Two Sides of Naples
Street Photos of the Week
Photos and Text by Mario Mancuso
My name is Mario Mancuso, and I was born in Naples, Italy and still live in this city. I’ve been a photographer for some time now, but I’ve only become passionate about street photography in the past few years. I have always enjoyed watching people on the streets observing their behaviors, the scenes and the life stories that take place; subject to a set of random circumstances but sometimes structured as to seem designed to be as art.
I like to stop the moments that strike me, trying to document what some call “city-life,” reporting what excited me at the time of the shot, and trying to transfer my feelings as well as life, such as the photo of the man who is leading a group of Catholics on a trip that I met by chance in the alleys (second photo). Intrigued by the sign he was carrying, I turned back and saw that the sign is in place of the man’s head, it struck me, and I immediately clicked.
“I use only black and white, because, in my opinion, it makes the scene more readable without ‘distractions.’”
The best opportunities to take interesting scenes occur in the historical center, which is always very busy at any time of day. Another source of inspiration are neighborhoods where people are more real, while they are tending to their daily lives they can become the protagonist of a good photo opportunity.
I use only black and white, because, in my opinion, it makes the scene more readable without “distractions,” allowing you to focus more on the subjects and their expressions, in reference to the classic reportage photography that has always fascinated me.
The photos are taken mostly in my city, which I think is very photogenic offering a variety of situations and characters that make up the soul, full of life and contrasts, but probably still attractive.
Another feature of Italy, and Naples in particular, is the climate, which leads people to go out, increasing the photo opportunities for a street photographer. Some people are put on display regardless of what happens around them, becoming protagonists unaware of interesting situations and details; such as the tattooed man sunbathing in a central square of the city (first photo), that make you imagine the history and philosophy of his life, sporting a slimmer body not covered by a multitude of tattoos. The scene captured my attention immediately, and thinking about other similar situations that I happened to see, gave me the idea of collecting a series of images related to this theme and name it Sun in the City. I’m still working on this project to put together a collection of pictures to complete it.
One of my future projects is to document precisely the “city-life” Neapolitan and Italian in general, trying to capture authentic moments and singular scenes of everyday life that transfer emotions and stories made unique by the uniqueness of each individual; avoiding stereotypes and focusing it into a collection of images in separate themes.
Mario Mancuso’s photos on Flickr
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