If you google photos of Piazza Navona, you’ll see this guy. He’s there all the time – must be ripe pickings. This is one of the more inventive “living statues” I’ve seen in European cities – while perhaps not as out there as the guy reading the newspaper while on the toilet or as mechanically involved as the stationary bicyclist, the faux levitation is quite clever.
This is something I’m working on doing more of- photographing people in the wild, so to speak. I do well in the studio, where people are expecting you to take their picture, and for that matter have given you some measure of control over the experience. But “street” photography, photographing people out and about doing things where they’re not expecting to be photographed, well, that’s an entirely different animal. I find it easier to photograph people who are performing or in some other way putting themselves out there to be observed. If nothing else it’s good practice for more elusive subjects.
This young man was out on the Piazza Navona, juggling this glass sphere. He had a sign up with his busking bowl that described it as a particular kind of juggling – I forget the term, but he would roll the glass sphere up and down his arms, across his neck behind and over his head. Here he has the sphere on his elbow, then at the end of his fingers.
Here are a few shots of the fountains in the Piazza Navona. I chose to photograph details rather than try to take in the whole fountain because there were just too many people in, on, and around the fountains.
The piazza is pure chaos – think Times Square but shorter, with much better decoration. There are performers on the piazza doing everything from live music to juggling acts to “living statues” – there was a fake Fakir made to look like he was floating in mid-air, supported by nothing more than an off-center cardboard mailing tube. The fountains, though, are the real stars of the place. They moderate the heat in summer, and provide stunning visual delights in all four seasons. I know it seldom snows in Rome, but I’d love to see them blanketed with a layer of white.