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Matinee: Edi Solari Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

6 August 2016

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 147th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Edi Solari's The Contemporary Architecture of the Modern Churches of Rome.

Edi Solari is a real estate photographer working mostly in Rome. Her thesis at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome was this video slide show of her images of modern Roman churches.

If you live in a city, you are surrounded by architecture. There are old buildings and new ones and they all call out to you as you walk down the street to have their close-up taken. They really are hams.

But shooting architecture isn't an easy job.

There are, first of all, the converging verticals whenever you aim upwards or down. And then there are the tight distances that make a good overall shot very hard to set up. And forget artificial lighting -- you have to be there at the right time of day.

And that's just talking exteriors. Shooting the interiors is no piece of cake either. You still have the converging verticals (and they are less acceptable indoors). And you have mixed lighting with all sorts of artificial light sources (tungsten, fluorescent, halogen, you name it) competing with daylight streaming in from the windows (or, as in this case, stained glass).

Hoping to find a video on architectural photography after our Friday Slide Show on the Octagon House, we were immediately impressed with Solari's thesis. The verticals didn't converge, the highlights weren't blown, the shadows not mud, the light balanced. And the compositions were enthralling.

There's a reason she knows what she is doing. She studied. We've taken the liberty of translating her About page for you:

While studying at the Istituto Grafico Pubblicitario she became passionate about and devoted herself entirely to photography, first as a desire to preserve every memory of her life, then as personal research, documentation and a profession.

After earning a baccalaureate degree in graphic design, she enrolled at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome to attend the three-year course in photography. In 2009 she began to photograph the interiors of apartments and villas for her mother's real estate agency in Porto Santo Stefano, developing a love for architecture, contemporary design and interiors.

In June 2012 she graduated from IED, presenting a thesis on the contemporary architecture of the modern churches of Rome.

After living three months in London she returned to Rome, where she attended a professional course on Home Staging to improve her work as a photographer of interiors and began working with several major real estate agencies in Rome.

When you think of Italy, you think of churches (the Vatican comes immediately to mind and there's that Duomo in Florence not to mention the one in Milan). But they are old churches. Monuments.

Solari has found some real gems of modern design. You would be forgiven for wishing to be married several times just to walk down all their aisles. They are wonderful buildings, sculpting light with their unconventional forms.

But they are not so wonderful as paying clients, we suspect.

So Solari has adapted her eye for architecture to real estate. In addition to her Web site, she has a nice online portfolio for 2016 that will make you wish they were all on Airbnb. Her Flickr page includes a wider variety of subjects.

Looking over her work, we couldn't help thinking she seems to shoot everything with a reverence usually reserved for churches.


You ever see a photo and said, "Dang,I wish I had shot that one?" Edi has made me say that many times. What an eye!!

-- Mike Melneck

Agreed! -- Mike

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