for the New York Times Magazine. She’s from Napoli where I’ve been shooting the last few days. Ok the light is amazing now so I will wander a bit. Looking for pictures of course, yet also classic Sicilian cuisine. The pace is tranquillo here. After Milan, Rome and Naples, that works for me.
Naples. June 25, 2016. Novelist Teju Cole @_tejucole is an intellectual and brilliant writer, yet I had no idea of his athletic prowess. I love surprises. In a spontaneous 50 yard dash, with some young boys I was photographing playing soccer, he handily won the race. Teju is 41 and had no time to warm up. He simply went for it, impressing the young players, and me most of all. Teju and I are here in Napoli working on piece for the New York Times Magazine. Both Teju and I get totally absorbed with people and place. Follow us for the next 10 days on Snapchat if you have an interest in a behind the scenes view of how it all comes together ( we hope). Putting together a magazine story is not an exact science. We are here to learn and discover. We never know exactly how things will transpire. Serendipity is the key. Teju’s fast start is a good omen.
As I wandered through the Galleria Borghese yesterday viewing Bernini, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Raffaello, and other masters of painting and sculptors of the late 16th century I came upon these young people buried in their phones. All of us, me included, can be hypnotized by our phones. A modern day tech/cultural phenomena. There is just no way around it. Steven Jobs invented something 9 years ago this month that we didn’t know we needed and now we can’t live without it. If I think I’ve lost my phone, I have a mini panic attack. Even after polite phone pocketing at formal dinners or at a movie theater the first thing people do is rush outside to check their text messages or Instagram. It’s not a fad. Seems primal. The modern day community campfire. We love to be connected. The paintings in Borghese show this primal nature as well. Almost all the paintings reveal a need for community. In the case of the 16th century all revolving around the Catholic Church. That was 400 years ago. Fast forward 400 years and for sure none of us can imagine. Go even 10 years ahead in your mind and you just can’t. Google info won’t help either. Now in writing this caption I am missing “real life”. Guilty as charged. On my way to catch a train. My ticket is of course on my phone.
Preparation and research for a magazine assignment is just as important as the actual click click shoot. I’m off to Naples today to begin shooting for the New York Times Magazine. Last night I was testing lighting and posting on Snapchat with my iPhone after an afternoon looking at Italian painters and sculptors at the Galleria Borghese. One of the most “user friendly” art museums I’ve ever visited. Humbling. I’ve been influenced my whole photo life by painters and writers. The writer for this Times piece is novelist Teju Cole @_tejucole who did a reading last night smack in the middle of Foro Romano (Roman ruins). So all in all a day of incredible artistic absorption. So my mental hard drive is full. It’s the way I always like to be before a heart felt shoot. The tech tests are just that. Tech. It’s the mental state of mind that is most important to my work. Take that away and I would have nothing to say. All those I mentor know that visual literacy and authorship is my mantra. Teju and I travel to Naples together and a more symbiotic team I cannot imagine. Track me here to see how it all manifests into my final work. I will be referencing the masters of the late 16th century all the way.
Last night we met with novelist Teju Cole @_tejucole for dinner in Rome to plan our upcoming coverage for the New York Times Magazine. We will set out tomorrow for Naples. In the middle of our conversation Teju said “Harvey turn around and take a picture of that woman with the hat” . So I did. Tess is on vacation with her friends and is a nurse from Philadephia. Ironically she works at the same hospital where my son Erin @erinharveypics made a film for PBS “Twice Born”. Talk to any stranger and yes 6 degrees of separation ( or less). Safe travels Tess. It was a pleasure to meet you.
Milan rooftop coffee spot. I’m leaving today for Rome to meet writer/novelist/ photographer Teju Cole @_tejucole where we team up for a story for the New York Times Magazine. It should be quite an adventure. Track us on Snapchat for a behind the scenes view as we head to the south of Italy.