The X100V is my top pick for a travel camera. You can watch a video below where I share my thoughts and reasoning.
And I had the chance to put my reasoning to the test this summer when we traveled to New York and Italy (and London for a day!) Watch the London video below:
And now, without further ado, here are my favorite shots from Italy, street photography style! Most of these with people in them, I actually connected with the person in the photo, and asked if it was okay to take a photo of them. 100% of them agreed. Some thought I wanted them to take a photo of me, but through some sign language and re-explanations, we both got on the same page.
I caught sight of this couple on scooters as we were walking to see some historical site (the Colisseum maybe?). They got stuck at a red light and I waved to my camera and pointed at them. In a flash, the light turned green, and all I got were these two snapshots. I love the fun, impromptu vibe. They look like they were out on a date or exploring the city, and their excitement and sense of freedom comes across.
Speaking of scooters, they are everywhere! I resisted the urge to take endless photos of rows and rows of parked scooters – alongside busy streets or in crowded alleys. However, these two shots of some young people getting about Rome really stood out for their smiles and curiosity at me. Good times. I love how the character of Rome’s architecture provides an inescapable backdrop, context and environment to these portraits. Nice street scenes.
I stopped these people on the same afternoon and asked if I could take their photo. I love the photo with the couple because they obviously enjoyed the moment, but it was really the man’s hair that grabbed Darlene’s and my attention. Such wild, fun hair. And he’s obviously loving it! The secondary element that drew me to the photo was their tops – the blue and the red so bold. Fun couple! The woman with the cigarette agreed to take a portrait but hid her cigarette for the first couple shots, and I had to provide a little direction to her to have her look the way she did when I first spotted her out of the corner of my eye. “Look down the street, and hold the cigarette up to your lips,” I said. Call me Steven Spielberg.
We met this young gentleman in the train station heading from Florence back to Rome. He was about to try out for the NBA when Covid hit, and he was commenting that he was headed back to the states to try out again after spending a nice long stretch in Europe, mostly Italy, if I remember.
The portrait of Darlene on the steps was taken right where the photo of the couple in the blue and red tops was taken. The stonework and architecture, once again, reminds you of the setting. I liked the leading lines of the stairs coming straight toward Darlene, the subject. And the second shot – was taken in front of the Colisseum using the X100V’s built-in flash because we were there at night and the street was dark where we were. The flash effectively put a spark in Darlene’s eye and lit her up with a nice, not too harsh light. This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. Notice her outfit – this was later on in the evening of the same day as the portrait on the stairs.
The clouds and sky provided a dramatic backdrop to this amazing monument from the 19th Century. With this particular film recipe and exposure, they are a little docile compared to the actual color that afternoon, but I love the softness of the stonework’s color and the pastel hue of the pink and purple in the clouds.
We took a lot of photos and there are more of the “famous” parts of Rome that we took, to be sure, however, I find that my favorite moments are smaller scenes, more familiar, intimate, and often playful. That’s what I remember about Rome, in particular. It’s a great and grand city with enormous monuments and an impressive history, but I prefer to remember the people, the streets, the daily life, the smiles, and yes, even the traffic, as the heartbeat of Rome.