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Cameras and canals: Dialogue of Civilizations

Northeastern students studied photography and art history in Venice. Photo by Dana Mueller


Venice is a city of bridges and canals, of art and his­tory. And, ear­lier this summer, it dou­bled as the per­fect class­room for a group of North­eastern stu­dents studying pho­tog­raphy on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram.

Andrea Gre­itzer, a lec­turer of dig­ital art and pho­tog­raphy in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, led the Dia­logue. Gre­itzer, who teaches an intro­duc­tion to pho­tog­raphy course, said many of the program’s stu­dents are studying fields like engi­neering, psy­chology and neuroscience.

Stu­dents took daily classes and com­pleted weekly assign­ments in prepa­ra­tion for a final photo project focused on a par­tic­ular theme. They com­pleted two classes during the four-​​week pro­gram: His­tory of Art in Venice, plus either Photo Basics or Photo 1.

We asked three stu­dents to share their favorite photos taken during the Venice Dia­logue. To view pho­tographs from all stu­dents who trav­eled to Italy for the Dia­logue, visit www​.neu​veni​cephoto​.com, click on “2012,” and browse through the stu­dents’ works.

Frank Rocco, senior chem­ical engi­neering major

Photo by Frank Rocco.

Venice was a really inter­esting place where cul­ture, busi­ness and tourism all col­lided. There was a cer­tain dynamic between the Vene­tians and tourists that was really fas­ci­nating to watch. On any given day, you would see a Venetian walking with pur­pose, quickly down an alley passing by tourists peering through win­dows and gawking at all of the beauty around them. With this photo, I tried to cap­ture that pur­pose and swift­ness that most Vene­tians walk with, passing by the most classic sym­bols of tourism: cur­rency exchange, retail stores and tired street ven­dors trying to swindle a few bucks for an ugly handbag.

Joe Stella, third-​​year graphic design major

Photo by Joe Stella.

I wanted to focus on a sub­ject matter that was typ­i­cally over­looked. Venice’s canals held a variety of sea­weed and algae. Each day I set out to pho­to­graph the sea­weed I found with a focus on com­po­si­tion, space and move­ment. I am very pleased with my results and the Dialogue.

Laura Beth Solomon, senior civil engi­neering major

Photo by Laura Beth Solomon.

As a civil engi­neering major, I find bridges very inter­esting. Venice was an amazing place to pho­to­graph bridges because there are canals every­where. Each bridge was com­pletely unique and con­nected two dif­ferent neigh­bor­hoods. This bridge was one of the only remaining wooden bridges in Venice. It shows the per­son­ality of the Vene­tians and has character.

Click here to see work from this year’s Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram on pho­tog­raphy in Cuba.