Tod Papageorge is the Walker Evans Professor of Photography and Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at the Yale School of Art. The Features section of the Academy website has posted eight compelling photographs from his work this summer in Rome (“In the Street, June 15-July 27”). Recently AAR Mellon Professor Corey Brennan caught up with Papageorge to ask him about his six weeks at the Academy this summer as the Photographer in Residence, and about some aspects of his approach to photography in general.
You are well-known as a black-and-white photographer of people in public spaces. For your Rome photographs, you are using a digital camera (a Leica M8.2) for the first time, and shooting in color. How much of a departure are your Rome images from your work to date?
It was all a big change, of course, and coincided with my arrival in Rome: I’d bought the Leica just a couple of weeks before, and spent some harried days up until my flight learning a few things about digital photography, and pinning down and applying a series of technical modifications to the camera. So the experience of making these pictures was as bright-penny new as the city itself seemed to me. (more…)