We’re delighted to publish Laura Peischl’s first feature article with us for her brand new Column, StreetVIEW. In this incredible post Laura describes the streets of Valletta, in terms of pure emotion, sounds, scents, texture and sights. Don’t miss this incredible article, we have published all of Laura’s images into a video format with the music of her choice. This is the music that was playing in Laura’s mind whilst taking these awesome shots. Over to you Laura (foreword by Joanne Carter).
“What is the city but it’s people?” – William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
I find myself sitting outside in the caressing November morning sun, my iPhone dead after over three hours of taking pics, a pleasant tiredness in my limbs from pacing up and down the streets of Valletta searching for moments worth capturing, and filled with the expectation of a plain omelette, freshly toasted bread and a heavenly smelling coffee that I just ordered. Life feels so intense in such moments.
I start scribbling loose thoughts with a pencil on a small red scrapbook that I always carry with me. This is still my favorite way of holding my thoughts, I like the act of writing on paper, it has an earthly feeling to me, it is old fashioned and though sophisticated, even if just by the fact that no one seems to make use of it any more.
Valletta, the smallest capital city in Europe, is full of contradictions to me. This city lures me in since over three years with its sirens’ songs and i just cannot stop following its calls.
Like an indifferent lover, it takes my submission and, in exchange, I get my own personal pleasure of capturing it. Valletta can exist without me, but before I can let go of it, I need to slice it to pieces, force it to show me all it’s secrets, freeze moments in time that will remind of my obsession.
Video Slide Show
This column will possibly evolve to a showcase of what it is less known and photographed about this city, at times and in situations that should challenge my personal boundaries and push me out of my comfort zone. And hopefully make you smile, think or just awaken your interest to visit it one day.
Today, for the second consecutive Saturday, I drove into the city very early morning (at around 6.30am to be precise), on a quest to experience the city’s awakening and capture those who, like me, are too impatient to waste time in bed, too hungry for life to miss the first rays of sun.
My personal goal was “squared” and “eye to eye”. Squared mainly because I rarely use Hipstamatic for street photography and I know how difficult it is to capture a moment into such a tight frame within a few seconds. Eye to eye, well…. a street photographer knows how challenging and yet rewarding this can be.
Today was an interesting day … I smiled a lot at my subjects to oust their suspiciousness, I had to start conversations about the lovely weather, I even helped an elderly woman carry her vegetable bags from the grocer to her doorstep. Additionally, I patted an old shaky chihuahua in order to get his owner’s trust, I also got invited for coffee by a really charming elderly lady. I actually plan to visit her again soon in order to listen to her story while I document it for you.
In conclusion, it was fairly challenging, but the real challenge hit me unexpectedly. I found myself on empty streets pointing my camera at my subjects from a distance no more than one meter and aiming for eye to eye contact. Although this job can be tricky at times, I still love every second of what I do.
All images are copyright Laura Peischl