43 Photos

Rome's Jewish Ghetto, Trastevere
Rome Photo Workshop Trip

Spanish StepsSpanish Steps (Katherine De Bruyn)
The entrance to the Ghetto is through the Portico di Ottavia, built by Augustus for his sister; a ruin full of columns and remnants of walls and buildings, some incorporated into modern structures. The ghetto itself is both an historic and a living neighborhood, like so much of Rome. There is an active synagogue, a solitary plaque marking the deportations of 16 October 1943, an intriguing collection of cafes and small shops, and courtyards open to exploration.

By now, I am at a total loss about how to deal with Roman cash machines. The hotel concierge and I have tried several. My companions point them out - we are always on the hunt. I even check with my bank about my card. I am Euroless for two or three days and out of dollars to exchange. Thinking silently about how to put the bite on my newfound friends. I finally find a very few that have the right symbols - only to learn that they have limits on weekends. Why is it so much easier to put money in a bank than take it out?

From the Ghetto, we walked along the Tiber and crossed into the Trastevere, a narrow set of streets, medieval houses, and the fine Santa Maria in Trastevere, not as grand as some other basilicas in Rome, but filled with decorative detail - an intimate setting inviting contemplation. An outdoor lunch on our own. A very jolly waitress - no other word for it. If you want to work with tourists every day, I am sure it helps to have a sense of humor - she clearly had worked that out. And there were roaming street musicians, too. I wonder if they minded that I preferred the photo op to their playing.

On this and other days, we had workshops back at the hotel, which worked like this: everyone chose 15 ''best'' photos of the day to review with an instructor. A final ''five best'' selection was shared with everyone on a projector - and included the instructors' own best five. The real learning tool was seeing how others - instructors and students alike - shot the same thing I was photographing. Seeing how others viewed and composed the same scene with a completely different result opened my eyes.

I often chose for initial review five of my best and five of my most disappointing, asking why they didn't turn out as I expected. Very helpful feedback. On this trip, I finally learned how to master my camera manually.

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