On Campus

Announcing the Winner of the November Photography Contest

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Martina Destino is the winner of our November Photography Contest. Her picture of Castel Sant’Angelo, in Rome, was published in our December 2020 edition (which you can find here).

We interviewed the winner to know more about her passion for photography and her interpretation of the contest’s theme.

Who is Martina Destino?

My name is Martina, and I am a first year CLEACC student. I was born and raised in Rome, and I also lived in the US for 2 years. Art is my biggest passion in all of its forms: from drawing to sculpting, painting to tattooing. I always try to find new ways to express myself and my creativity. Particularly, photography is something I’ve always been fascinated by, as my dad is an amateur photographer: he transmitted his love for this subject to me. I love how a picture is able to capture a specific moment and make it last forever.

Interpretation of the theme, “Your city through your lens”

Your city through your lens” was a way for me to re-discover the beauty of my city, Rome. Having lived in Italy for the majority of my life, I sometimes forget to appreciate the uniqueness and greatness of this country. This contest gave me the opportunity to fully appreciate the history, culture and tradition that can be found around every corner of Italy; in particular, I am fascinated by the way in which Rome makes me feel like a minuscule detail when faced with the magnificence of its heritage. To me, what makes my city special is its ability to bring me back to many different eras and yet make me feel home: I wanted to fully capture the transformation of Rome through the centuries, hence my choice to photograph Castel Sant’Angelo, a symbol of the Eternal City.

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Why Castel Sant’Angelo?

I took this picture in the middle of the lockdown: it was the first time I ever saw the city stripped away from its frenetic pace and crowds of tourists. The stillness and harmony surrounding me allowed me to fully capture the striking contrast between different time periods, stacked on top of each other, and between the past and the present, the ancient and the modern.

Castel Sant’Angelo was initially created as a mausoleum; decades after, it was transformed into a fortress for the popes; it is now a museum. I also wanted to capture part of Ponte Sant’Angelo in my picture: the angel statues were a later addition to the monument, first commissioned to Raffaello da Montelupo, then replaced with newer ones by Bernini; as of today, each of the ten angels is the work of a different artist.

Castel Sant’Angelo is the result of a constant transformation, a continuously evolving blend of ideas, cultures, and traditions: this is what makes Rome so special to me. The emptiness and quietness surrounding the monument allowed me to admire it in all of its greatness, enjoying the splendor of every detail: this is what I want to transmit to the viewer.

For this photo, I used a Nikon D700 camera, with a Nikon 28-70 f2.8. lens.

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