Il Cuore Siciliano
By Colin Steel – His website is here
(From Steve: Here we are again with another superb set of photographs from Colin Steel, one of my favorite photographers ever. His work is always quite special and I am happy that he chooses to share much of it here. Thanks Colin!)
I recently returned from my second visit to the amazing Easter celebrations in Sicily and I wanted to share some thoughts that have been forming in my head around photographing and making sense of the rituals and place itself. Firstly, Sicily is a very unique island and its cultural development is complex having been subject to a number of different and varied influences over the centuries. For this reason I think it’s extremely challenging for an outsider like me to get to grips with and to really understand the depth of what is going on. As a result of this most photographers, particularly first timers, get caught up in the cliches and more obvious shots that are more superficial in nature. I have done this myself, not only in Sicily but I well remember my first trips to places like Bali and Bagan in Myanmar where I thought I was taking the most incredible and vibrant images only to discover on reflection that, although well composed etc. they were very obvious and had been done many times before , and indeed, had been done much better by more accomplished photographers who knew the locations better. The reason I am saying this is that I now believe that you have to keep visiting places and themes that interest you again and again to get really deep into yourself and your emotional reaction to what you see and feel. Only then can you begin to sensibly translate your view and vision.
As I said, this is only my second visit so I consider myself to be at the very beginning of a long and hopefully fruitful relationship with Sicily and its people. I had a very difficult time this year with editing and sequencing my work as I believe my thinking and photography has changed and matured a great deal in the space of a year since my last visit but I have combined last year and this years work and with my friend Jay Komuda come up with a pretty tight edit that is I believe moving in the right direction.